There is no doubt in my mind that CSI South Africa, including NGOs and the social sector community, is holding our country together. We continue to stitch the unravelling economic and social seams back together with all the efforts of so many powerful, hard-working men and women. You just have to take a look at KwaZulu-Natal to see this.
The question is, do we see it? Here is a simple question to make my point:
WHAT DO YOU SEE BELOW? OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE
What you see above reflects your state of mind right now in South Africa’s development sector – whether it be positive or negative. Here is my point: I was reading a book by author Rane Panaligan (The law of leverage), whose books are all about helping us navigate the world of finance and retire well enough to survive whatever economic crisis might prevail in our lifetime. What I found more interesting, however, was the wealth of knowledge that Rane has.
In the book, he relates an anecdotal story to drive a point home. He talks about two salespeople coming to South Africa from the Philippines – long before civilization had come to this country – to construct a shoe factory, as a certain wealthy businessman from the Philippines was looking to expand into Africa. After extensive research, the one salesperson who came to South Africa gave the business boss a story about how opening a factory here would be futile because the people in South Africa did not know how to use shoes.
The businessman sent another team to inspect the situation, and the second team went back and told the boss: you have to open a factory at once, and teach the huge market there how to wear shoes! The two sales teams had seen the same scenario, but each had taken a different perspective.
The first one had settled on the negative, but the second one had viewed the situation in a constructive manner. Seeking opportunity is a matter of perspective.
This brings us to the point that there are so many people in CSI South Africa today who have been doing so much incredible work. CSI has changed and the question remains, how do we view the new landscape of CSI. On our part, here at CSRNEWS, we are happy to launch the Women in CSI Summit and to release the second edition of Leading Women in CSI Summit.
This year, though, we need your help to select 12 women doing incredible work in CSI South Africa today. We launched the soft launch of the programme socially last week, but now we need your support to look at the future of CSI through the eyes of the second salesperson who wanted to open a factory at once.
I NOW SEE: OPPORTUNITY IS NOW HERE. SOME SAW: OPPORTUNITY IS NO WHERE.
It is all a matter of perspective.