“BARTER” a very simplistic word derived from earlier centuries. A word whose concept denotes the survival, sustainability, relationship and partnership of the most meagre of enterprises.
The concept of barter has always fostered and encouraged the idea that we all provide something critical to the survival of each other. That we all need each other. That we cannot stand alone and most importantly that the business of development in the community is – yes – OUR responsibility!
Within present day Saint Lucia our economic environment has evolved and seems worlds apart from the traditions of barter. Our business climate consists of a potpourri of enterprises some of whom are more economically independent and self-sufficient than others.
Though the practice of barter is no longer a viable business option, let us ponder a little on the concept. Has our development away from the practice of barter resulted in us feeling that (we), corporate Saint Lucia no longer have a community responsibility? Is it that self- sufficiency and sustainability have made us hermits keeping in immediate line of sight only that which brings direct benefit and profit?
These questions bring to light a more modern term which perhaps gives us hope that all is not lost and that yes – perhaps the heart and conscience of corporate Saint Lucia is still beating strong – that term being Corporate Social Responsibility!!
Wikipedia states the following: “Corporate social responsibility is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. CSR policy functions as a self-regulatory mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards and international norms. CSR is titled to aid an organization’s mission as well as a guide to what the company stands for to its consumers”
We can now go a step further and delve into the mindset of corporate Saint Lucia.
What does corporate Saint Lucia in setting priorities deem as critical issues for which their sponsorship, support and corporate assistance are afforded? Are we seeking to lend the support in the areas only for which we will be further catapulted into popularity among impressionable minds or are we lending the support to the areas for which the aim and cause will bear direct positive impact on our developing nation? How far reaching does our corporate arm extend?
We must embrace our responsibilities with care and caution noting that the ideal of every enterprise is not only within the realm of profit making but ultimately to change lives, to improve society and create balance for the nation. We must ensure that in reaching targets and maximizing profits, we attain and maintain goodwill as we align ourselves with that which will build and further develop our nation.
In observance of Productivity Awareness Week – October 13-18 2015, the NCPC urges private and public agencies to engage in introspection. We urge that corporate Saint Lucia develops a more pronounced conscience leading to the desire to lend their support without reserve to the active efforts of raising productivity levels and the awareness of productivity. We challenge all to sponsor an initiative, dialogue internally within their organization, and lend support by promoting productivity publicly, accepting no less from their counterparts and compatriots in their daily business relations and dealings. Let us work on this common goal of a more productive Saint Lucia – One Nation working in unison for the common good of us all!
(For more information on how you can lend your corporate assistance to the productivity drive, please contact the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council on Second (2nd) floor, Financial Centre Building, Bridge Street, Castries. We can also be contacted at 468 -5571/5576 or visit the Council’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/stluciancpc or email them at [email protected])