Written by David Ormesher on August 16, 2010
It was a very exciting week to be in Rwanda. The peaceful presidential election process spoke volumes about the progress Rwanda is making. Talking about a Bigger Future seemed very appropriate in a country that is well on its way. After visiting a polling station during the day, we joined the tens of thousands of singing and dancing Rwandese at the Amahoro National Stadium until after midnight.
Bigger Future workshop
It was on the heals of these historic events that we gathered for an informal reception Tuesday night and held the third workshop on Wednesday at the Laico Hotel. We covered a lot of ground during the Wednesday workshop, including introducing The Strategic Coach®'s helpful tool called Experience Transformer® (how do we learn from our experiences of what works and what doesn't work), a framework for building a competitive brand (inside-out: what are you passionate about? and outside-in: what is the pull of the market?), the Entrepreneurial Time System® (Free, Focus, and Buffer Days), how to hire the right employees, and an update to the 3-Year Planner.
We talked about how in life all our experiences can be catalogued as things that "work" and things that "don't work." We are happy when life is full of experiences that work, or in other words, that meet our expectations, and we are frustrated, depressed, or even angry when our life doesn't work, or our experiences don't meet our expectations. Most people don't take the time to reflect on the reasons behind either scenario, and therefore their learning is much smaller than their experience. Our goal as entrepreneurs is to make our learning bigger than our experience. The Experience Transformer helps us do just that, leading to an understanding of "what we would differently if we knew then what we know now."
We learned the definition of a "brand" and a process to build a strong brand to enable Rwandan companies to compete in the new 140 million person East African Community. We used a framework that helped us discover what we are most passionate about, where we can be the "only" company, and where the "market pull" exists. Out work culminated in everyone working on their first fdraft of a position statement for their business. This work is not for the faint of heart!
We heard start-up stories from two entreprenuers (Pavel Patyuk from Deborah Log Homes and Fabrice Shema from SOGEM), resource opportunities from GenerationRwanda and Women for Women, and the SME Toolkit from the IFC and Maxinet/CBS.
It was a full day!