“You have to be willing to be misunderstood if you’re going to innovate”
Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of AMAZON
So what has spirituality got to do with saving Nigeria or with innovation. Perhaps we should begin with a definition of spirituality. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things, relating to religion or religious beliefs”. However, upon studying the meaning of spirituality more broadly, we have come to realize that it has nothing to do with prayer. Prayer is good but to change your state of being or your situation in life, you must innovate. In all religious teachings, God asks that you take action and commands you to do something that will take you to a better place while believing in him and acting based on the golden rule and consistency with his image and likeness.
Consequent to a broader perspective, spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life. As such, it is a universal human experience—something that touches us all. Modern spirituality is centered on the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” It embraces the idea of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality. It envisions an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being. Therefore, it is our submission that spirituality requires a strong moral compass that is centered on the “deepest values and meanings by which people live” and that “it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves” and a “commitment to the common good”. Such a moral compass is totally missing from the values and mores of today’s Nigerian society.
As a result, spirituality must be the key performance indicator for Nigeria going forward, for the sole purpose and the true test of spirituality is the capacity to design solutions to take people, society and their environment out of any condition or situation that is undesirable, into a desirable place. Period.
It applies to a company and its products or services. It applies to a nation. It applies to any organization and it applies to an individual.
And this capacity is achievable when humans tap into the finer virtues possessed by The Maker who endues His creation that He has made in His own image, so that like Him, humans can create solutions to lift themselves from the influence of base predatory and destructive behaviors that puts them in inhuman conditions, in the first place.
It is the inability of humans at solutioning like their maker that is considered as the “fall”- a fall from the high order, above all creation as the one creation that is in charge of all else, by reason of possessing higher faculties.
To be spiritual therefore is to innovate and to design, with design meaning “thinking out and making solutions that “change the game” which, in turn, leads to innovation- the creation of new value, as was not previously available until new thinking and actions were taken, therefore leading to upscaled performance.
To reiterate, man was designed to Design and that’s why our credo at G57 is ”designing the Nigeria we deserve”. From such design shall Nigerians move from a terrible state that we are in today to a better future place emanating from design, innovation and spirituality.
It entails changing the game, by changing the rules, and promoting the new outcomes for adoption as the new deal that puts our people and nation in a better place.
This therefore demands that innovation must serve the sole purpose of uplifting a situation for the better and not reducing it for worse; for if a so-called innovation degrades the Nigerian and his world , it is a perversion.
And, as we have seen enough of perversion in our country, Nigerians must therefore understand and appreciate the transformational power of spirituality, design and the spirit that drives it, its meaning being problem solving.
This is why Spirituality and Design are the master key to growth and sustainability of business, humanity and society.
A most practical definition of this key to problem solving and development would therefore be that by Herbert Simon who posits that “everyone designs, who devices courses of actions aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones”
It is the reason that we must show the key performance indicators as the result or proof of our spirituality. Business calls these “results” but in different faiths call them “fruits”- the evidence of the spirit that drives the action that we see and the consequences that arise from these actions.
As we know, these have been framed into an index; with markers of the least conditions below which no human being should fall. Top of this list is the guarantee of security of life, food, clothing, housing and most of all, the freedom to have access to these which build the fortress of dignity around a person and aggregate context in which they live, called society.
This is what proves that The Creator is the one at work in a people. And without these key performance indicators in a society, it is clear evidence that it is not The Maker at work but that it is the destroyer that’s at work.
We at G57 have designed a platform for the actualization of the life that Nigerians deserve.
It begins with our design of an economy that will focus on generating USD4 trillion in eight years and creating 10 million jobs for Nigerians. If we are to achieve the promise of a great nation, our moral compass must return to the values of true spirituality and prayer that is first founded on the common good of Nigerians, driven by design, spirituality and innovation — before we seek for individual benefits.
The G57, May, 2018.