Many years back, there was a person. Very close to me. Not a relative. Not a close friend. But someone who I knew and adored for his passion and energy. He had started a new company. Healthcare consulting.
He trusted me. I trusted him. We met over coffee. To discuss his new company.
He had just received his first grant. 250K $. And therefore it was his treat.
Coffee done. Pastry eaten. I said ‘ Well then. Good luck.’ He smiled and said. ‘Did you think the coffee and the cake was for free? Huh!! You may pay too. Give me some guidance on how you would have run the company had you been in my place.’
This was not what I had expected. But he was insistent. So I said ‘ Well, order another coffee then. Latte with double shot. Let us discuss them.’
This is what came in our conversation. I told him that I would have followed a 4-C approach.
First. Build capacity. The 250 K is a very small funding. Nothing compared to the scale I dream for. Therefore, I would have transparently discussed on using some of this fund for capacity building of my team. To prepare the team to develop proposals and execute projects better. Most importantly to learn how to document well. Capacity building. In these aspects.
Second. Be creative. Even if the magnitude is small, I would encourage the team to do something innovative. Be creative in thinking. An innovation that will be picked up by us in future projects or by others in other projects. But every work that we do must have some element of original thinking. Creativity.
Third. Make connections. Nothing can be done alone. Connections are critical. Connections for complementary work. Connections for collaboration. Explore multiple partners. Find those that are complimentary. Then connect. With connection the power is manifold. Connect.
Fourth. And this one would be most important for me and my team. Be courageous. Every new idea. Every new thought. Needs courage to express. When you have to express your idea. Your thought. Never be scared. Be courageous.
So four things. 4Cs. For my company. If I ever have any.
Build capacity. Be creative. Make connections. Be courageous.
The guy was happy I think. He ordered a mutton patties for me. His way of thanking. I loved it.
As a footnote, I must write. I have not started a company. And will probably never. And the guy and his company is doing moderate. All he did except I think he was not courageous enough. It is the most difficult of the 4 Cs. Particularly when you are at the receiving end.