A few weeks ago, attended the Harambeans X Harvard Club Of Kenya meet to discuss the HBS Case Study on Harambeans: Mobilizing Capital in Africa. This gathering brought together alumni of Harvard University who reside in Kenya and the Kenyan Harambeans friends and affiliates like me. The conversations were full of insight and wisdom on discussing how we could build the future of the Africa that we want. During this gathering of absolutely incredible minds, I learned a few lessons but here is 3 that really stood out for me
- Building Africa is our business
Successful African innovators are also deeply conscious of the barriers to their businesses’ success, and careful to build long-term resilience into their business models and that is why Africa has to be primarily built by Africans who understand its unique challenges. For entrepreneurs ready to solve problems and innovate to meet Africa’s unmet needs there is tremendous opportunity for growth. African innovators are often driven by a deeper purpose. They look at Africa’s high levels of poverty and its gaps in infrastructure, education, and healthcare, and they do not see barriers to business, but human issues they feel responsible for solving. Its because of this that its very much our business to solve Africa’s challenges and build the continent and this was echoed over and over again during this meet.
- Great ideas are fueled by commitment and collaboration
If you want to create amazing results, you must almost always learn the power of collaboration. In a world that seems more polarized than ever, achieving true collaboration may seem more difficult than ever. But for a group that has driving principles and similar agendas for Africa’s growth and prosperity like the Harambeans, then incredible collaborations continue to emerge. One thing I learned about this gathering was that they are constantly looking for new ways to collaborate. The Power of Collaboration is reaching an entirely different level of achievement by working exceptionally well with others. This community really believes that when we are really collaborating, we create what Michael Schrage calls, a ‘communal brain.’ We not only bring out everyone’s best, we’re able to turn those ideas into a ‘collective intelligence,’ which allows us to achieve better results.
- Successful people are those who offer the most value and service
Whether through donating to charity or the sharing of ideas, successful people have a habit of giving and creating value for the communities that they serve.in this gathering everyone was either a founder or a cofounder who found ways to give value to the communities that they served. This really cemented the fact that the best way to achieve success is to continuously find ways of providing value for the people you serve.