TED has a talk that will get you thinking. Thinking about a different way to help people.
Ernesto Sirolli got his start doing aid work in Africa in the 70's -- and quickly realised how ineffective it was.
Below is the talk and I'll pull some points from the transcript that will get you give some ideas.
The talk is from Ernesto's experience providing aid to Africa, and how the Western world makes mistakes.
We Western people are imperialist, colonialist missionaries, and there are only two ways we deal with people: We either patronize them, or we are paternalistic. The two words come from the Latin root "pater," which means "father." But they mean two different things.Paternalistic, I treat anybody from a different culture as if they were my children. "I love you so much." Patronizing, I treat everybody from another culture as if they were my servants. That's why the white people in Africa are called "bwana," boss.
I was given a slap in the face reading a book, "Small is Beautiful," written by Schumacher, who said, above all in economic development, if people do not wish to be helped, leave them alone. This should be the first principle of aid.
If you want to help someone. A typical approach would be to match their need with your offering. But, Ernesto's approach resonates with one I use. Look for people's passion.
The most important thing is passion. You can give somebody an idea. If that person doesn't want to do it, what are you going to do? The passion that the person has for her own growth is the most important thing. The passion that that man has for his own personal growth is the most important thing. And then we help them to go and find the knowledge,because nobody in the world can succeed alone. The person with the idea may not have the knowledge, but the knowledge is available.
Why. If you are trying to work on lead edge, innovative stuff. You can't plan for an entrepreneurial event.
And, what does he do? He helps entrepreneurs find the other parts to be successful - develop, market, and manage.
However, there is a secret to work with entrepreneurs. First, you have to offer them confidentiality. Otherwise they don't come and talk to you. Then you have to offer them absolute, dedicated, passionate service to them. And then you have to tell them the truth about entrepreneurship. The smallest company, the biggest company, has to be capable of doing three things beautifully: The product that you want to sell has to be fantastic, you have to have fantastic marketing, and you have to have tremendous financial management.Guess what? We have never met a single human being in the world who can make it, sell it and look after the money. It doesn't exist. This person has never been born. We've done the research, and we have looked at the 100 iconic companies of the world -- Carnegie, Westinghouse, Edison, Ford, all the new companies, Google, Yahoo. There's only one thing that all the successful companies in the world have in common, only one: None were started by one person.