I have seen many instances of resourcefulness demonstrated by the members of my family. I have also heard of immigrants who share how they left their home countries with “less than $300 in my pocket” to build a new life abroad. Resourcefulness is now widely considered to be a great skill to develop for any leader. But where I come from finding a creative way to make all things work and take on challenges comes much more from a way of life.
Over the past decade, I have held business roles in which I was my client's only representative in Canada. Therefore, all client strategies and activities channeled through me. I had to work independently and efficiently. Resourcefulness and creative thinking were essential to my success.
I share here three professional experiences that are striking to me as they illustrate the importance of developing resourcefulness as a mindset.
The first example is from when I completed a market development visit in Paris. The goal was to establish key relationships with market players and leaders from the targeted community as well as complete the branding of about 100 stores. I not only had to plan this trip carefully, but also prioritize the people and meetings that would have the most impact on the company's bottom line.
I searched for consular offices, trade associations, agencies, community organizations, clergy leaders, promoters and influencers who could facilitate brand development and provide valuable information about the targeted community. I strategically planned our field visits and met many quality people. This trip allowed me to confirm that with proper planning, it was possible to develop in any foreign city where there was a strong cultural community.
The second example is when we produced a radio ad that was to be broadcasted in Canada for a Jamaican company. The text had already been approved by the marketing director. However, the client believed the actor’s voice did not sound Jamaican enough. My way of making sure that we had the right voice was to hire directly in Jamaica. I quickly searched within my network to find someone who could help me find the perfect voice. I received some references, fortunately, one of my distributors had a cousin who was an influencer in Jamaica. I contacted his agent, received his voice samples, and we quickly reached an agreement. Less than a week later, we received a brand-new radio ad that met all the customer's expectations.
The third example is when we participated in a Caribbean festival in Calgary where we had to research and hire a team of local promoters to activate the event. I contacted community organizers and various leaders to help me find the promoters who matched our criteria. We completed the interviews, hiring process and training virtually and rented the necessary equipment. We organized the purchases, shipping, and receipt of the equipment from Montreal. I meticulously went through all the steps and flew to Calgary to activate this major event.
These are the kinds of challenges that drive me.
Can you think of a time when you have been ingenuous or resourceful?
I would like to hear from you. Kindly share your thoughts on resourcefulness.
Harry Félix is a multicultural marketing strategist and a business development consultant. He is the founder of Metro City Marketing. He has been contributing to propel international, national and local businesses since 2012.
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