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The Fortnight that was – BASIL SPRINGER COLUMN ON DECEMBER 3, 2023

Dr. Basil Springer

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26

Here is a reflection of my last fortnight of experiences.

Thanksgiving is a heartwarming affair. Family reunions are the cornerstone of this holiday, bringing together loved ones in a celebration of gratitude, love and compassion. 

This year, our U.S.-based families embraced the spirit of Thanksgiving. Family gatherings offer an opportunity for bonding, forgiveness and helping others. The joy in sharing meals, stories, projects and laughter with family and friends is a poignant reminder of the enduring bonds of kinship and the importance of nurturing these ties. I look forward to connecting with my wider family in Barbados over Christmas to share in these wonderful experiences.

Black Friday heralded the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season. It’s fascinating how this day, following a holiday centered around thankfulness and simplicity, shifts gears towards consumerism. However, it also marks a time of economic vitality and the joy of giving, as people enthusiastically prepare for the upcoming festive season.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) took center stage from November 29 to December 1. CHIEF brought together industry leaders to share insights and strategies for navigating the complexities of hospitality. The experiences from the forum highlighted the resilience and innovation within the Caribbean hospitality sector, especially in these challenging times.

I was honored to be asked to share innovative and disruptive thoughts on how a 3M Shepherding model, which has been developed and grown by teams under my watch over the last 25 years, simultaneously empowers seasoned industry operatives and younger visionaries to achieve ownership and sustainable success in the tourism industry.

The model governs the metamorphosis of ideas, including management (shepherding – life coaching and business mentoring) of entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSME); and access to money, particularly for MSMEs with shepherding as collateral.

The first specific innovation is the High Impact Growth Strategy (HIGS) workshop tool that generates several sustainable new ideas from a blank sheet of paper in two days of interactive sessions.

The second is the management of business systems (ManOBiz) matrix of 25 cells where a weakness in the content of any cell can spell the demise of the entire business.

The third is the Quick Response Revolving and Growth Equity Fund which sources its capital primarily from mobilizing private sector savings with government incentives where the Fund invests in promising startups and the startups exit by repurchasing their shares as their businesses grow.

Close on the heels of CHIEF was the 2023 CMEx Leadership Awards and Fundraiser on December 2, which is establishing its place in the tourism awards calendar, CMEx having made its debut as a media symposium event over 23 years ago.

It was an honor to be part of an occasion that recognized the contributions and leadership of tourism and communications leaders around the Caribbean. CMEx’s mission of supporting sustainable tourism and community development resonates deeply with me. This event was not only about accolades but it was also a celebration of the collective effort towards sustainable development in tourism, a key driver of the Caribbean economy.

Finally, the Marketplace Excellence Corporation (MPE) staff retreat and client meetings on December 3 marked a fitting end to this fortnight. As a global public relations, marketing and media company, MPE is gearing up for 2024, focusing on helping others navigate the tourism economic growth space and move towards sustainable tourism development. This retreat was a time for introspection and strategic planning, aligning our goals towards creating a positive impact in the industry.

Reflecting on these activities, I am struck by the interconnectedness of our personal and professional lives. From the warmth of family gatherings to the dynamic world of tourism and hospitality, each experience shapes our understanding and approach to life and work. As we move towards sustainable tourism development, the lessons of love, compassion and resilience from these two weeks will undoubtedly guide our endeavors in the upcoming year.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is [email protected]. His columns may be found at and on

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