In Series 1, we went through five steps which enable the Faith Entrepreneur to generate a specific project or solution idea to a specific problem.

 

The process starts by approaching God in prayer and fasting followed by identification of challenges. After identifying problems, the Faith Entrepreneur analyses their root-causes and proceed to generate solutions which address them. But it’s important to prioritize those problems and concentrate on one at a time.

 

In the final step, the project idea is tested with the TCLR-test to ensure it’s compatible with God’s Word, the context to which it will be implemented and availability of resources.

 

In this Series, we’ll deal with Step 2 of the God-Centered Design And Innovation Methodology known as Design.

 

The Design step is where the Faith Entrepreneur beaks down the selected project idea into Axiomatic Tasks and analyses every aspect of it to prepare it for implementation in the field. Many entrepreneurs rush to implement projects without proper design and as a consequence, have little impact in the field.

 

Every project has a unique Cost, Time, Scope and Context in which it will be implemented. Hence, projects are designed and implemented differently.

 

Project Management (PM) design techniques work well for most projects, especially when dealing with Social Challenges. Treff-End encourages Faith Entrepreneurs engaged in Social Innovations to adopt basic PM techniques in designing their projects. You’ll learn more about these techniques in Stage 2.

 

In Stage 1 of the Design Step, the Faith Entrepreneur approaches God in prayers and fasting.

 

Design involves splitting the main projects into specific tasks which will be implemented sequentially in the field. Many projects fail because they’re poorly designed. A good design takes every aspect of the project into consideration. Aspects to be considered in most social projects include Budget, Material and Financial Resources, Stakeholders, Time, Scope, Risks, etc. Bust some technical projects may involve product development, product design, marketing, sales, etc.

 

Prayer and Fasting help the Faith Entrepreneur to prepare the design process. We need wisdom from God to help us design projects which match our contexts and available resources. We’ve already established without God we can’t achieve much. If science was sufficient, the world would be a better place. But it isn’t. True success and fulfilment involve setting scientific innovations in their right spiritual contexts. That’s why the Faith Entrepreneur begins the design process with Prayers and Fasting.

 

In Stage 2, we’ll discover the basic tools of Project management Techniques which the Faith Entrepreneur uses in designing the project to achieve a high impact.

 

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In Series 1.5, we learned appropriate inclusive CommunicationDiscussions & Prioritization is necessary to help the Faith Entrepreneur determine which project(s) or idea(s) best suits the context from the list of recorded ideas. We also discovered appropriate communication and prioritization educates important Stakeholders about your project/idea and helps solicit the inputs and implication of interested ones.

 

Today, we’ll deal with the last stage of the Reveal Step known as Test. But this is only an introduction of the Testing Methodology the Faith Entrepreneur adopts to determine whether he or she is in the right direction. A special Series will get into details of the Testing Methodology.

 

Many people have great ideas and projects. But sad to say, most of these ideas aren’t God-breathed. Consequently, they have little impact in terms of building people’s Spiritual and Physical Capacities. Often times, entrepreneurs only want to become materially rich. True riches, however, aren’t determined by finances and material possessions. Rather by how much we serve one another and impact each other for the Kingdom sake.

 

As Faith Entrepreneurs (believers who desire to live God’s purpose), we’ve opted for the TCLR-Test developed by Treff-End. In this test:

 

  • T stands for Trustworthy (A test of the Authenticity and Integrity of the Project/Idea). In other words, it determines whether the idea is God-Breathed or not.

 

  • C stands for Compatible (Project/Ideas generated by Faith Entrepreneurs as well as the Implementation Methods should be compatible with God’s Words and the Context).

 

  • L stands for Lifechanging (Faith Entrepreneurs develop projects which meet the Spiritual and Physical needs of people especially believers in the Mission Field). In other words, the Impact of any project should be visible in the lives of the people it is meant for.

 

  • R stands for Resources (Projects/Ideas require People, Finances and Material Things) to realize them successfully. The Resource Test helps you determine whether you have the Minimum Resources Required to successfully achieve your objectives.

 

To successfully apply each part of the TCLR-Test, the Faith Entrepreneur answers a series of Questions. The answers to those questions will determine your Position and Strength.

 

Please find out more about the TCLR-Test in Series 5.

 

In Series 2, we’ll start with Step 2 of the God-Centered Design and Innovation Methodology known as Design.

 

In the Design Series, you’ll learn how to prepare your project or idea for effective and efficient implementation in the field.

 

Don’t forget to share this information with friends and entrepreneurs in your community.

 

In Series 1.4, we discovered by listening to the Holy Spirit after a careful Root Cause Analysis, the Faith Entrepreneur obtains and records possible Primary Solution Ideas/Projects. The ideas generated on this stage aren’t the final solutions. But it’s important to record as many solution ideas as possible.

 

In this Series, we’ll deal with Stage 4 of the Reveal Step known as Communicate & Prioritize

 

For every problem, there’s at least one solution. But for most problems, there’re many possible solutions. Some solutions are cheap. Others are costly. But the cost of a solution doesn’t always determine its efficacy. Neither is choosing the most economical guarantee a good impact. For these reasons, we need a good balance between cost and efficacy when choosing projects and design patterns.

 

Appropriate Communication, Discussions and Prioritization help Faith Entrepreneurs decide the best project ideas to the problem and context. In most cases, these should be inclusive discussions, especially when dealing with social projects.

 

Communicating & Prioritizing help the faith entrepreneur in the following ways:

 

  • To choose the most feasible solution idea(s) to the problem and context from the list of proposed solutions.
  • Eliminate solution ideas which are complicated and hard to achieve with available resources.
  • Select the solution idea(s) with the most impact.
  • Educate important stakeholders of the importance of the project.
  • Identify stakeholders who may be interested in the idea/project and solicit their inputs.
  • Learn more about the proposed solution(s) and possible implementation barriers.

 

In order to encourage the development of social innovations in Woteva village, we organized a workshop. Villagers were able to interact in groups to generate many specific and cost-effective projects which can be implemented in the village.

 

But we also discussed the importance of planting Cedrela tree species among local species as a group. We organized a field trip to the Cedrela Demonstration Farms. Villagers could evaluate the project and provide valuable inputs on how to proceed with its implementation. In this way, they participate in generating solutions to the problems in their community.

 

Good Communication and Prioritization can be achieved in diverse ways. But it also depends on the context, location, settings and available resources.

 

Brainstorming Techniques will probably achieve better results with Community Development Projects. The Capacities of Young Entrepreneurs and Innovators can best be evaluated and strengthened in Workshops and Forums. Meetings, Conferences, Seminars, Chats Groups, Expert Consultation and Targeted Education shouldn’t be neglected.

 

A good solution to a Social Problem consists of Four Important Components:

 

  • It should be achievable within the limits of available resources.
  • It should be realistic and feasible.
  • It should be cost-effective.
  • It should have a high impact.

 

Communicate & Prioritization help the faith entrepreneur identify the Best Solution Idea/project to the Problem. That’s the main goal of the Reveal Step. Once you know the appropriate project to implement, part of the problem is solved.

 

In Series 1.6, we’ll talk about Testing your project idea to ensure it stays in line with God’s Standards and Principles.

 

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In Series 1.3, we learned Identifying Root Causes is indispensable to understand the Context in order to Generate Solutions which are Adapted to it. We also discovered when trying to solve problems, many people neglect a Root Cause Analysis. Hence, they generate Superficial Solutions.

 

In this Series,  we will deal with Stage 3 of the Reveal Step known as Listen & Record.

 

After carefully conducting a Root Cause Analysis, the next step is to Listen and Record all the possible Primary Solution Ideas which emerge. A Root Cause Analysis enables Four main things:

 

  • It reveals the General Context of a problem.
  • It exposes Limitations and Loopholes.
  • It enables the Faith Entrepreneur to begin identifying Possible Solution Design Patterns.
  • It forces the Faith Entrepreneur to Pay Attention To Details.

 

When in search of relief, it’s a common thing for many to implement any solution that comes to mind. Most people aren’t patient. They never take the time to generate the best solution for the problem they’re trying to solve. The probability to derive lasting solutions in such cases is, therefore, very low.

 

Faith Entrepreneurs don’t operate haphazardly. They’re not in a haste. They always adopt a Targeted Scientific Approach to solve problems and rely on the Holy Spirit for Specific Revelations.

 

Listening involves diligently collecting Possible Specific Solution Ideas from the Holy Spirit to solve the Problem. These possible solutions ideas are derived from the Root Causes Analysis Information.

 

Recording involves writing everything the Holy Spirit Reveals to you. Whether an Individual or Group Project, Listen & Record as many Solution Ideas as possible.

 

During our Lean Six Sigma Project to improve the performances of students of the LifeWayLight Schools in Tanzania, we did two things after conducting a Root Cause Analysis:

 

  • First, we extracted possible causes we discovered were the main problems to poor performances.
  • Second, for each problem, we diligently proposed possible solution ideas and approaches.

 

This enabled us to generate appropriate solutions patterns to each of the problems we identified. No doubt the performances of the students increased considerably after we implemented the recommendations.

 

Listening to the Holy Spirit and Recording His Revelations helps to specify the problem and possible solutions. It also helps to identify possible Matrices the Faith Entrepreneur uses to measure the Effectiveness of the solution methods and possible Improvement Options after the methods have been implemented.

 

Note: Listen & Record is only a preliminary step to designing concrete solution patterns. The ideas you derive in this stage are not the Definitive Solution. This stage enables you to collect all Possible Solutions by the Help of the Holy Spirit. These possible solution patterns will be categorized, re-designed and re-organized on Stage 4 (Communicate & Prioritize) to obtain final solutions.

 

As a conclusion, Listen & Record is a very important stage you shouldn’t miss when in search for concrete solutions. Moreover, the process of listening and recording is engineered by the Holy Spirit. He reveals what solutions are appropriate for the problem. The Faith Entrepreneur listens diligently to Him and records everything. Most importantly, these preliminary solutions are derived from the information you obtain after conducting a Root Cause Analysis.

 

In the next Series (Series 1.5), we will deal with how the Faith Entrepreneur develops the final draft of solutions through effective communication techniques and group discussions methods.

 

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In Series 1.2, we learned that in the Reveal Step, the Faith Entrepreneur approaches God to obtain a Specific Revelation (solution, idea or project) that will be implemented to benefit people. We discovered there are Five main Stages the Faith Entrepreneur(s) goes through to receive this revelation. These include Pray/Fast, Identify Root Causes, Listen & Record, Communicate & Discuss and Apply The TCLR-Test.

 

We started with Stage 1 (Pray/Fast) and discovered most people are only in pursuit of their personal interests. As a result, many of their endeavours don’t bring fulfilment. We also discovered God wants us to accomplish Specific Projects which He wants in order to advance His Kingdom. Prayer and Fasting help the Faith Entrepreneur’s revelations to align with God’s will.

 

In this Series, we will focus on Stage 2 of the Reveal Step – Identify Challenges & Root Causes.

 

Many solution ideas in the world are only at a Superficial Level. For instance, in trying to solve the problem of poverty, many so-called rich countries propose humanitarian aid as the solution. A more effective solution, however, is eliminating economic disequilibrium and unselfishly sharing technological discoveries while placing more emphasis on Local Capacity Building initiatives. Another example is spending billions of dollars in conflict resolutions while continuously encouraging the development and propagation of sophisticated weapons. The last example is having a willingness to promote social and technological inventions but neglecting backing up the propaganda with concrete and adapted research centres.

 

It’s important to do a Root-Cause Analysis to discover the main challenges and their root-causes. This knowledge will, in turn, help to generate projects, ideas or solutions which are adapted to the context and to tackle them from their roots, not superficially. Superficial solutions are like covering a wound with a bandage.

 

In 2016, we conducted a Lean Six Sigma project to improve the performances of students and teachers of the LifeWayLight Schools in Tanzania. Many students did not perform well in most science subjects and English language. Looking at the problem from a superficial level, many quickly assumed teaching methods were inefficient. Most of the bad performances of students were, therefore, attributed to poor teaching methodologies.

 

When we (Treff-End) looked deeper into the problem by conducting a Root Cause Analysis, we discovered there were a number of factors which cause poor performances and teaching methods were only one of them. A few of the most pertinent were:

  • Students didn’t obtain help from their parents at home mainly because most parents were illiterate.
  • Teachers weren’t usually paid in time. This caused a number of grievances, frustrations and lack of motivation which, in turn, affected their teaching performances.
  • Lastly, the school premises was devoid of study materials and attractive settings to motivate students to learn.

 

After addressing some of these root causes, the performances of the students improved greatly in 2018. Among the primary schools with less than 40 people which registered for the official examinations, the LifeWayLight Schools came 2nd out of 59 in the district, 4th out of 323 in the region and 77th out of 6726 primary institutions in the country.

 

We can never solve problems effectively if we don’t deal with them from their Root Causes. We also cannot generate appropriate solution ideas or projects if we fail to do an appropriate Root Cause Analysis. Analysing Root Causes helps us to understand the context and origin of the challenges we are facing.

 

If you cut the roots of a tree, the whole tree dies. But if you cut only its branches, the tree germinates and flourishes again because it is still connected to its source of life. In the same way, if we handle problems from their roots, we cut off their source of propagation. But if we handle them superficially as in the case of conflict resolutions which don’t target limiting arm production and ownership, we simple pave the way for more complicated troubles to handle in the future.

 

Root Causes are appropriate to identify at this stage especially because in Stage 1 we commit everything to God and invite Him to reveal His will to us. When Identifying Root causes, the Faith Entrepreneur analysis and understands the context in the process. Once this contextual understanding is complete, the people can generate appropriate project ideas and solutions to overcome those challenges they are facing in their community.

 

In the next series (Series 1.4), we’ll deal specifically with how we generate concrete and adapted project ideas or solutions from Root-Causes.

 

Stay tuned and make sure you share the information with your family and friends.

 

In Series 1.1, we learned that the God-Centered Design And Innovation Methodology (GCDI) helps us to generate, design and implement God’s Ideas for us in a manner that Matches His Will. We also learned that the methodology consists of Four main steps (Reveal, Design, Implement and Optimize) and each of these steps is further divided into Stages.

 

In this Series (1.2), we will begin with the First Step in the GCDI methodology known as Reveal. In Series 1.1, we learned that those who generate and implement God’s ideas are known as Faith Entrepreneurs. In the Reveal Step, the Faith Entrepreneur approaches God to obtain a Specific Revelation (Solution, Idea or Project). There are Five main Stages involved in the Reveal Step. These include:

 

  • Stage 1: Pray/Fast
  • Stage 2: Identify Challenges & Root Causes
  • Stage 3: Listen & Record
  • Stage 4: Communicate & Prioritize
  • Stage 5: Apply The TCLR-Test

 

In this series, we will deal with Stage 1 of the Reveal Step.

 

One major cause of lack of appropriate solutions to problems is the belief that Humans are in Control of Everything. As a result, many solutions humans generate are Man-Made (Humanly Inspired). The ideas of the Natural Human Being are corrupted (1 Corinthians 2:14). Hence, most humans are mostly in search of their Personal Interests than helping one another. Human beings, by themselves, cannot and will never be able to generate ideas that bring Eternal Satisfaction and Fulfilment to their souls. Man-Made Ideas are always Temporal and Fade with time. In other words, they are Vanity.

 

Contrary to Human Ideas, God’s Ideas are Eternal. He (God) created the world and every human being that exists. He knows what is good and bad for us. God also knows how to use us and bless us in Specific Situations and Times during our existence. One huge problem humans have is understanding their Real Area Of Functionality On Earth. Many people don’t know why they are in this world. They have no Purpose in life.

 

Prayer and Fasting, therefore, help to put you in line with God’s will and Purpose for you. Most especially when God inspires any endeavour, we have Physical and Spiritual Rewards from it both in this life and in the life to come. Hence, the First Stage in the Reveal Step is to Seek God’s Face. We are not in this world to solve every little problem we see. That’s an impossibility. As long as this current world exists, there’ll always be troubles of diverse nature. Instead, we are in this world to generate and accomplish Specific Projects God Wants Us To Accomplish in order to Advance His Kingdom. That’s our mission on earth.

 

Through Prayers and Fasting, we can Approach God and Communicate with Him. God has Promised to Reveal (James 1:5) those Specific Ideas and Projects He wants us to Accomplish in our Societies, Communities, Countries, Villages, Organizations, etc. Being our Creator, He is in a better place to tell us what we should do in life every time. Contrary to Faith Entrepreneurs, most Worldly Entrepreneurs feel like chasing the wind. They are never Truly Fulfilled despite Labouring very had. The reason is that Worldly Entrepreneurs generate, design and implement Man-Made Ideas while Faith Entrepreneurs generate, design and implement God’s Ideas.

 

If we observe our communities and societies carefully, we will discover many areas touching human lives that need improvements. All these areas are potential projects that can serve humanity. But we must never Endeavour Haphazardly. We need to hear from God so that He will guide us to Generate Specific Ideas, Projects or Solutions which He wants us to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Prayer and fasting take various forms and depend on the type of situation. But in the GCDI methodology, we recommend beginning with at least one to three days of fasting and prayers. During this period of concentration, the Faith Entrepreneur(s) do the following:

 

  • Commit themselves to God to be used by Him
  • Ask God’s will to be done
  • Pray against influences from the enemy (Satan)
  • Authorise God to take the lead
  • Most especially, ask God for wisdom about what exactly to do in the situation (specific project ideas)

 

Usually, when we approach God in prayers and fasting, there’s already a hard situation we are facing for which we seek a solution. For instance, it could be hunger in the community caused by drought, sicknesses, poverty or lack of basic necessities such as drinking water, education and clothing.

 

Other times, it could just be approaching God to discover appropriate project ideas to advance His kingdom. For instance, humanitarian work, starting a church or Small Prayer Group, creating a company, helping missionaries, supporting orphans and widows, etc.

 

Whatever the project may be, let God guide us. The proper way to ensure His guidance is to seek His face in prayer and fasting.

 

Finally, you must have noticed that the GCDI Methodology is Appropriate for True Believers only. Although anyone can use it to generate projects, it is doubtful if a Non-Believer in his or her Un-Regenerated state can truly profit from its content. For this reason, we advise that anyone who desires to apply the GCDI Methodology first seeks repentance with God.

 

In the next series, we will deal with Stage 2Identify Challenges & Root Causes

 

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