Management – The Omoluwabi Way

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In an increasingly competitive world, management experts have continued to roll out management concepts and models that they believe can shapes businesses and individuals that run such organizations with the ultimate aim of giving them the edge over competition. For the traditional Porter’s five forces (competitive analysis) to Balanced Scorecard, from Just-in-Time to Kaizen, concepts and models continue to evolve.

It is however interesting to note that Nigerians are joining the leagues of those on the evolution of such management concepts.  Adewale Ajadi, a management consultant based in the UK is one of such people. In his book, he explores the “Omoluwabi” as a management concept that is essentially value- driven.

Omoluwabi is Yoruba (Oyo) word for ‘Omo to Olu Iwa bi’ translated literally in English as “Offspring or Child of the Lord of Character”. It is part of an ancient code in the same way that most noble Japanese were raised on Bushido. However it was never just linked to birth but a manifestation of values, attitude and behavior. It is the same way that Unbuntu is emerging as a model of progressive and ethical business conduct in South Africa and also being used across the world, that Omoluwabi will offer a much needed standard for excellence in the Nigerian character. Adewale hopes that it will be his humble contribution to Management Philosophy and Leadership thinking across the world – a truly African Renaissance.

Adewale lists seven elements from his attempt to update Omoluwabi. Description as follows:

Isiju: Illusion or distractions. They are mainly borrowed industrial philosophy that oversimplifies reality for the sake of efficiency without any real consideration for their effectiveness.

Oju Inu: Insight or trained intuition. This is critical to self evaluation and evolution of consciousness.

Ami: Symbols and omens. This is about analysis and recognition of pattern as well as revelation.

Iwalewa: Character is beauty. The behaviour that reflect your values and beliefs.

Eniyan lasomi: People are my clothing. The primacy of relationship in all human affairs and system.

Afose: From word into action. The essence of continuous improvement especially the effective execution of words into action.

Ire: The blessings and prosperity that are result of values, behavior and accountability.

Adewale’s “Omoluwabi” concept is not necessarily new but the idea of repackaging it as a management concept is creative. In summary, his belief is that building successful businesses that will last requires running the organization the “Omoluwabi” way. This is even truer for those running small businesses. We need to have a predictable character that makes people trust us and want to deal with us. Even when we do not have the capacity to deal with a particular situation, the character of “Omoluwabi” as embodied in “Eniya lasomi” will make those you relate with put themselves at your disposal to help and mentor you. Surely, the blessings and prosperity that are the results of values, behavior and accountability shall surely follow you – Ire!


From ©Adewale Ajadi for Adaptnomics Ltd Page 122/4/06

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I am Nigerian :)

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