Business Talk is a series by Prof. Scott Bellows, published weekly in the Business Daily (Kenya) www.bdafrica.com.
Wafula cheerfully waltzed into his bank at Garden City in Nairobi.  He greeted the teller and looked admirably around at the glittering modern furnishings of the new branch.  He appreciated that he now could visit a branch closer to his home.

 


Mbugua struggled during long staff meetings as well as strategic planning retreats to keep his employees engaged and interested in discussions.  He felt that the yield from staff members did not exceed the costs of holding meetings and retreats if employee boredom blocked meaningful progress.

Inasmuch, we continue last week’s discussion on end of year team building that highlighted four components during a team retreat.  The first two discussed encompassed team cohesiveness and team learning.  The remaining two sections involve icebreakers and team appreciation all while remembering that team building fosters and molds teams to hold the norms that you, as their executive, desire them to behave around.

Mbugua retained a proud tradition at his manufacturing firm in the Athi River Export Processing Zone.  He held an annual team building retreat to show his employees how much he valued them.  He desired a well functioning performing team.

Munyao always admired the prospects of trading public equities.  From the Bombay Stock Exchange to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to the Brazilian Securities, Commodities and Futures Exchange, he followed trends around the world.  He read all about the DAX, CAC 40, Hang Seng, Nikkei 225, Dow Jones, S&P 500, Russell 2000, and FTSE 100.

Omar steadily earned more money with each promotion since he left campus.  Over five years since attaining his bachelor’s degree, he felt ready to invest.  He deliberated over how to begin investing and which types of investments made sense for his circumstances.

Munyao slowly walked through the Maasai Market at the Village Market in Nairobi.  Suddenly he spotted a certain African-print scarf selling for more than twenty times the price that the same item sold for in Gikomba market.  Initially stunned at his discovery, he then elatedly hopped in his car, braved Nairobi traffic, and drove over to Gikomba market to purchase as many of the same African-print scarves as possible.

Cheryl long desired to visit Sub-Saharan Africa.  She craved to experience a mix of culture and nature.  She researched extensively and decided to travel to Kenya along with her oldest son.  The two ended up loving Kenya and its people and returned to tell their friends about their positive experiences.

Thereafter, CNN showed an unflattering picture of Nairobi, unlike gratifying pictures for comparative cities, and highlighted that Nairobi held a dismal global reputation ranking.  Cheryl felt hurt at the misrepresentation and felt fed up with global media.

Kenyans woke up Saturday morning to discover that while we slept, terrible coordinated terrorist attacks rocked the French capital Paris.  We joined citizens of the world to sigh a collective groan in sympathy with the victims and thoughts of “not again”.

Koki worked in an international news organisation in its East Africa division based in Nairobi.  She enjoyed the fast paced environment and standing at the forefront of representing the region to the world.  Upon her third year with the firm, she received a promotion to Bureau Chief.  Gratified by the acknowledgement of her efforts, Koki continued working hard for the company.