Person of influence- Meet Daberechi Okedurum!
The whole point of the Persons of Influence feature is to showcase individuals we believe are living out their purpose and changing their world, in their own way, big or small. I first met Daberechi a few years ago when I was I involved in a magazine he was part of. Over the years I’ve followed him on social media and find a lot of what he does inspiring. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!
Reach and Inspire Magazine: Daberechi, it’s great to have you on this edition of ‘Reach and Inspire Magazine’. Could you please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a little bit about you?
Daberechi Okedurum: I am a certified Creative thinking and Problem Solving Facilitator who is committed to Enterprise Creation, Entrepreneurship Education and Problem Based Learning. I work with individuals, organizations and institutions, helping them in the areas of Deliberate Creativity, Design/Creative Thinking and Innovation in Solving Problems, Maximizing Opportunities and Implementing Feasible Business Solutions. I am a Sidney Parnes Global Fellow in Creative Problem Solving, a Nigerian and the last of my parents' five children.
Reach and Inspire Magazine: You talk a lot about creating and creativity. Do you think everyone has the ability to be creative? What do you say to people that don’t think they are particularly creative?
Daberechi Okedurum: Every single human on earth is creative; it is a nature we inherited from God, having been created in His image and likeness (we are co-creators). However, for a very long time, many limited creativity to folk who are in the ‘Creative Arts’ such as painters, dancers, musicians and so on. Some others believe only a selected few who have proven to be geniuses are creative. Think of a child who is 0 to 3 years, these kids will dare to do anything with whatever they find around them, but then, as they get into school, as Sir Ken Robinson will put it, the school gradually starts killing their creative abilities because of the way the school’s curriculum has been structured. So, nobody should think they are not creative, all you need to do is find your spark again, and there are so many creative thinking activities online to help.
Reach and Inspire Magazine: That is very interesting, and good to know. How can young people get more in touch with / discover their creative side?
Daberechi Okedurum: By solving problems. The real essence of being skilled or educated is to solve problems; every time you are solving a problem, you are creating something. One of my regular activities is finding a product, a piece of anything, a process etc. and asking; ‘what are 20 more things I can create with this piece, product, process etc.?’
Reach and Inspire Magazine: Having followed a lot of your work on social media, I know that you’re very passionate about creative problem solving. What is Creative Problem Solving?
Daberechi Okedurum: Creative Problem Solving as the name applies involves following a structured process usually referred to as the Creative Problem Solving Process to arrive at a novel solution to an identified problem. One of the most common activities we often engage in when problem solving is what we all know as Brainstorming, however, in addition to brainstorming are other concepts like Design thinking, divergent and convergent thinking, brain-writing etc. Creative Problem Solving enables us blend knowledge, imagination and evaluation to develop a new and innovative process, product, service or even strategy to any given problem.
Reach and Inspire Magazine: Why are you so passionate about helping people see problems differently?
Daberechi Okedurum: Problems to us as humans are what crude oil is to the petroleum industry. Take a look at how far the human race has grown and developed; these developments from transportation, to healthcare, to technology etc. can all be tied to the fact that these were once identified as real problems which in turn propelled the human mind to seek answers to them. Sadly, this present generation, especially in the clime where I live, most people tend to run away from problems rather than getting excited at the sight of a problem. So when I lead people to see problems differently, I am reminding them of their innate ability to transform problems to enterprising solutions with the already available resources we have been given by God. God does not build ships; He makes available trees for us to create ships, thereby solving our problem of moving across oceans from point A to point B.
Reach and Inspire Magazine: We think it’s really important that as Christians, we add value wherever we find ourselves. Have you got any tips for our readers on how they can add / create value, for example, in the workplace?
Daberechi Okedurum: Value creation from my own perspective deals with problem solving, once you develop a habit of consciously paying attention to unmet needs, pain points and loopholes affecting your organization as well as their target market, and then go ahead to create a solution to these unmet needs, pain points or loopholes, you are already creating value. Largely, value creation is about finding what people need and meeting that need in an enterprising way; it should be paid for. Develop the mindset of a producer and not a consumer.
Reach and Inspire Magazine: What is the idea behind ‘Concept to Marketplace’?
Daberechi Okedurum: Concept to Marketplace is a 5 week module I developed using the Creative Problem Solving process. It is used as a tool to facilitate Entrepreneurship education in higher institutions as well as a guide to walk entrepreneurs, professionals and businesses through from the point of conceiving an idea or desire to create value to the point where this idea becomes tangible and fit for the marketplace. The process is very hands-on and can be used for product, service, process, and strategy development.
Reach and Inspire Magazine: Some people think that ‘Entrepreneurs are born, not made’. Do you think this is true, or can anyone be an entrepreneur?
Daberechi Okedurum: No child is born with a default setting of knowing how to eat with a spoon. In the same way, in my view, no one is born with a default setting of knowing how to see opportunities in every problem and taking on the challenge to create value. The enterprising spirit is something we pick from our environment which is one of the reasons I have decided to create programs that expose young children and adults to the Enterprise Creation process. Entrepreneurship for us, is a lifestyle of seeing problems differently and taking on that challenge to work with available human and material resources to create a solution.
Reach and Inspire Magazine: What do you think are some of the challenges facing young people today when it comes to turning an idea into a business opportunity? How can they tackle these challenges?
Daberechi Okedurum: First is rightly identifying what people truly need; a lot of times we pursue certain ideas for our selfish reasons, then, when the idea is taken out there, no one is interested. Pursue the selfish desires of others; it is not really about you, but what others need. They are the ones to approve of and pay for the idea. So go out and find what people need, do not assume.
Secondly, delay gratification. Often, we want to plant our acorn today and see an oak tree tomorrow. Give the idea time, create a prototype and have people test it, then go back and improve on it. Do not build alone. If possible, run a strength finder test, focus on your strengths, find a team that compliments you and create together.
Lastly there are so many external factors that might hinder your turning that idea into a business; oftentimes, we cannot control these factors since they are external, however, leverage on your abilities and network. You might not know how powerful the persons in your phonebook are until your pair your business needs with each and every individual in your phonebook. It is therefore important to consciously build your network.
Reach and Inspire Magazine: Lastly, how does your faith impact what you do on a daily basis?
Daberechi Okedurum: I see my work as an extension of the kingdom of God. There are moments I have spent weeks preparing for my sessions and suddenly, a few hours to the session, the Holy Spirit prompts me on a whole new plan and as usual the session turns out to be highly successful. There is a limit to how much we know. For this reason, as a Christian, I totally depend on God for every action I take. I believe God who called me to carry out this task will always equip me with the tools I need. It is my desire to see my clients give glory and honour to God every time they consume my product or service; it is for this reason I have been made a co-creator.
We absolutely loved this interview with Daberechi, and took so many learning points from it. We hope you enjoyed it too. You can follow more of Daberechi's work on the following pages:
Linkedin - Daberechi Okedurum - https://www.linkedin.com/in/daberechi