The CEFR has been a revelation so far, not only by introducing a standard framework of skills and abilities (besides it’s too standardized in this respect), but mainly by introducing autonomy, self-evaluation and the concept of producing what’s now known as Can-Do statements. However, for those who see the real value of the concept and not just the superficial “recipe”, it’s impossible to underestimate the potential for expansion into every field of activity requiring improvement, training and growth. One of these fields is your business itself.
Can-Do statements related to a knowledge and practice area, more than anything, set targets, as long as, of course, one can understand what being able to do something really means, and what use there is in it.
Business Can-Do statements should be able to relate to the success and growth of the business, but also to the satisfaction of persons involved, including the owner, the human resources and most of all the recipient of the product and the client. A business is like a human being – it needs to be viable and healthy, but also popular, growing, a good constant learner, a “socialiser”; it also needs to be adaptable and a good negotiator. Like humans, businesses have to be all the above in order to be accepted, preferred, popular, healthy and wealthy. Like humans, businesses have to spend and invest money and energy, not only to produce, but also to maintain themselves and achieve the above survival prerequisites.
Bearing in mind the above, the following could be defined as the main Business Can-Do areas in Greek ELT:
1) My business CAN plan and ensure its “nutritional” supplies for the times to come:
A business plan with an analysis of the “physical and mental” requirements and strategies of maintenance and growth is vital.
2) My business CAN develop a methodology of monitoring the implementation and progress of its survival and growth plan:
A policy of regular “check-ups”, controls, and correctional actions is as important as medical check-ups and health plans are for the human body and mind, as long as, of course, the checklist is specific and examined in co-operation with the right specialist.
3) My business CAN look after its organic vital resources:
As the human brain and heart are in charge of ensuring the good health and functionality of themselves and the rest of the organs that service the body, so should the business, for its human and other resources. In humans, a suicidal cell can be transformed into a cancer cell. The human body has the mechanisms to reject it, as long as it consistently monitors the whole body and mental function. Negligence or lack of awareness could allow this cell to “contaminate” several areas of the body with lethal consequences.
4) My business CAN ensure its prominence and competitive advantage through skills acquisition:
As humans learn and acquire new skills and techniques in order to stand out socially and professionally, so our business has to always make sure it is one step ahead. Members of society stick with their strongest, most knowledgeable peers. We’re all engineered to aim high and share glory, power, comfort and security while at the same time saving money and energy, avoiding hardship and enjoying high value. A prominent business can shape criteria, attract friends and fans, create trends.
5) My business CAN successfully communicate its prominence and competitive advantage:
A communication-focused plan referring to skills acquisition, experimentation, investment, actions, controls and measurements is vital in order to ensure marketability and popularity. A thorough analysis of the codes the target group understands will provide a strong foundation towards that.
6) My business CAN be useful (if not necessary):
Humans are self-centred. Usefulness, though, is judged by the recipient of an action. Our business has to listen and not assume. Then our business has to evaluate what is needed and, if required, to guide and educate its recipients. At the end of the day, our business will be judged by result alone.
7) My business CAN visualize itself and its condition in the long run:
Set targets, visualize your business’s existence in 5, 10, 20 years from now. Think what the world is like today and how likely it is to remain the same in the long run. How easy is it to predict? What skills does your business need to always be up-to-date?
Monitor that your course of action serves your targets. The journey will change various times, your targets should be met, whatever the journey.
8) My business CAN have access to all available tools and facilitators for its welfare:
Find the right specialists and tools that will help your business stand out. Evaluate their Can-Dos and their compatibility with your needs and visions. Use and be used by the right people and grow together. Find your niche but don’t compromise on your learning course. Always stay one step ahead.
The above areas are generic, but universal. A customized set of procedures, fully compliant with the personality and personal targets of the owner, will ensure the above Can-Dos. Fair and healthy entrepreneurship is not what Greece is renowned for. However, education is the most significant field, where the first small revolutions should brew. The education everybody once received reflects their current being. It’s as simple as that.