Looking Back and Looking Forward in Business as Mission
Many of the initiatives we are involved with are about looking forward. We share resources and run events to help people launch out into business as mission. But we also know how important it is to look back. We are standing on the shoulders of those who are gone before. As we learn from what has and hasn't worked in the past, we can go further, faster. That is what the Global Think Tank on Business as Mission is all about, providing a global forum to go deeper into effective business as mission practice, to strengthen business as mission in the future. We want to share more about some of the strategic initiatives we are involved in: the Think Tank, IBAM Impact and the Business Discipleship Training School.
In this e.zine you can also read the article 'Looking Backwards to Move Forward' by Manoj Raithatha and Bridget Adams from their recent book 'Building the Kingdom Through Business'. Our Lessons from the Edge also has a historical theme as we learn from the example of Jesse Boot.
IBAM Impact 3 Day Business as Mission Conference
Get beneath the surface of business as mission with some of the leading speakers in the business as mission movement. If you have been exploring the topic of business as mission, but feel you want to go deeper, then IBAM Impact is for you. If you want to know what business as mission looks like in practice, then come along to this unique 3 day event in Charlotte, USA in September. We deliberately limit spaces to provide an intensive, interactive environment.
The Business Discipleship Training School will help lay solid foundations for a life of service to God in business. This DTS is for you whether you plan to do business in your home community or overseas. Business has the power to do good, to transform communities and nations in Jesus' name. The Business DTS gives you the opportunity to prepare for this kind of service and impact. The DTS is a proven 5 month program that includes 12 weeks of lecture and training; followed by 10 weeks of serving and outreach. The Business DTS will offer the opportunity for a 6 week internship in an Asian business. Know God and make Him known in Business!
Wrestling with the Big Issues
The Hottest Topics in Business as Mission
The Business as Mission Think Tank is a year-long initiative designed to strengthen the business as mission movement to fulfill it's vital role in God's mission to the world. More than 200 practitioners and thought leaders are connecting together from around the world to grapple with some of the biggest issues in business as mission, ending with the Global Congress on Business as Mission in April 2013. As we learn and share from experiences of the past and build connections and networks for the future, we will invigorate the movement and multiply the impact of business and business people for God's Kingdom.
We surveyed the 200 Think Tank members so far and asked them the question: ‘What is the hottest topic in the BAM movement today?’ Or in other words, what is the one question they would most like to see answered in business as mission. See the left hand column for the top 3 answers and read more for the complete list of top 10 'hottest' issues or themes.
Looking Backwards to Move Forward
Building the Kingdom Through Business - Adams & Raithatha
In his book Screw Business as Usual, Sir Richard Branson outlines his vision for nothing less than global transformation. He asks, ‘Can we bring more meaning to our lives and help change the world at the same time…. a whole new way of doing things, solving major problems and turning our working into something we both love and are proud of. His proposed solution is a new way of doing business. ‘It is time to ...shift our values, to switch from a profit focus to caring for people, communities and the planet.’ Sometimes God uses prophets from outside the Church!
Lessons from the Edge
Insights from a BAM Practitioner
Special Edition: Lessons from History
The iconic British retail business Boots, is now a global chain of pharmacies. The original mastermind of this business empire, Jesse Boot, was a Christian whose business was rooted in a desire to bring positive change to society around him. We can learn principles from those who have gone before about positive, holistic, long term change through business.
There must be a viable, commercial strategy at the core
Jesse Boot saw that people who needed medicine often couldn't afford it. Prices were kept artificially high by an elitist industry. Jesse took on the system. He wanted to make medicines available to the masses, but it had to make sense commercially too. Jesse's strategy was to buy in large quantities from wholesalers and to sell at prices well below others in the town. It was a strategy that enabled him to make money, grow a business empire, and transform quality of life at the same time.
Business can directly tackle societies greatest challenges
Florence Boot, Jesse's wife was the driving force behind much of Boots business innovation. The Boots realised that illiteracy was a problem in the communities around them, and the average person had little access to books. Florence started up lending libraries within the Boots stores that eventually helped give birth to the lending library system in the United Kingdom.
Business innovation can have a benefit on multiple bottom lines
Boot was a devout Methodist who was concerned by the poverty of the working classes in his city. But innovation in tackling poverty went hand in hand with business innovation. He stocked a growing list of items needed to improve quality of life at affordable prices; clothing, household items, food, as well as medicines. He also treated his own workers in an innovative way for the era; providing days off, outings, social clubs and vocational training.
Jesse Boot was born in 1850 and died in 1931. He took over his late father's store at the age of 13. By the age of 20 he started to expand the business. By 1900 Boots owned a chain of 180 shops which grew to 560 in 1914. Jesse Boot sold out his controlling interest in 1920. By 2012 Alliance Boots plc operated over 3,300 stores globally.