IBEC Ventures -- Consultants for BAM/Business as Mission
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Sneak peek: 8 new IBEC BAM video vignettes - Part 1

Monday, February 29, 2016

“It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” The ‘what’ is certainly important, but the ‘who’ – ‘Who’ we know and serve and ‘who’ we know and serve with – reveals more about each of us. As readers of this blog, we hope you are coming to know IBEC better, who we are all in all senses of the word. 

Over the next three weeks we have the privilege of introducing you to five leaders in the Business As Mission (BAM) community, each of whom is making their mark on the Kingdom of God through their work in promoting and supporting the BAM movement: John Warton, Mats Tunehag, Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag, Bill Job and Larry Sharp. They would each say it's not about them; it's about the message they bring, so we are excited to provide a vehicle for that message to get out – to you and to others with God-wired gifts and skills in business.  

The videos we are unveiling to you today feature John Warton, CEO of the Business Professional Network (www.bpn.org) highlighting two key tenets in the BAM movement: job creation and the God ordained nature of work. Each vignette runs about two minutes and is being released for open distribution by IBEC and the speakers. IBEC will be featuring these in a variety of venues and we encourage you to use them freely as well. You may share them through social media and on your websites or use them in presentations or other settings to help others catch a vision for Business As Mission. 

John Warton: Employment crisis

In Employment crisis John Warton highlights first the world-wide employment crisis quoting Gallup Chairman, Jim Clifton.  Job creation is not only a great social enterprise – it is the Christian thing to do. John tells the story of a job provided to an Iranian refugee and how that brought dignity, family solidarity and transformation.  Key themes: the importance of jobs and job creation.

Employment Crisis – John Warton from IBEC Ventures.

John Warton: Do business until I come

In the second clip, John tells two stories – one of a machinist in Chicago and another of his friend Bill in China.  Both highlight how in business we “do things differently” and bring the kingdom of God to those around us. Key themes: Kingdom business; faith and work; workplace ministry.

Do business until I come – John Warton from IBEC Ventures.

These videos are the result of funds generously granted to IBEC for the production of 21 BAM focused videos: these eight "heart of BAM" snippets plus thirteen in-depth training sessions for BAM professionals. Stay tuned next week for the unveiling of three more videos from this series:

  • Mats Tunehag: Business is like Bach 
  • Mats Tunehag: BAM Street
  • Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag: Freedom business

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about using these videos in your presentations, social media and websites. We're here to help others to catch the vision and move forward in building Kingdom businesses for the glory of God!

Carolyne Hart, Director of Social Media and Digital Marketing, IBEC Ventures

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11 travel tips for BAM globetrotters

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Although Jesus instructed his disciples to travel light (Mark 6:8-9), he warned them to be prepared for challenges (Mark 6:10-11Matthew 10:16)…and gave them power and authority to do the work they were called to do (Luke 9:1-3).  I don’t claim to be an expert on travel tips, but I have picked up quite a few ideas from my years as an international traveler.  This list is neither complete nor comprehensive but may save some of our readers some headaches related to international travel.  

1. Make copies  

Before you leave, scan the front and back of every item in your wallet plus your passport. Print a copy and keep it in your home and send a copy to a relative so you can contact them in the case of loss.  Email some of the images to yourself so you have a digital copy handy in case you lose something. This will not substitute for your passport, etc. but will help.  Be careful about scanning credit card numbers and bank information into your phone (or keeping the email you sent yourself on your phone) since hackers may be able to access it if you lose your phone.

2. Booking Tickets  

When booking air travel, always use a flight or travel comparison website. There are several, such as Orbitz and Kayak. These sites help you find the best airline and cheapest price for your dates and routes. But DO NOT BOOK your flights through these comparison sites just yet.  Instead, delete your browsing history and then consider booking directly with the airline. This way if you have a flight cancellation or other problem, you can rebook right there at the airport (or train station, etc.) through customer service. If you’ve booked your tickets with third parties (like travel agents or Internet travel sites) and you have a problem, good luck. You’re going to need it.

3. Insurance  

Be sure your medical and evacuation insurance will cover you overseas, OR buy short-term insurance for the duration of the trip.  There are several insurance companies that specialize in this and if you have an eventuality, you will be glad you have good insurance. The world is an increasingly scary place.

4. Electrical Adapters

Be sure to take adapters for your electronic gadgets since most countries outside North America use either 220v or a different type of plug in.  You can buy them on line or in many airports. If you lose or forget the charger for your computer or phone, go to the hotel front desk. They will have a huge assortment that others have left behind. You should be able to borrow the one you need.

5. Water     

It is advisable to drink water in route. To save money on expensive water in airports bring along an empty water bottle. Once you clear security, fill it up and you won’t have to pay for a bottle of water. Just make sure it’s empty before you pass through security on your return trip and don’t use tap water in countries where it’s not safe.

6. Luggage

In order to save space in your luggage, think through what can be used to “double” for something else.  For example, if you need to wash out underwear or other clothing items, shampoo is the perfect substitute for hand wash detergent. It’s great for getting out a grease spot, too. 

7. Hotel security   

When you leave your hotel room, even if for only a few minutes, place the Do Not Disturb sign on the door. Now it appears to housekeeping and others that you are in the room for as long as the sign remains. This adds a layer of security should you have to leave your computer or other valuables in the room for a short time.  Try not to leave valuables in the room. The room safe also adds a layer of security though it isn’t completely inaccessible to someone who wants to get into it. 

8. Contact numbers  

If you are going to a high risk country, be sure to have emergency numbers to call if you are in trouble, and code words to use in case of kidnapping or something similar.  Make sure somebody who is in a safe place knows when you are going and where you will be.

9. Country Basic Facts  

Be sure to learn something about the countries you are visiting – some basic facts and some “dos and don’ts” can keep you safer and help you to blend in and not appear to be the “dumb American”.  Know the people you are meeting and how they can be contacted and ask if they have emergency plans developed ahead of time.

10.  Money

 Keep US dollars in more than one spot on your body – money belt, neck pouch etc.  Do not be always checking it with your eyes or hands – pick pockets watch for that and then know where your money is.  Keep ATM and credit cards safe and tell your banks where you are going and that you plan to use their cards.

11. Jet Lag

Intercontinental travel east and west can be difficult for the first couple of days.  I try to start the flight well rested, keep hydrated in flight with no caffeine or alcohol.  Walk around the plane as much as possible.  Before the flight, do what you can to get on the timline of the zone of arrival, by starting to vary your getup time and your bedtime.  A natural bodily chemical, melatonin can be supplemented with special pills and that helps some people.  I have found it very important to not sleep upon arrival, but I stay up until an early "normal" bedtime at my destination, no matter how painful.  Medications are available so check with your doctor.

There are many good tip websites such as these two which I found helpful:

Blessings over your travel preparation and every aspect of your journey! 

1  Huffpost Travel, July 15, 2014.

2  IndependentTraveler.com

Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

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Presidential wisdom

Friday, February 12, 2016

This is a presidential election year in the USA and this month of February is the month we remember two great presidents of yesteryear.  Monday is Presidents’ Day, part way between the birth dates of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

We do not readily associate these successful political figures with business, but both were one-time businessmen.  Washington was a large landowner in the planting industry and experienced both failures and successes in the business and was recognized among his peers as an innovator and leader in agriculture.

Lincoln grew up on a farm in southern Indiana helping his father in the business.  Later he went into the law business with a partner.  

Washington himself said, "We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience." In that spirit we offer these quotes, trusting they will be of use to any business owner, startup novice or Business as Mission advocate. 

Quotes attributed to George Washington: 2
  • I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.
  • It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.
  • Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.
  • Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
  • Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad company.
  • We must consult our means rather than our wishes.
  • System to all things is the soul of business. To execute properly and act maturely is the way to conduct it to your advantage.
  • We had high expectations. We were just inconsistent.  
  • Let your discourse with men of business be short and comprehensive.   
  • Decision making, like coffee, needs a cooling process.
  • How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.
Quotes attributed to Abraham Lincoln3

  • Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. 
  • Whatever you are, be a good one.   
  • I will prepare and some day my chance will come.  
  • My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure. 
  • I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.  
  • I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.  
  • Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored. 
  • I am not concerned that you have fallen -- I am concerned that you arise.
  • Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.
  • It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.
  • That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.
  • I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from The Savior of the world is communicated to us through this Book.
  • I hold that while man exists, it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind. 

1  George Washington Digital Encyclopedia. Mount Vernon Estate. George Washington and Agriculture and George Washington as Farmer. 
3 Goodreads. Abraham Lincoln Quotes.

Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

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Triple Bottom Line #3: a BAM business seeks to make followers of Jesus

Sunday, February 07, 2016

The last two blogs referred to two of the three bottom lines of Business as Mission (BAM): (1) profitability and sustainability and (2) the creation of value, particularly job creation.

The third bottom line is the development of spiritual capital – making followers of Jesus.

The concept of the Triple Bottom Line has been around since 1994 when John Elkington coined the term to mean economic, social and environmental measurability.  He suggested that every business must measure profits but also the impact on people and the planet. 1  

Most writers and practitioners in Kingdom businesses suggest that the spiritual (or mission) bottom line is the raison d’etre for any activity and certainly a BAM company.  This bottom line requires that there be an intentional living of Kingdom values in every element of the company, and a continual striving to honor God in every aspect of corporate life.  A Kingdom company is specific, conscious, clear and intentional in establishing Jesus’ kingdom in the world. 2

Ken Eldred describes this as spiritual capital which includes a corporate culture of integrity, accountability, honesty, hope, loyalty, trust, serving others, fairness, and love.  They do what is right from God’s perspective.  Incarnational living is observed every day in a Kingdom business and becomes the basis for proclamation of faith.  BAM businesses have a vision, mission and strategy evidenced in their policies, procedures and culture that encourages godly values. 3

The end of such integration of faith and work, a truly biblical concept, creates an optimum climate for people to decide to follow Jesus.  The business provides the context for discipleship. One such Asian business that benefited from IBEC consultants is noted by Dale Losch:

“For Andrew, the answer laid in living out the gospel every day by being fair with employees, paying his taxes, paying a fair wage, placing verses from the book of Proverbs on the office door and starting the day in prayer for everyone (all employees were non-Jesus followers).  It involved building relationships, caring for families, and even weekend camping trips with employees.  It meant talking about the real issues of life and showing them who Jesus is and how a follower of His really lives.  Some call it discipling people into the Kingdom…". 3

Reconciling and integrating all the bottom lines is a key issue for a BAM business.  It is not an easy task and involves more than just a business plan. It necessitates an integrated plan which brings together all three bottom lines:
  1. What is good for the profit.
  2. What is good for all stakeholders including employees.
  3. And what is good for God’s kingdom. 
Deliberate management choices must be made so as to facilitate such integration. Numerous models exist in North America in companies owned and operated by Jesus’ followers committed to the Triple Bottom Line.  Such models should be studied because they can be emulated and used as transferable models to other cultures.  Helpful materials for further learning can be found in books by Buck Jacobs (C-12 group), Ken Eldred, Neal Johnson, and Ken Humphreys and on YouTube sites of Kingdom businesses in North America and abroad.  

In summary, the Triple Bottom Line includes profit because that is what sustains an authentic business; it includes job creation because we see that as fulfilling the Great Commandment to love our neighbor (Mark 12:31), and it includes the building of Jesus’ kingdom and in so doing we obey the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-19).

1  The Economist, November 17, 2009.
2  Mike Baer, Business as Mission: The Power of Business in the Kingdom of God, 2006.
3  John Mulford and Mike Baer, Kingdom Entrepreneurs Transforming Nations, 2008.
4  Dale Losch, A Better Way: Make Disciples Wherever Live Happens, 2012.

Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

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IBEC Ventures -- Consultants for BAM/Business as Mission