Thriving vs Surviving: Building Skills and Support for BAMers
by Robert Andrews
Editors Note: When we asked veteran BAM leaders to identify some of the pressing issues that are facing the business as mission movement in the next decade, among the issues they identified were several areas that could broadly be categorized as ‘resource gaps for BAM companies’, including:
1. Adequate financial capital flow.
2. Adequate human capital flow – both in terms of a) recruiting the right kind of people to begin and sustain a BAM company, and b) succession planning and the successful transition of a BAM company from one generation of owners to another.
3. Adequate support for BAM practitioners, especially mentoring, accountability and care.
We have been posting articles covering each of these issues during the month of June, this week concluding with providing adequate support for BAMers.
Building Adequate Skills and Support for BAM Practitioners
There are many challenges facing the BAM community and it’s encouraging to see so much effort going to understanding and addressing these. One of the thornier issues is how best to support BAM practitioners in their work. These can be nationals trying to build the Kingdom in their home countries or foreigners who have committed to business in a cross-cultural setting. Both need support, but what support to give and how to give it is a current and urgent discussion.
Leading a BAM business requires a large set of skills, some of which one hopes the BAMer has at the outset, but many of which will have to be learned, hired, purchased, or borrowed from others. A beginning list of these skills could fall under the following headings:
- General business: finance, marketing, sales, HR, strategy, operations, business law; the stuff of an MBA
- Industry specific: how to make the product or deliver the service, the industry sales and pricing dynamics, and familiarity with the global market leaders
- BAM general: the theology of BAM and an understanding of how to make a spiritual impact while operating a business, plus access to a BAM network
- Country/Region specific: language, culture, worldview, local religion, local political, social or environmental issues, local business practices and law; plus the local spiritual dynamics, the status & challenges of the local church, and an awareness of what God is doing in the region
- Personal/Family: emotional intelligence, strong personal spiritual life, character, care for family members, marital strength, physical health and habits