Adding Salt: How to Build and Manage Teams That Work

by Bernie Anderson

My name is Bernie Anderson and I have the honor of taking over the BAM blog for the next several weeks. I am a certified business and nonprofit consultant with Growability® – read more in my bio below. 

This is Part 4 of a series. Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Thank you for following along with this month with this series on business basics. My prayer is that this series of articles will be an ongoing resource for your BAM project.

Like baking a great loaf of bread, we build every organization with three simple ingredients: leadership, marketing, and management.

If leadership is the flour and marketing is the water, I consider management the salt.

While prepping the dough for my loaf of sourdough this week, I mulled over the necessity of salt. Why does bread need salt? In theory, it’s possible to create a loaf of bread with just flour and water, give it some time to ferment the natural yeast, and a perfectly serviceable loaf of bread should appear.

But, without salt, nothing about the loaf of bread will be right. It will have the wrong flavor, texture, and consistency. Salt regulates the yeast, strengthens the dough, and brings out the beautiful complex flavors of a great loaf of sourdough. Salt is essential.

Like good management in your business.

Many consider management in basic terms of resources, operations, and finance. And it’s true, all this is involved. But the heart of management is people. Management is the salt of your business because management is the most human element of your business. Continuing with the Growability® Business Operating System as a model, think of management as having two parts:

1. Empowering Teamwork
2. Equipping Managers

 

Empowering Teamwork

The diversity of your team creates a diversity of opportunities. Many BAM teams are cross-cultural by nature. All BAM teams will bring together a variety of strengths and personalities that make your business unique. Community creates and expands creativity. An excellent team is also critical for capacity. Teamwork facilitates both multiplication and stability in your business. Never forget, God delights in and blesses common unity and teamwork (Psalm 131). Joy is an overflow from quality human relationships.

Global business has a reputation of building teams of human beings in some of the most inhuman ways. We hear horror stories of companies who entice employees with the promise of high pay, but to keep the pay coming, workers must sacrifice their humanity. Golden handcuffs, indeed. While paying your team their value is important, it’s not everything. In his book, The Heart of Business, former Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly says:

The carrot and the stick are pervasive and persuasive motivators. But if you treat people like donkeys, they will perform like donkeys.

Your BAM project should be different.

Read more

Marketing and Generosity: Sales and Solutions for Human Flourishing

by Bernie Anderson

My name is Bernie Anderson and I have the honor of taking over the BAM blog for the next several weeks. I am a certified business and nonprofit consultant with Growability® – read more in my bio below. 

This is Part 3 of a series. Read Part 1 and Part 2 here.

 

The day I landed my first “grown-up job” I was pretty excited. It was Summer of 1985 and I had graduated high school. I was not entirely sure what was next in my life, so I took a gap year before figuring out college, university, trade school, or something else. I landed a job in a local shop that sold books and music, two of my favorite things in this world, to this day. For a year, I thrived as a salesclerk. People would come into the store wanting a new series to read or a new album to listen to — and I could authentically help them with that problem. Sales was a satisfying job because I was serving people by being generous with my knowledge of books and music.

We sometimes get jaded with age.

Over the years that love for sales waned, mostly because I hated being “sold to” (and there are a lot hucksters in this world who do just that!) The slick used-car or door-to-door salesperson, trained to be psychologically manipulative, conning you into spending money on things you don’t need.

Later, we were just-married, and I was seeking work to pay bills, I interviewed for a sales job at a mattress store. The first question the manager asked was, “Are you willing to do what it takes to make a sale? Would you lie to a customer, telling them there’s only one mattress left and you will lose it unless you buy now?”

I said “no” and walked away.

In my mind, marketing and sales was a “necessary evil” for running a business.

Yet, marketing is the second simple ingredient in your BAM project and it’s non-negotiable. It’s at the heart of all business. You must take your valuable product to the market. This is unavoidable.

 

Sales is about prioritizing your customer and solving their problem

 

In the Growability® Business Operating System, there are two critical aspects of marketing:

1. Prioritize Your Customers
2. Automate Your Sales

 

Here’s where many of us need a mindset change. Read more

Setting a Course: How to Clarify Vision and Implement Strategy for BAM Pioneers

by Bernie Anderson

My name is Bernie Anderson and I have the honor of taking over the BAM blog for the next several weeks. I am a certified business and nonprofit consultant with Growability® – read more in my bio below. 

This is Part 2 of a series. Read Part 1 here.

 

Like many American kids growing up in the 70s and 80s, my parent’s car always had a copy of the Rand McNally Road Atlas under the seat. In fact, I’m certain my parents still keep one.

Our family habit was road trips to obscure points in middle-America, and sometimes I could sit in the front seat. That meant I took on the position of navigator. In my family, the navigator’s job was to hold the Atlas, make sure we stayed on route, and warn the driver (always my dad) of upcoming turns or changes in directions. It all felt so important. Indeed, sometimes it very much was. A more reliable GPS has replaced the Rand McNally Road Atlas in the lap of a 10-year-old navigator. But the fact remains: Navigation is a crucial part of any road trip.

 

Navigation is the primary task of leadership in a business.

 

Every business leader should know two things:

  • Where we’re going
  • How we’re getting there

In my consulting work with Growability®, we provide clients with a “business operating system” built on the three simple ingredients of every organization: Leadership, Management, and marketing. I can’t understate the crucial nature of each of these.

Let’s begin with the most foundational element.

  • Leadership is your business’ navigation system.
  • Leadership is the flour in your bread.
  • Leadership is the seed and the branches of your tree.

Leadership health is critical. Leadership toxicity will kill a business.

There are two critical tasks for leadership in your business.

1. Clarify vision
2. Implement strategy

Read more

Business and Bread: Build your BAM Project with 3 Simple Ingredients

by Bernie Anderson

My name is Bernie Anderson and I have the honor of taking over the BAM blog for the next several weeks. I am a certified business and nonprofit consultant with Growability® – read more in my bio below. 

 

Flour. Water. Salt.

Three of the most basic ingredients imaginable.

Yet, when properly combined, processed, and timed, these three ingredients produce what might be the perfect food: Crusty, soft, sourdough bread with complex flavor and texture.

Yes, I was one of those COVID-shutdown sourdough people. And I’m still at it three and a half years later.

I started simple. Created a starter.

Fed the starter until it was active.

Made a few discard recipes.

Keep that starter alive and flourishing.

I was well over a year in before I started creating actual sourdough loaves without added yeast.

Then I went in deep.

The magic of sourdough is the chemical creation of natural yeast. And it really is a miracle. Flour, water, and salt, mixed with a fermented starter made of a living fungus (yeast) and a living bacterium called lactobacillus. They work together to eat the sugars in the flour. These living creatures basically poop acid – a tasty, savory acid that puts the sour in sourdough. When the fungus and bacteria finish their feast and have suitably relieved themselves, the dough is ready and baking can begin.

The result is a crusty, airy, flavorful loaf of delicious. The complexity of flavor and texture in a loaf of sourdough is a veritable miracle given the simplicity of ingredients.

It’s possible to complicate the recipe. Add sugars and oils, preservatives and shelf stabilizers. But complexified breads are rarely as good as simplified loaves. Three simple ingredients, with time and a specific process, will bring extraordinary results.

 

The simple believe everything, but the clever consider their steps.

Proverbs 15:15

 

Like anything in life worth doing, starting a business is difficult. Starting or running a BAM project adds more complexities. But, one of the biggest stumbling blocks for entrepreneurs is overcomplicating the essentials. You can read thousands of business books, take hundreds of online courses, attend seminars, and even go to University and get an MBA – but the simple ingredients for starting a business stay the same.

And that’s exactly what makes a BAM project both exciting and daunting!

Business done right makes life better for everyone involved, from customer to employees to the community where it lives. Let’s simplify your BAM project by extracting the essential ingredients for starting and running a business anywhere in the world.

Every business, no matter how large or small, simple or complicated, grows from a combination of these three simple ingredients: Read more