Showing posts from January, 2010

Neil Johnson’s Business as Mission Book Hits the Stores while His Student Assists Denver Area Urban BAM.

I had a chance to quickly glance through Neil Johnson’s latest book Business as Mission this week. Wow! I am going to Amazon to order a copy. Since the release of his 2003 book, Great Commission Companies , Johnson has been the leading scholar of the business as mission movement. His new book will add to his credentials in this growing academic area. I plan to review the book at some point in the future. Over the last few weeks, I have had the pleasure to work with Chad Stewart, an MBA student currently enrolled in Johnson’s class at Bakke University. Belay has been able to partner Chad Stewart with one of our volunteers, Andy Magel, to assist a local Denver area chef developing a for-profit culinary school for young adult ex-offenders. I’m excited that Neil Johnson’s class is making a direct impact on the development of an exciting business as mission in the Denver area.

Overcoming the Tyranny of the Urgent with a Performance Dashboard

One of the great dangers of running a social enterprise or a business as mission organization is that on any given day you can get lost working in the business and forget about working on the business. The tyranny of the urgent overwhelms other more long-term tasks that have greater impact on the health of the business. Over the last 10 years, I have found this to be certainly true at Bud’s Warehouse . Every day, urgent “problems” have a tendency to crowd out other more strategic tasks. And when your faith venture’s ultimate purpose is to hire and job-train individuals rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison, this reality grows with the addition of special situations arising from our clients’ particular lives. You have to be firm about setting time in your schedule to work on the business or else you risk becoming stuck in unproductive patterns. This week, I had the opportunity to work with my leadership team on developing a dashboard of indicators for our Bud’s Wareho

Recessions: Prime Time for Business as Mission and Faith Venture Creation?

I have been included in several meetings over the last few weeks with individuals interested in starting new faith venture social enterprise organizations. Inevitably, the discussion turns to the tough time many non-profits and for-profits are having in the current economy. Then, the question comes: Is now the right time to start a business as mission in the midst of what many people are calling the “great recession?” My thought is that several factors are aligning which make this a great time to start new urban business as mission ventures. I’ve been telling people that starting a new faith venture business towards the end of a recession is similar to taking the family on vacation during the off season. Everything is on half-price sale: computers, commercial real estate and other start-up expenses. There is also an abundance of underutilized people talent ready and willing to help out as your organization starts implementing its business plan. Some other factors favoring business crea

The Evolution of a Web Page

If you follow this blog, you may have noticed a decrease in the frequency of my posts. It's been a busy fall with lots of exciting developments at Belay Enterprises. We are cooking up some really innovative ideas to create businesses that hire individuals coming out of prison. I plan to resume a more regular publishing schedule in the near future. In the meantime, here is one of my posts from last year detailing my changing philosophy for a Belay and Bud's Warehouse web page. We are days away from introducing our new web site with a more interactive feel. Seth Godin tells a humorous story about the dangers of applying for a nanny position in the era of Myspace. He makes the point that "Google never forgets." In his opinion, the best strategy is to "overload Google with a long tail of good stuff and to always act as if you're on Candid Camera, because you are." Good advice. Last week, I had a long conversation with one of my board members at Belay Enterp