BJ#5 Appreciation of Situations

Two key points with regards to "Appreciation of Situations" are:

1. Facing up the Realities
2. Know the Trends and Be Ready.

1. Facing-Up the Realities
a. Be Observant - Not be Blind-Sighted.
Most common mistakes of Corporations is to ignore the realities within and the changes in the external environment - the market place. We are admonished by Jesus to have good eyes and to be observant. Without sights, we will be in darkness and ignorance.
Mt 6:22 "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. Mt 6:23 "But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
i. Causes of Blind-sighted - Cause#1 Pride
The major cause of our blindness is pride. Pride says I am right; I am OK; I am better. Pride is presumptuous. It will ignore any signals to the contrary. It is no wonder that the Bible has a lot to say against the proud people. Someone says that "Good is the greatest barrier to Greatness". The greatest failure of many comes just after their initial successes. Peter said he would die with Jesus but when the reality struck, he denied Jesus three times. Elijah, just after his great success of killing the prophets of Baal, ran for his life when he heard that the queen was after his life. Samson was so sure of himself that he flirted his life away. However, I am not saying that we should go to their extreme of being in fear. It is facing with the realities of our strength and weaknesses as compared with the Market and Competitors.
ii. Causes of Blind-sighted - Cause#2 Fear
Another cause of our blind-sightedness is fear. It is the Ostrich way handling danger --- if I don't see it, it is not there! But reality is reality whether we see it nor not. It is better for us to see it clearly and earlier so that we can plan to overcome it. Jesus spent much time telling us not to fear - not to fear man or the future but to just have faith in Him. Courage allows us to see things clearly so that actions can be taken.
A good book is "Confronting Realities" by Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan --- "As a leader, you have to wrestle the behaviors of unreality to the ground not only for yourself but also throughout your organization."
b. Be observant - Not be misled
Mt 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?....
Here we have a warning that false-prophets will look like, camouflage as, the real ones. Outwardly, it is difficult to tell them apart - all look like sheep. But there are ways to tell the real ones from the false ones. You can judge them by their fruits. We should be wary of expert advices of consultants, industry gurus, etc. Many reviews are influenced by the advertising dollars behind them. It is typical for large corporations to fund 'independent' consultants to come out with reports that give good reviews for their products or services. Consultants are also influenced are what other say and creating a either an over-endorsement or an over-condemnation of products or trends. We need to do our homework - to trace the true cause-effects, getting first hand information at the source, asking not just one but a range of customers, see the outcomes not just believing the marketing or sales claims.
Please read "Seeing What's Next - Theory of Innovations" by Clayton Christensen showing how leading corporations are disruptively removed from market by new entrants and how to prevent it from happening.
c. Be Observant - Watch the External
Besides looking inwardly, one needs to look outwardly. Need to do "Environmental Scan" and do "Intelligence Collection". External should include the customers, suppliers, competitors, industry, government and its regulations, other countries, environmental, social, economical and political events.
Need to accedes to Jesus warning of "wolves in sheep clothing" that we must guard what is received: filtered lies, incorrect market intelligence, mistakes of experts, mistakes under pressure and any other things. Competitors could feed wrong information to media, consulting channels. and make over ambitious claims, etc.
d. Doing a Proper SWOT Analysis
We have 2 passges in the Bible that highlight this very well:
Lu 14:28 "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 "saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'
14:31 "Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Lu 14:32 "Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace
The framework of SWOT analysis is easily available. Just do a google search for it. The problem lies in how we put in the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats. Remember the earlier saying of facing up realities. To prevent our own prejudices and blind sightedness, our claims of SWOT must be validated from external means such as our customers, suppliers. fellow competitors, and outside consultants. Strength or Weaknesses should not be what we claimed but need to be compared against our competitors (a range of them) and customer claims.
The other error in SWOT Analysis is lack of following through. We are to come out with follow-on strategies where by we can use our strength to exploit the opportunities and also either overcome or convert the Threats to Opportunities. We are to come out with strategies to compensate for our weaknesses as well. Actually, strengths and weaknesses could be dependent on the market we are after. It may sometime be easier to change your markets so that it suits your profile where your so-called weakness could become a strength. A typical large corporation strength of economy of scale is also very weak in meeting the total special needs of his customers. In the world of giant corporations, there are many boutiques suppliers.
Please see my thinking blog http://mind-value.blogspot.com/ and http://www.bvotech.com/BVITS.htm for innovations.
2. Know the Trends and the Future.
Most people plan in situ, as if competitors are inanimate death objects, and as if the marketplace won't change. But Jesus tells us often to know what is coming and be ready for it.
Mat 24:25 "Behold, I have told you in advance Mk 13:23.
Be ready all the time:
Mar 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Read the signs and watch the trends:
Mat 16:3 ...'There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?
How can we be ready all the time and any time ?
It is being watchful and be agile. Just being watchful is not enough. One needs to be agile and be ready to adapt and exploit the changes. One need not be super agile - but just need to be one step ahead of competitor.
There are changes happening all the time. One need not be catching up with all the changes. The key is to detect those that will become the major trends and quickly adapt and exploit them. Overcoming corporate inertia is a much discussed topic. Please read Geoffery Moore's "Dealing with Darwin" showing the market development curve (including crossing the chasm) of innovation and different stages of innovations needing different strategies.

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BJ#0 Business According to Jesus TOC --|--BJ#6 Strategies


Discipleship Evangelism - What's the Difference

What is the key difference between our past way of evangelism and "Discipleship Evangelism" http://www.delessons.org/ ?

Jesus in Mark 16:15 and Mat 28:19-20 commissioned all to preach the Gospel and to make disciples of all nations. 

The traditional evangelism over-stressed on part 1 - preaching to get people saved and unintentionally making the 2nd part, the discipleship part, almost an optional item. 

The Gospel message is "Believe in Jesus and receive Eternal-life". 
While this is not wrong, eternal-life is usually defined as going-to-heaven after death; or saved from Hell. This very narrow definition of Eternal-life resulted in getting saved as end-point. If one is saved and then that is the-end, why bother with discipleship. Worse till, if I have been already saved by Grace, hell-proof, then I can do what I want. 

But Eternal life, defined by John 17:3 , is about knowing God, not escaping of hell. ("This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.") . It, Zoe Life, is God's kind of life for fellowship and union with God (vs. animal, plant kind of life).

I suggest that we change our message from "Believe in Jesus and receive Eternal Life." to "Believe in Jesus and be Born Again with the New Life of , with and in God now." The purpose of creation and of salvation is the same, life with God.
Another key difference in Evangelism & Discipleship is not just preach "Jesus for Salvation" but to share and apply the teachings of the Bible to the everyday real life issues - showing how Bible or God sees and solve the issues of lives.
The third difference, not clear in the title itself, is in the message of Grace - the completed work of Christ gives us the ability the live the life that we should. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ for good works to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. We are to live out the Christ within us. We are not to work in fear of loosing our salvation.
Here is the summary:
Discipleship Evangelism
1. Conversion is the objective.
Re-Birth is the Beginning.
Intimacy with God is the purpose starting now.
2. Multiply by Preaching & Getting others to preach Salvation
Multiply by reproducing disciples
3. Work to maintain Salvation.
Performance out of fear of loosing Salvation
Saved for Good Work to Glorify God, out of Grace of Christ in us.
4. Eternal Life as a product.
A new beginning and continued as a process, relationship, togetherness, in God and with one-another.
5. Teaching
Sharing of Life or Role-Modeling
Knowing and Applying the Bible to everyday life.


A Coin has 2 Sides

When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior we have both things: the forgiveness of our sins and His new life of righteousness. They are like the two sides of a coin. If you have Christ, you have both.

Most Christians focus on only one side - the forgiveness of sins, and neglected the other side of the New Zoe Life. If we don't have the other side of New Life of righteousness, then we just remain a forgiven sinner. A forgiven sinner is still a defeated sinner. But Christ has not just forgiven us but also give us a new life.

To live a victorious Christian life, we need to remember that we are no longer a forgiven sinner but a righteous child of God - the new man of God. We are in Christ and Christ is in us. (John 17:2-23, Rom 12:5).

Consider this amazing truth - All the good works that Christ had done also belong to us because we are in Christ. We in Christ and through Christ have done those good works! It is therefore not surprising to read Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

We should therefore focus our mind on this side of truth - A New and Righteous Man in Christ empowered for Good.
  • Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
  • Rom 6:4 ....so we also should walk in newness of life.
  • Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
We are able to do good works because we are enabled by Christ in us.