Monday, January 10, 2011

Who God Is: My Teacher

The term has just started and I think I'm going to like it. I enjoy learning especially if it has a great practical application or a use to it. So anyway, for this term, I have two strategy classes (Strategic Management and Technology Strategy). This excites me because strategy always comes with an action plan. It's fun to see how plans, knowledge and creativity are used for problem solving purposes.

"What is management?" This was the first question my (scary!) professor Efren Cruz asked. Nobody in the class was able to answer him correctly. Why don't you give it a try? Don't worry, my professor won't be able to embarrass you. Hint: It has two key words. No, it isn't art and science. No, it isn't PLOC (planning, leading, organizing and controlling). It is simply the process of "making decisions". Now, how do we make decisions? Through analysis, logical analysis to be exact. According to Mr. Cruz, logic doesn't necessarily give us the right or wrong action plan, it is a guide for correct manner of thinking. Logical analysis allows us to draw logical conclusion for decision making.

The next question is, what shall we analyze? FRAMEWORKS! Frameworks are basically references that a company, a government, a non-profit organization, a church, or a simple housewife follows or adheres to. Frameworks are made out of several concepts, theories or laws. Some examples are the TOWS (or SWOT), EFE Matrix, 4P's in Marketing. What I've typed here also serves as a framework already. Let me show you a concrete illustration (all --> means "leads to"):

Laws/Theories/Principles --> Concepts --> Framework --> Analysis --> Decision Making

We are all managers. We make decisions everyday. From choosing what food to eat, where to go, who to go out with, what words to speak out, to deciding on what business venture to pursue and what our personal mission-vision is, big or small, we all make decisions. There are thousands of frameworks that all of us can choose to follow, but believe it or not, there is only one best framework. Why? Because this one in particular is not manmade, its words were spewed from God's mouth, written by God-inspired people.

The Bible in itself is already a comprehensive framework. It is so comprehensive that it not only takes care of our decisions here on earth, but it also touches on eternity. Imagine that! Based on the Bible's framework, there are some decisions made today that can have long lasting, eternal value, one that you can bring to heaven! Those TOWS, EFE matrices may have allowed companies to exist for at least a hundred of years, but were William Procter & James Gamble able to enjoy the luxuries of their big company in heaven? Were they able to lead others to Jesus?

I recently realized two things:
1. If we were to take God's Word seriously, the best framework for a business is not one with the grandest mission-vision of providing highly innovative technologically driven products that aim to be the number one in the market. Nor is it simply having an intelligent strategic plan that will kill competitors. More important than knowledge, skills, or gifts, God puts highest value in love. Let love be the basis of your decisions. Without love, God says you are nothing.

2. Strategy originated from greek word strategia meaning "generalship" which was originally used in warfare. Greeks were real good with strategy. Remember the movie 300? It was a real story. About 300 men were able to combat against hundreds of thousands of Persian army by implementing strategic decisions based on their physical environment. Strategy is managing based on environment. Now, here is what OUR strategy is based on God's framework. "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength." ~ Isaiah 30:15. In short, no matter what type of physical environment we are placed in, we will only win if we depend upon the Lord.

Through the Bible, the Lord has taught us how to invest our lives here on earth. Think about this. The average life on earth is 75. Compared to eternity, of trillions and gazillions of years, it is nothing but a dot. Live your life wisely. Ask God for wisdom. My professor has taught me (and you, since I shared all these with you) the framework for decision making. However, the analysis must be based on a framework that is worthwhile. Allow God to teach you the right framework. Pray that He will open your eyes of your heart as you study your Bible today.

God bless!

P.S. Just a word of caution. There is a thin line between obedience and legalism. Do not allow pride to overrun you once you know and practice the teachings of God. Know that all is meaningless without God's grace.

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