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Values: that which is worthy and important

Saturday, September 26, 2015

On a recent trip to Alaska, I visited the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, where we explored the several cultures of Alaskan first nations.  We spoke to Eskimos from the far north, watched interpretive dance and heard stories which have lasted hundreds of years.  One thing intrigued me – ten universal values of all native peoples.

Alaska native people include the Athabascans, Yup’il and Cup’ik, Inupiaq, Sugpiaq, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida and Tshimshian.  All groups demonstrated ten universal values:
  1. Show respect to others. Each person has a special gift.
  2. Share what you have. Giving makes you richer.
  3. Know who you are. You are a reflection of your family.
  4. Accept what life brings. You cannot control many things.
  5. Have patience. Some things cannot be rushed.
  6. Life carefully. What you do will come back to you.
  7. Take care of others. You cannot live without them.
  8. Honor your elder. They show you the way of life.
  9. Pray for guidance. Many things are not known.
  10. See connections. All things are related.

Not bad values – similar to yours and mine in many ways.  Business as Mission companies like IBEC and many others also have values. 
  • Businesses will be profitable and sustainable and create jobs;
  • We are intentional about Kingdom of God purpose and impact on people and nations;
  • Individuals and businesses focus on holistic transformation and the multiple bottom lines of economic, social, environmental and spiritual outcomes;
  • We serve the world’s poorest and least reached peoples.

Another expression of core values can be seen in IBEC’s driving beliefs:
  • Viability – We make followers of Jesus through business.
  • Urgency – We help build Kingdom businesses and communities right where we are.
  • Responsibility – Everyone is personally accountable to reach those in need.

Have you taken time to reflect on the values that drive you? How about your business or work? Are there areas where you’re out of synch with those values? Are there areas where you’re really in tune? Reflection and taking focused actions to move into alignment with your core values is always time well spent.

Larry W. Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

What is in a name?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Mount McKinley (Denali)

Names are important for many reasons.  In late August I viewed Mt. McKinley in Alaska a couple of different times.  Now it is no longer Mt. McKinley but Denali, which means “tall one” or “high one” by the local Athabascan native peoples.  It was named Mt. McKinley by a prospector in 1896, and approved by President Wilson in 1917.  However there has been political debate both in Alaska and in the USA congress ever since.

On August 30, President Obama proclaimed the mountain to be renamed Denali to coincide with the National Park with the same name and the traditional name.  Of course there is a furor in Ohio, which was President McKinley’s home state.  The name is important to people from Ohio, and it is important to the Athabascan and other native peoples.

IBEC Ventures

IBEC Ventures is our name.  IBEC is an acronym with the letters standing for:

International signifies the important value of all cultures, nations and people.

Business indicates the ordained importance of the economics of life.  Human work, adequate standards of living and quality of life have been important since the beginning of creation.

Education indicates that mankind is on a learning journey of growth and development in the spiritual, social, intellectual, cultural and physical aspects of life.

Consultants demonstrates that we want to partner with others.  Together we consult, learn, grow, develop and progress with integrity.

Ventures shows that there is adventure, risk and the excitement of the unknown in what we do and in what God does.

Larry W. Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

Freedom Business: a business that exists to fight human trafficking

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Freedom Business: A business that exists to fight human trafficking

Freedom Business Alliance exists to help Freedom Businesses succeed.

IBEC is proud of our involvement in the Freedom Business Alliance (FBA) which was launched this year and has now developed its website.  IBEC’s own Marcia Leahy is on the Core Leadership Team and IBEC is a partner with FBA.

The Alliance aims to provide business training, business mentoring, industry research, networking, information resources and marketplace connections in the fight against the trafficking industry.

Human trafficking is BIG – it is ORGANIZED – and it is TRANSNATIONAL. Perhaps there are as many as 27 million slaves today. There are many ways to counter this problem and one key way is by providing jobs to victims and potential victims.  Alternative ways to earn an income through a productive job are vital. You can read more about this in Mats Tunehag's excellent article, "Human Trafficking and Freedom Through Enterprise".

Businesses and Not-For-Profits need to work together in this arena and the Freedom Business Alliance (FBA), with its international leadership group is uniquely poised to provide training, resources and connections.  Core Team member, Jennifer Tunehag started the European Freedom Network and has been on several international trafficking task forces. She will be presenting several talks in the IBEC-sponsored BAM Talk Forum in Oregon September 23-25.

Still wondering what a freedom business looks like?

Two of the core team members for FBA have started freedom businesses.  Freeset is located in the Sonagachhi area of Kolkata (see Freeset).  Also check out Trading Hope

Larry W. Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

Fulfillment at work

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Monday is Labor Day in the US and Canada, a national holiday that dates back to the 1880s.  It has its roots in the labor movement and is celebrated in September in North America, distinct from most of the world which celebrates the International Workers Day on May 1.

Our Christian faith has much to say about labor and work.  God was a worker God and a creative God.  He then asked mankind to be creative and to take care of God’s creation (Genesis 1:28, Genesis 2:15). Thus work was and still should be an activity of fulfillment, joy and satisfaction.  

Deuteronomy 8:18 validates the ability that God has given to us to create wealth.

I have long been a fan of Paul Sohn’s blogs and this one caught my attention because he highlights Simon Sinek in a short 2-minute video which reminds us that we should be fulfilled at work: Simon Sinek On How To Find Fulfillment At Work. Fulfillment comes as we think about others first through generosity and trusting relationships.  It is part of our commitment as God worshipers to obey his commands, one of which is to do good to all. Both the Old and New Testaments refer to the Golden Rule and the Great Commandment – doing good and loving our neighbor. 1

As we focus on building start-up businesses and determine the culture of our business, let us think about how we value work and we value our people, thus developing a culture which puts God first and then people – all above our own self-interests.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”  Luke 6:31

“If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business…make it about them, not you.”  Simon Sinek

Larry W. Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

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IBEC Ventures -- Consultants for BAM/Business as Mission