When most people think about their boss, they think about an individual. Some bosses are great – others – not so much. But in this post, I want to propose that a Christian Business Owner should use the BOSS as a way to think about the fuller system in which their business exists and interacts.
You’ll recall that one of the four purposes for business is Products – that business exists to provide a means to produce goods and services that allows the community to flourish. When one considers the ripple effects of a business within the broader system context, it easy to see how attention to delivering products and services that builds-up the community is serious business.
So, what is this larger system? It’s called the BOSS (Note: I am using this term as it is used in the training materials published by Interpersonal Communication Programs, Inc. 800-328-5099):
A comprehensive look at any business will include consideration of at least these elements:
- Cash flow
- Break even
- Product and Service mix
- Organizational structure
- Plant and equipment
- Employee morale and satisfaction
- Risk mitigation
- Business Development
- Core Values
- Short and long-term goals
- Strategic plan
But often, the ripple effects of the business are not considered – at least not in a strategic sense. I would suggest that the wider system includes:
- Extended family
- Board of Directors
- The general community
- The next generations (if family owned)
- Church, ministries and charitable organizations supported by the payroll and profits of the business
When we consider the larger BOSS system, we start to realize that a single business with 40 employees (for example) doesn’t just touch 40 families, it like touches 100 or more families to one degree of intensity or another. Each part of this system contains its own critical information. In order for your business to function well, all parts of the system must be in place, functioning as they should. For example, if you’re not good at finding reputable vendors who deliver products and services at a decent price, then you’re likely to overpay for goods and services or purchase inferior products or services. Supply chain management is a serious aspect of having a well-functioning business.
What you’ll find is that your actions and decisions will seldom involve or impact only one part of the system. And if differences across the system are not managed well, the potential for conflict will only increase.
So, the next time you take your team off-site to do long-term planning, place your business at the center of the larger BOSS system and take a look at the ripple effects of your business within the BOSS system. Then ask the difficult question: is God pleased with the effects my business is having in the marketplace? Do I have a well-functioning system? He’ll answer you directly and clearly. Celebrate what you’re doing write and ask the Lord (and perhaps some outside advisors) what you can do to improve.