I came across a book on my shelves, “Re-Imagine” by business guru, Tom Peters. I have read and re-read sections. It is a great book and very challenging. Mr. Peters is a deep and creative thinker and the research is fascinating.
The byline of the book is, “business excellence in a disruptive age”. I would agree that this is certainly a disruptive age. Every thing is changing, and so everything is different. In fact, it is not only different from it used to be, but it is different from what it was before that, and after that. We live in a society, world, that is constantly redefining itself. I suppose that is not really good, or bad, right or wrong, just the way it is… i.e. different!
So in one section of the book Mr. Peters rants that everything in business is becoming talent-oriented, and his rant is that it is about time! The most important thing is to hire the best people, period. His premise is that businesses that plan on making it should (or have to) hire the best people they can, spend the money on them and then let them go – creatively speaking. One of his major complaints is that many say that people are their most important assets, but in practice their people are a disposable commodity – they can be replaced.
The time for talk is over and the time for action is here. Talent is the most important quality, and talent is in people. People are the most important “thing” and they should be treated as such. Relishing, attracting, rewarding the talented people, indulging them, brings out the real talent, and (Mr. Peters’ premise) the real talent is seen in creativity. Here business growth happens – talented people exercising their creativity freely. It is a great chapter.
So the entire time I am reading this I am thinking about the Church. Mr. Peters could have easily quoted 1 Corinthians 12-14, Romans 12, 1 Peter 4 or Ephesians 4 – all those texts that deal with Spiritual gifts. See, the Church has had this information for years, decades, centuries, millennia! Mr. Peters is not a revelator in this case, he’s a couple thousand years behind.
I wonder how far behind the Church is? When will we realize the importance of our people- their talent, their gifts? When will we operate like the Church Jesus envisioned when he told Peter, “…I will build my Church…”? When will we operate like the Church Paul envisioned when he said, “… given to each one for the common good.”? I know, we are working on it; we’re always working on it.
For a long time I have loved reading business books. The irony is that good business principles so often are solid Biblical principles given in the Bible that the Church has long overlooked – and talented, creative business people just stumble onto. Things are constantly changing, and things are rapidly becoming more and more different. True as ever is the phrase that “the times they are a changing”. But Christian principles don’t change – they don’t have to. They are constant. They are not only timeless looking back at them, but timeless as indicators of what is needed for the future.
When we get a hold of this the best, brightest, most talented and creative people will be Christians. Not because God made us that way, or Christ transformed us into it, but the truths of scripture teach us and the Spirit guides us. We have the inside tract and the necessary information, it’s right there. Christians should be the thought leaders…