Monday, April 15, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

商場如西洋棋而非象棋

By Rick Boxx

在以前,要開始和經營一個生意比較簡單。顧客需要甚麼,我們就提供甚麼。但是隨著網路的普及和科技的進步,生活步調加快了,做生意也必須要快速,也更加複雜了。

在馬克‧米勒(Mark Miller)的書-西洋棋非象棋。他用了一個很有趣的比喻提醒我們: 現今經商策略非常重要。以前的商場,像下象棋一樣,對方下一步,你回應一步就夠了。然而,在今天變化快速的世界,有一個通盤的、可執行的策略才是成功經商的關鍵。一個西洋棋棋手必須要看到前面好幾步,才能贏對方。如果你仍然在用下象棋的方式做生意,那麼現在是開始用下西洋棋的方式,制定策略的關鍵時刻。

經營策略的想法以前就有了。在聖經的舊約裡面,我們看到一個家族因為知道時代已經轉變了,以及他們如何因應。「以薩迦支派,有二百族長都通達時務,知道以色列人所當行的;他們族弟兄都聽從他們的命令。」(歷代志上12章32節)這段經節沒有說明,以薩迦支派遇到甚麼問題或是有爭議的議題,或是他們怎麼回應。 但是有兩件事是可以確定的:

第一、有二百族長都通達時務-換句話說,他們都很清楚自己遇到的狀況,對後續也掌握得很好。
第二、他們知道以色列人屬神,不論這個轉變是一個機會、挑戰、威脅或是危險,他們應該做些甚麼。

你也許可以想到一些自己因應改變的例子,或一些其他商業人士的例子。有些改變來得又急又快,事前完全沒有徵兆,當時我們不知道應該做些甚麼事來回應。這時,我們心裡對神極大的信心並且相信祂會引導可以帶來智慧、平安和安全感。下面是一些箴言的例子:

把要做的事或是計畫交給神。最重要的事,不是我們想做甚麼,而是我們的動機。我們只是一心想要生意越做越大和獲利越來越高嗎?還是只想要打敗對手?或者我們明白神把我們放在這個位置,是為了要我們用榮耀祂的方式來服事祂、服事人?「你所做的,要交託耶和華,你所謀的,就必成立。」 (箴言16章3節)

相信神在適當的時候會引導你的方向。有時候我們做了一個很縝密的計劃,所以當事情不像我們所想的那樣發展,我們就覺得很沮喪。在這個時候,要相信神有更好的計劃。「人心籌算自己的道路;惟耶和華指引他的腳步。」 (箴言16章9節)

我們不需要堅持知道「為什麼?」也許一些意外會破壞我們縝密的計劃,但是相信神的旨意和帶領是明智的,因為祂可以看得比我們更遠。「人的腳步為耶和華所定; 人豈能明白自己的路呢?」 (箴言20章24節)

本文版權為正直資源中心(Integrity Resource Center, Inc.)所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克.博克思的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。

省思/討論題目
你下過西洋棋或是象棋嗎?如果有,你覺得這兩種遊戲需要不同的方式和策略嗎? 分享你的看法。 你覺得在瞬息萬變的商場上,用下象棋或是西洋棋的方式來領導公司、制定決策,哪種比較適合呢?分享你的答案。 你覺得在今天這個快速變化的時代,要像以薩迦的長老一樣通達時務,明白自己該做些甚麼是一件容易的事情嗎? 商場的瞬息萬變的環境如何影響長期策略的制定?分享你的看法。 作者建議我們應該透過禱告、讀聖經的原則或是請教信靠神有信心的長老,邀請神參與我們的生意計劃,你同意嗎?分享你的理由。備註:如果你手上有聖經,想知道關於這個主題更多的經節,請參考:詩篇 37篇4-7節;箴言 16章4節、33節、19章21節、21章30-31節;27章1節;馬太福音6章24-34節;雅各書4章13-17節

BUSINESS LIKE CHESS, NOT CHECKERS
By Rick Boxx

The process of establishing and operating a business used to be simpler. Customers had expectations and businesses responded. Then, with the Internet and other technological advances, the pace of doing things quickened and business became faster and more complex.

In Mark Miller’s book, Chess, Not Checkers, he uses a recreational metaphor to remind us of the importance of strategy in business today. In business, playing a responsive game of checkers used to be adequate. One move at a time, react to the opponent”s last move. However, in today’s fast-paced world, well thought-out and executed strategies become crucial to success. A chess champion succeeds by remaining several moves ahead of the competition. So if you have been playing checkers in business, maybe it is time to understand the times and begin playing chess by developing a new strategy.

This idea of strategizing is not new. In the Bible”s Old Testament we find a brief description of a family that understood changing times and how to respond. It says, "Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred"

(1 Chronicles 12:32) This passage does not describe the problems or issues these “sons of Issachar” were facing, or what they did in response. But two things are clear:

They understood the times. In other words, they were very aware of circumstances confronting them and had a firm grasp of the ramifications.

They knew what Israel, the people group to which they belonged, should do to address these circumstances, whether they were opportunities, challenges, threats or dangers.

You can probably think of many examples that reflect our changing times, around the world, within our society, and in the particular industry or profession where you pursue your livelihood every day. Some of these changes come rapidly, often without warning, and at times we find ourselves confused about what we should do. On moments like this a solid deeply rooted faith in God and His divine guidance can offer wisdom, peace and reassurance. Here are examples from Proverbs:

Dedicate what you do – or plan to do – to God. An important issue to consider is not only what we intend to do, but what our underlying motivations are. Is our desire simply to grow the business and reap higher profits? Are we seeking primarily to undermine our competitors? Or do we recognize God has placed us where we are, and our desire is to serve Him – and others – in a way that honors and pleases Him? “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will be established” (Proverbs 16:3).

Trust God to redirect your plans as He sees fit. Sometimes we devise a plan and become frustrated when it does not go as expected. At times like that it helps to realize God might have a better idea. In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

We do not always have to know the “why” behind what happens. Unexpected developments can upset our best-conceived plans, so it is wise to trust in God”s will and direction, since His long-term understanding is far better than our own. “A man”s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way” (Proverbs 20:24).

Copyright 2015, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. His book, How to Prosper in Business Without Sacrificing Integrity, gives a biblical approach for doing business with integrity.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Have you ever played checkers or chess? If so, have you found the two games to be different in approach and strategy? If so, in what way? Do you agree that in today”s ever-changing business and professional world, a chess master”s approach to making workplace and corporate decisions is more appropriate than that employed by those skilled at playing checkers? Explain your answer. How difficult do you think it is these days of constant change to be like the “sons of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what (they) should do”? How do rapid shifts in the marketplace environment affect long-term planning strategies? It is suggested that we should involve God – perhaps through prayer, the study of principles in the Bible, and consulting with other people who believe in Him and trust Him – in devising business plans? Do you agree? Why or why not?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Psalm 37:4-7; Proverbs 16:4,33, 19:21, 21:30-31, 27:1; Matthew 6:24-34; James 4:13-17

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