Thursday, May 31, 2007

Discipleship and Walmart


Walmart was the first company to be ranked number 1 on both the Fortune 500 and the Fortune Most Admired lists. This was in 2003. A year later it was Fortune’s top Most Admired List and was listed as number 1 on the Fortune 500 list for 2004 with US$ 256 billion in revenues.

I know I will probably get some flak for even thinking of using Walmart as an example to relate with discipleship. What with all the criticism that the company is getting for closing down the smaller mom and pop stores once it enters a city or town. The logical conclusion is that like Walmart – Mega-churches are shutting down smaller ones.

But I have decided to blog about it, because there is a lot we can glean from this company that can help us when we undertake discipleship. There are many traits that can be discussed in this post that make this great company what it is today. But I am zeroing in on just 2:

Walmart’s culture demands excellence and attention to details. It is forever in search of better ways to serve their customers. Many of the retail industry’s standard practices today were invented by Walmart. From inventory monitoring, delivery and warehousing systems, IT and others. It is this kind of relentless pursuit that has made this company what it is today.

Sometimes it is so easy to find fault and blame companies like Walmart, but in hind-sight, Walmart was just another Mom and Pop store that just worked a little harder and was more consistent than others.

Secondly, Walmart did not shift businesses. When it grew to become the largest retailer, some of its officers and suppliers tried to lure it into going into manufacturing. It only makes sense that if you sell the most number of t-shirts why not manufacture it yourself? Wrong. Walmart did not fall into the temptation of di-focusing (having 2 focuses). Their resounding declaration is “our business in retailing and not manufacturing”.

And focus on it they did. By staying on track they avoided the trap of doing what you were not created to do. Churches should focus on what they were called to do – “Go and make disciples”. Don’t reinvent the business.

1 comment:

chinkee said...

Pastor Joey,

I hope that you will come up with a book re all of this.

It is very helpful as a matter fact I hope you also come out with cell material re this.

This will help specifically in the cell material for Victorybiz.

Keep it up.
God has given you the unique ability to translate and communicate difficult things to make it simple to understand.