If it wasn’t for the “natural born citizen” clause…how many times have you heard Americans chanting for a Canadian to be President?
Recently, I was invited to attend the Gathering of the Games—a business conference held in St. Louis, Missouri for entrepreneurial business leaders. These leaders attended the conference to improve their companies through an Open Book Management process that engages all members of the corporation at a deep level and rallies all employees in the organization around improving the bottom line (or whatever their critical mission might be). The conference was riveting and engaging, and I had many opportunities to layer my school experience into what I learned. In many ways, I am still piecing it all together as I envision what could work at ACS, in terms of what I learned.
Dave on stage
The highlight of the conference, from my perspective, was hearing from our community’s own, Dave Van Belle share with everyone (all 520 attendees) his experience at Van Belle Nursery in regards to Open Book Management. All throughout the conference, one of the prevailing themes was how moving to an Open Book Management system would revolutionize the respective companies and turn minor profits and into windfall gains. All of the strategies and techniques seemed to make a lot of sense as we all became wowed and excited about what could be in terms of net profits.
On the last day, Dave took the stage and gave a TED Talk about how Open Book Management honours people, and that Van Belle Nursery was started by his Dad—an economic refugee, and how today, Van Belle Nursery is full of people from many nations looking for a better life. He shared stories about making a difference in the lives of people. Dave shared stories of his own children becoming entrepreneurs in Clayburn Village. He didn’t shy away from celebrating the company’s profits. However, celebrating the people was his message and this came out loud and clear. The audience began to clap and respond to the talk and by the end of it, he had the keynote speaker (who came up soon after) proclaim, “How about Dave Van Belle for President!”
Throwing our hat into the ring
It struck me that Dave’s heartfelt talk was an example of Shaping God’s World—not only here in Abbotsford at Van Belle Nursery, but also at the conference as he re-framed the importance of honouring all image bearers—something that we all aspire to.
P.S. Dave is a graduate of ACS and has a genuine passion to see ACS flourish as a school that leads the charge in entrepreneurial-type education. People like Dave and others have set the stage for us to move towards an entrepreneurial approach to education.