Recruiting, Training and Deployment of BAM Practitioners: Successes and Challenges

The BAM Recruiting, Training, and Deployment (RTD) Issue Group of the BAM Global Think Tank attempted to listen to BAM practitioners’ experiences of recruiting, training and deployment and learn from them. The aim was to understand how we can be more effective in the areas of: recruiting people for BAM, training practitioners before and after they start-up; and the structures or processes that can ensure successful deployment.

Research methodology included focus groups involving BAM practitioners as well as business and mission leaders, an online anonymous survey, follow-up in-depth interviews to provide additional qualitative information and a literature review. Each phase of our research attempted to understand how well the “quadruple bottom line” of BAM theory is being achieved by BAM practitioners.

The RTD group began by attempting to understand the key character traits that are indicative of success for BAM practitioners. Indicators for success were evaluated from the perspective of current BAM practitioners as well as mission and non-religious business leaders. In addition, we attempted to identify the channels that are currently being used to recruit BAM practitioners, as well as identify opportunities to improve BAM recruitment.
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The RTD group also reviewed current training practices in the BAM movement. We identified not only training that has been used by current BAM practitioners but the felt-need of BAM practitioners in terms of training to improve their performance and impact.

Finally, the RTD group reviewed success factors for BAM practitioners who have already been deployed and are serving in BAM enterprises. We also assessed whether the factors identified as important in the recruitment and training phases of our research were connected with the success of BAM practitioners as identified in the deployment research.

Key findings emerging from the research include:

        • Most BAM practitioners in our survey sample were ‘self-recruited’, more intentional recruiting methods and channels could be leveraged.
        • Four clear themes of desirable character traits for a BAM practitioner were identified: a. Character and spiritual maturity, b. Personal passion and resilience, c. Entrepreneurial abilities, and d. Interpersonal abilities.
        • The potential for a greater variety of BAM training resources exists, particularly specialised on in-depth business disciplines, business opportunities within regions and also within industries.
        • The need for greater connectivity, networking and collaboration between BAM practitioners and between BAM RTD-focused organisations.
        • The particular importance of mentoring, accountability, research and prayer for the deployment phase of BAM companies.
        • Concern whether the theory of a quadruple bottom line matches practice, in terms of a balanced approach to goal-setting, performance and accountability structures.
        • There were very few examples of BAM enterprises which have clear goals or examples of success for environmental transformation.

Although we are encouraged by the current strengths of BAM recruiting, training and deployment in a relatively young movement, there is work to be done. Specific recommendations for future research, collaboration and new initiatives are suggested.

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