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The Best Business Plan? Relationships

The Best Business Plan? Relationships

If Phoenix Christian Jade Meskill's success is any indication, collaboration and investing in employees isn't pie-in-the-sky idealism. It's just smart business.

When asked if people know that he seeks to follow Christ in all he his doing, Meskill says, "People know me pretty well," Meskill says. "They know what I stand for and what I believe. I hope all that I am doing starts to open people's minds about what . . . Christians [are] like."

The Gangplank vision is catching. Already two more Gangplank locations have opened, in Tucson, Ariz., and Avondale, Ariz. A third is starting in Richmond, Virginia. In each location, government and business leaders have approached the planners, recognizing that a nonprofit mission like Gangplank can incubate small businesses and serve the common good.

Entrepreneur magazine named Gangplank as one of the 100 Brilliant Companies in 2011.

Farther out or Further in?

While the Phoenix metro area is pushed to the limits of expansion in terms of real estate and infrastructure, there is something in the human spirit that inherently knows "farther out" has its limits. Fortunately, for this city and others, Meskill has taken risks to hack the culture of individualism and build a business culture around the truth that, no matter how competitive the businessman, we all are wired for community.

Eileen O'Gorman lives in Phoenix, where she works in communication for Food for the Hungry, an international relief and development organization. Since moving to Phoenix, she's grown to love the big sky, cool nights, cactus blooms and the people. She is a member of Christ Church Anglican and holds a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Photo courtesy of Esther Martinez.

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Comments Are Closed

Displaying 1–4 of 4 comments

Jim Nelson

October 27, 2012  5:57pm

Laudable effort. May more Christians do the same of reaching out to collaborate instead of contributing to individualism which has clearly gone to far.

S Park

October 26, 2012  10:15am

My main critique is of the article, not Gangplank. Again if you read the introduction carefully, its focus is Meskill's management style and that it failed for some (unexplained) reason. Without much of an explicit connection, the article then leaps to Gangplank and its approach. The reader has to make that connection, which apparently is that Meskill prevented his people from collaborating in some way or other. But its not clear.

emilyg

October 25, 2012  4:15pm

Rather than the point of this article being to identify all specifics about Gangplank and Jade, I think it's a great highlight of how a Christian is creating space for business people to collaborate on the work they do. S Park, why don't you check out Gangplank yourself to see their work in action!

S Park

October 25, 2012  11:28am

Aside from vague references to "collaboration", the article doesn't really answer the question as to why "they hated it and they hated me", or how he changed "his management approach line up with what he confessed on Sunday morning". And putting everyone in a big room with long tables is not the answer for every collaboration and productivity issue, and in fact can create other issues.

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