Conscious Business Steve Farrell and Peter Matthies, Guest Editors
Featuring Paul Polman Michele Hunt
Ken Wilber Ervin Laszlo
David Sloan Wilson Deepak Chopra Jude Currivan Chris Laszlo
Rinaldo Brutoco Richard Barrett
VoiceAmerica Radio Series presents
Conscious Business for a
Flourishing World Featuring:
Dr. David Sloan Wilson
Dr. Ervin Laszlo
Dr. Jude Currivan
Dr. Kurt Johnson - Host
Click here for VoiceAmerica Special Conscious Business for a Flourishing World, Part 1 Click here for VoiceAmerica Special Conscious Business for a Flourishing World, Part II
Conscious Business Conscious Business for a Flourishing World
Conscious Business magazine Issue 1 – Winter 2020 Guest Editors Steve Farrell, Executive Director, Humanity’s Team Peter Matthies, Founder, Conscious Business Institute Host Editor Karuna Contributions Editor Kurt Johnson Managing Editor Shannon Winters Graphic Editor & Layout David Winters
We at Conscious Business magazine, from the Light on Light family of publications, invite you to join in a global movement dedicated to transforming business. In alignment with the Conscious Business Declaration we are dedicated to fostering the awareness and skills needed to consciously evolve our organizations in alignment with the Conscious Business Declaration. These principles are: • We Are One with humanity and all of life. Business and all • institutions of the human community are integral parts of a • single reality — interrelated, interconnected and • interdependent. • In line with this reality, the purpose of Business is to increase • economic prosperity while contributing to a healthy • environment and improving human wellbeing. • Business must go beyond sustainability and the philosophy of • “do no harm” to restoring the self-renewing integrity of the • Earth. • Business must operate with economic, social, and ecological • transparency. • Business must behave as a positive and proactive member of • the local and global communities in which it operates. • Business that sees, honors, and celebrates the essential • interconnected nature of all human beings and all life • maximizes human potential and helps create a world that works • for all. • When aligned with Oneness, Business is the most powerful • engine on Earth for creating prosperity and flourishing for all.
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You are welcome to join us in signing the Conscious Business Declaration at www.consciousbusinessdeclaration.org. Conscious Business magazine welcomes conscious business leaders, authors, and other contributors, to submit ideas and brief concepts for future issues. We welcome conscious-focused submissions aligned with the Conscious Business Declaration for feature articles, organization/business transformation stories, and more. Please send a brief description of your content or idea to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS Welcome to Conscious Business from Light on Light.................................................................................................................................. 4 Welcome from Humanity’s Team by Steve Farrell........................................................................................................................................ 5 Welcome from the Conscious Business Institute by Peter Matthies...................................................................................................... 6 Conscious Business World Summit: Bringing Real Transformation to Business by Deborah Moldow....................................... 7
Introduction Reprising the Conscious Business World Summit....................................................................................................................................... 8 Conscious Business Declaration....................................................................................................................................................................... 9
WHY Conscious Business Essential Tasks by Ervin Laszlo......................................................................................................................................................................... 10 After “Greed Is Good” by David Sloan Wilson..............................................................................................................................................15 Conscious Business and a WholeWorld-View by Jude Currivan............................................................................................................17 The Vision: What Business Can Be by Michele Hunt.................................................................................................................................19 The Wholeness of Conscious Business by Ken Wilber..............................................................................................................................21 Conscious Business for a Flourishing World: A Four-pronged Approach to Behavioral Change by Chris Laszlo............... 25 Enlightened Leadership by Deepak Chopra............................................................................................................................................... 29 The Conscious Business Synergy Circle: Uniting for Transformative Change by Deborah Moldow.........................................32
HOW to Implement Conscious Business On the Journey to Conscious Business, We’re Only Halfway There by Steve Farrell....................................................................33 A Framework for Building Conscious Businesses by Joe Laranjeiro...................................................................................................35 Virtues and Practices of Self Leadership by Stephen Dynako...............................................................................................................37 Essentials for a High Conscious, High Performing Team by D. Luke Iorio.........................................................................................39 Building A Purpose-Culture: Why Some Companies Have It and Others Don’t by Peter Matthies.............................................41 Growing a Business on Values: How to Build and Operate a Values-Driven Business in Today’s World by Richard Barrett.................................................................................................................................................................................................43 The Co-Creative Nature of Conscious Leadership by Blaine Bartlett...................................................................................................45
WHAT Others Experienced Conscious Business Case Study a CBI interview with Artemis Tzakos, founder of Sevaan Group, Australia.......................47 Running a Conscious Business by Joe Laranjeiro......................................................................................................................................49 The Evolutionary Path: Key Findings to Thrive in Life and Business During the Great Transition by Adam Hall...................51 Conscious Business: Being and Doing by Athena Melchizedek........................................................................................................... 52 Our Changing Space Economy by Claudia Welss......................................................................................................................................54 Unity in Medicine by Gerald W. Neuberg..................................................................................................................................................... 56 Practical Wisdom for High-power Situations by Michele Risa................................................................................................................58 Compassion as a Powerful Business Practice by Lisette Cooper........................................................................................................ 60 Building a Business on Purpose, Values, Play & Humor by Mitchell Rabin.........................................................................................61 The Day I Became A Construction Worker by Linda Bjork......................................................................................................................63 A New Consciousness of Money Informs a New Consciousness in Business by Sarah McCrum............................................. 65 Closing from the editors......................................................................................................................................................................................67
Welcome to Conscious Business from Light on Light
It is a real privilege for us to be adding Conscious Business to the Light on Light family of publications. So, welcome and thanks for joining us here! For us this emergence goes back several years. At the 2017 Crestone Convergence event—an activists’ leadership summit hosted by UNITY EARTH, of which Humanity’s Team is a partner (see the video online)—Conscious Business was one of the passion areas to which we all made an ongoing commitment. This moved quickly to the creation of the Synergy Circle for Conscious Business, formed within The Evolutionary Leaders which now has over fifty thought and business leader participants. In turn, the Synergy Circle sponsored the Conscious Business World Summit held March 7-9, 2019, which is reprised in a short article upfront in this premier issue of Conscious Business. We all feel gratified that we have now been able to move on to one of the major goals of the Summit: a media presence through both the emerging Conscious Business magazine and our Convergence Series at VoiceAmerica. As noted in our Conscious Business VoiceAmerica broadcasts linked herein, at a recent meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness marked two urgent dangers to our global community—climate change and the business-as-usual mantra of “Greed is Good.” We are happy to be contributing to the response to the latter, which His Holiness called one of the two great “wolves of selfishness.” His Holiness joins all the world’s great Wisdom Traditions and perennial philosophies in pointing out the urgency of these issues. The appearance of this new imprint, into this New Year of 2020, causes us all to ask some pertinent questions of our world’s fellow citizens. Of that fortunate “1%” who enjoy so much of the world’s wealth and resources, we have to ask—especially as practitioners of the values, ethics and ideals of the Great Wisdom Traditions—“what are you asking yourselves about the world’s distribution of wealth?” Do you see the connection between this disparity and the larger, looming, challenges that threaten literal extinction for our fragile species? And what can the rest of us do—across the complex demographics of that other 99% (all the way from the very aware to the unaware)—to help us all realize what global community, and collective self-help actually mean and require? We all have a critical stake, and a role, in this if we are to succeed. Experts on “giving” (whether it be direct giving or about overall radical structural change in the world) tell us that it is in matching the passions of the giver and the receiver that long term sustainable result is possible. Can we start to match these areas of passion into significant stepwise approaches to real problems in real time? This is a question the Great Traditions need to propose radically to the world right now. The authors in this premier issue of Conscious Business do exactly that. Let’s think about well-being at a global level and what it means at each level of our existence and experience of reality—the deeply personal; the intimate collectives of families, small groups and communities; and yes, the big elephant in the room—our global social, cultural, economic, and political structures. In the messaging between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the late Fr. Thomas Keating (from whose work came the “Nine Points of Agreement Among the World’s Religions”), recently exchanged in India, was this urgent entreaty: “We must find a way to make these things actually happen.” Let’s keep that in Heart and mind as we continue this initiative and enterprise toward “Conscious Business.”
Karuna, Host Editor Shannon Winters, Managing Editor Dr. Kurt Johnson, Contributions Editor
Welcome from Humanity’s Team Dear Friends, Take your place on the leading edge of business as one of the new breed of leaders looking to redefine prosperity as taking care of the world. Right now, around the world, new alliances are forming, and like-minded people are connecting, collaborating, and beginning to truly evolve the way business is done in every arena. They are dedicated to sustainability, compassion and caring, both for humanity and for the Earth, our home. Those who are part of this movement are disruptors of conventional approaches to getting things done. They work outside of the box to help overturn legacy business models that focus exclusively on profit, replacing them with a Conscious Business model that fulfills needs while also working to solve the problems the current approach to business has created. That current standard of business obviously isn’t working. It’s not sustainable, and it is failing in its critical role of supporting and nurturing the Earth and everything on it—something it could quite easily do if its course was being directed by leaders who care. Leaders like you. The foundational element that is missing in the current business paradigm is the understanding that all of life is interconnected: One. And, while there are some companies emerging with this foundational focus, it has not yet been widely understood and adopted, in spite of its obvious advantages. The primary goal of the Conscious Business Declaration (www.consciousbusinessdeclaration.org) is to help every business in the world realize this more connective approach is the way of the future. The truth is that there is money to be made in solving the world’s biggest problems. Consumers, especially Millennials, want to support businesses that stand for something more than just quarterly earnings, which is why companies in these sectors are becoming more successful in the marketplace: Unilever (fast moving consumer goods), Westpac (banking and financial services), Greyston Bakery (food), Eileen Fisher (apparel), Natura (personal care), Clarke (environmental services), IKEA and Woolworth South Africa (retail), Schuberg Philis (hi-tech), Tennant Company (industrial machinery), Nucor (heavy industry), Novo Nordisk (pharmaceuticals), and Tata Group (a diversified conglomerate). 5
The good news is that an increasing number of business owners and corporate executives are more clearly coming to terms with the dangerous and destructive nature of the current system, and because they understand there are potential financial advantages, too, they are increasingly inspired to bring deeper levels of consciousness into their businesses. Because of this, Conscious Business Change Agents are in demand as leaders and consultants to guide these companies through the sometimes complicated but always generative process of becoming more conscious in practices. Are you ready to “play bigger” in your work and your life? If you take a moment to think about what you really want to be doing with your life right now, what part of that picture is the most important one for you? Is it to experience more joy? Greater meaning? A deeper connection with others? Financial security? Do you want more free time to spend with your loved ones? Higher creative inspiration? The chance to make a real difference in the world? Or…all of the above? And it is yours for the making. If you feel called to take an active role in facilitating this urgently needed expansion of consciousness in the relationship of the business world with the rest of the world I invite you to sign the Conscious Business Declaration: www.consciousbusinessdeclaration.org. Together with a vibrant community of other conscious professionals from countries around the world, we will co-create a divinely-inspired space where creativity abounds, love and support are plentiful, everyone’s voice is heard and honored, and we all experience prosperity. And in that space, we will make those alliances and connections, and we will collaborate in building a better world. Steve Farrell Worldwide Executive Director Humanity’s Team
Welcome from the Conscious Business Institute Dear Conscious Business Friends, It doesn’t matter whether we speak to professionals in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, or Australia; most of them are yearning for a better way to work and succeed. All around the world, business leaders and individuals are searching for new approaches to work. All of us are feeling the pressure to change. On an individual level, we’re grappling with the increasing pressure, complexity and speed that’s demanded from us. On an organizational level, we know that we have to change the way we operate in order to succeed in the future. And on a global level, we realize that we have to transform the way we operate if we want to sustain our environment. Bottom-line: our existing paradigms for work and business are reaching their limit. At the same time, there have always been selected organizations, a few outliers, which have demonstrated to us that we can build business in a different way. Patagonia—which doesn’t only demonstrate environmental stewardship as an organization but proves that building an organization in a more purpose-driven and valued-centered way delivers good financial results. Southwest Airlines—which has weathered unfair headwind from their competition and yet delivered superior results for decades by focusing on the most important resource: their people. In our changing world, people are ready to implement more inspiring, courageous, and conscious ways for business. In fact, many want to walk the path. However, what was often times missing was a pathway to get there. Conscious Business is a wonderful idea, but if we don’t have a concrete framework, or applicable tools to implement it in today’s organizations we won’t make much headway. We have designed this magazine to provide not only inspiration, but also concrete steps, approaches, and experiences from individuals who have implemented conscious business practices. In Part 1, you’ll read about the WHY. Futurists, business thinkers, and researchers will provide inspiration, evidence, and a vision for what’s possible for organizations and leaders. In Part 2 focus is on the HOW. You’ll find a concrete framework for implementing conscious business in any organization – a framework, which we developed 12 years ago and used with many clients. You’ll obtain concrete suggestions about the most important tenets for conscious business: SelfLeadership, Team-Leadership, Organizational Leadership & Culture, Business Leadership, and of course Conscious Leadership. And lastly, in Part 3, the WHAT, where you’ll read concrete examples, suggestions and experiences from individuals and leaders who have walked the path for many years. From individual struggles, to nuggets of wisdom about consciousness and money, experiences from the field, or case studies of conscious business projects. A true transformation of business is not something that will be initiated from the top. For many of today’s leaders, changing the status quo puts too much at stake. This transformation—like any movement in history—will be initiated and carried through by each and every one of us. Whether you’re a corporate manager, a clerk in a store, a consultant, or whether you run your own organization, you are the one we’ve been waiting for. We hope this magazine will provide the next stepping stones for your authentic path. Thank you for joining our global community. Peter Matthies Founder Conscious Business Institute, LLC.
What is “conscious business”? Well, let’s start with what it isn’t: business as usual. As the crises around us multiply on a global scale, it becomes clear that we cannot simply go ahead with our lives assuming that things will get better. As we live into the awareness that we are one human family sharing a living planet whose ecosystem is gravely endangered by our way of life, we are awakening to the consequences of our collective choices. Many on the cusp of this emerging consciousness are feeling overwhelmed in the face of such large-scale issues. The Evolutionary Leaders Circle (EL’s), a project of The Source of Synergy Foundation, is a community of visionary authors, scientists and leaders in spirituality, the arts, media and others whose fresh, creative insights have led them outside the box of our current paradigm. The EL’s come together with a shared mission to accelerate the conscious evolution of humanity and to increase the synergy among our efforts to make a difference in the world. EL’s who want to advance particular areas of interest join together in Synergy Circles. Three of us—Steve Farrell of Humanity’s Team, Kurt Johnson of UNITY EARTH and I—launched the Conscious Business Synergy Circle based on our shared understanding that business, which has brought so much abundance and so much destruction, could be a powerful engine to drive significant change when it operates at a new level of consciousness. In the past, we looked to governments to address widespread problems, but governments—especially our cherished democracies—are responsible to diverse constituencies. There is an inherent challenge with the growing demand within the emerging consciousness for consensus that looks for winwin solutions, which makes it increasingly difficult for democratic governments of any size to make decisions. A perfect example is the Paris Climate Accord, where even well-meaning governments of wealthy nations were unable to set targets for reducing fossil fuel consumption that were bold enough to achieve any meaningful reduction in carbon output, according to UN Environment. Yet the Walt Disney Company, for example, is actively implementing ambitious goals of zero net greenhouse gas emissions, zero waste and conserving water resources in theme parks and on cruise ships that would make any town or city proud. It’s also making inroads in responsible supply chain management, international labor standards and corporate responsibility. From 2012-2017, the company reduced its net emissions by 41%. This is not to say that the world needs to look like Disneyland, but rather that corporations are capable making change happen. The new consciousness manifests through the actions of people, so it is of great importance to do what we can to help infuse the new consciousness into all levels of business, especially at the top where every decision can have real impact. The visionaries in the Conscious Business Synergy Circle, many of whom are members of the Evolutionary Leaders, have united around the principles of the Conscious Business Declaration to explore and implement ways to transform business not only from the older mindset of profit as the primary goal to the forward-looking sustainability model of working for people, planet and profit, but all the way to the level of unity consciousness, where business strives to be the powerful force for good in a flourishing society that is its destiny. At the Conscious Business World Summit, a free 3-day online event from March 7-9, 2019, members of the Conscious Business Synergy Circle shared ways in which business and philanthropy are becoming more conscious, along with visionary roadmaps, the key role of consumers and tested methodologies for creating transformed business to build a transformed future.
Deborah Moldow Founder of the Garden of Light Co-Director of the Evolutionary Leaders
Reprising the Conscious Business World Summit www.consciousbusinesssummit.org sponsored by the Conscious Business Synergy Circle, a joint project of members of Humanity’s Team, the Evolutionary Leaders Circle and UNITY EARTH
An exciting wave of positive change is building around the world in the way global business is done. Your interest in that has brought you here. So, as we move into the premier issue of Conscious Business magazine, we want to reprise what happened March 7-9, 2019 at The Conscious Business World Summit. Especially considering all the damage global corporations seem to be doing to our environment and cultural interactions, and the bitter battles they engage in with one another, you might be wondering what global business could possibly be doing to create positive change. The answer is that in spite of those challenges, a deeper level of consciousness has been slowly seeping into almost every walk of life, and business is no exception. Joining us here means you are part of the vanguard in this new, and vitally important, emergence. This deeper consciousness is aware that everything is interrelated, interconnected, and interdependent. Many people are now stepping forward and insisting this deeper awareness be foundational to the way business is done in every sector of our global society. The shift of attention onto the role of consciousness in business allows for a reframing sustainability as not just a necessity but as an opportunity to turn environmental and social challenges into drivers of innovation, greater employee engagement, and marketplace advantage. It is this shift that is creating the 3rd Wave of Conscious Business and helping you and your business stay on the crest of that wave of change. This was the focus of the Summit that took place online on March 7-9, 2019. The goals of the Summit were:
• Use information on emerging conscious trends in business to be more successful in your own mission
• Access new “inner practices” and “being states” that can inform your business collaborations and decision-making on every level
• Use our interconnectedness to profound advantage in your approach to every aspect of your business, and act as a guide for others
• Take advantage of current best practices, models, and trends to stay on the leading-edge of this evolving new approach to doing business • Deal with challenges and setbacks quickly and easily while remaining calm in your conscious focus
• Access important transformational education programs that are training resources for reinventing global business This agenda was addressed by seven dynamic panels, speaking to all these issues. They included Steve Farrell, Peter Matthies, Chris Laszlo, Ervin Laszlo, Hiroo Saionji, Claudia Welss, Jenny Santi, Robert Smith, Rod McGrew, Stephen Dynako, Jeff Vander Clute, Sarah McCrum, Bibi Shanaz Ali, Kurt Johnson, David Sloan Wilson, Michele Hunt, Richard Barrett, Tamsin Woolley-Barker, Deborah Moldow, Michele Bongiovanni, Jude Currivan, Justin Faerman, Aaron Kahlow, Rinaldo Brutoco, Derek Rydall, and Marilyn Tam. Their photos, bios, and topics are available online at www.consciousbusinesssummit.org. They were joined by groups of chat-room discussions that followed each panel and invited in the listening audience. The success of the Summit has led us step by step to the emergence of this new magazine imprint Conscious Business and the two VoiceAmerica Specials that preceded it. Conscious Business magazine follows on the special magazine issue “Waking Up and Growing Up: The Conscious Business World Summit” that preceded and announced the Summit, available online. We thank all who have been a part of this unfolding success. The Editors
As a global community of business leaders, we are committed to developing the awareness and skills needed to consciously evolve our organizations in alignment with these principles: 1. We Are One with humanity and all of life. Business and all institutions of the human community are integral parts of a single realityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;interrelated, interconnected, and interdependent. 2. In line with this reality, the purpose of Business is to increase economic prosperity while contributing to a healthy environment and improving human wellbeing. 3. Business must go beyond sustainability and the philosophy of â&#x20AC;&#x153;do no harmâ&#x20AC;? to restoring the self-renewing integrity of the Earth. 4. Business must operate with economic, social, and ecological transparency. 5. Business must behave as a positive and proactive member of the local and global communities in which it operates. 6. Business that sees, honors, and celebrates the essential interconnected nature of all human beings and all life maximizes human potential and helps create a world that works for all. 7. When aligned with Oneness, Business is the most powerful engine on Earth for creating prosperity and flourishing for all. The declaration is available online at www.consciousbusinessdeclaration.org. Click here to sign the declaration online and join the global movement of leaders, change agents, and concerned citizens of the world dedicated to transforming Business.
WHY Conscious Business In this section, explore with us why Conscious Business is a compelling paradigm for building organizations. Get inspired by futurists, well-known authors, researchers, and business leaders. Obtain evidence about the benefits of Conscious Business and a vision for what’s possible for the way we work.
Essential Tasks By Ervin Laszlo
The path before us will not be a bed of roses. We know that a transformation of global dimensions has already started, and we know that its unfolding is not predictable. We can be certain that it will be challenging: we will live in the midst of profound change, our very survival will be constantly at stake. Will we achieve the understanding, the wisdom, to survive this challenge? Here are a few thoughts and considerations that help us reach the condition where we can give a positive answer. Looking Back to See Forward This will not be the first time in history that a period of global-level transformation has dawned on humankind. Philosopher of science Holmes Rolston pointed out that our “big history” includes three such transformations—veritable “big bangs.”1 The first was the physical big bang that is believed to have occurred about 13.8 billion years ago. It gave birth to the manifest universe with its quantum particles, multiple kinds of energies, and billions of galaxies. It led to the formation of solar systems, with suns and planets, and energy flows that permit the evolution of life on so-called “Goldilocks” (fortunately situated) planets circling active suns. Another basic transformation—a “second big bang”—was the emergence of living organisms among the complex systems that evolved on Earth, and presumably on other planets as well. This transformation is thought to have taken place about 3.8 billion years ago. It began with the emergence of single-celled prokaryotes in the primordial soup that covered the surface of the planet. The “third big bang” is dated to have occurred about 120,000 years ago. It fundamentally changed—“evolved”—the consciousness of our species. Homo is said to have become sapiens. The evolutionary advantages of evolved consciousness included a more flexible and rapid form of communication. Communication was no longer limited to semiautomatic responses triggered by recurring conditions and events; instead of limited to signs, human communication became based on consensually developed symbols. The evolution of symbolic language was a major leap. On the one hand, it gave birth to social structures based on collectively acquired meaning, and on the other, it produced enhanced manipulative skills. Societies could evolve on the basis of shared cultures wielding powerful technologies. Homo sapiens began to dominate other species and became a key factor in the evolution of life in the biosphere. The third big bang produced an explosion of the human population, but it did not produce the wisdom that would ensure that the expanded population could maintain the balances essential for the flourishing of life on this planet. These balances became ever more impaired. The shortsighted use of technology and the disregard of natural checks and balances brought humanity to where it is today: to a “chaos point,” where the choice is stark: it is between breakdown and breakthrough.2 10
WHY Conscious Business
Another global transformation has become inevitable and is in fact under way: a fourth big bang. It is time to learn the lessons of history. Setting forth our reign on the planet will depend on mastering the challenge of this transformation. The Lessons of History The first and basic lesson is simple and evident. We have divorced ourselves from the natural world, and we need to come back—not to become savages and “primitives,” but beings who are attuned to the world around them; who live in sync with the rhythms and balances of nature and create compatible and sustainable rhythms and balances of their own. We are no longer aligned with the rhythms and balances of nature. Although through our biological evolution we are “built into” these rhythms and balances, we created our own artificial rhythms and perilous balances, and these ignore and often conflict with those of nature. Rising with the sun and retiring with the sun is to align with the twenty-fourhour circadian rhythm created by the movement of the earth around the sun, and so-called primitive people still live in harmony with it, and so do most of the remaining indigenous and traditional cultures. But modern people disregard nature’s rhythms and balances and believe that they can replace them by turning lights and other artificial conveniences on and off with the flip of a switch. Yet the human body does not align with the artificial rhythms, and we suffer the consequences. The effectiveness of the immune system is impaired, and despite a flood of biochemical medications, diseases proliferate. Modern populations are urban dwellers and have limited contact with nature. They live in an artificial world and think that it is the real world. They hold themselves superior to other forms of life and believe that they can master nature as they wish. Even just fifty years ago, animal intelligence researcher Jane Goodall had to fight the then still dominant belief that chimpanzees are biochemical stimulus-response mechanisms, not living and feeling beings. Today, we realize that not just higher mammals, all living organisms, and even trees and plants, are sensitive living beings, and in that respect are not fundamentally different from us. It is in the best interest of our physical and mental well-being that we rectify these misconceptions and errant behaviors. When we do so, we regain our natural health and vitality. The healing effect of natural substances and lifestyles was known to healers and sages in classical times. Since Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, medical scientists have been seeking the substances and methods that would reestablish balance and connection between human beings and nature. Today this aspiration is overshadowed by an often commercially motivated reliance on synthetic substances and nature-ignoring practices. The scene is not all negative: as we shall see, there are positive developments in all fields of human endeavor, including healing and
medicine. Connection with nature is a major objective in the alternative forms of healing known as information and energy medicine. This form of healing is experiencing a renaissance in various parts of the world, first of all in the Orient. Shinrin yoku, the Japanese art of forest bathing, is a prime example. Practicing it calls for going into a forest and feeling ourselves attuned to its rhythms and energies—hearing the wind rustle through the leaves, sensing the play of light on the surface of a pond, floating with the clouds as they move through the sky. Psychotherapists find that even the sounds of nature, the chirping of birds, the bubbling of brooks are healing. Just to be in a forest or to stand by a tree soothes and heals the nervous system. Another essential task is to recognize and connect with positive developments in society. Below the surface of animosity, violence, and chaos, there is an entire range of positive development surfacing in fields as varied as community-building, lifestyles, education, even in business. Kingsley Dennis conducted research on these developments and suggested the core concepts of this overview. Positive Developments in the Structuring of Communities Communities from local neighborhoods to entire states are moving beyond conventional hierarchical structures and relations toward decentralized networks that connect people. Development in any community is increasingly reaching others and has an impact on the others. As people connect with one another on multiple levels, from the local to the global, empathy is growing among people, whether they are next to each other or on opposite sides of the world. Communication creates ties between people, and between people and nature. New media platforms are shifting social structures and organizations away from top-down forms toward decentralization and distributed power relations. Controlling hierarchies are weakening as information technologies allow greater transparency, exposing corruption and illegal or criminal intent. As a result, fears over surveillance and violations of privacy appear exaggerated and are diminishing. Positive Developments in Technological Innovation Discoveries in science give rise to revolutionary “disruptive” technologies, such as artificial intelligence (IT), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), biotechnology, energy storage, and quantum computing. These technologies transform established structures and practices and open the door to innovation and creativity. Technologies that enhance connection and use connection to create transparency are replacing technologies of supervision and control. Open “cloud” technologies are becoming the standard in data collection, storage, and sharing.
The new technologies encourage research and development in hitherto unexplored areas of potential relevance to life and well-being, such as the study of consciousness and transpersonal communication. A new “media ecology”—social media, video production, gaming platforms, augmented reality, and citizen journalism, among others— empowers people to produce and share their dreams and aspirations and hopes and frustrations. Positive Developments in the Area of Health Health and well-being are coming to be seen as dependent in a large measure on the integrity of nature. Environmental protection is moving from a well-meaning charity to a basic requirement of healthy life. Living nature is recognized as a major source and essential resource of health and well-being. A plethora of new health disciplines are arising, such as information and energy medicine, and “return to nature” therapies. The health sector is shifting from preconceived therapies and synthetic drugs to natural remedies and practices, demanded and promoted by health-conscious individuals. Positive Developments in Education Thanks to advances in interactive media technologies, the range and sources of learning are expanding from the local to the global. The new learning environments are international, intercultural, and interactive. They bring together learners with teachers from around the world. The learning environment is no longer limited to one-way communication between teacher and student. The classical classroom is disappearing. The objective of education is shifting from handing to students preconceived schemes that fit them into existing niches in business and society, to producing skills and techniques that help students become cocreators of their curriculum. The new generation of learners are contentdevelopers and not merely content-consumers.
Positive Developments in the Economy Alternative forms of economic organization are arising in the footsteps of new technologies of networked communication and distributive computation. In the emerging economies, nature is not a burdensome externality but an organic part of the system of life. Economic activity is increasingly decentralized, with its center of activity moving to the grass-roots level. In its advanced forms it is focusing on the exploration and exploitation of the human and natural resources of the local environment. Economic growth is less and less a goal and value in itself; it is increasingly assessed in reference to its human and natural benefits and its social capital. The aspiration is to find and maintain the socially and ecologically beneficial scale of economic activity. Offshore activities and tax havens are more and more monitored. There are increasing shifts to make obscure financial transactions transparent, and replaced by transactions between communal institutions, ethical banks, and other social-benefit-oriented financial organizations and instruments. More and more financial institutions will trade in and accept digital currencies. This will give rise to various nongovernmental currencies that will prove popular among a younger generation. New forms of digital currencies will help to finance localized projects and creative start-ups. Inspired by the example of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness scheme, in many quarters human well-being is considered the criterion of economic success. Slowly but significantly, economics is becoming, in Schumacher’s words, “as if people mattered.” Positive Developments in Business
Positive Developments in the Field of Lifestyles
The belief that business companies exist exclusively to make money for their owners and shareholders is giving way to the recognition that the primary objective of companies is to serve the well-being of the people whose lives they touch: the stakeholders.
Social status is no longer measured only by how much money one makes and how much luxury and ostentation one accumulates, but also, and increasingly, by how one spends one’s money and how sanely one leads one’s life.
Achievement in business is not measured solely or even mainly by increase in market share and profitability, but by the contribution of the company to the life and well-being of its employees, collaborators, customers, and home communities.
Changes in values and ideals shape and shift the living environment; in many parts of the world, city, town, and national administrations are responding to demands for socially and ecologically sound environments. Megacities and dense urban hubs are decentralizing, giving way to suburban communities and rural living spaces that allow contact with peers and with nature.
As individual initiatives are allowed greater value, and as a wider range of voices are taken into account in the company’s management, internal collisions and conflict are not suppressed, but explored in view of finding agreed and collaboratively pursued solutions. As a result, levels of trust are rising in the forward-looking quarters of the business world.
WHY Conscious Business Developments in these areas can be seen as positive because they exhibit individually and humanly promising features. Rather than separating, they integrate; they seek balance and coherence. They heal fissions and ruptures, countering voluntary or involuntary animosity and aggression. Advanced-thinking communities curate contact and communication between their members, and between their members and other communities. They are guided by feelings of solidarity, empathy, and compassion. In a few remarkable if as yet rare instances, they testify to unconditional esteem and love arising among their members. The lesson to learn from history is not to stand on the sidelines but promote, support, and if possible join, such developments.
Seeing Forward There are positive developments in society, and there are healthy, life-giving and maintaining processes in nature. We could re-immerse ourselves in nature and join positive developments in society. Yet we fail to do so. We tread a path that leads to breakdown, rather than to breakthrough. We need to re-think how we are going, and above all, where we are going. We are one of more than one hundred million species in the biosphere, where each species encompasses millions and in some cases billions of individuals. Among all these species and individuals, we are in a privileged position: we have a highly developed brain and consciousness. This enables us to ask who we are, what the world is, and how we can and should live in the world. An advanced consciousness is a unique resource, and we are not making good use of it. We are not asking the right questions and seeking the right answers, just moving forward trusting to fortune. We have increased our numbers but did not increase the benefits our conscious mind could confer on those whom we bring into the world. We have developed sophisticated technologies and applied them to serve our needs and wants but have damaged or driven to extinction the majority of advanced species. Fifty percent of all wildlife on the planet has disappeared, and forty-four thousand populations of living species are vanishing every day. We have become a danger to life in the biosphere. History teaches us that big bangs, global transformations, do not necessarily bring about an equitable and flourishing world; they may lead to breakdown. We have reached the threshold of a fourth big bang, and we are not doing what we can to avert a breakdown. The bulk of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s populations is frustrated and depressive and is turning violent. People suffer from a changed climate, pollution, and myriad forms of ecological degradation. Millions roam the planet in search of a place merely to survive. The lessons of history are before us, and we ignore them. Yet we could learn the lessons and rectify our ways. We are perfectly capable of living on this planet without destroying the balances and resources needed for a healthy life for ourselves and other species. No species would have to be decimated, subjugated, or driven to extinction to keep us alive. We could live sustainably, coexisting with other species and respecting the limits of life on the planet. We could ensure the availability of vital resources for all people and populations. Yet we drive myriad species to extinction and damage the shared environment. The very fact that we managed to survive as a biological species for five million years, and as a conscious species for fifty thousand, is evidence that our basic nature is not the problem. It is not the bulk of the human population that is responsible for becoming a scourge of life on the planet, only a segment. The question is, why did this segment create unsustainable, and now critical, conditions for the higher forms of life on earth? And can it change and transform in time to avoid a major catastrophe? Theological and mystic assumptions have sometimes been cited as the reason for our becoming what we are but ascribing our behavior to divine or other transcendent causes is not the answer. We are neither angels nor devils. We are intrinsically good but have become practically bad. We became the scourge we have become unintentionally. At the dawn of the Neolithic, a segment of humanity began to use the resources of the planet without regard for anything and anybody, only concentrating on enhancing its own comfort and power. In a finite and interdependent planet, this produced unbalanced and unsustainable conditions.
The self-centered use of resources damaged the web of life. The human species became a threat to all life on the planet, and also to its own: the health of the web of life is a precondition of the health of the species that inhabit it. This is a relatively recent realization. For millennia, people pursued the tasks of their existence without being conscious that the unreflective pursuit of their own interests turns into a bane for life around them. We have turned into a bane for life on this planet; we have made the world into a toy-shop where we build the powerful toys that serve our perceived interests. We play with our toys regardless of whether they truly serve our needs, and without taking into account the needs of others. We liberate the energy of the atom and use it to power systems that satisfy our wants. We channel flows of electrons into integrated circuits and use the circuits to command the technologies that serve our requirements for communication and information. We play in the global toy-shop without regard for the consequences on others, and on the entire shop.
It is time to learn the lessons of history—to look back to see forward. The survival of an advanced species and the future of the web of life on this planet is in our hands. Never before have so many depended on the wisdom of so few. We need to awaken—to grow up. To make use of the power of consciousness that is in our hands. The time is not to ask whether we will make it through the fourth big bang, the global transformation that is already under way. The time is to set out to make it. 1. H olmes Rolston III, Three Big Bangs: Matter-Energy, Life , Min d (N e w Y ork: Columbia U niversity Press, 2010). 2. Ervin Laszlo, “The C haos Point: The World at the Cros s ro a d s . ” C harlottesville, V A : H ampton R oads, 2006.
This is a shortsighted and dangerous way to behave. We access energy in ways that do not serve our real needs, only our short-term self-centered wants. We manipulate information in a similarly shortsighted way. The nuclear bomb and the nuclear power station on the one hand, and the computer with its network of global chatter on the other, are examples. Nuclear power, even for peaceful uses, and artificial intelligence, even when well-intentioned, are dangerous toys. They may become technological overshoots that end up damaging our life, and the whole web of life in the biosphere. We are intrinsically good, but self-centered and short-sighted. But this cannot be left unchallenged. The time when we could naively play with powerful toys is over. Their unforeseen “side-effects” have become a threat to all life on the planet, including our own. Going Forward We have arrived at the threshold of the fourth big bang. Where do we go from here? If we are to flourish, and even just survive, our consciousness must change. If it fails to do so, the next big bang will be our last. A global transformation is a risky process: if it is to culminate in a breakthrough rather than lead to a breakdown, it has to be guided. We can begin the conscious guidance of our evolution following Gandhi’s advice: don’t tell others what to do; become yourself what you want them and the world to become. Our essential task is to become the transformation of the world. We must be an expression of mature and healthy life in the biosphere. If a critical mass becomes that, the “fourth big bang” will not mark the end of life on the planet. It will be a disruptive global transformation, but not a destructive one. It will trigger a new phase in the tenure of humankind on the planet, and not the end of that tenure.
Ervin Laszlo is Founder and President of The Club of Budapest, co-Founder and Director of the Laszlo Institute of New Paradigm Research, Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, Member of the International Academy of Philosophy of Science, Senator of the International Medici Academy, and Editor of the international periodical World Futures: The Journal of New Paradigm Research. He is the author or co-author of forty-seven books translated into twenty-four languages, and the editor of another thirty volumes including a four-volume encyclopedia. Laszlo has a PhD from the Sorbonne and is the recipient of honorary Ph.D’s from the United States, Canada, Finland, and Hungary. He received the Peace Prize of Japan, the Goi Award in Tokyo in 2002, the International Mandir of Peace Prize in Assisi in 2005, and the Luxembourg World Peace Prize in 2017. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 and 2005.
Ervin Laszlo b y Ph o to g r a p h e r B e r n a r d F. S te h l e
WHY Conscious Business
After “Greed Is Good” By David Sloan Wilson
The economist Milton Friedman famously argued that the only social responsibility of a corporation is to maximize profits for its shareholders within the limits of the law. He was not arguing an immoral position. Rather, he was arguing that if all corporations followed his advice, then the invisible hand of the market would benefit society as a whole. “Greed is good” as a moral position has been argued in many different ways, from Prosperity Theology to General Equilibrium Theory. It has been the dominant economic and business model for the last half-century, especially in the United States and United Kingdom but increasingly worldwide, as multi-national corporations evade the regulations of any particular nation. But it is due for a replacement for two major reasons. First, the true consequences of runaway greed are becoming impossible to ignore. You know that something is wrong when so much of the earth’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of so few people and political and environmental upheavals are taking place all around us. Second, the arguments on behalf of “Greed is Good” as a moral position have collapsed. In particular, the vast edifice of economic theory that Friedman invoked is based upon such absurd assumptions that no amount of “mathiness” can save it. What comes after “Greed is Good”? The answer to this question is both deeply familiar and can be justified by a body of theory that is legitimately authoritative. Beginning with the familiar, traditional moral systems have an obligatory and a voluntary dimension. The obligatory dimension includes norms of good behavior that are enforced by rewards and punishments. Solid citizens are rewarded with the benefits that come with a good reputation. Norm violators are punished as knaves. Words such as “selfish” and “greedy” are reserved for norm violations, not the more healthy form of self-interest that involves cultivating a good reputation. In addition to healthy forms of self-interest, people are motivated to help others as an end in itself. This is the voluntary dimension of traditional moral systems, experienced as emotions such as sympathy, empathy, compassion, and love. Our most valuable social partners aren’t solid citizens because it will benefit themselves, but rather because they are genuinely other-oriented in their thoughts and actions. The actors in a traditional moral system can be groups in addition to individuals. Visit any small town and you will find business groups as concerned with cultivating a good reputation within their community as any individual. If they fail, for example by cheating their customers or supply chain, they will suffer the same kind of fate as selfish and greedy individuals. While some businesses cultivate a good reputation only to improve their bottom line, others have a genuine commitment to the welfare of their community, and these tend to earn the highest reputations. They do well by doing good. Traditional moral systems are so familiar that they are easy to overlook as a model to emulate after “Greed is Good” is thoroughly rejected. In addition, it is easy to overlook the complexity of traditional moral systems. Work is required to establish and monitor a common set of norms, reward agreed-upon behaviors, punish deviance, and so on. Even when the vital ingredients of a traditional moral system exist at a small scale, such as a small town, they can break down at a larger scale, such as a nation or global economic system. That’s where a body of theory that is legitimately authoritative comes in. The two most authoritative bodies of theory for any subject are complex systems theory and evolutionary theory. Complex systems theory is most general because it covers both living and nonliving complex systems. Living systems are such a special subset of all complex systems, however, that they require their own theory. 15
For most of the 20th century, the study of evolution was confined to genetic evolution, with little to say about a cultural entity such as a business group. Increasingly, however, the study of evolution is expanding to include cultural evolution and the choices made by behaviorally flexible individuals and groups in different social environments. The expanded study of evolution is highly relevant to all aspects of business groups, including their role in the construction of moral systems at all scales, from their own internal organization to the planet. A key insight is that evolution is the problem in addition to the solution. What counts as adaptive in the evolutionary sense of the word frequently departs from our normative goals, benefiting me but not you, us but not them, or our short-term but not our long-term welfare. Benefiting yourself is a good thing unless it results in self-dealing. Benefiting your family is a good thing unless it results in nepotism. Benefiting your friends is a good thing unless it results in cronyism. Growing a nation’s economy is a good thing, unless it results in a race to the bottom in competition with other nations and overheating the earth. The result is inescapable that the ultimate moral system must have the welfare of the whole earth in mind—the very opposite of the “Greed is Good” assumption that lower-level self-interest robustly benefits the common good. Yet, lower-level entities such as nations and business corporations remain salient and the smallest units—our families, neighborhoods, and small functionally-oriented groups where most work gets done, have our strongest allegiance. There is a massive coordination problem that needs to be solved, but thankfully there is an authoritative body of theory to help us find the solutions. The bottom line for the conscious business movement is first to recognize the falsehood of “Greed is Good” as a moral position, despite its pervasiveness in the business and economics worlds. Second, rely upon deeply intuitive traditional moral systems as an alternative, whereby a conscious business strives to be a solid citizen in its own behavior and oversight of other agents in the system. Third, learn as much as you can about the expanded form of evolutionary and complex systems theory, which are legitimately authoritative. Fourth, become involved in change efforts that are informed by theory in addition to moral intuition. Here are some resources to get you started. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution Prosocial: Using Evolutionary Science to Produce Productive, Equitable, and Collaborative Groups. This View of Business: How Evolutionary Thinking Can Transform the Workplace Complexity and Evolution: Toward a New Synthesis for Economics
David has made foundational contributions to evolutionary science and its applications to human affairs, including business and economics. He is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University, president of the Evolution Institute, the first think tank to formulate public policy from a modern evolutionary perspective. He is the author of two pivotal books on cultural evolution: Does Altruism Exist— Culture, Genes and the Welfare of Others and This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Economics and business has been a focus of the Evolution Institute and the Prosocial Movement of which David is also a co-founder, including collaboration with economics Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom. David is also the author of Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society. Among many other associations, David is a member of The Evolutionary Leaders (www.evolutionaryleaders.net). A recent article includes reference to his discussions on world change with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Also see www.evolution-institute.org 16
WHY Conscious Business
Conscious Business and a WholeWorldView By Jude Currivan
Most businesses are still organized and managed in leadership styles and structures that hark back over three decades. If tried and tested and found to still be functional, that would be fine. But with the increasing complexity of global inter-connectedness, the urgent need for major socio-economic transformation and facing the existential threat of climate emergency, there is an urgent need for radical changes in their no longer fit-for-purpose hierarchical approach and operations. In the 1980s, business consultants McKinsey, Tom Peters and others developed the 7-S framework model to optimize corporate performance. These comprised hard S elements (strategy, structure and systems) combined with soft S elements (style, staff, skills and shared values). While businesses incorporating their management philosophy have evolved to some extent, they still in many aspects reflect the scientific and technological revolutions of the last two centuries, viewing the world as a complicated machine, whose workings they can figure out and control. Using engineering terms to measure effectiveness, human beings are resources: cogs in the machine. Business plans are blueprints for action, with key performance indicators focused on aligning all parts of their machine to its aims for success—almost completely profit-driven. This approach has brought unprecedented prosperity and meritocratic advancement. However, its mechanistic and materialistic world-view of separation and Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ is based on and rewards dominant structures, relationships and processes. Unchecked, these perspectives competitively and greedily drive over-consumption, environmental desecration, depletion and pollution, inequalities, and epidemic levels of stress and dysfunctional behaviors. Recently, though, inner personal development in the service of self and co-creative leadership and organizational purpose are coming to the fore. In their work on so-called Spiral Dynamics, Don Beck and Christopher Cowan, expanding on that by Clare Graves, characterize progressive levels of human awareness by various attributes. They see a level, now emerging, as harmonizing empowered, co-creative collectives of individuals focused on the well-being of all living entities and our planetary home. Embodying such awareness includes experiencing ourselves as part of a larger, conscious and spiritual whole that also supports our individual uniqueness and nurtures lives of abundant simplicity within a healthy global ecosystem.
In Re-inventing Organizations, Frederic Laloux also describes three foundational attributes of organizations exemplifying this level of awareness he denotes as teal and which others are characterizing as ‘conscious’ businesses.
The leaders of such conscious businesses have and enact a wholistic world-view that sees the profound inter-connectedness and ultimate wholeness of the world and behave accordingly. Such perception guides its embodiment in an evolutionary purpose in how they operate and their sense of direction. This naturally then supports their embedding distributed, holarchic and collective authority and intelligence and guidance from such inner awareness to their outer manifestation. However, until recently, the mainstream scientific paradigm has continued to support the hegemony of hierarchical organizational structures and operations. It has considered the seemingly separate and material appearance of the Universe as being its essential, and sole, reality. And, it has held that consciousness somehow arises from the brain as a result of random occurrences that enable evolutionary emergence, based solely on the survival of the fittest. Now, a radically different understanding is emerging. Leading edge scientific evidence across all scales of existence and across many fields of research is discovering that our Universe is fundamentally inter-connected; existing and evolving as a unified entity and exquisitely fine-tuned to evolve from simplicity to complexity. It shows that its material appearance is not its fundamental nature but arises from deeper non-physical realms of causation. And, vitally, it confirms that mind and consciousness aren’t something we have, but rather what we and the whole world are. This new scientific paradigm converges with profound spiritual insights and experiences of all ages and traditions. Its integral model invites and empowers a renewed realization of the inherent sanctity and universal worth and value of all existence. Crucially, it offers meaning and purpose to our existence and evolutionary purpose and that of our entire Universe. The wholeworld-view of such unity awareness naturally aligns people and organizations with others co-operatively and co-creatively, rather than through competition and dominance. It also stimulates transformational change from the inside out, engendering distributed intelligence throughout organizations and expanding relationships from the individual Me, to the organizational WE and a planetary perspective and stewardship of All. In doing so, it also ushers in a balance of the best and continuing benefits of the past, predominantly masculine, organizational behaviors, with feminine attributes in an emergent evolutionary integration. I describe the inter-woven characteristics of such feminine behaviors, which of course can be embodied in both women and men, as eight eSSences of Self and Spirited leadership, as follows: • Servant-leader - servereignty of serving the good of the whole rather than the sovereignty of controlling the whole • Soul-model - authentically embodying the highest coherence of the whole rather than role-modelling from an ego-based sense of status • Seer – perceptive co-creator of the highest purpose and meaning of the organization • Sensor – sensing what is calling to come through and emerge, and then responding and expressing its purpose rather than controlling • Shaper – facilitating the emergent evolutionary ‘shape’ and embodiment of the organization • Space-holder – enabling inclusivity and individual/collective worth, value and meaning And sometimes: • Stirrer - intervening as, when and how sensed to co-enable progressive and optimal positive change • Shaker – intervening as when and how sensed to initiate (r)evolutionary change . The emergence of such conscious and spirited businesses and organizations, whose embodied wholeworld-view is foundational to their purpose and operations, is accelerating around the world. Making integral decisions, guided by intuitive insights, feeling a deep sense of stake-holder community and planetary stewardship, they are authentically exemplifying their purpose-led aims in the DNA of their brands. Their soul-modelling of transformational action and ways of consciously enacting business are vital if we are to collectively co-create the now and the future we want for ourselves and our planetary home. And heeding their calls to link up and lift up invites us all to come together in a global movement of hope in action.
Jude Currivan, Ph.D., is a cosmologist, planetary healer, futurist and author. She was previously one of the most senior business women in the UK, as CFO and Executive Board Member of two major international companies. She has a master’s degree in Physics from Oxford University specializing in quantum physics and cosmology, and a Doctorate in Archaeology from the University of Reading researching ancient cosmologies. She has traveled to nearly 80 countries, worked with wisdom keepers from many traditions, and been a life-long researcher into the scientific and experiential understanding of the nature of reality. The author of 6 books, her latest being the silver Nautilius award-winning The Cosmic Hologram: In-formation at the Center of Creation, she is a member of the Evolutionary Leaders circle (www.evolutionaryleaders.net) and lives in Wiltshire, England; www.judecurrivan.com, www.wholeworld-view.org. 18
WHY Conscious Business
What Business Can Be By Michele Hunt
Envision a world where business is a powerful transformative force for good! The definition of success has evolved from the single aim of profit to innovating for the greater good: Business shares a sense of responsibility for the world we live in and are committed to making it better. In collaboration and cooperation with a diverse array of stakeholders, business is putting the collective genius of their people and partners, combined with the power of their resources, to work to solve the seemingly intractable challenges of our time. Business, in concert with civil society, changed the trajectory of the existential threats to humankind; climate crisis and global health. Clean air and water are abundant and accessible to all. Poverty is eradicated, global health has improved exponentially, illiteracy is a thing of the past, and quality healthcare is accessible to everyone. Business leaders have a deep faith in people, their capabilities and their inherent goodness, so their work environments are places of realized potential. Women are leading half of all businesses which enables the integration of the feminine and masculine perspective and energies. Young peoples’ perspectives, ideas and experiences are valued, respected and sought after. Business has a diverse array of people throughout their organizations giving them a rich reservoir of people to draw from to create highly innovative, purposeful and profitable products and services. Companies, consumers and the larger global community have an evolved worldview of business and the global economy; well-being and prosperity for all is the new definition of success, and “Doing Well By Doing Good” is the new business model. Business leaders found the courage to root their visions of success in Love, the most powerful, transcendent, life-giving force in the universe. With Love as their core value and organizing principle they 19
are unleashing an astounding flow of people’s energy, creativity and imagination. As a result, ALL people and the planet now have the opportunity to prosper and flourish. If you think this vision is a dream of Utopia born out of my Pollyannaish sensitivities, think again. This is happening and it is unstoppable! There is a rapidly growing global movement embracing a bold new positive vision of a world where “people can thrive, businesses can prosper, and the planet can flourish.” The challenges we face today are of such magnitude that people are not waiting for global leaders, gurus or a miracle to save us. People are feeling a heightened sense of urgency, which is moving them to self-organize to make change happen. Women, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z are demanding that companies do business that is healthy, climate and people friendly, and sourced from fair work environments, and countries that support human rights and climate justice. The huge Baby Boomer market is increasingly making conscious buying decisions. Equally as impactful, the rise of conscious communities and cities around the world are demanding that business factor in the greater good in their decisions and practices. This massive movement of conscious consumers and communities is putting their money where their values are, as a result, enlightened and smart businesses are challenging conventional wisdom about business and making changes to innovate for the greater good. Some businesses are leading the way, demonstrating that, doing business for the greater good can be both profitable and purposeful: Certified B Corporations are a powerful example of businesses that balance purpose and profit. There are over 3000 B Corps, from 150 industries, across 71 countries, with 1 unifying goal: “To redefine success in business. This community of leaders is driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.” B Corps are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, communities, and the planet. Companies like: Eileen Fisher,
Natura, based in Brazil, Ben & Jerry’s, Greyston Bakery, New Belgium Brewing Co and Patagonia are just a few examples of businesses for good. These companies are striving to be, “The Best in the World” and “The Best For The World.” They also are helping to build a “B Economy,” “an inclusive and sustainable economy that works for everyone.” There are a plethora of fast growing, local entrepreneurial businesses popping up around the world, specifically birthed and designed to address the social and environmental challenges facing their communities. One example is Rid-All Green Partnership, a Clevelandbased urban farm that transformed 26 acres of a blighted neighborhood, previously referred to as “The Forgotten Triangle,” which was a food desert (where residents have no access to fresh fruits and vegetables), into a flourishing urban farm, learning center and community center. They have replicated and scaled this model in over 10 communities across the US and in Ghana. Even big business is beginning to reexamine its role. In August of 2019, the Business Roundtable redefined the purpose of corporations, “ to promote an economy that serves all Americans.” Big investors are also being influenced by this movement. Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, challenged CEO’s in his 2019 annual letter to shareholders to reevaluate the purpose of a corporation: “Purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them.” As divisions continue to deepen, companies must demonstrate their commitment to the countries, regions, and communities where they operate, particularly on issues central to the world’s future prosperity.” Young people, the world’s emerging business leaders, entrepreneurs and consumers, don’t need to shift their perspective on the purpose of business. They are the “end point of evolution” and naturally embrace a more wholistic, interconnected, responsible, and caring definition of business. Soon, they will become the most powerful economic, social and political force on the planet. I serve on the advisory board of Junior Enterprise Global, the #1 youth entrepreneurship movement in the world. They are a student-led, student managed, and student funded, global network of 51 thousand young entrepreneurs, engaged in 1,227 enterprises across 44 countries. Their enterprises are committed to working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals: “We believe that through the connection with other partners, and with each other, we can collaborate and provide a significant contribution to humankind.”
At the heart of the global Business for Good, transformation is a profound shift in consciousness rising within people and rippling across the world. There is a rapidly growing recognition that it is time for a new story for the future of humankind. The old story, where the central plot is that money and power define success, is fundamentally flawed. History has repeatedly proven that this story simply does not work. It causes pain, suffering and fear, destroys life, and dampens the human spirit. In this narrative, those oppressed by the money-power elite inevitably rebel, take over and sadly repeat the same destructive cycle. We have been living and reliving George Orwell’s Animal Farm allegory since the beginning of civilization. We have played out the win/loose, conquer or be conquered, scenario and now most people understand that this approach to success is not sustainable, meaningful, nor profitable in the long run. This new consciousness is igniting a hopeful, global vision born out of the deeply held shared values that resonate within most of us. A beautiful new definition of success is emerging that is inspiring people to join movements to transform our world by innovating and solving problems with the greater good in mind; this is becoming the new definition of success for the 21st century. I believe we all know, on a very deep level, that we and our planet are interconnected, interdependent and an integral part of a larger living system called the universe. We are beginning to design and create businesses, communities, structures and systems in alignment with these universal principles and natural laws; the greatest of which is LOVE. “A human being is a part of a whole, called by us the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein We are living in the best time, and the only time, in the history of humankind, where we have the capacity, the technology and existential compelling reasons to transform our vision of a flourishing world, into reality. This is our legacy!
Michele is a Transformation Catalyst and Strategic Advisor on organizational transformation. She is known for her work helping leaders to unleash the creative genius of their people to create the cultures and conditions for people, organizations and the planet to flourish. She served in President Clinton’s administration for Vice President Al Gore on the Reinventing Government initiative. Michele previously served on the executive leadership team of Herman Miller, a Fortune 500 global company, as Corporate Vice President For People. In this role she facilitated Herman Miller’s whole company transformation processes. She is the author of DreamMakers: Innovating for the Greater Good. Michele currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Earth’s Call and the advisory boards of the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent for World Benefit, the David Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry and Images and Voices of Hope. Michele Hunt’s website is: www.dreammakers.org 20
WHY Conscious Business By Ken Wilber
There’s a funny thing about “wholeness.” Ever since the brilliant Jan Smuts formally introduced “holism” as a specific approach to reality, the truly smart philosophers have maintained that any successful approach to understanding ourselves and our world would have to be holistic. The term itself has been abused—sometimes badly, as over‑zealous New‑Age fans ran the term into the ground. But the idea is certainly present, and with each year it actually seems to get stronger and stronger, attracting new and excited supporters. “Holism” simply means comprehensive, inclusive, integrated, unified, whole, encompassing, embracing—what’s not to like? The “funny thing” about wholeness is this: Wholeness, in a stunning number of forms, is indeed all around us—we’re saturated with it right now. But in order to see any of it, you really do have to know exactly where to look. I’m going to be outlining some of the major forms of this wholeness in just a minute, and I think you’ll see what I mean about knowing where to look. While some of these types of wholeness have been around for tens of thousands of years, many of them were only discovered in the last 100 years (or even in the last few decades). All of these types of wholeness were lying around all the time—but people did not know where to look. And that’s the funny thing: wholeness is absolutely everywhere, but you have to know exactly where to look, or frankly, you almost certainly won’t see any of it. So what I am very briefly going to do is run through around a half‑dozen major types of wholeness and point out exactly where you can find them. These different types of wholeness we call “Showing Up,” “Waking Up,” “Growing Up,” “Opening Up,” and “Cleaning Up.” (There are other types, but these are especially significant.) There are two central points about that list: one, each of those areas gives a very different type of wholeness that cannot be found in any of the others; and two, if therefore we do want a genuinely holistic or comprehensive or integral approach, we have to intentionally and deliberately include all of them. We call this genuinely holistic inclusiveness “Big Wholeness.” And that term does imply that any of these specific areas of wholeness, without the others, is definitely a “small wholeness” by comparison. So let’s have a look at this. We’re going to focus on business and on how to make business a truly integrated and successful venture. We’ll also briefly examine items like spirituality and development (after all, any truly comprehensive business practice would include spirituality, by definition of “comprehensive”). We want to see what a business that is founded on a truly Big Wholeness would look like. I’ll start with Showing Up as an example. It’s common to call the major elements of Showing Up by the names the “Good,” the
“True,” and the “Beautiful.” But these can also be called “1st person,” “2nd person,” and “3rd person.” “Ist person” is defined as “the person speaking” (I or me); “2nd‑person” is “the person spoken to” (you or thou); and “3rd‑person” is “the person or thing being spoken about” (him, her, it, or its). Thus, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” means that it is a 1st‑person reality; the “Good” refers to how you and I are supposed to treat each other—that is, morals or ethics, which is a 2nd‑person reality; and the “True” is simplified for “objective truth,” or 3rd‑person. Thus, another set of terms for those dimensions is “art, morals, and science” (often referred to as the worlds of “I, we, and it”). The point about Showing Up is that any enterprise will be more effective (and more successful) if it fully includes all three of those dimensions, since all three of them are very real. You might say that Steve Jobs created the most successful business in history by doing exactly that. He created products that he wanted to be True (or reflecting a leading‑edge scientific technology); as well as Good (or having a positive, moral, social worth); and he was also meticulous in including Beauty (his products had to be aesthetically exquisite). For Jobs, these were not three separate and divorced areas that you were supposed to tack together in any loopy fashion you wanted; they were three dimensions of a single wholeness (the wholeness of fully Showing Up), and Jobs knew it. What’s so leading‑edge about the new approaches to Showing Up is that the presence (or absence) of all three of those dimensions can now effectively be tested for in individuals—and there are practices that can help increase these dimensions for those in need. Would Steve Jobs’ business have been as successful if any of those areas were seriously lacking? Very doubtful. One item to notice about calling the major elements of Showing Up “art, morals, and science” is that you can see immediately that science is fully included—but all of reality is not reduced to 3rd‑person science: there’s also 1‑person aesthetics and 2nd‑person ethics (among other areas of wholeness, as we’ll see). Most philosophers agree that you cannot get “should” from “is,” or values from facts, or 1st‑ and 2nd‑person interior realities from 3rd‑person, objective, exterior realities. There are different kinds of evidence for each; they are definitely all interrelated; but they just can’t be reduced to one or another (so you cannot derive any one of them from the others). This is why we have to be careful about “new paradigms” in our field that claim that today most leading‑edge natural sciences demonstrate clearly that “everything is dynamically interwoven with everything else,” just like the great mystical traditions tell us. Quantum mechanics is often mentioned in this regard, and it’s said to be demonstrating the same ultimate unity that the great mystical traditions did—only now coming from science.
We want to include science, but not reduce everything to it—and that claim for quantum mechanics is about as reductionistic as a person can get. Quantum mechanics only tells you the probable location of a single subatomic particle. Everything else—chemistry, biology, ecology, psychology, sociology—gets totally left out of its equations. I’m not saying that quantum mechanics is wrong, I’m saying it is extraordinarily partial in a way that genuine Integral approaches are not (and that partiality is not helped by simply adding on more 3rd‑person sciences). Today’s leading‑edge, 3rd‑person, natural sciences may indeed be demonstrating the interwoven nature of their phenomena, but no 1st- or 2nd‑person realities can be derived without remainder from those 3rd‑person events. If quantum mechanics really were inherently revealing of an all‑inclusive Unity—the way something like The Tao of Physics claims that it is—then in order to get a PhD in modern physics, you would end up having a major satori or Enlightenment experience as well, and thus virtually every professional physicist on the planet would have had a satori, whereas almost none of them have. The fact is, you can study quantum mechanics for years and that will not give you a satori or authentic spiritual experience. So be very careful about the many recent “new‑paradigm” approaches that claim things like physics proves mysticism. It doesn’t; and if you believe it does, a genuine satori will very likely evade you (because you are only studying 3rd‑person objective mathematical equations, not your own 1st‑person consciousness, which most Paths of Liberation maintain is necessary—and if you try to run a business based on that murky narrative, it’s likely you won’t be running it for long). An Integral or truly comprehensive approach most definitely includes 1st‑, 2nd‑, and 3rd‑person methodologies; it simply does not reduce all of them to exterior objective 3rd‑person phenomena. An authentically Integral approach—to business, relationships, your life—also includes a dimension of genuine spirituality. And “genuine” spirituality does not mean becoming a fundamentalist and believing that every word of the Bible is the literal and inerrant word of God. Rather, it refers specifically to the great systems of meditation, contemplation, or yoga (East and West) that provide what is often called “Enlightenment,” “Awakening,” “Liberation,” “Metamorphosis,” “Moksha,” “Satori”—in short, what we call “Waking Up.” “Waking Up” is shorthand for the actual practice and realization of an ultimate Ground of Being—and a sense of being “one with everything”—which the world’s great mystical traditions almost universally report. Waking Up is an absolutely crucial component that an Integral approach includes. Yet even a profound experience of Waking Up will not give you much actual information about the relative, manifest, finite world (that’s what science is for). Human beings began having satori or mystical‑oneness experiences at least several thousand years ago. But notice, with a satori or Waking‑Up experience, you will very likely feel that you are fully one with the sun and one with the earth (and one with all other things as well). But thousands of years ago, even with a satori, you still would think that the earth is flat and that the sun circles it, and your satori will do
nothing whatsoever to correct those falsehoods. That’s why truly inclusive, comprehensive, or Integral approaches to self‑understanding will supplement Waking Up with other dimensions, such as Showing Up, Growing Up, and Cleaning Up (which Waking Up alone will not provide you). All of those are different types of wholeness that need to be included in any genuine Big Wholeness—which is why you have to know where to look. “Growing Up” is particularly important, especially since it was only discovered around 100 years ago (which is much too recent to be included in any major spiritual system of Waking Up—most of which are several hundred to several thousand years old—and so not one major religion has this Growing‑Up knowledge). What modern researchers have found is that human growth and development doesn’t go from completely immature to fully formed and functioning in one big step; rather, human capacities grow and evolve through a variety of different stages or levels of development. Most present‑day models of Growing Up have around 6‑to‑8 major stages or levels of overall development (some of these models have been tested in over 40 different cultures, with no major exceptions found). Further, research (such as Robert Kegan’s) has consistently shown that the higher the leadership position in a company, the higher the stage of Growing Up the person is likely at. Moreover, these stages can be measured, and there are practices that will help increase their overall development—so this is a leading‑edge discovery with genuine pragmatic applications and significant payoffs, including in the world of business. A very simplified version of these stages of Growing‑Up development progresses from an identity that is egocentric (self‑centered, or focused on oneself) to ethnocentric (group‑centered, or privileging a particular group—race, sex, gender, religion, political party, etc.) to worldcentric (which attempts to treat all people fairly, regardless of race, sex, gender, ethnicity, or creed) to integrated (or a wholeness that integrates all previous stages). The reason that Growing Up is so important for spirituality is that Waking Up and Growing Up are quite independent: you can be very high in one and very low in the other, in almost any combination. So if you are at a particular stage of Growing Up and you have a major Waking‑Up experience, in virtually all cases (that is, no matter what stage of Growing Up you are at), you will indeed feel one with a Ground of Being and “one with everything”; but if you are at, say, an ethnocentric stage of Growing Up, your satori will still be a very genuine sense of Oneness, but you will think that only those who are members of your group (your race or sex or gender or creed) can also have such an experience. The satori itself is not ethnocentric—it’s still a sense of basic Oneness with everything—but your interpretation of who can have this experience is ethnocentric. And this is not because you haven’t had a Waking‑Up experience, it’s because you have not yet progressed far enough in Growing Up (namely, from ethnocentric to worldcentric). Notice that this is not something that you will learn from any major spiritual system anywhere 22
WHY Conscious Business in the world (it was only discovered 100 years ago). As evidence of this, remember that virtually every major culture that introduced Waking‑Up practices (a few thousand years ago) also had slavery—as Thomas Sowell put it, “Christian monasteries had slaves, Buddhist monasteries had slaves” (St. Paul counsels slaves to “Obey your master and love Jesus Christ”). This wasn’t because those cultures did not have Waking Up, it was because of their relatively limited Growing Up. In fact, it wasn’t until a very recent period (from around 1770 to 1870) that slavery was outlawed in every major rational‑industrial country on the planet, the first time anything like that had ever happened. Again, this outlawing of slavery was not due to a presence of Waking Up (which had been in existence for several thousand years); it was because the cultural leading edge in Growing Up had finally moved from ethnocentric (which does not object to slavery) to worldcentric (which does). The point is that this evolutionary shift in Growing‑Up stages cannot be detected by tracking Waking Up alone (because Waking Up in itself cannot see these stages, any more than it can correct the idea that the earth is flat). Growing Up discloses types of wholeness that move from “me” (egocentric) to “us” (ethnocentric) to “all of us” (worldcentric) to “all stages” (integrated), which is a type of wholeness seen or discovered by none of the other areas of wholeness. This is exactly why any truly Integral approach wants to include Showing Up and Waking Up and Growing Up— and that certainly includes any truly successful business as well. Now to mention Cleaning Up. This is another area that, in its clearest form, was also discovered only around 100 years ago. It refers to what is often called “dynamically repressed material”—or simply “shadow material.” Most forms of the Great Traditions (and systems of Waking Up) have an extensive understanding of negative emotions or afflictive affects, as well as pragmatic ways to work with them. But specifically repressed emotions are something else indeed. The idea here is that certain emotions are not just negative or harmful; they can almost totally be pushed out of awareness and into the “unconscious,” where the amount of trouble they cause can multiply astronomically. Only by knowing about these pathways of repression and what their results look like can such disasters be avoided (let alone healed). Virtually nobody escapes childhood without some sort of shadow issues (that is, a less than whole psyche); and this distorted shadow material often becomes the major motivation in the pursuit of spiritual goals, which as a result also can become distorted. This is why any truly inclusive or Integral approach to spirituality would include practices for Cleaning
Up—as would any effective Integral business practice, since an enormous amount of turmoil in any business is generated by the shadow material in its leaders and employees. Cleaning Up offers another unique type of wholeness, which in this case comes from uniting a broken psyche with its shadow material to form a whole and healthy psyche. I mentioned that human capacities have been found to grow and evolve through several stages or levels of development. Today, there is a general agreement that these human capacities consist not just of one type of intelligence (usually called “cognitive intelligence” and measured by IQ), but rather humans possess upwards of a dozen or more “multiple intelligences.” These include ones such as cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence, moral intelligence, verbal intelligence, aesthetic intelligence, logico‑mathematical intelligence, and musical intelligence, among others. But notice that almost all of the great spiritual traditions focus on just one or two of those intelligences. They often give much attention to cognitive/awareness or emotional/love, but rarely any of the other intelligences. Clearly this does nothing but undercut our overall capacities and potentials. “Opening Up” refers to any effort that goes into realizing and manifesting as many of our multiple intelligences as we reasonably can. Waking Up alone will not do this (you can have numerous satori and still not understand calculus or be able to play the piano). Integral business leadership highlights upwards of a half‑dozen or so multiple intelligences that it engages and exercises, which dramatically increases the capacity for vision, communication, and effective leadership (not to mention healthy bottom lines). I think you can start to see how any sort of comprehensive or inclusive approach to human understanding and human capacities needs to be, in the best sense, “holistic” (or “Integral”) if it is to really cover all the important bases that we now know exist. Each of these areas is a type of wholeness, but you definitely need to know where to look. This certainly refers as well to business practices, marketing, management, and leadership. In the past hundred years (indeed, in the past few decades) these discoveries have skyrocketed, and no business today can be anywhere as successful as it could be with this more inclusive approach. Every area that we have mentioned—from Showing Up to Waking Up to Growing Up to Opening Up to Cleaning Up—has a direct and very noticeable effect on human thinking and behavior, both individual and collective. And thus there are business practices (and spiritual practices and therapeutic practices) that are profoundly impacted by all of these areas. As a general rule, the more inclusive and
comprehensive your approach is in any field, the more accurate and successful that approach will be, simply because it’s covering more of the existing reality. Among other things, this means that Big Wholeness makes for big business (meaning “successful” across the largest possible number of all stakeholders). This is why today you can find that many of the most successful businesses already incorporate several (or all) of these basic Integral areas (from John Mackay of Whole Foods to Alan Watkins’s Complete Coherence, to mention only two— and when I say they have “incorporated” this approach, I mean they have explicitly used the elements of an Integral approach to consciously create the structure and function of their business). Many of these Integrally‑oriented businesses— there are dozens and dozens of them—are discussed in Laloux’s Reinventing Organizations, where he points out that in the last few years, a revolutionary new approach to business and business leadership has come into being with the application of specifically Integral‑oriented approaches. So those are around a half‑dozen major types of wholeness—including Showing Up, Waking Up, Growing Up, Opening Up, and Cleaning Up. We’ve seen that none of those types of wholeness tells us very much about the others; that we do have to know exactly where to look for each of them; and that if we want a truly inclusive or Big Wholeness, we have to deliberately act to include them all. In the publication you now hold in your hands (or is now on the screen of your computer), you will find numerous superb presentations on a very large number of types of wholeness. They will not necessarily correspond exactly with the half‑dozen types that I have presented. But all of them will show you various types of wholeness and where to look for that wholeness. Big Wholeness actually has an endlessly infinite number of dimensions to it, and the more you can learn about any of them, the more it will leave stretch marks all over your mind and effectively grow your soul. The most successful business practices have always been those at the very leading‑edge of evolution itself, and this more Integral approach is simply at the leading‑edge of evolution as it is today unfolding globally. And you, too, can be leading‑edge—by adjusting your business, your spirituality, your life in order to be more inclusive of these stunning discoveries. Big Wholeness is very big indeed, and it is a present reality that can become your future—if you know where to look. Welcome to a truly holistic world.
Ken Wilber is one of the most important philosophers in the world today. Often referred to as “the Einstein of consciousness,” he is the originator of the first truly comprehensive or integrative philosophy, aptly named Integral Theory—”one of the first believable world philosophies,” as Wilber himself puts it. Incorporating cultural studies, anthropology, systems theory, developmental psychology, biology, and spirituality, it has been applied in fields as diverse as sustainability, psychotherapy, spirituality, education, business, medicine, politics, sports, and art. With some three dozen books, major articles, and teaching tools, in over two dozen languages, Wilber is now the most translated writer on consciousness studies in the world. He is seen as an important representative of transpersonal psychology, which emerged from humanistic psychology, and which concerns itself especially with spirituality. Most recently he is known for his books Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (1995), A Brief History of Everything (1996) and a series from his imprint with Shambhala Publications (Random House), 1999-2000, including eight re-edited volumes of his Collected Works. His celebrated The Religion of Tomorrow: A Vision for the Future of the Great Traditions appeared from Shambhala in 2017. See also www.kenwilber.com and www.intergrallife.com. 23
Conscious Business for a Flourishing World, 1 Episode Description This VoiceAmerica Special preludes the forthcoming new magazine imprint CONSCIOUS BUSINESS. Framed by THE CONSCIOUS BUSINESS DECLARATION and, following from content of THE CONSCIOUS BUSINESS WORLD SUMMIT of March 2019 hosted by HT, The Conscious Business Synergy Circle of The Evolutionary Leaders, and UNITY EARTH (a partner of this VoiceAmerica Series), major contexts, directions, and visions re: Conscious Business are discussed with thought and business leaders. Available for free by clicking here.
Paul Polman Aside from being a truly remarkable individual, Paul Polman is the former CEO of Unilever. In his 10 years as CEO, he turned Unilever into one of the most well-known examples for more sustainable and conscious business practices. He focused Unilever on making a social impact and at the same time delivered 10 years of top and bottom line growth. Paul moved from his CEO position at the end of December 2018. He has now created a new organization called IMAGINE, which helps businesses eradicate poverty and inequality, and address global climate change issues. In this discussion, Paul speaks from experience as a CEO about how to build more conscious and sustainable businesses. He addresses how to deal with some of the obstacles, such as ensuring positive shareholder returns. And he gives practical advice for company leaders on how to create healthier organizations. Paul is a contributor to this first issue of Conscious Business magazine through his VoiceAmerica interview linked here.
Rinaldo Brutoco Rinaldo Brutoco, J.D., international executive, writer and speaker for over 25 years, is a visionary, change agent and futurist. Mr. Brutoco was co-founder and COO of CHANNEL 100, a division of Optical Systems Corp., and founder and CEO of Universal Subscription Television. He is Founding President and CEO of the World Business Academy, a collaborative network that explores the leading edge of business and publishes new paradigm business literature. In 1999 he formed ShangriLa Group and serves as its Principal and CEO. He has written and/or contributed to several books and numerous articles. Rinaldo served on the board of NY Stock Exchange companies for more than 20 years and has been helping transform business for over 30 years. In this discussion, he speaks about the impact of the Business Round Table announcement from July this year, where this powerful group of over 170 corporate leaders broke with the Friedman paradigm, that businesses main responsibility is to satisfy shareholder return. He also discusses Climate Change issues and what todays leaders can do to create more flourishing businesses. 24
WHY Conscious Business
Conscious Business for a Flourishing World: A Four-pronged Approach to Behavioral Change By Chris Laszlo
What is it that drives people to care for the well-being of others? What motivates them to invest in their communities and to be good stewards for future generations? How do we ensure that business leaders are contributing to a flourishing world? We are often asked these questions at a time when business is increasingly expected to solve a wide array of social and global problems. Fifty years ago the Nobel Prize economist Milton Friedman wrote that the only social responsibility of business was to make a profit and, it was assumed, from profits would flow jobs and consumer satisfaction. On the cusp of the year 2020, business is expected to play a much bigger role in society ranging from contributing to environmental health and income equality to education and personal wellbeing. Rising demands from consumers, employees, and investors are forcing business executives into unknown territory. Corporate social responsibility (CSR), once focused on doing less harm, is now increasingly oriented to providing solutions of public interest by creating disruptive innovations that are not only profitable but also beneficial to society and the environment. Think Patagonia’s business strategy to give back to nature more than it takes, IKEA’s “People and Planet Positive Strategy,” or Natura’s mission of “Well-Being and Being-Well.” But is it realistic to expect the wide adoption of such business practices? Outside of a few specialty companies, can for-profit enterprise ever really become a force-for-good? Some may believe that business, as an institution, can never act as a responsible custodian for future generations, given its single-minded pursuit of financial gain. How to Amplify Business as a Force-for-Good The question facing sustainable business is how to effectively enroll people in the pursuit of business as a force-for-good. Efforts to reduce carbon emissions, cut waste, reduce workplace accidents, and minimize social harm are important. But they are not enough. The challenge for business is how to make a positive impact on society. Doing less harm is not the same thing as doing good. The former helps business become less unsustainable. Only the latter contributes to flourishing, defined here as a world in which businesses prosper, people experience wellbeing, and nature thrives. Drawing on Multiple Theories of Change Over fifty years ago a team of researchers published a paper on general strategies for change in human systems (Chin and Benne 1967).1 They proposed three Theories of Change (ToCs) that they considered universally generalizable. The first was called empirical-rational based on the assumption that humans are rational and that they follow their self-interest. It corresponds to the business case for sustainability in which social projects are undertaken only when there is a positive return-on-investment. The second was labeled normative-re-educative based on socio-cultural norms, values, and attitudes to which individuals commit themselves. The third was power-coercive which requires “compliance of those with less power to the plans, direction, and leadership of those with greater power.” (p. 23). 25
Unfortunately in the 52 years since its publication, none of these ToCs proved effective, either individually or collectively, in transforming business into an agent of world benefit. CSR efforts based on the three ToCs have helped companies minimize their negative impacts and, in limited cases, do good. But they have not created prosperity for the majority of people in countries where income inequality is continuing to worsen; they are not solving major environmental problems such as the continued rise in carbon emissions or the rapid rate of species extinctions; and they are not improving human wellbeing as evidenced by Gallup surveys and scholarly studies showing continuing high-levels of disengagement and stress in the workplace. Adding a Fourth Theory of Change Here we suggest a fourth strategy for change which we call direct-intuitive. Such a ToC is anchored in the role of direct-intuitive practices that offer people a direct experience of wholeness (Tsao and Laszlo 2019).2 Such practices quiet the analytic mind and expand our consciousness so that we are more aware of the essential oneness of reality. Also referred to as connectedness practices, they encompass both eastern and western forms of mindfulness. They include meditation, walking in nature, art and aesthetics, gardening, appreciative inquiry, physical exercise, and journaling, among countless others. Adding one or more such practice(s) on a daily basis can strengthen a person’s learning journey and elevate his or her consciousness with creativity and resilience. Experiencing our lives as deeply interconnected physically, emotionally, and spiritually, changes how we think and act. We become more empathetic and compassionate. We begin to see ourselves as one with the world. We become more coherent in ourselves and in our interactions with others and with all forms of life. The experience of wholeness and connectedness is the foundation for altering a person’s behavior and decision-making in business as in life. The purpose of management becomes to be a force-for-good, as leaders experience their lives and the lives of their organizations as relational rather than as ego-centered. The goal becomes to create prosperity for all and to contribute to a healthy environment and improved wellbeing. This is very different from current management goals in business strategies which, in practice, are often limited to reducing ecological footprints and minimizing social harm. We are not suggesting that this fourth ToC should be used to the exclusion of the other three. Instead, we are suggesting that, for the “new normal” to become business as a force-for-good, we need all four ToCs: rational-empirical, normative-reeducative, power-coercive, and directive-intuitive. The inner transformation of business leaders toward wholeness and connectedness AND the outer transformation of business toward sustainable value are both needed for a business-led future of flourishing. The time is now for a new role of business. The opportunity is to make Conscious Business widely accessible.3 Its tremendous appeal will come from being able to create economic value consistent with greater purpose by changing who leaders are being, not only what they are doing. It offers us a pathway to a world in which businesses prosper, people experience wellbeing, and nature thrives. 1. Chin, Robert and K. D. Benne. 1967. “General Strategies for Effecting Changes in Human Systems”. In Bennis, Warren, K. D. Benne, and R. Chin, The Planning of Change. Holt Rinehart & Winston 1985 edition. 2. Tsao, C. F. and C. Laszlo (2019), Quantum Leadership: New Consciousness in Business. Stanford University Press 3. See the Conscious Business Declaration as an example of the new standard of business in the 21st century at www.consciousbusinessdeclaration.org
Chris Laszlo, PhD is Professor of Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University (USA), where he researches and teaches flourishing enterprise. He is author of Quantum Leadership (2019), Flourishing Enterprise (2014), Embedded Sustainability (2011), and Sustainable Value (2008), all from Stanford University Press. In 2012, he was elected a “Top 100 Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business Behavior” by Trust Across America™. In 2018, he was elected incoming Chairperson of the Management, Spirituality, and Religion (MSR) Interest Group of the Academy of Management. Tel. (216) 368-1535. ORCID ID: 0000-0003-2741-250X. Email: email@example.com.
WHY BECOME A CONSCIOUS COMPANY? Thanks to our friends at Conscious Company Magazine, we have found several compelling reasons. Thank you to our friends at Conscious Company Media for sharing this graphic.
A 2014 study found people with a purpose live longer, even when researchers controlled for other markers of wellbeing.
Customers want it
A 2016 meta-analysis of 58 studies found that how strongly we identify with the people or organization where we work is associated with better health and lower burnout.
More fulfillment 88% of Millennials feel their job is more fulfilling when they have the opportunity to make a positive impact.
53% of workers say that “a job where I can make an impact” is important to their happiness. Employees’ life satisfaction steadily increases as more core needs are met. Number of needs met, compared to none 1 2 3 4
90% 2/3 of people surveyed believe that a strong corporate purpose is important.
of citizens believe it’s important that business signs up to meet the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
89% of consumers say that there is a strong likelihood that they would buy from companies that support solutions to particular social issues.
Implementing conscious business practices isn’t just about doing the right thing or being nice. In fact, the research on the advantages of consciousness just keeps pouring in: self-aware leadership, sustainability, and other companion practices elevate human wellbeing even as they benefit the bottom line. But don’t just take our word for it — here’s the latest evidence on the benefits of becoming a conscious company.
consumers also want the companies to address issues that are active in the news Domestic Job Growth
94% Racial Equality 87%
of global consumers agree that business must play a role in addressing societal issues.
Women’s Rights 84% Cost of Higher Education 81% Immigration 78% Climate Change 76% Gun Control 65% LGBTQ Rights 64%
Buyers will reward you for it 80%
of the general population would rather pay more for products and services that are produced responsibly.
of citizens say that they are more likely to buy the goods and services of companies that signed up for the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
of global consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact, a rise of 10% from 2011 to 2014.
of customers buy based on their beliefs, and 30% of consumers worldwide say that they now make such decisions more often than they did 3 years ago.
33% of consumers say they are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good.
Among belief-driven buyers, 23% say they would pay a 25% premium for brands that support their position, 51% would be loyal buyers for a brand that spoke up on a social issue rathan than staying silent, 48% would advocate for and defend such a brand, and 67% would buy a brand for the first time based solely on its position on a controversial topic. 28
WHY Conscious Business
Enlightened Leadership By Deepak Chopra Originally published by the San Francisco Chronicle
Leadership is a mysterious and elusive concept. What we read as history is really the creation of myths. From an ordinary person, society creates a Napoleon, or Gandhi, a Martin Luther King or Joan of Arc, someone who acquires mythic status as a shaper of destiny. We know the first steps of how this transformation occurs. Every group naturally gives rise to leaders who guide their followers to a shared goal. Yet some leaders fail while others succeed. Some are destroyed by a flawed strategy or by the overwhelming stress of their role. And when crisis arises, calling for great leaders, there is a constant threat that such a figure will not appear, leaving the infamous ‘leadership vacuum’ that has become a chronic problem in modern society. Are we too suspicious of leaders to make great ones anymore? The answer lies in the understanding of human consciousness. How do leaders emerge from ordinary lives? In the deeper reality, a family in disarray, a company without vision, or a nation struggling toward a new level of freedom need to respond to hidden spiritual drives. Once this is understood, leaders can be made who rise to the highest levels of greatness. Any person, man or woman, can begin on the same road, not by being born a leader but by looking inward. Our souls offer the highest inspiration at every moment. We see chaos, but the soul knows that order is more powerful than disorder. Until we get that message, we fall back on old habits and stale answers to new challenges. We become stuck in pointless struggles and confusion. Yet someone who has set out to become a leader will succeed by cutting through the fog, using fundamental spiritual rules. A Bill Gates or a Winston Churchill undertook this journey consciously -- however much we clothe them in mythic status. They have tapped into a source of truth that remains constant throughout history. In any group the members are acting out two basic themes in life–need and response. If we could see ourselves clearly, each of us would realize that every day: • there is something we need, ranging from the primitive need for food and shelter to the higher needs of self-worth, love, and spiritual meaning. • there is some response to fill that need, ranging from struggle and competition to creative discovery and divine inspiration. These two themes dominate our inner life. They override all external goals, and they are not random. Needs and responses can be organized in rising order. Lower needs are followed by higher ones. Lower responses are also followed by higher ones. (As Bertolt Brecht declared, “Don’t talk to me of my soul until you’ve filled my stomach.”) I call this the hierarchy of need and the hierarchy of response. Putting the two hierarchies together is the most powerful thing a leader can do. For example, extreme political movements (fascism, religious fundamentalism, ethnic nationalism) draw upon fear, the most primitive response of a group because it matches the most primitive need, which is survival. External pressures such as economic depression, social migration, and competitive forces generally trigger this need. Vaclav Havel, on the other hand, was a poet called upon to fulfill a country’s need for self-expression and freedom after the Communists had suppressed both. Martin Luther King climbed to an even higher level of response, that of vision, because a people needed to acquire meaning and self-worth. Buddha and Christ offered the highest level of inspiration to fill the universal need for unity with God. In hindsight we realize that it took a shift inside Dr. King for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to be written. The trick is to see down the road now, to fathom the future as a movement inside yourself. There is no mystery to this. The ability to match need and response can be learned. I believe that it is possible to master every level of a group’s inner life, applying the same knowledge to a family as to a corporation. (One can read father, mother, priest, sage, or president in place of the word leader.) Let me outline the fundamental principles involved: 29
Leaders and followers co-create each other. They form an invisible spiritual bond. Leaders exist to embody the values that followers hunger for, while followers exist to fuel the leader’s vision from inside themselves.
A leader is the symbolic soul of the group. The soul is an archetypal expression of who we are. Everything dynamic about us comes from this deeper level of spirit. Because individuals grow from the inside out, so do groups. Sometimes a group needs a parent or protector, at other times a ruler, muse, or visionary. The leader operates from the soul level to cause these shifts, which then get expressed on the surface as success.
Inner qualities determine results. The outcome of any situation is defined in advance by the vision that goes into solving it. Therefore inner qualities determine all results.
A multitude of responses must be known to a leader. The responses shared by both leaders and follower are fight/flight, ego, inner direction, knowingness or intuition, creativity, higher guidance, and unity. A mixture of these responses is arising in our brains every day. One or more response goes into every situation and therefore must be known by the leader.
A leader must understand the hierarchy of needs. Just as there is a rising hierarchy of responses built into us, there is a rising hierarchy of needs that the leader must understand. These are: the needs for survival, safety, achievement, belonging, expression, self-esteem, freedom, love, and spiritual worth. All are inner needs that have evolved over time in the life of societies.
For every need, the right response can be found. This match is not made randomly–the soul knows how to fulfill any need with the least effort and struggle. A leader who can tap directly into this knowledge gains tremendous power, far more than someone who concentrates only on external goals and rewards.
Understanding need and response leads to success. The leader who understands the hierarchies of need and response will succeed; the leader who aims for only external goals (money, victory, power) will falter in the area that counts most: fulfilling the lives of his followers.
Great leaders are those who can respond from the higher levels of spirit. They understand that their followers yearn for freedom, love, and spiritual worth. Therefore, they respond with creativity, vision, and a sense of unity. But no one begins at the top. A lower need like the need to feel safe must be understood first. The problem at hand can be as trivial as winning a baseball game or as profound as leading a society out of crisis. By climbing the hierarchy of need, any group can be made to feel inspired and unified. Great leaders are in touch with every level of human experience.
Leaders give of themselves by their willingness not to hide from any response as it is needed. The leader is also an Everyman. It is just as important to say, “I am afraid” as “I am strong.” Leaders who protect themselves emotionally, who limit their responses to only a few, or who cling to ego wind up being destroyed. Their success in material terms will be devoid of inner worth. Present models, which focus on ego drive and external reward, miss how selfless an effective leader must be.
10. A leader must be comfortable with disorder. No matter how complex and confusing a situation looks, leadership is possible from one simple attitude: being comfortable with disorder. Leaders thrive on disorder once they see the hidden spiritual order that lies beneath. This is the central idea. One must learn how to manage the fact that hierarchies are tangled. There is always a jumble of needs and responses that must be sorted out. Otherwise, groups will be crippled in turmoil. Fear and survival, competition and creativity, vision and love, make their own demands. They each have a voice, whether we hear them or not. Yet underneath there is only one voice, the silent whisper of spirit, which understands everything.
WHY Conscious Business Although, leadership looks immensely complex, the essentials can be grasped by looking at the following easily learned acronym:
L Look and listen. Do this with your senses, being an unbiased observer who has not judged anything in advance, then with your heart,
E Empowerment. This comes from self-referral, which is responsive to feedback but independent of the good or bad opinion of others. It is
A Awareness. This means being aware of the following questions that underlie every challenge: Who am I? What do I want? What is my life
D Doing. This covers being action-oriented as a role model, being responsible for the promises one has made, being persistent, but also
E Emotional freedom and empathy. The leader goes beyond melodrama and crisis reaction, getting rid of emotional toxicity to understand
R Responsibility. This means showing initiative, taking mature risks rather than reckless ones, walking the talk, having integrity, and living
S Synchronicity. This is a mysterious ingredient from the unconscious that all great leaders harness. Synchronicity is the ability to create
obeying your truest feelings, and finally with your soul, responding with vision and creativity.
process oriented rather than outcome oriented. It raises the status of leader and follower together.
purpose? The leader must ask these questions of himself and inspire his followers to ask for themselves. having the ability to celebrate and view any situation with flexibility and humor.
the deeper needs of his followers–cutting through fear, depression, and the noxious residues of competitiveness. up to your inner values.
good luck and find reserves of power to carry a leader beyond predicted outcomes to a higher plane. Synchronicity is the ultimate ability to connect any need with an answer from the soul.
This is the mental template that a leader uses. All models of leadership give the same general advice to look and listen; however it is important to realize that L-E-A-D-E-R-S means something different at every level. Flexibility is everything. As new needs reveal themselves, there is a new level of looking and listening. Immediately the rest of the acronym also shifts, leading to new action and a higher level of responsibility. When the final story is told, leadership is the most crucial choice one can make–it is the decision to step out of darkness. Only someone who can find wisdom in the midst of chaos will be remembered as a great leader. Yet matching needs and responses is our birthright, built into our brains as well as our spirit. In conclusion, a leader may never find occasion to tell his followers why he has enriched their life or raised them to the level of the soul, yet in his heart he will know that he did those things for himself. That is enough. Wisdom traditions define truth as a single spark that burns down the whole forest. If the leader is willing to be that spark, others will see it within him. Craving direction, they will value what he offers, which is the first step toward valuing it in themselves.
Leadership: Do You Have What It Takes? | THE RABBIT HOLE with Deepak Chopra.Video link here or above image.
DEEPAK CHOPRA MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation and Chopra Global and co-founder of Jiyo.com, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. He is the author of over 86 books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His latest book is Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential, published October 1, 2019. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as "one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century." Dr. Chopra is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. He serves as a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, and hosts the #1 health and wellbeing podcasts Deepak Chopra's Infinite Potential and Daily Breath. The World Post and The Huffington Post global internet survey ranked “Chopra #17 influential thinker in the world and #1 in Medicine.” www.deepakchopra.com, www.choprafoundation.org, www.jiyo.com 31
The Conscious Business Synergy Circle: Uniting for Transformative Change By Deborah Moldow
“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!” These angry words from young Greta Thunberg at the U.N. Climate Summit on September 23, 2019, implicated not only the governments represented there but our entire global system fueled by business. The elephant in the room was the culture of unfettered capitalism driven by profit above service, competition over cooperation, and progress over planet. The evolution of our species demands radical change, and we are beginning to hear it from the young people marching in the streets around the world. Business as usual will not save the human race from becoming victims of the Sixth Great Extinction while our current systems continue to hasten our own demise. The hope for our future depends on our ability to make real changes in how we live in relationship with the beautiful planet that sustains us. The idea for the Conscious Business Synergy Circle arose at the Crestone Convergence organized by UNITY EARTH in July of 2017. Some of the thought leaders who attended the gathering met on the last day to discuss to what themes, passion areas and initiatives that had arisen we had a real commitment to furthering. Steve Farrell of Humanity’s Team pointed out Conscious Business as a powerful example of where narrow focus on externals of profit over internal values was leading to a threat to the future our global civilization. In response, Humanity’s Team had co-founded the Conscious Business Declaration to stress the need to radically shift the underlying assumptions of success in business. Dr. Kurt Johnson was interested. He had been involved with the work of fellow scientist Dr. David Sloan Wilson, whose cooperative view of cultural evolution had recently shown the evolutionary process in groups strongly selects for altruism, turning the scientific view of survival of the fittest upside down by demonstrating that “fitness” in cultural evolution means “best cooperator” rather than “best competitor.” My awareness of the potential impact of conscious business dates back to the 1990’s, when I co-chaired the NGO Values Caucus at the United Nations that invited Richard Barrett, then at the World Bank, to talk to us about his brilliant new initiative teaching the role of values in business. In Crestone, I joined Steve and Kurt in their discussion and, as Co-Director (now Director) of the Evolutionary Leaders Circle to which we all belonged, I suggested we form a Conscious Business Synergy Circle to advance, support and nurture Conscious Business. A Synergy Circle is a group of Evolutionary Leaders who come together either locally or around a common interest to increase the synergy among participants. Some Synergy Circles, like the one we envisioned for Conscious Business, are open to others in the field wanting to share their expertise. The Conscious Business Synergy Circle was born as a joint initiative of Humanity’s Team, UNITY EARTH and the Evolutionary Leaders Circle,
later adding the Conscious Business Institute to the organizing partners with the outstanding cooperation of Peter Matthies. In the early discussions of a Synergy Circle, Steve and Kurt envisioned joining the plans that Humanity’s Team had for a Conscious Business online summit with the media resources of UNITY EARTH – two magazines and a VoiceAmerica radio series – to expand the impact of an online summit event by building a wider media narrative about it. And soon the Conscious Business Synergy Circle was up and running! Current members, from at least six countries, include: Neil Alcala * Richard Barrett * Lawrence Bloom * Ben Bowler * Michele Bongiovanni * Rinaldo Brutoco * Kate Buck Jr. * John Clausen * Kenneth Cloke • Jude Currivan * JoAnna Daum * Stephen Dinan * Stephen Dynako * Justin Faerman * Steve Farrell * Marcel Gasser *Alan Gegenschatz * William Gillingham * Adam Hall * Sean Harvey * Laurence Hillman * David Hofstatter * Ross Hostetter * Kurt Johnson * Aaron Kahlow * Eve Konstantine * Chris Laszlo * Ervin Laszlo * Erik Lawyer * Randall Libero * Moses Ma * Peter Matthies * Sarah McCrum * Rod McGrew * Axel Meierhoefer * Deborah Moldow * Alexis Neeley * Richard Olivier * Michele Risa * Derek Rydall * Robert Schram * Gerard Senehi * Heather Shea * Robert Smith * Sergey Solonin * Jeff Vander Clute * Anne-Marie Voorhoeve * Paul Ward * Claudia Welss * Troy Wiley * David Sloan Wilson * Tamsin Woolley-Barker Our projects began to take shape in February 2019 with the online issue of The Convergence Magazine on the theme of “Waking Up and Growing Up,” highlighting conscious business initiatives and the upcoming summit. The Conscious Business World Summit took place online from March 7-9, 2019, featuring numerous members of the Circle in deep, lively conversation about various emerging initiatives, with an innovative Conscious Business Café following each day’s episodes to give engaged listeners a chance to weigh in. The Conscious Business Synergy Circle is a kind of citizens’ initiative to raise awareness, to learn from one another and to explore ways to advance the concept of conscious business – not as an interesting theory, but as an urgent call to reorient our entire society toward individual thriving in the context of service to the whole. The Conscious Business Synergy Circle recognizes business as a lever that can move the world. Those who are awakening to the next level of consciousness, where the heart and soul join with the intellect to open creative pathways to ever fuller expression of what it means to be human, are in a time of great stress. We see the challenges that face us from a global perspective yet are frustrated by our limited ability to make a difference on such a grand scale. We need one another. Only by coming together and amplifying our impact in synergy with like-minded souls can we begin to co-create the new paradigm that will blossom into a culture of peace.
Rev. Deborah Moldow is an ordained interfaith minister committed to assisting in the transformation of human consciousness. She is the founder of the Garden of Light, providing an online platform for the emerging global spirituality so that this community can become visible as a powerful force in uplifting the human spirit. Deborah is Director of the Evolutionary Leaders circle, a project of the Source of Synergy Foundation that brings together visionaries committed to the acceleration of the conscious evolution of humanity. She is also Vision Keeper at Unity.Earth and a co-facilitator of the Conscious Business Synergy Circle. She served for more than 20 years as the Representative to the United Nations of May Peace Prevail on Earth International. 32
HOW to Implement Conscious Business In this section, authors provide concrete suggestions for implementing Conscious Business principles in your life, and in your organization. Read about how to turn theory into practice with a framework for implementing Conscious Business in any organization. Read about 5 tenets that need to be in place to make Conscious Business stick: Self-Leadership, Team-Leadership, Organizational Leadership & Culture, Business Leadership, and of course Conscious Leadership. Get a glimpse of your authentic personality as you take the Conscious Business Institute Personality Color Assessment. By Steve Farrell
On the Journey to Conscious Business, We’re Only Halfway There
In August, 181 CEOs who are part of the Business Roundtable pledged to focus on all stakeholders, not just stockholders. The announcement included this statement: “This is how corporations must and in some cases already are operating.” This was of course a moment to celebrate, but, at best, we are only halfway to the finish line if we are serious about creating a truly conscious way of doing business in the world. Let’s review our progress and then review the “gap” between where we are now and where we want to be. In 2007, the first B Corporations were certified. “B” stands for benefit, which represents business as a force for good, with a focus on the 3 Ps: people, planet and profit. Online tools have been created to assess progress in each of those areas and the process is rigorous and systemic. Unfortunately, there is no focus on consciousness, so an organization like Etsy, once the largest B Corp, can quickly revert back to pure capitalism and wash years of effort and progress down the drain. B Corps can be considered first wave conscious business. The concept of “Conscious Capitalism” was popularized by Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey and Bentley University professor Raj Sisodia in a book by that name published in early 2014. The four guiding principles of “Conscious Capitalism” are: higher purpose, stakeholder orientation, conscious leadership, and conscious culture. This initiative points business in a positive direction and the term “consciousness” is spotlighted but it is not yet systemic. Conscious Leadership and conscious culture do not define a process for creating a truly conscious organization. Conscious Capitalism can be considered second wave conscious business. The Conscious Business Declaration was created in 2015 in a joint effort by Humanity’s Team based out of the United States, The Club of Budapest based out of Europe, The Goi Peace Foundation based out of Japan, and The Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of Public Benefit based out of Case Western Reserve University in the United States. These organizations call themselves the Conscious Business Alliance, and the Declaration calls for a radical shift in perspective for business globally—one that is already shared by leading spiritual traditions and validated by modern science. It is expressed in the first principle of the Declaration: “We Are One with humanity and all of life. Business and all institutions of the human community are integral parts of a single reality—interrelated, interconnected and interdependent.” The Conscious Business Declaration and the Conscious Business Change Agent (CBCA) program patterned after the Declaration create a systemic process for any organization globally to become transformed, to become conscious.
We can call this approach third wave conscious business. A truly conscious business heals what the Integral perspective refers to as “flatland” where the business focus is exclusively on the exterior/ outer world. In flatland, the interior quadrants are reduced to the exterior quadrants. This is very dysfunctional. We can see this when we observe business globally. Interior values are left at the door so business decisions are skewed heavily toward financial gain at the expense of health and well-being. When interior and exterior quadrants are given equal, healthy focus, we bring elevated consciousness to business and we create flourishing. Conscious business that recognizes our Oneness, our deeply interconnected world, is laser focused on nurturing products and services. It does this by creating and maintaining a culture focused on inner practices that adjust our being state to one of compassion and service, what our deeper values call us to. Flourishing Enterprise, The New Spirit of Business by Chris Laszlo and Judy Sorum Brown describes flourishing individuals this way: “Individuals who are full of the vitality for whom the ‘spirit within’ is awakened, who are deeply in touch with their own purpose, and who feel connected to others, to community and to all life on earth. For such individuals, being becomes increasingly more important than having, and caring becomes an intrinsic quality of their way of being.” The book describes flourishing business this way: “Organizations generate sustainable value by creating value synergistically for shareholders and stakeholders. This involves engaged teams and highperformance groups operating in a culture of effectiveness and living the personal values of their members. By creating value for society and nature, they find ways to create even more value for their customers and investors.” Now, let’s come back to the “gap” between where we are now and where we want to be. Progressive business practices are coming into vogue. People, planet and profit are a key focus, and more and more business leaders feel stakeholders, not just stockholders, deserve attention. The word “consciousness” is getting attention but not in a meaningful way. Some feel it is “new age” without any real meaning or purpose for business, and others are using it to give cover to stages of development, specifically around values.
The larger questions about the place of consciousness in business, specifically referencing evolutionary biology, quantum physics and spirituality, are getting little if any attention. Our collective focus is almost exclusively on the exterior world at the expense of the interior world. Those who advocate for focusing on our deeper connection and attention to interior states in business are often left out of important conversations or are being deliberately marginalized. The Newtonian view that we can separate the mechanical or visible world and the unseen world, and the Darwinian view, advocating for “survival of the fittest,” are alive and well in business doctrine. Nobel Laureate, Erwin Schrodinger’s research in 1933 states conclusively that “Quantum physics thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe,” but this is nowhere in serious conscious business discourse. Likewise, current business doctrine ignores David Sloan Wilson’s research and Lynne McTaggart’s research stating that cooperation, not competition, is our basic human nature. If we are going to create truly conscious business that is not reversible to the impulse to just make money, we must advocate for third wave conscious business. Truly conscious business is focused on Oneness, connection and interior states reflecting our deeply held values. Elevated consciousness is the fruit of our interior world where we create business practices supporting being states of compassion and service. Most people are familiar with these practices through activity in nature, faith traditions, yoga, and spiritual practice. In earlier times, commerce used to reflect these same values. Third wave conscious business says it is time we return to these values and practices. It is time to close the gap between where we are now and where we want to be. This was the focus of the 2019 Conscious Business World Summit www.consciousbusinesssummit.org hosted by Humanity’s Team, The Evolutionary Leaders, and UNITY EARTH, and leaders from around the world gathered to view and support third wave conscious business. If you resonate with our work, please review and sign the Conscious Business Declaration online at www.consciousbusinessdeclaration.org. Life on our planet depends on reversing and healing our existential crisis, and Business must play a role in this, and that is precisely what the Conscious Business Declaration aims to do.
Before Steve Farrell co-founded Humanity’s Team with bestselling author Neale Donald Walsch, he co-founded and led two high-growth technology companies based in Silicon Valley in the 1990s that spanned across both the United States and Europe, were featured on the INC 500 list, and were each operating at more than $75 million in revenue. By that time, Steve was also an officer in both the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the Young President’s Organization, but he walked away from all of it when he felt a calling to instead play an active role in creating a movement that could help people across the globe connect more deeply with the Oneness of all of Life and the Divine energy of the Universe. Steve is the Worldwide Executive Director of the Humanity’s Team non-profit organization and a member of the Evolutionary Leadership Council. He lives with his wife Stephanie and his two children in Boulder, Colorado. 34
HOW to Implement Conscious Business
A Framework for Building Conscious Businesses By Joe Laranjeiro
Many are intrigued by the idea of Conscious Business. What’s been missing so far is to get from vision to reality: a framework and a step-by-step approach to get there. Most people in organizations–regardless whether top leader or someone working the front desk–want to create workplaces that are more inspiring, connected, and life-giving. Harvard Business Review cites a study where more than 750 top level executives describe the ideal workplace they’d love to create: an organization where people can be themselves, where everyone communicates openly and transparently, where people can express their strengths, and where the company pursues a clear purpose. If most of us ultimately want the same, how come the reality looks so much different? And how can we change that? To build a truly inspiring organization, we searched for the different facets – the necessary elements that turn a traditional organization into a more conscious, inspiring, and purpose-driven one. After assessing several hundred organizations, we’ve found five facets, or “identities” an organization needs to strengthen in order to operate in the way described above: Self-Leadership, Team-Relationships, Organizational Culture, Business Management, and Leadership. Each of these identities must be healthy if a business is to become overall healthier and more conscious. Each requires a plan as well as a different set of skillset and tools to be successfully developed. Let’s take you into an organization where these five elements are healthy and alive. The Individual: Self-Leadership Imagine working in an organization where you, and everyone else, can be themselves. A team where we can discover who we are here to be, express our unique gifts and abilities, and become conscious when and how we create stress. Every human being has this need for self-expression and individual growth. We call this Self-Leadership. The Team & Relationships: Team-Leadership After we’re able to express our unique talents, imagine you could then work in an organization where you feel belonging. Where instead of politicizing or watching what you say, you have social support and genuine relationships – maybe even share a vacation with your colleagues. Also, your team has the skills necessary to build lasting relationships and to create a safe environment, empathy, listening, understanding, acceptance, and accountability. As above, this fulfills our human need for connection. The Culture: Organizational Leadership Next, imagine this organization has a clear purpose, and everyone in the organization works together to further this purpose. A culture where work is not only about a paycheck, but also about coming together to make society a better place for everyone. This fulfills our human need for contribution – to make a positive impact in. The Business and Results: Business Leadership Next, all of us are looking to create positive results – and see the financial benefit of their labor and work, to get the financial sustainability we all need. Not profits at all cost, but holistic results, which incorporate the quadruple bottom line of people, purpose, planet, and profit. This segment is where Corporate Social Responsibility comes into play with sustainability, community involvement, fair wage policies, diversity, employee wellbeing and the values that bring these practices to life. Now ask yourself: how would you feel in a work environment where all of these four elements were fulfilled. Likely, because your human needs are fulfilled, you’d wake up every day wanting to come to work, and you would hit the pillow each night feeling fulfilled that what you did that day truly mattered.
However, there’s still one identity not yet covered. The one that binds all of this together: Conscious Leadership. Without Conscious Leaders to develop, guide and nurture the application of conscious business principles across each of the business identities, it would be like pushing rocks uphill, and most likely any of the four elements outlined wouldn’t stick. Conscious Leadership is leadership that exhibits appreciation and care for others. It is leadership that inspires by purpose and leads with values – maybe even one that sees business and work as sacred, with the possibility to profoundly touch the soul of everyone the organization interacts with. Conscious Leaders are aware of the importance to nurture and balance each of the business identities. They bring the courage to stand as a pioneering force for good. Why Most Companies Are Uninspiring Compare an organization where all of the above elements are fulfilled with a “traditional one”, and you’ll find that the latter focuses first-and-foremost on the fourth identity: Business Results. Securing profits and margins. It is easy to see that as business executives focus primarily on profits and making money, their people realize that they as individuals, the way the relate, or a purpose-driven culture really don’t matter to their leaders: that the leaders are ultimately in it for the money – and thus everyone needs to ensure taking care of their own turf. This is where engagement, relationships or entire company cultures break down. At the Conscious Business Institute, we’ve developed this framework around the five business identities to provide a new operating system – a measurable, structured approach to help organizations become more inspiring, conscious, and life-giving. Consider using it for your own team, or even for your own life, because you’ll find that ultimately in everything we do, we seek to fulfill the four main elements above: we all seek selfexpression, want to genuinely connect, want to make a difference, and be financially sustained. Ultimately, business is not about business. It’s about people.
Joe Laranjeiro is a Partner with the Conscious Business Institute and a Lecturer at Rutgers University. Joe also serves on the board of Conscious Capitalism NYC. Prior to CBI, Joe spent 18 years working intimately with some of the world’s well-known organizations, most recently as Director and Client Business Partner with the Nielsen Company where he led research & analytics engagements with premier global clients. From training interns to presenting in front of the C-suite, Joe’s experience has awarded him unique perspective on all of our daily challenges. In his personal time, Joe is an avid reader of business, politics & philosophy, and is a passionate follower of international soccer (football!).
HOW to Implement Conscious Business
Virtues and Practices of Self Leadership
By Stephen Dynako
To grow as a conscious business leader, I invite you to a challenge that may make you squirm. However, working through some discomfort has exponential benefit for your own self-awareness and personal evolution. The challenge is this: Identify some times in your life or career when you fell short of showing up as benevolent, compassionate, or authentic. Then reflect on the inner work you’ve done to grow through those moments or what work might still remain. I offer two examples from my experience below. 1. “Meek” does not equal “weak” If there’s one thing I’ve discovered about myself, it’s that I’m not a contentious person. We’ve all known people who’ve been insensitive, argumentative, even cruel in their exchanges with others. Such a person might claim to be a “straight shooter,” but his or her manner simply comes off as abrasive. Whether such behavior is an inherent trait or a cover up for some deep-seeded vulnerability, it is never pleasant for the one on the receiving end. Many years ago, I regressed briefly into this behavior when I assumed it would make me a better business professional. Having worked early in my career at a Fortune 500 corporation then later as a consultant in other large companies, I observed several such “type A” personalities. When I later started my own company, I perceived it would be advantageous for me to become a “type A” personality, to demonstrate I could do business as ruthlessly “as the rest of ‘em.” In one instance, I berated a friend and colleague of mine for failing to successfully close a deal. Stunned at my rebuke, he paused then simply replied, “That was a low blow.” My discouraging words to him were equally discouraging to me. I instantly learned the lesson that no friendship is worth being sacrificed over trying to be someone you are not, nor can I expect to be trustworthy in business by faking it. The more secure we are with our inner selves, the more successful we can be as compassionate people. Benevolence is a better indicator of a person’s true impact than a record of conquest. When I hire someone, I am just as interested in the person’s ability to positively relate to others as I am in the achievements on his or her resume. To show a little humility—or meekness—is an indicator of a well-grounded and confident person and one who will endure and encourage others in good times and bad. 2. Consciousness is an inside job Years ago, one of the saddest things I ever heard came from a co-worker about one of our colleagues. I don’t recall the context of the conversation, but she said to me, “If he [the colleague] is waiting for the good Lord to provide, he’ll never get anywhere.” I found this statement to be troubling and felt sorry that my co-worker judged the Divine to be so impotent. However, I also took it as verification that the depth of our faith is a conscious choice. Nevertheless, the unbelief of others is discouraging. Nothing productive gets done when people are chronically skeptical. In large numbers, this affects the consciousness of cities, nations, and even the world. Having worked in banking and finance, this has been evident to me in observing the capital markets. For all of the economic theory behind explaining market movements, assets go up and down in value because of shifts in consciousness. Whether it be a single company, a market segment, a geographic region, or the stock market at large, value is attributable to the consciousness of management, employees, customers, stockholders, suppliers, market analysts, citizens, governments, and other stakeholders in an entity’s material success. At a personal level, I know that shifts in my own consciousness have determined my level of success or failure and emptiness or fulfillment. Reflecting on my career, I realize that my least prosperous times were those when I focused on lack and limitation, worried about the next opportunity. Conversely, my most prosperous times were those when I was expanding my consciousness, doing my inner work, being in integrity, and aiming to do my best in all situations. In addition, I am grateful to be blessed with certain talents and essential that I seek the counsel of a Higher Power (many call this “God” or “Spirit”) in challenging situations. If I accept that my ultimate source is a Higher Power, I cannot limit consciousness of it in my business. Day to day this practice can be difficult, given a multitude of distractions. However, with focused effort, I have been able to expand my consciousness to build a consistent faith and intuitively feel the omnipresence and omni-guidance of a Higher Power in my endeavors. When I lead from this foundation, success is assured. Stephen Dynako partnered with the legendary futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard in 2019 to conduct the final program of her earthly life, the Evolutionary Ambassador Academy. The program was “an immersion experience to actualize one’s creative potential in the world and accelerate personal evolutionary power.” Since Barbara’s transition, Stephen has focused his efforts on taking conscious evolution to the mainstream. Educational programs based in conscious evolution principles have been launched on a platform Stephen created, called the Social Chrysalis at www.socialchrysalis.com. Stephen has worked in both corporate and entrepreneurial environments for over 30 years. This includes leadership positions in the corporate communications, technology, and banking industries. He passionately and courageously brings to business his gifts of communication, leadership and presence. In service, Stephen has applied his gifts in the realms of counseling and the ministry. Informed by his varied experiences, Stephen believes that now is the time for humanity to get radical about making Love our priority. His website is www.dynako.com. Formerly, Stephen was program director of the Conscious Business Innerprise training and certification program by Humanity’s Team. He was also one of the producers of the Conscious Business World Summit (www.consciousbusinesssummit.org) in March 2019. 38
HOW to Implement Conscious Business
Essentials for a High Conscious, High Performing Team By D. Luke Iorio
Imagine this: Your organization is facing a significant challenge on a major strategic initiative. You walk into a conference room to find the primary team directing the initiative meeting to figure out how to resolve this issue in a manner that doesn’t throw off the timeline or budget. You notice, no one is arguing; no one is blaming; no one is disengaged or appearing like they wished they were anywhere else. Everyone is leaning in, supporting, challenging each other but in ways that drive the ideas and insights forward. It feels collaborative and even creative, despite the pressure you know this team to be under at this very moment. It’s almost as if the team were excited and not stressed. This is the image of a high conscious, high performance team at work . . . but where does it begin? What’s the foundation that builds a team that works and thrives in this way? Starting with a Mastery Mindset There are two primary mindsets for approaching work and life—a mastery orientation or a performance orientation. The latter is focused on performance for the sake of comparison, worth, or value, and essentially winning. All outcomes are viewed through the lens of good or bad, right or wrong. These individuals and teams tend to be extrinsically motivated. A mastery mindset is about continuous improvement and development. Each activity, decision, or task becomes an opportunity to become more competent, more effective, or more highly skilled in some manner. This mindset also supports individuals and teams in being much more self secure. They are willing to engage with any situation or outcome in a manner that drives improvement instead of one viewed as a reflection of their value— thus blame, defensiveness, resistance, and argumentativeness are viewed as counterproductive by the individuals and teams themselves. Teams with this mindset are much more intrinsically motivated. 4 Essential Disciplines of High Conscious, High Performance Teams The 1st Discipline: A High Conscious Team is Aware A high conscious team (and its individual members) constantly observes and assesses all that is unfolding—within themselves individually, as a team, and around them. Being aware focuses on seeing what is, clearly and accurately, which also means non-judgmentally. When a focus on objective or non-judgmental awareness is missing, a team is more subject to blind spots, assumptions, interpretations, attachments, and other biases that limit their ability to assess and respond most effectively to whatever is unfolding. With a focus on strengthening objective awareness, each team member more readily takes responsibility for themselves, their energy, perceptions, and reactions, and their role in helping the team perform effectively. This also allows the team to focus, from a mastery mindset, on seeking continual improvement individually and supporting the development of each other. Communication and decision-making find their grounding in this less judgmental, more objective, more self-responsible foundation. Tip: Teams can focus on developing their ability to be more consciously aware with a few practices: - Practicing non-judgment: taking time to note or journal the ways in which judgment (the labeling of people, situations, activities as good or bad, right or wrong, black or white) is showing up within one’s language or mental chatter can be quite revealing. Bringing awareness to the ways in which we judge and label can have a significant effect on stemming any such biases that creep into not only our language, but our perspective, communication, treatment of others, and decision-making. - For teams, you can create space within meetings where the team considers reflective questions such as: what judgments, biases, or attachments might be clouding our view of what’s occurring? The key here is to talk it out as a team and not place blame on any one or few individuals. The 2nd Discipline: A High Conscious Team is Accepting A high conscious team (and its individual members) does not beat itself up or its members. They accept all the aspects, traits, quirks, and characteristics of the team members and team dynamic. They don’t take things personally, and do not look at anything as more than what it is. Just as being aware is about seeing what is clearly and accurately, being accepting is about experiencing what is without rating it as good or bad. When acceptance is missing, there’s the tendency to fight or resist what is occurring. Instead of embracing the new reality, a team may try to change what was (instead of what is), become stuck wishing things were different and trying to force the situation to turn out how originally desired, or simply become defensive and even individually self-conscious. Any energy that is spent in resistance or disappointment is energy that is not available to you in this present moment. Acceptance allows you to engage all of your energy into whatever it is that you’re doing so that you maximize your chances for performing and leading well. 39
Tip: A team or any individual can become more accepting by practicing being non-reactive. When challenges or disagreements arise, it’s easy to get caught up in the energy of what needs to happen now or how to make one’s point heard. Even a discussion around the question of “what am I (or what are we) not accepting right now?” can open up opportunities to work through any unaddressed concerns or blocks. The 3rd Discipline: A High Conscious Team Makes Conscious Choices A conscious choice is one that is made in the moment. Most people are thinking about what happened and/or worried about what might happen, and so, are not in the moment. Therefore, their decision-making isn’t in the moment, either, and this severely limits their performance and effectiveness. Additionally, when you are stressed and distracted, your focus is divided and your access to information becomes more limited. Whereas, when you are stress-free, you’re more aware and accepting of things as they are. You are more able to see the possibilities available to you. It’s easier to consider the short- and long-term implications. Thus, you are able to make more conscious and more effective choices based on the best information available to you. High conscious teams practice discernment and non-judgment, combining and integrating the use of logic, emotion, and intuition to make quick and accurate decisions, recognizing how their perspective and possibilities expand by being more holistic in their thinking. Tip: As a practice, teams can build their ability to make more conscious choices by transparently calling out what their intuition (or gut) is saying, what their emotions are guiding them towards, and what does their logic lay out rationally or systemically, in regard to whatever decision they are facing. This often leads to the identification of new alternatives not previously seen, and also unmasks some of the fears and worries that might be limiting the creation of solutions. The 4th Discipline: A High Conscious Team Trusts the Process When we talk about trusting the process, the process to which we’re referring is the process of learning and mastery. While a high conscious team always wants to perform at their best at any moment, there’s always an eye on long-term growth. They understand their true goals, so instead of jumping into the latest and greatest, next best thing or constantly doubting their plan, they have faith and confidence in their current plan, how they arrived at it, and work that plan to excellence. They look for the learning and growth in each experience as they constantly review their plan, way of leading and relating, and the outcomes they are seeing, adjusting as needed. When shorter term focus or changes are needed, the team relies on conscious decision-making, weighs the advantages and disadvantages of any changes, and then makes any shifts without taking their eyes off of the potential ripple effects or how the short-term shifts fit in respect of the long term goals and vision. A high conscious team realizes that it’s the process that creates the results, so they focus on bringing the qualities, effort, engagement, and other disciplines into all that they do, knowing this significantly improves the probability of success. Tip: Trust and confidence are typically tightly linked, especially when there are multiple people involved. To practice and develop this discipline, a team can have an open discussion around this as a central question: what is it that provides us confidence in our plan, how it’s being implemented, and the results we’re seeing? The first two parts of the question—the plan and its implementation—focus on the process of creating, while reviewing the results focuses on how we evaluate and decide to shift or stay the course. The earlier these conversations are had, the more the team will have a basis for trusting themselves as they move forward. While there are further disciplines and many more skills to be considered—such as conscious communication, any such skills must be built on top of a high conscious foundation. Ultimately, our individual and collective consciousness shapes the way in which we engage, operate within, and perform as teams; those teams make up our culture and companies. There are no conscious businesses without conscious teams and relationships setting the foundation.
D. Luke Iorio is the President of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), the premiere coach training organization in the world with more than 15,000 graduates from over 44 countries. Luke is also the host of the One Idea Away podcast. While with iPEC, he has big an integral part of its expansion throughout the United States, Canada, the UK, and the EU, the launch and expansion of Energy Leadership™ and COR.E Leadership Dynamics™ (from which these 4 disciplines are excerpted from the larger framework). Luke is constantly exploring the development of consciousness and the emerging fields, research, and intersections of mindfulness, positive psychology, neurobiology, coaching, contemplative practice, and leadership. 40
HOW to Implement Conscious Business
Building a PurposeCulture: Why Some Companies Have It and Others Don’t
By Peter Matthies
10 Do’s and Don’ts for making a Purpose Culture stick Most of today’s leaders got the memo: building a purpose-culture isn’t only good business – it’s necessary to attract younger talent and thrive in the future. While many companies attempt to create a more purpose-driven culture, most of them fail. After working with organizations from one to 100.000 people on five continents, here are ten fundamental elements for making a purpose-culture work. 1.
A purpose-culture needs more than a purpose
To make a purpose-culture stick, it requires both a purpose and a strong, valuesdriven culture. Look at Uber’s Founder, Travis Kalanick, who destructed the success of reaching his purpose with his own misconduct as a CEO. Consider the purpose as the game you’re playing, and the culture as the rules of the game. It’s impossible to play a game without agreement around the rules. A strong culture ensures that the company stays on track with its purpose and doesn’t cut corners when ego gets involved or the going gets tough. 2.
Reach for the stars
If you want to access the emotional power of purpose, your company must create a higher purpose that reaches beyond the benefit of your organization. A higher purpose must first-and foremost serve society, the community, or the environment. Patagonia’s purpose statement includes “…to use business to solve the environmental crisis”. Even the toughest business decisions are driven by this purpose, such as their choice to move all of their cotton products to organic cotton at a time where organic cotton wasn’t available in quantities that Patagonia needed. If employees or customers sense that a purpose is only created in an attempt to improve business results, the company becomes inauthentic. The purpose won’t stick. 3.
Avoid purpose washing
Without doubt, building a purpose-culture has become a trend. We speak with many leaders wanting to follow the trend without knowing the commitment a purposeculture requires. If you choose to build a purpose-culture, you must go all the way. Establishing a purpose-driven business only to attract talent, drive business results, or continue business-as-usual often backfires, yielding the company’s leadership less trustworthy. As you establish an authentic purpose-culture, your business results cannot take precedence over your purpose, anymore. If they do, your stakeholders will feel that you’re just using your purpose to drive results, and they’ll disengage. This implies that ultimately you must become a social impact business: an organization whose primary purpose is to make a social impact. By now, you probably get a sense why so few companies are able to succeed. 4.
To make a purpose-culture stick, a company needs buy-in from across the organization. Involve everyone, especially in building the culture. If people aren’t involved, they don’t take ownership. Create the rules of the game together with your team and use them as guide posts that keep everyone on track in pursuit of your purpose. 5.
Change your consciousness – not your business
In a business world that has for decades, if not centuries, been driven by financial results, the notion that a social impact business can ultimately yield the same or better results is a stretch for many. Building a purpose-culture is not a process change – it requires a fundamental change in consciousness. A purpose-driven culture cannot be authentic and sustainable with the traditional, profit and goals-driven mindset. 6.
A successful purpose culture starts with you
Since building a purpose-driven culture requires a different mindset how to run an organization, it starts with you. To succeed in building a purpose-driven business, you have to graduate from being a manager – someone who effectively handles people and circumstances – to being a leader – someone who’s able to lead the way, even in adverse circumstances. A leader has to first become clear about her own purpose and values, and whether she’s willing to take a stand for it in challenging situations. Get ready, yourself, before asking others to step up. 41
From puddles to oceans
Especially in larger organizations, establishing a purpose-driven culture is tricky. Many top leaders aren’t ready to make the necessary change, because they’ve succeeded in a traditional paradigm – and for them, it would be far too risky to change. To engrain a purposeculture in larger organizations, build puddles of purpose-cultures across the organization. As these puddles grow and ultimately merge, they become a larger, more powerful body of influence. Eventually, the system can tip. 8.
Let your goals serve your purpose
Traditional businesses run on goals. Set by the top, they’re enacted by managers and monitored by controlling divisions. This structure cannot coexist with a purpose-driven culture: a mandate to increase sales by 20%, for example, while at the same time pursuing a higher purpose requires managers and employees to make a choice. If an organization leads with goals, the purpose-driven culture usually moves to the backburner. To keep the power of setting goals at your disposal, make them subordinate to your purpose. Define goals that serve your purpose. 9.
Connect your people with the impact
To boost your purpose-culture, let your people experience firsthand the impact they’re making in the world. If your purpose is to have a positive impact on the environment, offer your employees an opportunity to get engaged on the ground. If your purpose is to improve the health and well-being of people, let them connect with the individuals your company has impacted. This doesn’t only make your company’s purpose more tangible, it provides your employees with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that they wouldn’t get by sitting in the office. 10. You don’t have a choice After reading the above, your enthusiasm for building a purpose-driven business might be dampened, possibly even extinguished. If that’s the case, be thankful. If you indeed choose to build a purpose driven culture, you want to be ready to go all the way. I do not recommend for anyone to stumble into initiating such a profound transformation in their organization. So, before pulling the trigger, make a conscious choice to be all-in. Know what’s in front of you. Ultimately, organizations don’t have a choice. The traditional ways of managing a business – setting goals and pushing employees to perform – might work for some time. But it’s just a matter of time until the culture breaks. You can only squeeze a lemon so much before the peel cracks. Once that happens, the damage is hard to reverse. In a world where complexity, speed and pressure are on the rise, leaders may be able to eke out a few percentage points with traditional efficiency increases. However, to access the incredible amount of power that’s inherent in building a purpose-driven company, and to attract a generation of talent of which 80% want to work with a purpose, organizations aren’t left with many alternatives. Building a purpose-driven business might be demanding on many levels. Yet, just imagine for a moment how our society would look like if all of us as leaders would take on this challenge.
Peter Matthies. Founder of the Conscious Business Institute (CBI) Founded in 2005, CBE provides measurable, scalable, unique programs for organizations to become more inspiring, purpose-driven, and lifegiving. The CBI approaches are used by businesses from 1-100.000 people, including Starbucks, BMW Group, Siemens, and Intel. Before founding CBI, Peter was a Principal for one of the world’s leading Private Equity and Venture Capital firms, Apax Partners & Co, and for b-business partners, a $1 billion pan-European VC fund. Peter serves on the board of several for-profit and non-profit organizations and enjoys his life in Santa Barbara.” 42
HOW to Implement Conscious Business
Growing Growing aa Business Business on on Values: Values: How How to to Build Build and and Operate Operate aa Values-Driven Values-Driven Business Business in in Today’s Today’s World World
By Richard Barrett
What are values?
I used to refer to values as a shorthand way of defining whatever is important to you. Thus, for example, the terms “integrity,” “trust,” “honesty” and “creativity” could all be regarded as values. The Oxford Dictionary has a similar approach; it defines values as: “one’s judgment of what is important in life.” Having worked with and studied values for more than 25 years, I have realized that values are much more than “what is important”; they are the energetic drivers of our aspirations and intentions. They are the source of all human motivations and decision-making. As such they are at the center of all human endeavours, especially building a business.
The shift from belief-based decision-making to values-based decisionmaking begins when we reach the individuating stage of development, usually in our late twenties—when we have been able to satisfy our survival, safety and security needs (what Abraham Maslow referred to as deficiency needs) and have the freedom to explore who we are outside our parental programming and cultural conditioning. Engaging your people in exploring their values is for many people a new and transformational experience. Most people are not aware of their values. This is because they have never reflected on what is important to them. Taking the time to do a Personal Values Assessment1 allows you to discover who you are and what motivates you.
Getting clarity on your values and the values of your people should be the starting point of building a business. Getting a clarity on your mission—the purpose of your business, and vision—what would the future look like if you were able to implement your mission, should be the next most important items on your agenda. Whereas, it is important to involve all your employees in reaching a sense of values alignment, the vision should be the responsibility of the leaders. There are two basic forms of decision-making: belief-based decisionmaking and values-based decision-making. We either make decisions that align with our beliefs, or we make decisions that align with our values. We begin our lives using our beliefs to make decisions; as we grow older, we shift to using our values to make decisions. Beliefs are assumptions we hold to be true. They may or may not be true, but the assumption we make is that they are true. In many instances, our assumptions are false. Most of the beliefs we use for making decisions are formed from our life experiences—especially the experiences we had during the first 24 years of our lives—and from what we were told by our parents and teachers. The most important beliefs we learn during this period of our life are how to survive, keep safe and feel secure in the cultural and environmental framework of our existence. These are the beliefs we learned while our mind-brains are growing and developing—while we are young and impressionable. 43
There are two basic types of values—positive values and potentially limiting values. Positive values include terms such as openness, friendship and honesty. Potentially limiting values include terms such as blame, caution and manipulation. The reason I call these ‘negative’ terms values is because if they weren’t valuable to some aspect of our psyche, we would not let them drive our behaviours. The main difference between positive and potentially limiting values is that positive values come from a place of caring for self or caring for others, whereas potentially limiting values come from the ego’s fears about not being able to get its survival, safety or security needs met. In other words, potentially limiting values are totally self-serving. I call them potentially limiting values because in some situations they can be more limiting than in others: it depends on the level of fear behind the value and the situation in which the value is expressed. For example, in organizations, bureaucracy is a potentially limiting value. A high level of bureaucracy can be counterproductive in trying to improve performance, whereas a low level of bureaucracy can bring order and efficiency to a chaotic organization thereby improving performance. Potentially limiting values usually serve our short-term needs. In the long-term, however, potentially limiting values will always be counterproductive. Why? Because potentially limiting values are divisive: they create separation by setting people against each other, for
example, the potentially limiting value of blame: it is unlikely that those you have blamed in the past will come to your aid in the future. Caring about employees needs Values are a reflection of our needs. Whatever you need is what you value. Every individual in an organization, from the shop floor worker to the CEO has needs. When employees feel the organization cares about their needs—what they value—they feel a sense commitment to the organization. When they feel a sense of commitment to the organization they bring their whole selves to work. Not only that, but they also devote a significant amount of their discretionary energy to making the organization successful. If you mostly have young employees (under 25 years of age) in your organization, they will be focused on achievement and want respect and recognition from their manager. If you have employees in the 25 to 39 age range, they will want freedom and autonomy to test their skills and talents—to find out what they are good at, what they are not so good at, what they enjoy doing and what they don’t enjoy doing. If you have employees in their forties, they will want to find a sense of meaning and purpose through their work. If you have employees in their fifties, they will want opportunities to connect with others, to make a difference in the world. If you have employees in their sixties, they will want opportunities to contribute to the well-being of others.2 Creating a high-performance organization is important work. You must develop a culture that cares about your employee’s needs and aligns with their most important values if you want to be successful.3 In order to make the values of your organization live, you must first agree on what the values are and then define two or three behaviors that are associated with each value. Having defined your values and behaviors you should build them into the organization’s systems, policies and procedures. Such procedures include values-based recruiting, onboarding new employees and training on values and behaviors, and feedback and rewards systems based on demonstrated values and behaviors. Most importantly, your organization must embrace valuesbased decision-making4 and values-based leadership.5
References 1. Follow this link to do a free personal values assessment – www.valuescentre. com/pva 2. Richard Barrett, Everything I Have Learned About Values (Fulfilling Books: London), 2018 3. https://www.valuescentre.com/wp-content/uploads/PDF_Resources/Front_ facing_articles/Article_Building_a_Winning_Organisational_Culture.pdf 4. https://www.valuescentre.com/wp-content/uploads/PDF_Resources/Front_ facing_articles/Article_Six_Modes_of_Decision_Making.pdf 5. https://www.valuescentre.com/wp-content/uploads/PDF_Resources/Front_ facing_articles/Article_Values_Based_Leadership_Leading_from_the_Inside_ Out-1.pdf
Richard Barrett is an author, speaker and internationally recognized thought leader on the evolution of human values in business and society. He is the President of the Barrett Academy for the Advancement of Human Values, the Founder of the Barrett Values Centre, a Fellow of the World Business Academy and Former Values Coordinator at the World Bank. He is the author of 13 books, including The Values-driven Organization (2017) and Everything I Have Learned About Values (2018).
HOW to Implement Conscious Business
The Co-Creative Nature of Conscious Leadership By Blaine Bartlett
“When we look deeply into a sheet of paper, we see that it’s full of everything in the cosmos: the sunshine, the trees, the clouds, the earth, the minerals, everything—except for one thing. It’s empty of one thing only: a separate self. The sheet of paper cannot be by itself alone. That is why the word inter-be can be more helpful than the word be. In fact, to be means to inter-be. The sheet of paper cannot be without the sunshine, cannot be without the forest. The sheet of paper has to inter-be with the sunshine, to inter-be with the forest.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh When the activity of leadership is stripped of the behavioral characteristics, personality distinctions, and situational competencies typically used to describe what a leader does, what one is left with is simply movement—leaders cause movement. They cause change simply by their presence in a system irrespective of anything else they may bring. Leadership is defined here as being the activity of co-creating the coordinated movement necessary to generate the actions required to produce desired results. The activity of co-creation is central to this definition of leadership and is important because of the simple fact that nothing is ever created absent a relationship of some type. Leaders can never unilaterally cause movement. Change only occurs when something has moved in relation to what was before. It requires two (or more) to be part of the process. It is in this sense that effective leadership must be seen as being foremost a conscious relational activity. It is not an exaggeration to assert that the quality of the myriad relationships found in organizations is an accurate litmus of the likelihood of the organization’s long-term success. These relationships include the obvious interpersonal relationships that are readily and objectively visible. Perhaps more importantly however, they also include the subjective relationships that are not so visible—the relationships that individuals have with such things as values, work processes, goals and objectives, vision, mission, self, spirit, identity, behavior, mood states, parking places and office layouts. To the degree that all these varied relationships that are present in any system work well, the system has a pretty good chance of being successful. Being unaware of and consequently not consciously attending to these objective and subjective relationships can and does limit any leader’s effectiveness dramatically. In today’s rapidly changing world it must be understood that the difficulty people and organizations have with change is seldom with the change itself. The true difficulty is the difficulty people have in dealing with the disruption to the myriad relationships that the change causes. Learning to lead within this context of relational co-creation requires a fundamentally different world view and educational approach. It’s not enough to simply teach to a set of situational or generic leadership competencies. Relationships are much too fluid and complex to be held hostage to such a competency framework. Rather, leaders today need to learn what it means to consciously co-create coordinated movement. They and their organizations need to disabuse themselves of the legacy paradigm of the leader as the one “in charge.” Competition and collaboration are terms that are widely used to describe how results are generally produced in and by organizations. They can be thought of as existing on a zero-sum continuum that moves from competition to collaboration as two or more parties come closer together to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. Both terms are predicated on a fundamental duality that is framed in language as “us” and “them.” “We” collaborate or compete with “them.” This experience of separation, despite our best efforts and intentions, often reinforces a sense of scarcity relative to resources (and success) which frequently results in counter-productive competition. Not incidentally this dynamic typically involves feelings and emotions informed by notions of fairness or its lack. This is important to understand because it’s feelings that drive behavior—not intention. Co-creation requires a different paradigm—a paradigm organized around a worldview that recognizes that everything is connected. Being able to consciously lead from this world view requires mastering skills resident in the areas of Awareness, Context, Communication Mastery, Trust, and Commitment. These new skills are informed by the domains of Spirit/Soul, Time/Space, Mind, and Personal Mastery as their core. 45
Carl Jung defined soul (or Spirit) as that part of anything that calls out to be more. How is this tapped into? High levels of employee engagement are available to those leaders that are able to do so. Time/Space is a contextual frame that is poorly understood and leveraged by many leaders. This is the domain that Steve Jobs accessed with his infamous “reality distortion field.” It’s the domain where possibility moves into probability. Mind, while no one knows where or what it is exactly, is the domain of paradigms. It’s not an exaggeration to say that “what limits us is not who we are…it’s who we think we aren’t.” Moving beyond the limits of the Mind requires a conscious exploration of the existing paradigms that define and constrain our movements. Finally, Personal Mastery is the domain of discipline. It’s in this domain that the adage “leadership is an inside out process” is rooted. Ultimately, the effectiveness of tomorrow’s leader will be measured not only by the results they produce but by the beauty and elegance by which those results are co-created and delivered. Elegance is the ability to cause movement with little or no unintended consequences. Beauty is linked to the Platonic virtue of Beauty being the result of a spiritual co-creation. Something is beautiful when the spirit or soul giving birth to its manifestation is evident—think of a beautiful sunset, the Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s David, an exceptional relationship, and the iPhone as examples. Beauty and elegance are the measure of co-created outcomes that are designed to encourage thriving rather than merely surviving. Wherever we find Beauty and elegance there is an enormous reserve of power because what is being produced is connected to all of life.
Blaine Bartlett is CEO and President of Avatar Resources, a global leadership development and consulting firm he founded in 1987. He has coached and consulted worldwide with executives, companies, and governments and has personally delivered programs to more than a quarter of a million individuals and has directly impacted more than one million people worldwide. Blaine is an Adjunct Professor at Beijing University, Managing Director of the Global Coaching Alliance, Founder of the Institute for Compassionate Capitalism, and a longtime member of the Transformational Leadership Council. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Unstoppable Foundation and the World Business Academy where he also serves as Director of Education. In 2012, he was formally invested as a Knight of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta, the world’s oldest humanitarian organization. Blaine is the author of four books—the #1 international best-seller Compassionate Capitalism: A Journey to the Soul of Business, Discover Your Inner Strength written in collaboration with Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Brian Tracy, and the best-selling Three-Dimensional Coaching: Moving Passion into Performance. His latest book is Tapping into the Soul of Business: The Key to Employee Engagement.
Social Media Links Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialBlaineBartlett LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/blainebartlett Twitter: www.twitter.com/blainebartlett YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/blainebartlett1 Instagram: www.instagram.com/blainebartlett
Conscious Business doesn’t start “out there,” it starts with you. Examine your life and you’ll discover that your success stops growing exactly where your consciousness has stopped growing. Of course, you can be financially successful without being a conscious leader. However, you’ll quickly find that those areas that don’t work well in your life—maybe the relationship to your spouse—are directly correlated to where your consciousness wants to expand. To live a truly successful and fulfilling life, the Oracle of Delphi holds true: Know Thyself. Take the unique Conscious Business Institute Personality Assessment and get a glimpse of your authentic personality. Learn about who you are here to be and share it with the people around you. Click here to take the assessment online. 46
WHAT Others Experienced Read about concrete examples, suggestions and experiences from individuals and executives who have walked the Conscious Business path. Learn about individual hurdles and how to overcome them, nuggets of wisdom about consciousness and money, case studies of conscious business projects telling what works and what doesn’t, and expert advice from leading thinkers.
Conscious Business Case Study a CBI interview with Artemis Tzakos, founder of Sevaan Group, Australia
Sevaan Group, a 70-people manufacturing organization in Australia, shares the good, the challenging, and the ugly with implementing Conscious Business Principles. 1.
Why have you chosen to implement Conscious Business principles in your organization?
We started Sevaan more than 20 years ago because we love manufacturing and creating. We knew if we would keep this focus, then our business would grow. But we also knew that we wanted to create an environment where everyone felt the same strong sense of connection—a place where everyone felt that their work was meaningful, and where personal growth and success were equally valued in the organization. We wanted to create an organization where continuous growth was more important than fast profit maximization. We didn’t know what we were striving for at the time was called Conscious Business! When our organization expanded a few years ago, we realized we had to become more intentional about implementing Conscious Business principles. We had to develop our leaders so they could create a culture where we all felt a connection. It was also critical for us to focus on a higher purpose that everyone could believe in. 2.
Which approach did you take to implement Conscious Business principles in your organization—and why?
We focused on developing the leadership team first, starting from top management to supervisory team. We knew that for any positive changes to occur in the organization, it was integral for each individual in our leadership team to focus on their own personal growth. This involved understanding their own behavioral patterns. Implementing this approach successfully developed the corporate culture the leadership team desired: collaboration, communication, and empowerment. Moreover, it was also important for the team to understand what it meant to have a Conscious Business model, and to develop it together. We engaged with an international leadership coach to work with the top management team for a year. He then introduced us to the Conscious Business Institute (CBI), an organization that had already developed a program which was delivering exactly what we wanted to achieve. We worked with CBI for 18 months. During the first months, we changed the program a few times together with CBI to make it fit for our business as we initially experienced some resistance to some of the conscious business approaches within the team.
“The meaning of business has been lost, and as business owners it is our responsibility to bring it back.” 3.
What was the impact on your team and organization as a result of this program? How did your people and your company change?
We have seen a massive change in the individuals as their awareness has broadened, they feel more connected as a team, and they have taken more responsibility and accountability. Furthermore, they are more comfortable making decisions that heavily impact the overall organization. The level of empathy towards other employees and the way we communicate with each other have definitely improved amongst the leadership team as a result of the program. As a result of intentionally developing a purpose that resonates with everyone in the organization, the positive energy and sense of belonging has substantially increased. 47
Were there any resistances, obstacles or breakdowns you experienced when the Conscious Business principles were introduced?
There was certainly a lot resistance when we first introduced the principles. It was not easy for the leadership team to see a connection between their own values and behaviors, and the day to day running of a manufacturing business. Also, there was some resistance towards how we could achieve our desired culture. We did lose a couple of employees along the way, because they realized during the self-discovery exercises that they were in the wrong industry. Although a loss, this was actually quite empowering for the individuals, and as a business who values personal growth, we acknowledged and respected the process. 5.
How did you manage to address or overcome these challenges?
The most important thing was to create a safe environment. We worked for over two years on our environment before introducing all the other conscious business principles. When employees feel safe then they can trust the process. We started with the top management and then moved to the supervisors, creating a close relationship with every single one. We also worked on recognizing and understanding their individual values to make sure they were aligned with the company Conscious Business mindset. The CBI program itself was very flexible, where we were able to modify the delivery method to suit our business. We also made changes along the way to soften the resistance and better engage the team. 6.
Sevaan Solution for a metal armored wetsuit
What recommendation would you give to other business leaders that are considering using Conscious Business principles for their organization?
I believe there is no other way for an organization to operate. The meaning of business has been lost, and as business owners it is our responsibility to bring it back. To do this, we need to dig deep and understand why a firm exists in the first place. Conscious Business is all about this exploration and growth. Furthermore, as business owners we have a responsibility to use our firms as catalysts for change. Whether it is to empower people to grow and be happy, or create positive impact in our environment, a company is there to ultimately create something new to generate a better place for us all.
Artemis Tzakos, Co-Founder and Director of Marketing & Leadership Development Over the past two decades, Artemis has helped grow Sevaan Group into of the leading metal fabrication companies in Australia. A born visionary, she loves to see people thrive and reach their potential. Artemis has spearheaded Sevaan Groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leadership program and also founded the Sevaan Academy, a next level apprenticeship program that invests in the future of manufacturing in Australia. 48
WHAT Others Experienced
Running a Conscious Business By Joe Laranjeiro
Many organizations advertise purpose-driven, sustainable business practices. But are these really a sign that a company becomes more conscious? Many of these trends are yet another business practice to drive results and attract talent. In board rooms all over the world, various forms of Conscious Business principles are rising up the ranks on the strategic priority list. Most aren’t called conscious business principles, yet, but are instead labeled Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or sustainability practices. Unfortunately, while they take much real estate on corporate websites and investor reports, they rarely get the same priority as traditional management subjects, such as sales, marketing, controlling, or customer service. But executives are understanding more and more the importance of having a strong CSR strategy in place. Once a one-off sidebar initiative, CSR is increasingly becoming an important business driver for reaching customers, winning investors, attracting and retaining talent, and ultimately building a strong brand. Certainly, companies aren’t being shy advertising it. Just browse your LinkedIn feed or go to a major company website where CSR news are on the up. Check out how companies are choosing to advertise and recruit. Much of the messaging is about the “good” the organization does rather than the profit they make, or the competition they’ve defeated. Such notions of promoting a brand were pretty much non-existent in the past. But does all this attention to conscious business principles or CSR mean that businesses are becoming more conscious? The answer is a clear: well… There are indeed some pioneering companies that are leading the way. Patagonia, for example, is truly adhering to the multiple stakeholder perspective and is caring deeply about the impact they have on the environment, their people, and our society. CSR is not something Patagonia does, it’s who they are. However, the unfortunate reality is that organizations like Patagonia are still few and far in-between. The Double Life of Business There seems to exist a duality—a double life of sorts—in many of our institutions, where what’s proudly stated in public, is quietly ignored in private. Where benevolent and inspiring proclamations are made in public when everyone’s watching, with very little follow-through once back in the office behind closed doors. We just witnessed in a large global corporation the proclamation of new values, including trust, openness, and respect. Boldly announced in the boardroom, they were communicated as company-wide mantras. Yet, when speaking to employees, they reported seeing their executives cut corners, using fear and intimidation to achieve goals, squeezing colleagues or suppliers, manipulating data, and keeping as much as they can for themselves. Not surprising for many of us, right? 49
Scene change to their private lives, these same executives would not necessarily cut in line to use the bathroom, stick money found on the ground into their own pocket, or use fear and intimidation to educate their children. Why this duality of virtues and values? Why is it acceptable to show up with different values at work versus at home? We’ve even created language around this: “It’s not personal, it’s just business”. A permission to live a double life that is burned deep into our psyche. Go into Monday morning sales meetings. From our own individual experiences and from talking to colleagues and clients, such meetings take on an entirely different dynamic than proclaimed externally by the company’s values – even if the company lists high on the “Best Places To Work” rolodex. We’ve seen behaviors and conditions seldom practiced at home or out in public, which were in the heat of the meeting excused as legitimate business procedures. The result of this double-standard is wide-spread: employees are stressed and burnt out, care for the environment is missing, lobbying is used to bend to tip the playing field, prices gouge, or companies taking advantage of tax loopholes, just to name a few. Imagine these results receiving the same real estate in corporate websites and investor brochures or finding prime space on LinkedIn or Twitter. But maybe most importantly, this double standard has eroded trust in our organizations – both corporate and political, where we’ve become resigned. Without trust, we feel we need to fend for ourselves, constantly perpetuating the dominance and control model. The Conscious Business Standard One of the core tenets for building and running a conscious business is to remain in integrity with our values, even if nobody is looking.
Instead of using CSR, environmental practices, or conscious business as a marketing tool, consider what it would really mean to practice conscious business. No more “look over here” at all the great things we do, “but please not over there” at what’s really happening in the heat of day-to-day business life. If we want to transform the way we work, we’re asked of a fundamental change in the way we run an organization, and quite frankly in the way we think as leaders: instead of making financial returns the primary driver or measuring stick for success in a business, running a conscious business requires that financial sustainability becomes only one of multiple drivers – next to individual fulfillment and well-being, quality of relationships within the organization, a life-giving culture, and leadership that genuinely cares about the well-being of all stakeholders. An old record for many, yet maybe one of the most transformative shifts we can make: to shift from the survival mindset, which is in our world largely driven by money, to a thriving mindset, where we can trust in a larger picture and thus focus on the more humane, life-giving things. Thomas Chamorrow-Premuzic stated in a 2013 Harvard Business Review article: “The majority of nations, companies, societies, and organizations are poorly managed, as indicated by their longevity, revenues, and approval ratings, or by the effects they have on their citizens, employees, subordinates or members” Conscious Business can change that. As we make a courageous step to move financial results out of our prime focus, and equally focus on people, purpose, and the planet – even in dire situations and when nobody is looking – studies find that we can in fact build a new standard of businesses where employees actually enjoy going to work, where we can work together to make an impact, and where financial results become a natural consequence of everyone’s work.
Joe Laranjeiro is a Partner with the Conscious Business Institute and a Lecturer at Rutgers University. Joe also serves on the board of Conscious Capitalism NYC. Prior to CBI, Joe spent 18 years working intimately with some of the world’s well-known organizations, most recently as Director and Client Business Partner with the Nielsen Company where he led research & analytics engagements with premier global clients. From training interns to presenting in front of the C-suite, Joe’s experience has awarded him unique perspective on all of our daily challenges. In his personal time, Joe is an avid reader of business, politics & philosophy, and is a passionate follower of international soccer (football!).
WHAT Others Experienced
The Evolutionary Path: Key Findings to Thrive in Life and Business During the Great Transition By Adam Hall
Are you living and creating in the future’s past? Every person and business on earth, at some point in the very near future will have to ask and answer this one big question. The answer could determine the survival of civilization, as we know it. During the coming era of punctuated evolution, a period of time when rapid earth changes exceed our ability to evolve, individuals and businesses will need to transform themselves as never before. If we choose not to evolve our individual lives and that of our shared culture, extinction of the species could result. Devolution of the human race, however real, could drive us to take actions that only propound the situation. What practical actions should we take to address this crisis? There are many great challenges facing humanity, climate being one. However, the elephant in the living room is not extreme climate change; it’s the mindset that lives in the present according to the norms of the past. In 2003 I was in the mist of the most successful year in business ever. My real estate business was exploding. My bank account was ballooning, and lifestyle was extravagant. However, with each new Armani suit my waistline grew larger. My ego followed suit. I was fat and not so happy. I achieved the American dream and built the “big house” in Malibu, yet it felt empty. The outer world of my business and lifestyle were expanding yet my inner world of peace and happiness were shrinking. I went from moments of fleeting happiness to a nagging undercurrent of anger. Eventually it caught up with me. And I was one of the lucky ones. Often I did not feel well and had to drink myself to sleep. I begin to break down. What I needed was a miracle break through, and fast. As I was driving to work at sunrise on the Pacific Coast Highway, I made the biggest and best decision of my 58 years. I got on the path. As soon as I did, confusion became clarity; fear became love, and anxiety become peace. The conscious evolutionary path requires that we, both individually and collectively, personally and professionally, embrace radical change with a new ingenious mindset. This mindset perceives the world very differently than the ego’s mindset that lives in the future’s past. It emphasizes imagination over intellectualization. The genius mind lives and creates in the future’s present. It creates and innovates according to where you and or your business are heading in service to the greater good and not from a place where it has been. To create from the past causes a repetition of old patterns. And this is the very mindset that got us into this mess in the first place. In order to make the shift happen, I needed to take immediate action to save my life. I stepped on the path that led me into the great mystery of the inner unknown. In turn, I needed to do the same with the outer world of my business. As with all great and lasting change, it’s an inside out job. The path is not about junking your life and business; it’s about consciously evolving them to fulfill your soul’s truest intent and unlocking your limitless potential. Here are some of the key findings and how you might apply them in your life and business: 1)
Let go of distorted perceptions. Periods of great transition are often punctuated with confusion. Fear not because this is merely a call to action, to let go of a distorted frame of reference about how your life and business work. If you’re not only willing to let great transformation change you, but are also consciously embracing to initiated great change, you are well on the way to reinventing your life and business. The former creates a life of fate and misery where circumstances dictate the results. The latter creates a life of destiny and joy where you become a co-creator with the Universe. This single action unleashes the genius mind. And people can receive you and your gifts from a place of shared interest and abundant outcomes.
There is no such thing as bad conditions, only bad preparation. The evolutionary path requires that we prepare business and ourselves for hyper periods of change. Whether it’s climate change, technological advancement, radical supply and demand side disruptions, you must be prepared. The path teaches us two key things: (a) to practice radical mindfulness and (b) be in right relationship with people and the environment. This activates deep intuition.
Collaboration is the new Competition. The path reflects the power and grace of nature. Natural Law can best be understood in the symbiosis of all things. When we give up the survival mindset of the ego’s need to compete, collaboration simply happens. This fosters peace and abundance.
Genius Solutions are found in the mystery, which can be discovered on the path of joy. Aldous Huxley once said, “The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.” The path can be fun and full of the adventure. The magic and innocence of the child remains in all of us. This results in peace and joy.
As Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Our mind, stretched to new ideas, never returns to its original dimensions.” The evolutionary path offers each of us an extraordinary opportunity to meet the challenges of these times. Whatever your path may be or that of your business, the fact remains that when you embrace the mystery of the evolutionary journey with the spirit of transformation, positive outcomes become inevitable. Your unique Genius Mind will not only save you, it will serve you and just may save the world. For the past 30 years Adam Hall was a CEO of a boutique real estate investment bank and development firm where he closed transactions in excess of $1.5 billion. His company was one of the first B-Corps in America. Adam currently sits on boards that are dedicated to the quadruple bottom line of: People, Planet, Profits— with Purpose. He retired in 2017 to dedicate his life to helping others on the path. He is a published author, speaker, and consultant to individuals, executives and entrepreneurs worldwide. Adam is the founder of the Genius Process. His soon to be released book, Genius to Genius: Navigating great changes to unleash your limitless potential. It chronicles his path to genius and the wisdom teachings to accomplish such a feat. He attended UC Berkeley, is a trained shaman, teacher and student of A Course in Miracles and other perennial philosophical teachings. He was a CEO for 25 years of an investment bank. He is passionate about nature and has done land conservation work in the United States. Adam resides in Santa Barbara, California and has three daughters and four granddaughters. He enjoys hiking, sailing, golf, yoga, travel and life. For more, visit his website Genius Solutions. 51
Being and Doing By Athena Melchizedek
Today’s world is clearly reflecting the unsustainable results of a distorted corporatocracy that has become one of the largest influencers in the lives of all beings and the life of the planet itself. Most businesses today are still locked into a paradigm of “doing more” to achieve a specific set of goals that usually places profit at the top of the list. However, business can equally be an incredible agent for change and great good when aligned with conscious values and put in the service of the flourishing and thriving of all. It may serve to remind ourselves that we tend to objectify “the distorted aspects of business” and project them outside ourselves as though it has nothing to do with us. And yet business is simply individuals and groups of individuals that come together to co-create. It is the overall purpose and conditioned minds that determine whether what is created is good or bad, healthy or harmful, and we judge accordingly based on our own particular value system. Perhaps judgment is not the way to solve the dilemmas of what we are seeing in the external world. If we acknowledge business as the human beings that collectively form an enterprise then we are closer to where the solution lies. When any human being is truly operating from their highest potential self it becomes impossible for distortions to be manifested externally. Any distortion experienced in our external world is only the reflection of individual and collective erroneous thoughts and actions.
This brings us to reflect on a quality that is often excluded, even in conscious businesses. This is the concept of Presence. In this context Presence means the conscious, full connection of an individual to Source energy. When a person or group of people is operating from this way of BEING then the living, life force of the evolutionary impulse can move through them, unimpeded, to create magnificent and incredible solutions to all problems that cannot be sourced at the level of egoic consciousness. When we go out into the world and simply BE in this state of Presence, transformations literally happen every day! It allows others to show up in an authentic, fearless way. Recent explorations into nationwide female entrepreneurial business in the UK and North America revealed some surprising results. Women and men with balanced energies tend to be naturally more relational in their dealings with one another. Networking is a thriving business in itself. One of the most successful female networks with a tag line “created to empower, inspire and support women in business” is a rapidly growing concern as more and more women come together to support, sponsor and amplify one another. Even here there still can be found lurking an underlying energy of the old business networking mindset of “what’s in it for me.” Where one might expect “sisterhood” there are intermittent examples of the old business competition model that is based in fear and comparison that springs from lack of self-esteem and a need for control and power domination instead of a healthier leadership model. 52
WHAT Others Experienced
This of course masks the wounded narcissist that is also prevalent in the corporate world leadership collective and one of the major issues present in both men and women leaders alike, as women have strived to emulate their male counterparts to achieve success. It is deeply encouraging to experience when Presence is authentically held by one or more in a safe and supportive space, the walls can come tumbling down. The artificial edifice crumbles, revealing the deeper inner longing to be seen and heard, to come out of isolation, fear and loneliness and into a community that is able to hold a higher frequency of love, compassion and forgiveness no matter what. Presence is the natural condition of all human beings when all their accumulated conditioning is eliminated. Wherever, whenever and by whomever a safe, collaborative environment is created there is an opportunity for all to choose a different way. No forcing current but allowance, acceptance, nurturance, non-judgment, deep listening, radical empathy, witnessing, mirroring, sponsoring, and compassion; these are the conditions that have been proven to facilitate enhanced relationships and engagement, clearer communications, flowing creativity, increased productivity, and imaginative problem solving in individuals and groups alike across all continents. We have the testimonials. Without a doubt, in these times of turbulence and transition, more and more people are leaving the corporatocracy in their search for better work-life balance and true meaning and purpose in their working lives. This often may mean they work alone but are being moved by the evolutionary impulse to form new structures of support and collaboration. Let us make sure each one of us takes responsibility and does the inner work that allows Presence to permeate these newly born structures so that our Being informs all our Doing. This article was prepared by Athena Melchizedek on behalf of Conscious Business Associates (CBA), a consortium supporting the global paradigm shift emerging in business. CBA embraces PRESENCE-PURPOSE-PLANET-PEOPLE-PROFIT. It is a Community of Practice that acts as an incubator for new possibilities and the emergence of new solutions for business and is characterized by its inclusive and loving interactions. It is synergized by the practice of “Presencing” and the development of the cohesive heart-mind. Its evolutionary approach is to living conscious business from the ‘inside out’, providing a living model for a new way of BEING in business. For more, visit www.consciousbusinessassociates.com.
Athena Melchizedek is dedicated to helping her clients transform their lives, projects and businesses. For over 40 years her site of action has been the global business arena. She is devoted to empowering, educating and supporting all evolutionary leaders to access their superpowers, expand their consciousness and reach their highest potential. Life experience has been her greatest teacher. Her playground is South East Asia and the mystic teachings of Buddhism and Hinduism combined with North and South American indigenous wisdom. She is a yogini and mystic and published The Quantum Keys – Unlock Your Energetic Intelligence in 2017 describing the synergy of modern science and ancient wisdom that characterizes her work. For more, visit Athena’s website at amelchizedek.love. 53
Our Changing Space Economy
By Claudia Welss
“Space is much more important to modern business than most people realize. It plays a role in making food, pricing insurance, and steering self-driving cars ... As tech companies large and small compete to launch thousands of satellites ... we are actually running out of space in space.” Harvard Business Review Online The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) held a prominent position at the 2019 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. Also known as Industry 4.0, the blurring of boundaries between the digital, physical and biological worlds represented by the blending of technologies—like genetic engineering and 3D printing, robotics and artificial intelligence, quantum computing and the Internet of Things (IoT)—has become a major concern of CEOs, industry leaders and policymakers. This blurring is transforming all branches of human commerce and activity, including space exploration, which doesn’t seem to command quite as much attention in the overall 4IR conversation. It should. According to a recent Morgan Stanley report, the global space industry could generate revenue of more than USD 1 trillion by 2040, up from approximately USD 350-385 billion today. Space tourism is projected to be a USD 3 billion market by 2030, while a 2019 USB report predicted that high-speed travel via space will be fully functional in a decade and represent an annual market of USD 20 billion. While the U.S., Europe, China and Russia all have Mars missions currently slated for mid-2020, the possibilities of successful space mining, space settlements and finding signs of life in space are accelerated by the existence of over 100 rocket launch startups. These are all bets on an uncertain future, but they support other predictions that by 2061, millions of humans will have gone into space—with thousands calling space home. According to Dylan Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Voyager Space Holdings and founder of Space4Humanity, this wouldn’t be possible with the incremental funding of government space agencies; it requires the investment of pioneering private space companies as well. In 2011, while at the launch meeting of the 100-Year Starship Project co-convened by NASA, I heard Peter Diamandis (Singularity University, X Prize) predict the emergence of a space economy over the next 20 years. At the time, it sounded both far-fetched and far away. But who saw the advent of Starman other than Elon Musk? Starman was the spacesuit-wearing mannequin in the Tesla that Space X launched into space last February, and that to me represented a powerful metaphor for humanity’s entrepreneurial expansion into space: there’s no one at the wheel. Those committed to evolving conscious business on Earth need to ask: what’s the consciousness that’s driving the current expansion of business into space? “If you believe competition is pretty stiff in the global economy, try space.” Curt Nickisch, Harvard Business Review
International Space Station ©NASA Image and Video Library
The commercialization of space has been around for decades— currently 75% of space activity is already commercial, according to Stanford professor and former NASA Ames Research Center executive Scott Hubbard—but it had been part of a centralized, nationalized process. The new space economy is decentralized and entrepreneurial. For example, under the old system the world had already accumulated enough “space junk” to be dangerous. According to Business Insider, the United States and Russia alone are already responsible for nearly 13,000 objects in orbit, including rocket bodies; of these a combined total of 9,678 are considered “uncontrolled.” Now, SpaceX alone has received permission to launch 12,000 new satellites and has plans to launch 30,000 more—an unprecedented number and triple the total number humans have ever put into orbit. 54
WHAT Others Experienced Eventually some will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere while others will be sent into “graveyard orbit” or to the Spacecraft Cemetery in the Pacific Ocean. Space junk could be considered a cost of doing business. But as sands shift from humanitarian toward more commercial ambitions, our world will face a panoply of new socio-eonomic, political, environmental and ethical challenges. The business of space can’t be left to “business as usual,” where social and environmental costs are externalized to society. What do the concepts “external” and “society” even mean in space? We have to consider the broader context in which we live—our solar system, our galaxy (which may contain tens of billions of solar systems) and beyond—and the odds against being alone in this vastness. What we find in space will change how we define ourselves, and our existence. Then there is the consciousness that believes the planet itself is disposable. According to U.C. Davis professor of psychology Albert Harrison: “You see this idea over and over when space exploration is discussed, the idea that we can leave behind the problems that plague society here on Earth and we create these wonderful new societies in space.” But as NASA astronaut Yvonne Cagle once put it to me: “The most challenging part will be the human challenge— the inner landscape, not the outer one.” So it will be with the business of space, whether in public or private sectors. Unleashing into space the same consciousness that’s jeopardizing the well-being of all Life on Earth, that’s developing the technologies of creation and destruction faster than we can agree on the ethics to handle them, is a risk we can’t afford to take. Only by developing a consciousness that recognizes the oneness of a living, coherent Universe can we truly prosper from a space economy. The question now is: can we reach a point where the frictions on Earth will not be transferred to space? Paul Kostek, IEEE for SciTech Europa It’s our destiny to become a space-faring civilization. Stasis is not an option for our species, and innovations motivated by the space economy can profoundly benefit our attempts to regenerate Earth. The 50th anniversary of the first moonwalk is a good opportunity to notice that what’s called for is not just a thoughtful space economy, but a conscious one. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, signed by 105 countries via the United Nations, declared that celestial territories are not subject to “national appropriation,” and that space is the province of all mankind, that the exploration of space must benefit all mankind. While still valid, it’s largely unenforceable and strained by the U.S. Space Act of 2015, which allows U.S. citizens to engage in commercial exploration and exploitation of space resources—creating a loophole since companies are not countries. (NatGeo’s Mars series imagined the dire consequences for a budding human colony when government scientists were bound by the protective restrictions and regulations of international treaties, while private entrepreneurs and space companies were not.) As we “democratize” access to outer space, how will we also democratize the benefits of the space economy for all of life on Earth? How will we navigate the newly complex social and moral questions we’re sure to encounter, especially as we encounter other life forms? Addressing these questions will require an inner expansion of consciousness to lead our outer expansion. Any advance in consciousness that makes us better citizens in space will also make us better human beings at home. “I think we’re going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we’re going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years.” Ellen Stofan, NASA Former Chief Scientist (2015) International Space Station ©NASA Image and Video Library
Claudia Welss is Chairman of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, and Founding Chair of Invest in Yourself at Nexus Global Youth Summit and Network, bridging practical consciousness research with philanthropy, impact investing, activism, and social innovation. A citizen scientist, entrepreneur, donor and impact investor, Claudia leads or advises innovative projects with the potential to accelerate large-scale change, like World Future Coin, HeartMath’s Global Coherence Initiative, consciousspaceeconomy.org, and Flow Genome Project. Previously, she pioneered the concept of collaboration labs by founding NextNow Collaboratory, once described by the director of MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence as a “new kind of collective intelligence.” Claudia was invited to join a five-year “Peace-building Through Business” inquiry at the Fetzer Institute while she was director of the University of California, Berkeley Haas School‘s center for designing and delivering strategic learning programs for corporations, where she was also initiating social responsibility and sustainability curriculum. This experience led her to explore consciousness as the most powerful leverage point for inspiring regenerative culture. 55
Unity in Medicine
By Gerald W. Neuberg
As a physician, unity rings several chords. First, health professionals care for everyone, from all backgrounds and walks of life. Our calling is to treat all patients to the best of our ability, respecting their privacy, dignity and inherent worth, while striving to do no harm. These principles were first formalized in the 4th Century B.C. in the Hippocratic Oath, stating: Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.1 Notable that even in those days, the physician’s duty extended to the lowest classes, though they were granted few rights by the larger society. Today US medical graduates recite an updated oath, which reminds us that compassion remains a vital healing tool: I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.2 Professional ethics have been further codified by organizations like the American Medical and Nursing Associations. A culture of respect and caring is needed throughout society, but especially in medicine, since sick people some to us in such a vulnerable state, knowing that we will ask them to disclose intimate information, be poked and prodded, and submit to tests and treatments they don’t fully understand. Thus, violations of medical ethics are especially painful.3 Well known examples include the crimes of Nazi doctors, and the negligent non-treatment of AfricanAmericans in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. The case of the devoutly Christian Michigan pediatrician who refused to treat the child of a lesbian couple is disturbing, and highlights America’s cultural divisions.4 Another chord of connection is the clinician-patient relationship, which depends on compassion and trust, and has become more egalitarian. The old model of medical paternalism (doctor knows best) has been replaced by an ideal of shared decisionmaking. To plan treatment appropriately, the clinician must attend to not only the patient’s medical history, but also his/her goals, values, preferences, and social situation. Due to hidden agendas and other subtleties, a successful history requires active listening skills. An ideal encounter also requires the clinician to “be present” with the patient in a deeply empathic (and therapeutic) way, which borrows from pastoral care and counseling.
Presence is a profound gift that doctors can give their patients. It is more than being physically present; it is stepping into the sacred space of another person’s world… Authentic presence makes the other person feel heard, and it creates an emotional connection.5 The opportunity to help people through difficult life events is truly a privilege, but it’s not always easy. In the internet era, patients often come with preconceived notions, based on brief research that may not apply to their case. Giving bad news can be a challenge—when families are unprepared, they may become hostile. In very sick patients, who move in and out of the ICU, trust-building is hampered by repeated transfers to new care teams. And families from underprivileged groups may carry deep distrust of the “system.” 56
WHAT Others Experienced Speaking of which, the US health system struggles mightily with its twin problems of runaway costs and too many uninsured. Universal coverage is championed by Progressives, though the fiscal cost is very high. Like the rest of the country, doctors are divided on such issues, but probably more pro than con. As I wrote previously, Health professionals know that all Americans deserve decent healthcare, including primary care and preventive care. We know it in our bones, since we know that everyone is basically the same inside, with a common humanity and similar vulnerabilities. The assumption that anyone can go to an emergency room doesn’t cut it. Preventive care is necessary to detect and treat problems early, when they are easier to cure or control, before costly complications occur.6 Many Progressives favor a single payer public plan, knowing that private insurers always extract more value from healthcare than they add to it. However, Conservatives prize self-reliance and free enterprise. They don’t want to pay more taxes for others’ benefits, and they don’t want all of healthcare to be publicly funded and administered. Likewise, Americans with employer-based private group insurance don’t want to lose their excellent benefits. From another viewpoint (disunity alert!), they thus avoid sharing their low risk pool and their doctors with those less fortunate. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was actually a conservative solution, keeping private insurers in the game, and it has done a lot of good, though our system remains complex, fragmented and inefficient.7 The ACA’s main insurance reforms were: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Barring exclusions for pre-existing illness, which were very profitable but highly unfair; Keeping children on parents’ policies until age 26, which costs insurers little; Covering high value preventive tests such as mammograms and colonoscopies without co-payments, which can lead people to avoid care; Expanding Medicaid eligibility, though most Red states declined; and Supporting the individual market, with a mandate that everyone participate unless otherwise covered.
Good individual coverage was sorely needed with so many Americans, especially young people, limited to part-time, freelance or small business jobs without benefits. But GOP leaders have repeatedly undermined the ACA and the individual market is struggling. Insurers also created new barriers to care, such as narrow networks that exclude many providers. It is outrageous that GOP leaders want this market to implode, which would only increase support for simpler public solutions.
The controversy over the individual mandate (recently repealed) was a stark example of the tension between personal freedom and general welfare. Under the ACA, we clearly needed to ensure broad participation, once insurers could no longer exclude people with preexisting conditions. Otherwise, healthy people can take a free ride until they are sick and then opt in. If enough healthy people become free-riders, insurance for everyone else becomes unaffordable. I’d really like to know what ACA opponents thought they would do under the old rules, if they suddenly became sick while between jobs or otherwise uncovered. (“Wake Up!”) Interestingly, conservative voters are often highly protective of Medicare (our national plan for seniors and disabled), which also faced stiff opposition when it was introduced in the early 1960s; so, ideologies can evolve. A national single payer plan called Medicare for All was already submitted by Senator Bernie Sanders. A similar proposal called NY Health is much closer to passage at the state level. Both are very progressive in that they would cover everyone (with freedom to choose any doctor), eliminate most out-of-pocket costs, abolish private insurance, raise funds via progressive taxation, and cut drug prices, provider fees & administrative overhead. Physicians for a National Health Plan have supported these measures, with their motto “Everybody in, Nobody out.”7 On the other hand, some “concierge” doctors have abandoned insurance altogether, choosing only to accept cash from wealthy patients for luxury services like direct cell phone access. This saddens me, since it leaves fewer of us to take care of everyone else, but even Europe’s nationalized systems have made accommodations for those who wish to pay extra for private care. Such freedom of choice is fiercely guarded, but one size wouldn’t have to fit all if lawmakers would work together to maintain reasonable coverage options for everyone. Under any system, escalating costs remain a huge problem. There’s an on-going need to curtail costly low value care, which conservatives may again use to stoke fears of government rationing.8 I doubt universal coverage will be sustainable unless we take much better care of ourselves. Too many of us still smoke, eat poorly and exercise too little. Most major chronic illnesses and their risk factors are highly lifestyle-related and largely preventable. But with risk factors like obesity, hypertension and diabetes getting out of control (in more children as well as adults), the expected epidemic of complications will overwhelm our healthcare workforce and resources. I favor taxes on sugary drinks, which have lowered consumption and raised valuable funds in several localities. Higher taxes on cigarettes and junk food would also cover some of the damage. Conservatives should support such measures based on the doctrine of personal responsibility: if you freely choose unhealthy habits, you can pay more for the eventual public costs. This is the tough side of unity.
References 1. The Hippocratic Oath: Text, Translation, and Interpretation, by Ludwig Edelstein. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1943. Quoted in https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20909 2. The modern version of the Hippocratic Oath was written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University. Quoted in https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art. asp?articlekey=20909 3. Lerner BH, Caplan AL. Judging the Past: How History Should Inform Bioethics. Annals of Internal Medicine 2016. 164(8):553. 4. Phillip A. Pediatrician refuses to treat baby with lesbian parents and there’s nothing illegal about it. Washington Post, Feb 19, 2015. Accessed at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/ wp/2015/02/19/pediatrician-refuses-to-treat-baby-with-lesbian-parents-and-theres-nothing-illegal-about-it/?utm_term=.46886af5786e 5. McBride JL. Be present. Family Practice Management. 2016 Jan-Feb;23(1):8-9. 6. Neuberg GW. Health maintenance should be a national priority. The Hill 8/29/17. Accessed at http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/healthcare/348406-health-maintenance-should-be-viewed-as-a-nationalpriority 7. Physicians for a National Health Program, accessed at http://www.pnhp.org/MedicareForAll. 8. Blumenauer E. My Near Death Panel Experience. The New York Times. Nov 14, 2009. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/opinion/15blumenauer.html
Dr. Neuberg is a practicing cardiologist in New York City, a Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, and a Senior Medical Ethicist at NY Presbyterian Hospital. He has done clinical research, mostly in the field of heart failure, and has authored 80 articles and abstracts in the medical literature. His greatest physician role model was his father Hans Neuberg. His grandmother Gertrude, a massage therapist, taught him the benefit of a hands-on approach to patient care. He and Roseann have 3 grown children and a beautiful baby granddaughter.
Practical Wisdom for High-power Situations By Michele Risa
Life isn’t happening to you. Life is responding to you. So change must begin INSIDE. Here is the experience of one of my clients, Davis Rosborough, Chief of Staff, in his own words. Spending nearly a decade in investment banking and venture capital reinforced one necessity: to be a highly effective participant in any demanding environment requires training like a professional athlete. For me, working 80-100 hour weeks, traveling 40 weeks a year, and often sleeping 4-5 hours a night was never ideal—and it led to strain that eventually ran me down. This daily tumult of life extended beyond my body—it negatively affected me emotionally and intellectually. A shift occurred for me when I began working with my teacher, Michele Risa—who taught me to view everything as time and energy investments: what I eat, read, paid attention to, which relationships I choose to maintain or invest in—are all deliberate choices that I make. With this method of taking inventory, I paired a daily practice. At first, finding the time for meditation felt like a nuisance. Yet as time passed, the breath work began to compound, and postures in the body felt more comfortable, and soon a habit was reinforced. Eventually it became my foundation—the daily hygiene for my soul, a new way of operating. My meditation led to new insights about problem solving. With new mental models for discernment and decision making, I felt my confidence strengthening—my ability to take risks increased. I left my firm after 9 years of dedication and took a leap into an executive position within a global technology company. Michele says that the real journey of life is fifteen inches: from the head to the heart. Rethinking the ‘self-critic’ to a posture of self-love and appreciation; reimagining the external as a reflection of something that is seen internally; rewiring vulnerability and compassion to help serve your higher purpose, are just some of the frameworks that has helped me on this journey. Being willing to venture into the realm of the self has verifiably proven to yield unimagined returns. Michele Risa is CEO and Founder of Collaborative Solutions, Inc. working with thought leaders and influencers to help them identify their deepest aspirations. She is an award-winning co-author of “Conscious Entrepreneurs: A Radical New Approach to Purpose, Passion & Profit.” She hosts a CEO roundtable and helps companies shift towards greater sustainability. Michele is Director of Planning and Development for Conversations New York, the foremost program of free public community-based conversations. She has been a TV producer since 1998 bringing positivity to an otherwise negative news environment. She has conducted meditation at the United Nations. She was formerly President of the Manhattan Holistic Chamber of Commerce. 58
WHAT Others Experienced
Compassion as a Powerful Business Practice By Lisette Cooper
What is compassion? It’s in the same family as empathy and love, and often confused with them. Its synonyms are caring and kindness, and its near enemy is pity. Compassion itself is a complex and nuanced emotion, a social emotional skill that children with healthy attachment styles learn naturally as they mature. It is a wish for another to be happy and content, free from pain and suffering. Compassion includes perspective-taking, the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes, and the ability to love and care unconditionally. The feeling of compassion often leads naturally to compassionate action, to relieve the suffering of others. Within an organization, compassion contributes to skill development and creates a learning environment that benefits both individual and group performance. Compassion helps create an environment of trust, which is necessary to build the vulnerability that permits individual growth, ultimately benefiting both individuals and the organization as a whole. Dan Goleman author of Emotional Intelligence explains that “star performers” at work are in a continual process of self-improvement, seeking out feedback regarding their blind spots. This requires the vulnerability and openness that is nurtured in a workplace that is compassionate, rather than ruthless. Healthy, successful business organizations are compassionate organizations. Wilson, Ostrom, and Cox’s work on cultural evolution describes characteristics of organizations that compete well with other organizations.1 They explain that effective competition for limited resources happens at the level of the group, not the self. Psychologists often refer to this unit of cooperation as “in-group” versus “out-group.” This is the context in which compassion is particularly important in an organization. All kinds of businesses and organizations have recognized this. For example, the Army officer’s leadership training emphasizes the leader putting the personal needs of their subordinates first, to do whatever it takes for the troops to eat, sleep, and rest before the leader does. This kind of compassionate action instills loyalty and trust. Brené Brown talks about integrity as choosing courage over comfort. That is exactly what compassion inspires. In a business setting, Professor Adam Grant talks about “givers, matchers, and takers.” The givers, who help others with their work responsibilities, (while maintaining boundaries to prevent burnout) are the most successful of these three types, and organizations with more givers can be the most successful. A common “giver” example is a person staying late to help a peer finish a project with a tight deadline. This type of action, that relieves a peer’s hardship, is good for the team in the short term, and also inspires reciprocity and a culture of gratitude and generosity. It’s important, however, to distinguish compassion from “niceness,” or what Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche calls “idiot compassion”: ignoring real issues to take the seemingly easy path (such as giving an addict drugs rather than helping them with recovery). In fact, true compassion can be fierce, and often involves setting boundaries and a type of escalation. In Tibetan Buddhism, the process of escalation is described by the Four Karmas of action: pacifying, enriching, magnetizing, and destroying. Let’s take the example of an employee with a repeated performance problem, perhaps someone who has addiction issues that are interfering with their ability to perform their job. Pacifying is akin to the step of recognizing whatever they are going through and expressing sympathy and may include encouragement towards positive change. Enriching might happen after a further offence, where a superior offers extra support, resources, counseling, and EAP services. Magnetizing would be the next escalation, perhaps a written warning and performance plan, such as a requirement to go to a rehab program. And if the employee is still an underperformer after all of that, and their performance is impacting their coworkers and team, the final step is firing that employee (“destruction”). Thus, the compassionate workplace deals with the reality of the situation, neither ignoring nor jumping to conclusions, but works through a gradually escalating series of sanctions. That’s wise compassion in action. The world of mindfulness and meditation offers many techniques to cultivate compassion. In her book Real Happiness at Work, award-winning meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg offers a chapter on compassion that includes exercises in compassion meditation, called loving kindness meditation or “metta.” The practices call for wishing oneself well, to be happy and safe, and then extending these well wishes to someone you care about, then to a neutral person, then to an enemy, and then to all beings. This can be practiced anywhere, at any time, even while waiting in line! For most adults, the process of becoming more compassionate in the workplace is a straightforward matter that can be achieved by practicing a few experiential exercises in loving kindness. A kinder, more compassionate workplace is not only a more effective workplace, but a highly achievable goal. Reference 1. Wilson, D.S., et al., Generalizing the core design principles for the efficacy of groups. J. Econ. Behav. Organ. (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2012.12.010 Lisette Cooper, PhD, is founder and managing partner of Athena Capital Advisors, an award-winning and nationally recognized investment advisory firm serving private clients and institutional investors. Dr. Cooper is an author, researcher, meditator, mentor, and wealth management practitioner who believes that cultural and social change begins with personal transformation. Described by AUM Boston as taking “the revolutionary charge of changing the world through values-based investing,” and named a “Women to Watch” honoree by InvestmentNews, Dr. Cooper is a pioneer in guiding individuals and organizations to integrate their social values into their investing. She is a board member of the Garrison Institute, Boston Youth Sanctuary, the Mind and Life Institute and former chair of the board of The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Dr. Cooper served as an Expert in Residence at the Harvard Innovation Lab. Lisette has three children and resides in Lincoln, Massachusetts. 60
WHAT Others Experienced
Building a Business on Purpose, Values, Play & Humor By Mitchell Rabin
We usually see business as a rather serious endeavor. And indeed, it can be and in some real ways, it should be. When an entrepreneur, or what today we preferably call ourselves, “social entrepreneurs,” become inspired with a creative spark to light up the world in a new way, to bring our vision, gift, sense of purpose to the foreground using the powerful vehicle we call business, there is a sense of meaningful purpose behind it. There is a space in our hearts that called forward that we want to share. It is beautiful, vulnerable, precious, exciting, purposeful, full of love and a little scary. Through our business, we are showing ourselves, an expression of at least some of who we are. If the enterprise is a soulful expression of ourselves, it’s meaningful and deep, just as if we make art, theater, film or music. It is displaying and expressing our values for the world to see, our actions expressing who we are through the vision of the enterprise. But who said it can’t also be fun? In fact, perhaps it should be predicated on fun, playful relationships and humor. If you think about it, who wouldn’t want to go to work knowing that the ‘work-day’ is more like a ‘play-day’. Not because a lot isn’t going to get accomplished because we’re all playing but the contrary: a lot will get done because we’re playing! Imagine going to work every day where the atmosphere is light, loving, imbued with fun and an aura of play and humor, where the relationships are rich with trust and people are enjoying the creativity of teamwork. Silicon Valley corps. are now full of playgrounds of one sort or another.
When I was at the Sales Force offices in San Francisco, I was in meditation rooms available for all staff. The understanding of the importance of play and meditation is gaining ground. Of course nothing is all play. Life is much too complex for that. But if play is at base, really an attitude toward life, then it could be that a good amount of life and what we call work can be. This transforms the idea of ‘work’ into “play.” The way we hold the idea of work is truly transformed as we become wholly at ease with ourselves and centered in our values and sense of purpose being expressed in a loving, embracing context and environment. If we succeed at this by 50%, we’d be living richer, deeper and certainly more fun lives. From where does the idea of work derive anyway? If we think bio-mimetically, are animals said to work when they hunt for food or for a mate? I never heard 61
that. If animals are said just to hunt and seek a mate, there’s no ‘work’ involved—it’s just the acts themselves—and so satisfying, fulfilling and life-sustaining that they do it again and again. And play. So biologically, it could be said that work doesn’t seem to be part of the paradigm. So where does it enter the human enterprise? Perhaps upon the onset of agriculture and needing to till, plant, weed and harvest? Some say that was an unnatural turn in human affairs from hunting and gathering; and that it led us out of a more peaceful, cooperative matriarchal into a patriarchal, territory-and-ownership based society. That’s discussion for another time. But a case could be made that what emerged as the Christian idea of Original Sin and a few of its derivative interpretations such as “I am but a lowly sinner,” self-mortification, etc. led to the idea of work as penance and repentance, paying for our sins. Overall, not much fun or inspiring. Think Opus Dei. But for this brief article, I’d like to bounce back to the joy of a playful attitude in what is typically referred to as a work context, and how the hormones released with this kind of attitude, as well as what are released through smiling, laughter and humor contributes to a much more productive, more stress-free, creative, oxytocin and alpha wave-rich environment. We also know that studies show that living purposefully, meaning-rich activity and team-building contribute to much better health, productivity, well-being and in some cases, longevity. So the case of transforming the work paradigm to a play paradigm is pretty persuasive and alluring. On one hand, it sounds so simple, and in a way, it’s wholly natural, but on the other, we have been conditioned all our lives by the idea that “we have to go to work” and that we better “work hard’,” that there is some kind of holiness behind this. Perhaps, like a hunting lion, our goal is to just ‘do what we do’ in as effective way as possible. A Zen proverb says “When fetching water, fetch water. When cutting wood, cut wood.” In the book, The Inner Game of Tennis, the player’s goal is to hit the ball with desired effect. Not good, not bad, but effectively. If we work effectively, we might not call what we’re doing ‘work’ at all. We may call it ‘having fun brainstorming as a team and then each of us going back to our respective nests to hatch and cultivate an idea’, to ‘sit on it’ while it ripens. Or perhaps to go back to what we call a ‘work station’ and focus on a given idea or process. In Tibetan Buddhist Psychology, there are a few types of meditation. One of them is simply focus. According to the Tibetans, focusing on a subject or idea is in fact a meditative process. So one begins to see that work stations morph into meditation stations which in turn can turn into, let’s just get right to it: play stations! In my first year of college (Bard), I took a class in cultural anthropology with Prof. Mario Bick. His specialty was the anthropology of play. A group of us joined him to attend an Anthropology Conference where Dr. Bick was presenting on this subject. I learned that animals, when they weren’t foraging for food, pursuing sex or sleeping were actually playing. Yes, it was instinctive. We’re programmed not just to eat, sleep
and have sex but to also play. There is no working in the program. I don’t think any of us would want to think of eating, sleeping or being sexual as working. Even foraging could have been done with a sense of teamwork, the pleasure of looking out for each other, for what we could call “the common, higher good or benefit to the pack.” So even foraging wouldn’t necessarily be equivalent to our human idea of work. I am positioning this in contradistinction to the biomimetic, natural, (as in biological idea) that “there is only playing,” which means being inventive, creative, funny, daring, quick, competitive, cooperative wholly enveloped in smiling, laughter, reflection and fun, an entirely different paradigm which is instinctive and truly “au natural.” You may be asking yourself, “Mitchell, what does this have to do with business?” “Well” I would reply “Everything!” The mindset with which we do anything is the mindset with which we do most everything. If it’s a visionary, meaningful, values-rich environment we create for ourselves, what emerges is a lot of light-hearted, inspired people wanting to play together and create together. Focus that into providing a specific product or service with the fundamental value of “people and planet before profit” and you have a multiple bottom-line enterprise. In the film Urban Roots, about growing gardens in the inner city of Detroit, one former inmate said “I never saw a bird look for a job…” Yes, it is our biological mandate to play with one another, feed one another, enjoy and be creative and productive with one another. This is exactly how we can run a business: values-rich with purpose, meaning, vision, fun & humor. With a mindset of play, high-minded, big-hearted values and humor, of understanding that there are multiple bottom lines, we just couldn’t put profit before people and planet. If we keep this alignment alive, business and money will serve people instead of people serving business and money.
Mitchell J. Rabin, M.A., L.AC., was a pioneer in seeking to integrate consciousness, humane and ecologically-friend values into business. Through his own socially-conscious business activity from the 1980’s in the formation of The Ecology Institute, Rabin Resources and A Better World which were values-driven, provided a momentum that has carried through to today. Mitchell endorses the simple phrase of The Green Party: “People & Planet before Profit.” Mitchell is the founder, President and CEO of A Better World Foundation which is umbrella for the popular and widely-enjoyed A Better World Radio & TV, promotions, Executive & Personal Coaching, Stress Management Consulting and consulting/advisory to C-suite of wellness and environmental start-ups over the past 25 years. One of his most recent endeavors is that he has partnered in a socially-conscious hedge fund. A varied background in psychology, acupuncture and holistic approaches to Mind-Body integration and communication, Mitchell’s background encompasses systems thinking in his approach to working with clients, media and business. Mitchell has written for the Huffington Post, Natural News and A Better World Newsletter Blog among others. Mitchell serves on the Boards of FIONS, Cyclum Renewables and Carepoint, Institute for Global Education (an ECOSOC NGO) and Advisory Boards of All-Faiths Interfaith Seminary, World Water Rescue Foundation and Emerald City, USA. www.abetterworld.tv www.mitchellrabin.com. 62
WHAT Others Experienced
The Day I Became a Construction Worker By Linda Bjork
As I was sitting down to sign more books after my talk on “Inner Business” in a spacious architectural firm in Midtown Manhattan, two big burly looking men approached the table. They were from the construction industry and sported thick New Jersey accents. Since I work with conscious business implementation for companies and leaders—what some people would call “soft skills,” such as intuition, mindfulness intelligence, and the power of love—the two men were a bit of an anomaly in my world, which made me curious about what they were going to say. It wouldn’t be the first time someone thought I’m too woo-woo or leaning on pseudo-science in my methods. The two men started off by thanking me for my talk and told me about their many years that had turned in to decades in the construction industry. As they talked about the state of their industry and even as they talked about having been “riding a building boom” for an extended period of time, there was this hesitation in their expression, almost sadness. And then they said; We really want… we just really wish there was more kindness in construction. You know? There they were, in their big body temples clothed in checked shirts, representatives of a macho industry that has been experiencing a big economic upswing for a long time, still longing for the most important nourishment of all; kindness. Macho or not, we really do long for love and connection, not only between our coworkers, clients and families, but with ourselves. Yet here we are, conditioned with programs that tell us to do more, compete more, have more, accomplish more and be more. The definition of “being” in this conditioning have nothing to do with just being you. It is an incessant chasing of being “somebody,” measured by people who couldn’t care less about you; sometimes forming a hostile construction culture, other times a cut-throat banking environment, or a surprising number of executives who feel like they are imposters, unworthy and don’t belong. And these are the conditions under which we have built the current structure of business! With the modern-day influence businesses have over people, politics, religious institutions, the environment, and perhaps even the evolution of consciousness itself, I can’t think of a better area to focus conscious awareness work than on the very Leaders of Business. If we untether Business Leadership from the current confines of its structure, the role itself invites us to some of the most profound questions in life. Leadership asks: Who are you? Business asks: Why are you here? Most of the Conscious Business movement would probably agree with me in having noticed a shift in the last few years in The United States, where Business Leaders are becoming slightly more open to exploring answers to these questions. Managing stress, looking within and evolving our definition of success are certainly signs of our times. But then what? If kindness, in part, is an ability to feel empathy, then how can that not be one of the most important business skills out there? From leaders and salespeople to marketing creatives and hospital workers, how can anyone ever excel in any line of business if we cannot walk a mile in another person’s shoes? Kindness is love in action, and business is, after all, our biggest social platform, built on the human qualities of relationships. Research shows us that companies that top empathy index lists are also some of the highest performing companies. Many organizations have noted that when the company policy has changed to “being nice” both to staff and customers, profits have soared. 63
And as great as it is to have stellar numbers to make the business case for kindness, that can only serve as motivation to get started. If kindness is a means to an end, Mr. Ego will always find a way to own it. As with anything else, Mr. Ego LOVES hiding behind goodness. So, let’s be alert in our quest here, both for ourselves and the people we are shepherding in the process. Much like a Trojan horse, the business case— albeit important to get closer—is only the beginning. The real, delicious journey to explore is that, even in a measurable environment such as business, kindness truly is part of our core being. Or as per Evolutionary Biologist Stephen Jay Gould “Violence, sexism, and general nastiness are biological since they represent one subset of a possible range of behaviors. But peacefulness, equality, and kindness are just as biological – and we may see their influence increase if we can create social structures that permit them to flourish.” It’s exhausting to be subjected to “general nastiness,” especially if that has turned into a culture by which coworkers relate. Harmless banter never stays harmless, violent remarks don’t exist in isolation, and as our construction guys from New Jersey can attest to; it’s not fun anymore. Many of us want to live in another choice, far beyond monetary motivation. When we choose to approach every aspect of business in kindness—when we decide to sink in to our inherent kindness, the Source of Love if you will—we are getting closer to not only answering our profound business leadership questions but living them. Science has already promised us that we can only actually see what we are wired for—literally, we can only see what our brain’s neural network is connected to transmit—so let’s start showing up as the kindness that we are; let’s generate more kindness by seeing more kindness. That way, we can transform construction into a kind construction industry, and onwards a kind post-office, a kind Starbucks line, a kind subway, and a kind world. Then, in the belly of the Trojan horse, in all our encounters, we will find our kindness opening the door to the most profound empathy teaching that weaves through the wisdom texts of human history: I am you. That is exactly the experience I had of these two men, seemingly so different from me. I see you. I hear you. I feel you. I am you. That was the day I, too, became a construction worker longing for kindness. Minus the New Jersey accent.
Linda Bjork is a former decade-long CEO of what she built to become one of Scandinavia’s most profitable and award-winning design and branding agencies. Known as a mind-training pioneer as a CEO, Linda Bjork has developed a new intelligence system for leaders that reaches far beyond intellectual abilities and emotional intelligence called Mindfulness Intelligence™ (MQ). Linda is a trained MBSR Instructor (mindfulness based stress reduction), a Certified Executive Success Coach and an Ordained Interfaith Minister. Linda authored the leadership development book INNER BUSINESS, Training Your Mind For Leadership Success, and serves on the Board of Trustees for One Spirit Learning Alliance in NYC and is part of the Core Team and the Board of Directors of UNITY EARTH, USA. Linda lives and works in New York City with her daughter, their dog Lion King (he really does looks like a lion) and their blind cat Lucyboy. 64
WHAT Others Experienced
A New Consciousness of Money Informs a New Consciousness in Business
By Sarah McCrum
Money is energy. This is a common understanding in the conscious business community, but what does it really mean and how does it affect the way we do business? Some years ago, shortly after my business failed and closed down, I was reading a book called How to Become a Money Magnet which had exercises at the end of each chapter. One of the questions was, “What does Money want to say to you?” I started to respond, and my pen took over, writing automatically and fluently. I saw words flowing onto the page that weren’t mine. The first few sentences went like this: I would like to tell you to love me. Smile at me. Collect me. Enjoy me. Feel my power. Spend me. Invest me. Give me. Pay with me. Take me. I am an energy. I am very powerful and beautiful. I am an incredible web of connections. It continued with two pages of deeply inspiring information and ended with the words: I will love you. It had never occurred to me to put the words love and money into the same sentence unless it was an expression of greed, and yet this message resonated strongly as being more deeply true than any of my previous ideas about money. I went on to ask the same question daily for the next few months and received over 60 messages which I compiled in a book called Love Money, Money Loves You. I started my next business from zero, in Australia, which was a country where I didn’t know a single person. Since I had no fall-back position, it was time to discover whether the information in my book would work or not. Over the last seven years I’ve been exploring and learning how a different relationship with money affects the way we live and do business. 65
Several core understandings have emerged that change the way we design and develop our businesses. 1.
Money is the energy of love. This is the true gamechanger because Money connects with every aspect of our lives, from the profound to the mundane. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rewarding to contemplate what it really means to connect money with love, especially in relation to business. Gradually the underlying tensions of guilt, shame, greed, neediness, envy, manipulation, exploitation, stress and other uncomfortable inner states, arising from our cultural misunderstandings of money, resolve into a healthy relationship with a beautiful and powerful energy.
Generosity is the nature of life, and therefore of business. It emerges that the endless flow of the energy of money through our lives is a natural expression of the generosity of life, which we participate in through our relationship with money. As we allow our businesses to become an expression of generosity, the spirit of the business shines through and the people who work in it are able to express their own natural generosity. This leads to an all-win approach and a general relaxation for all participants.
Money enables us to share our gifts and creativity. The energy of money is the thread that connects us all as we share our gifts, talents, experience and creativity across the globe. Our financial systems reflect the extent to which we value those contributions. New models of business are currently emerging that recognise a much broader range of human contribution than we have been used to. New systems will have the capability to reward activities such as caring and healing, the creative arts or improving the environment. This will allow many more people to participate actively in the energy of money and the financial system.
Money is unlimited. There is no limit to human creativity, and therefore there is no limit to the sharing of our gifts across the planet, which means there is no limit to the exchange of money. When we see money as energy, rather than physical currency, we stop operating in a marketplace of scarce resources and competition. Instead, we orientate our business towards its unique contribution and connect with the market that values our particular brand of products and services.
Money is freely available to all human beings. Although money appears to us to be controlled by our financial systems, it is, in fact, much bigger than we can see, and it works on natural principles that anybody can learn. Through the application of these principles, people who have traditionally had restricted access to money are developing new ways of creating wealth and doing business. A sign of this is the extremely rapid growth in the number of small and tiny businesses starting every year in countries across the world.
In order to experience abundance, combined with fulfilment, we need to explore the true nature of money. If we want to become a world that works for all of us, where humans thrive in coexistence with all other species, we need a different relationship with money. Our misunderstanding of money lies at the root of virtually every major problem we face on our planet, from conflict to environmental degradation, social isolation or deterioration of health. When we make the very simple, powerful shift into a loving relationship with money, there is a cascade of beneficial consequences which allow us to make wise, conscious decisions about our collective future.
Sarah is an author, teacher and coach whose work brings together money and consciousness. She guides people at all levels of financial capability, from poor to ultra-wealthy, to transform their relationship with money, based on her book, Love Money, Money Loves You. In her earlier life she graduated from Cambridge University in UK and for 10 years she specialised in interviewing children for BBC Radio. She trained for 22 years with Chinese Energy Masters and spent 20 years coaching business owners and leaders in Australia, UK, USA and beyond. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on the faculty of The Shift Network and is a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Circle and the Association of Transformational Leaders in Australia. Sarah is currently helping thousands of people transform their relationship with money through her book, online courses, workshops and retreats. 66
A THANK YOU
from Guest Editors Steve Farrell and Peter Matthies The Editors at Light on Light: Karuna, Kurt, Shannon, and David We want to thank you for joining us in this premier issue of Conscious Business magazine. It is very gratifying to see that we have progressed from the original vision of this initiative— through us, the Evolutionary Leaders’ Synergy Circle, and so many others—from the Conscious Business World Summit, the Summit special magazine issue, the VoiceAmerica Specials and now this Issue 1 of Conscious Business magazine. We can say with high confidence that this experience has reflected the high values and ideals expressed throughout the pages of this premier issue and in the principles of the Conscious Business Declaration. We look forward to many of you joining us in future issues of Conscious Business as we further advance the vision and goals of the Conscious Business Declaration. Submissions are welcomed for consideration for future issues of Conscious Business, please contact our managing editor, Shannon Winters at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, we hope that we can truly expand conscious business for a flourishing world. And, we invite you to join us in that important endeavor. Thanks again!
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