CONVERSATION 10 — COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS IN BUSINESS
We speak predominantly, Kari, in terms of the individual; our problems, issues and barriers. In this conversation though, I'd like to discuss these same issues, yet how they manifest in a business or workplace context.
Firstly, to broaden the spectrum somewhat, I refer to the recent passing of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela... Even as his memorial service takes place and his funeral approaches, our entire nation of South Africa is united in love and celebration — there's a spirit of jubilation that transcends politics, religion or culture. We are all together 'as one'! I believe this same mood has influenced the entire world.
This collective consciousness is perhaps due to an unspoken message that we should all look to our own power, and to strive to be the very best we can — a message that Madiba embodied throughout his life. Many people, especially in South Africa have cause for reflection this week and I believe it has been a unilaterally empowering experience.
Okay let's scale this same consciousness down to a place of business — be it a small enterprise consisting of just a handful of employees, or a global organisation, with many divisions and facets. Here, just like the unifying energy that signifies Madiba's passing, it is equally important to manifest a 'mood for success' amongst employees.
Ultimately, this mood or level of consciousness, signifies the success or failure of any enterprise; whether it enjoys incremental or exponential growth. The quality of the conversations and relationships transpiring day in and day out have a direct impact upon profitability. Isn't this the bottom line for any business? Yet how many fail to recognise the importance of this factor?
I see any organisation as having its own Way of Being; as a being in itself, consisting of numerous human beings... C. Otto Scharmer refers to this in his book, Theory U, where he claims that the global conglomerate is now recognised as a new species. Makes sense, when you consider that a single human being can be broken down in its cellular structure, which all has to function in togetherness in order that we may be who we are. So too, a business is made up of a number of 'cells' which must work together for the well-being of the company.
Now we begin to see how the business owner or management team has the potential to alter the mood and consciousness within the company and orchestrate immense change! We can also envisage how easily 'disease' could spread to the detriment of the enterprise.
A question I always ask when beginning with a new corporate client is, "How is the vision and intent of the management team aligned throughout the organisation?" In most companies there is no alignment whatsoever, and in many, the person at 'the top' is completely alone with their ideas and dreams — which causes an imbalance in the onganisation's Way of Being.
What is your kinesiological perspective on this, Kari?
There is no doubt that however big a business or organisation is, it all comes down to the single person. And single person seeks other persons to relate to and there you have groups. Wether this is in private life or in business life, that's what people instinctively do.
As you very correctly put it, a person functions only as good as his cells function, to transfer this to a business or organisation, it only works as good as its employees do. And something I often see in my clients is how muscle-groups, working out of synchrony, leads to stress. One muscle works far to much and supress the others in the same group. That in turn creates an unbalance that effects the whole body, even creating disease.
Let's take this example of business. I have myself experienced how this can work out when there is an unbalanced group in a company. How one person's work can undermine the group, caused by fear of a company that didn`t communicate. All that matters was the profit and when the group was undermined, the profit went down. So instead of communicating, instead of seeing every person in that group, their potential, the fear that hides all this potential, the company starts to pick the group apart. That is a short-sighted solution, now there is guilt and more fear, and the profit goes even more down… And the gap between the top floor and the ones on the ground are even bigger…
Nelsom Mandela showed us that we all have the power to do huge things, if we believe in what we do. One thing he did, that is very obvious, at least here in Norway, was his ability to make every single person he spoke to, the most important person in the world. He gave this person his full attention, they felt both seen and heard in a profound way.
That makes a world of difference! When every single person in a group, in a business, in an organisation, is important, gets full attention, because every single one has something only they can pass on to the whole, there is no end to the success. Like one man's beliefs, even imprisoned because of it, can gather a whole world, friends and enemies, more world leaders gathered than ever before at a memorial for a not present president, in gratitude for what he did. For what he taught the world. That it all came down to a single person.
To go back to my example of the unbalanced muscle-group. In order to clear it out, we need to give attention to the one working overtime and suppressing the others. We need to figure out why, what is the reason? Are there any misunderstandings? Is there any fear here? Could it be other things going on under the surface that need to cleared?
And what happens when this muscle-group is cleared out and works nicely together? Do other groups show? Groups that also have misunderstandings, things to clear out in order to create a healthy body? A healthy life filled with energy and joy, where every muscle does its very best to the whole?
Or a company, that creates a working environment where misunderstandings and fear are cleared out in order to make a healthy workplace, filled with energy and joy, where every employee does their very best to the whole.
I know this is a very important part of the PowaForce Forum, Guy. What can you share, that you see as important to focus on to make a healthy and growing business environment?
Ah yes, Kari, one of the most important distinctions we make when introducing the PowaForce Forum to any business is that the type of fuel that powers their business is determined by the quality of the conversations and relationships, above all else. So is your company powered by unleaded, high-octane, or rocket fuel?
You're absolutely right in the assessment that each individual human being should be treated as precisely that — an individual. A person unique in the manner in which they see the world. Yet so many businesses have completely forgotten this.
To create change in an organisation though, we need to observe the mood or consciousness of the company as a whole; collectively. There is usually a discord between the executive team and the staff, and where a Boss Mentality prevails, there is a great deal of work to be done!
I feel it prudent to share with you an excerpt from an article I wrote in 2011, entitled Yes Boss, to illustrate a few critical differences between a Boss and a Leader:
The Boss pushes people for results; the Leader lifts people to higher levels of performance and personal expression.
The Boss tells people what to do; the Leader asks questions to see what others think and feel should be done.
The Boss unwittingly triggers insecurity; the Leader consciously infuses creativity and more meaningful self-expression.
The Boss knows the answers; the Leader seeks new answers.
The Boss wants to achieve compliance by lighting a fire under people; the Leader inspires passion and commitment by lighting a fire inside people.
The Boss is focused only on results; the Leader balances focus on process and performance.
The Boss tries to get the most from people; the Leader works to get the best from people.
The Boss concentrates on what to do; the Leader invokes enhanced action through calling forth a more Enriched Way of Being – one’s highest expression.
The Boss reacts to what is; the Leader works with people to create what isn't.
Now you might begin to see how the collective consciousness of any organisation, and ultimately it's potential profitability and growth, depends almost entirely upon what transpires (as you put it, Kari) "on the top floor"! The energy and attitude of the executive team, the head-honcho in particular, permeates the entire organisation. In other words, "you reap what you sew"!
How though, to we actually bring about this change? Well, we need to work on implementing a 'coaching culture' in groups, departments, divisions, etc. which gets employees believing — knowing, in fact — that they belong. Simple recognition; a cup of coffee together, goes a very long way to creating understanding, acceptance and legitimacy.
Isn't that sense of belonging one of the bonding factors between any group of human beings, whether in business, as a community, a culture, or as an entire nation? And all of this — as you say, Kari — can boil down to just one person!
Within the Zulu culture in South Africa, "sawubona" is a form of greeting, the etymology of which means: "I see you." When I refer to the quality of conversations and relationships in a company, "sawubona" would epitomise the rocket-fuel I spoke of.
Beautiful, Guy. We should all greet each other that way!
There is one thing I've noticed when dealing with companies, many of them have values like empowering every single employee, in order to create a work environment where everyone is important to the whole. When talking to those in charge, they have great coaching programs and seminars to get them all motivated to give their best.
Then, looking deeper into this, most of this is all on the conscious level. It's about understanding conscious behavior, using conscious body-language, eye contact, conscious tone of voice and so on. I haven't yet found anyone that works with the unconscious habits we all have.
My favorite comic strip is from Charlie Brown, where he's hanging his head down, saying this is his own special depression position. It's very important to keep this position, because if you straighten up, you're not able to hold on to your depression...
Those are the conscious solutions — yet in a more humorous way — the training. When you know this, you know how to consciously work to get what you want. Wow, could it be better?
Well, yes! Because what happens with all this conscious training, when something triggers unconscious habits...? When you don't even know what hit you, but you're unable to do your best, no matter how much you follow your training! We all have a life outside the company we work in, and it influences us more than we're aware of. Every day something will trigger uncleared patterns and the same goes for everybody, whether you're a Boss, Leader or Employees. This will effect the company as a whole, the company's Way of Being. And when it does, how do you deal with it?
In your example of Boss and Leader, I believe the difference is all about how much is cleared out on deeper levels. While the boss look outside for success, knowing what he wants and, without hesitating, demands of his employees to give him that, the leader sees his responsibility to seek both inside himself and his employees to gain the best result. That takes courage.
We have a history of Bosses, where the best Boss is the one who makes the largest amount of money, no matter what.
What happens now? We live in a world of changes. We live in a world where people's consciousness rises. It's impossible not to. We have information everywhere, it's not possible to keep secrets anymore. Edward Snowden is a brilliant example, he disclosed up to 200 000 classified documents to the press, about a mass surveillance program in US. That does something to people. It creates a broadened spectrum of understanding. And It will make it more difficult to continue as a Boss...
A wise leader understands this. He or she also understands that the best way for a company to grow, for the company's Way of Being to be authentic, is to let everyone Succeed, be a winner, to unlock old limiting patterns that holds him or her back from being the best version of themselves!
So today I want to close this conversation with an invitation: Check out PowaForce Forum. It is so profound, it open up for a Company of Winners ready for the new world. Where Authenticity begets success!
Next week, Guy, I want us to go deeper in to what the PowaForce Forum is and what makes it so much different to all the motivation-programs out there.