We embarked upon this series with a question unashamedly routed in idealism. What could business look like beyond the sole pursuit of trade and profit? What would happen if we saw business as a vehicle for evolution itself – a transformation of our potentials and of our deeper dreams and aspirations?
I still feel ignited by that question, and yet, I am now also holding a further aspect of that question. How can we role model the ideals of a conscious approach to business, while also creating a bridge to the conventional business world? How do we meet people where they’re at?
Our conversation with Leadership Circle CEO Bob Anderson brought that second aspect of the question to the forefront of my own enquiry. While Bob is a strong advocate of these very sophisticated and cutting edge approaches to business he also made an important statement.
“The language of business is effectiveness, not development.”
I want to take the time to explore and unpack that statement further, as it feels like such a central principle of this idealistic quest.
A personal reflection
I’m going to come at this issue from a rather personal space, as it is a perspective that I am still myself exploring, and I’m not sure I can claim to offer any concrete answers. I hope that at least some of my questions speak to things in your own life and work.
Part of my personal motivation for this series was to widen the space for this conversation of Conscious Business. I still feel called to that exploration, but as I am also starting to notice, there’s another motivation. And that is to perhaps try and extricate myself from the growing realisation that there’s no escaping the practical realities of the mainstream business world.
I still have this hope that if we help make the case for Conscious Business more widespread, then I will be excused from having to deal with the ‘pre-conscious’ business world, and enjoy the freedom of this idealistic space.
Something Bob mentioned during our call brought this hope, and its limits, further into my own awareness.
In his work with leaders, helping them to address the issues of increasing their leadership effectives, Bob uses a very powerful two part question.
- What is it that I really want – what is the vision of where I want to be?
- How do I get in my own way – what are the beliefs and assumptions that have me show up counter to that vision?
In listening back to the call this morning I noticed myself posing that question to myself, and to my desire to effectively bring these ideas out in to the world.
Am I excusing myself from the party?
If I have a vision of being someone who is helping embed these more conscious and developmental approaches into business, what are the things that have me get in my own way?
While I have no intension of off-loading my idealism (if such a thing were even intentionally possible), today I notice a questioning of it. In what ways is that idealism de-railing the mission I find myself upon?
Or perhaps, as a wise friend said today, it’s not the idealism that’s the issue, it’s the escape into it that is a problem.
If business isn’t interested in development for its own sake, how do I, as well as this series in general, help business become more conscious (which by definition is a developmental process)?
I notice myself starting to see that some of my idealism has a rather personal agenda. While masquerading as a force for change, it’s perhaps also a clever way of excusing myself from the business of meeting people where they’re at.
Where is business at? If it’s in the business of effectiveness how is my role in the spreading of these ideas making business more effective?
Rather than trying to answer these questions myself, for now I feel content to hold them and allow them to run their own course. And at the same time, I’m also interested in your thoughts and needs.
If this series is about asking what business can be in the most ideal sense, how can it best help you in your own mission to make business more effective?