Ever since I got off the phone with Rand Stagen – our interviewee from last week – the conversation we had with him has been reverberating around my mind. I just can’t stop thinking about it!
Rand presented what I consider to be, the most powerful and inspiring approach to Conscious Business I have heard in the series so far. Perhaps he wasn’t as visionary as someone like Brian Robertson, or as academically rigorous as someone like Susanne Cook-Greuter, or as personally nourishing as someone like Tami Simon, but the totality and integrity of his approach just blew me away.
Here is my take on why I think his approach has enormous implications for this series, and the work of all of us in the field of Conscious Business.
The world’s best problem solvers are in business
I suspect that at the heart of many of us following this series, there is a shared mission. Even though the articulation of the mission may vary, if we get abstract enough I think we’re pretty much aspiring to the same thing. Here is how Rand articulated that mission.
“The best problem solvers are in business. The business community has to play a meaningful role in solving the biggest problems in the world. How do we bring business to the table in a more conscious way?”
So how do we bring business to the table in a more conscious way? Because we’re not talking about a small undertaking here, we’re talking about bringing a fundmantally different business paradigm into the world.
Stagen’s revolutionary approach
What Rand’s company – Stagen – has developed, is a revolutionary approach. They are a consulting company, and as such have a consulting division (or operating group) who work with their business partners in transformation initiatives. OK, not too revolutionary so far. They also have a learning division which facilitates a 52 week leadership academy for CEOs. An unusually long program for the field perhaps, but still not totally revolutionary.
Here’s the amazing part.
They will only work with a client on an organisational consulting level, after the CEO of that company has themselves gone through the 52 week leadership development academy.
Let me say that again. They will not enter into a full consulting partnership until the CEO has devoted 52 weeks of their precious time into developing their own leadership.
For me, that business model is revolutionary. It smacks of long-termism. But why create such a demanding entry for their consulting clients? Why make it so difficult? Leverage. Stagen’s mission is to create massive impact, and bring Conscious Business into the world. So if that’s the mission, where do you start? You start with the people with the biggest seat at the table, the ones who have the most disproportionate impact on business – CEOs.
The solution to the eternal struggle
The eternal struggle for practitioners attempting to bring conscious approaches to business is getting buy-in. You may know that these cutting edge methods and approaches are the next paradigm of business, but as Susanne Cook-Greuter pointed out, less than 7% of people even have the level of consciousness capable of seeing that paradigm.
Stagen’s solution is to build a leadership development program for CEOs that creates the intrinsic motivation for buy in, and only then throw the conscious kitchen sink at a business. Wow, the bravery and integrity of that approach just blows me away.
There are business models that would deliver much quicker results, and immediate impact. Requiring a CEO to go through an entire year of personal leadership development before working with their company is not exactly the easy path!
And that is exactly what inspired me so massively about Rand’s story. They have not compromised, and taken the easy approach. They have built their practice around the long road ahead, the 10, 20 or 30 approach where the real drivers of business – the CEOs – take responsibility for role-modelling the new paradigm before anything else is put on the table.
The patient path of transformation
New paradigms do not occur over night. Rand’s company recognise that the majority of today’s business leaders come from a stage of consciousness that does not usually intrinsically believe in Conscious Business from an ideological standpoint. But they recognise that it is those leaders that desperately need to be brought to the table.
It is this patient approach to business transformation that I felt so inspired by in our talk with Rand. His is the most complete and mature approach to bringing Conscious Business into the world that I’ve heard so far. Considering the breadth of wisdom and experience we’ve had on the series so far, that’s quite a statement!
What approach or perspective has inspired you most in the series so far? If you share this mission to bring business to the table in a conscious way, which of our talks has ignited your passions the most!?