Preamble – context.
Spirituality, Reality and Business are 3 very big words with often many conflicting narratives. But I found these 3 concepts to be inextricably linked on my personal journey on the road less traveled.
The idea evolved after reading M Scott Peck’s work on “Community Building in Business” back in 1997. I loved his ideas but I couldn’t see it working unless it was practiced within a Business Model/Community that was fair to those that contributed to its success. And I didn’t know of any models like that. The only models I knew were exploitative or adversarial.
At that time I had just witnessed the collapse of a multinational company of which I was the group corporate director with the remit to secure corporate level deals for our subsidiaries. So in my mind what Scott advocated was powerful, but something was missing.
The best analogy I can think of in my attempt to tie Spirituality to Reality and Business is by using Einstein’s General theory of Relativity’s relationship to Quantum Physics. One describes the laws governing our outer realities and the other the seemingly contradictory laws of the sub atomic/inner realities. And yet they must be one because they are made up of the same parts. So there must be a unifying theory. A “business model” that acknowledges the laws of business and yet honors our inner realities. If so what would it look like?
I was totally intrigued. For it to work, I reasoned, we needed a business model where the whole was greater than the sum of it’s parts. In other words, there needed to be a unifying “theory/model” that obeys both the Laws of Business that also honors us as Spiritual Beings.
Quite a conundrum. If it’s possible this means we are no longer trapped by the anxieties that stem from financial insecurities, from being unappreciated within the business unit we are operating in and/or not fairly compensated for our work, etc.
This also means, I reasoned, the Community/Business Model can only be practiced within a ‘therapeutic’ environment like the one in Scott’s psychotherapy practice. Where it’s safe to be ourselves. And that’s a very tall order because our dedication to practice business with integrity should also ultimately lead us to financial security.
Allow me to elaborate further. To succeed in business we need to join the dots. To understand how things work (the reality component). And how we relate to them (the spiritual component). But if every dot we connect leads to cognitive dissonance — and the typical response is fight or flight — we would resist new understanding, to see that elephant in the room.
This means that most Teams will comprise members that are at different levels of understanding and yet they need to work in a manner where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Since my background & experience have been primarily in the deal-making part of business, my understanding of business models may be more than most. And I wanted to build such a model that embraces business, spirituality & reality, that the ideas behind Scott’s “Community Building in Business” can come to fruition.
And so the spiritual realist in business was born. Still a work-in-progress but the basic tenets are these… To conduct business applying spiritual principles that lead to financial independence within a model that sees all who contribute by learning to see the elephant in the room.
Next post: Meditation in the Eye of the Storm