Evolving and Elevating Leadership Consciousness

Context

  • The Consciousness which perceives the world is one with the Reality of the world. Consciousness and reality are one.[1]
  • We construct our own reality – everything in our world is self created.[2]
  • Timeless leaders free the confines of their consciousness and rediscover its identity with reality to liberate the human potential that lies with themselves and others (and others).[3]
  • This translates in time in the organisational world to higher employee engagement, productivity, individual and organisational capacity and profitability.

Call to Action – Leadership profiling and Discovery workshops

The diagram below summarises the action steps that a company can take to access this newer (postmodern) science of liberating the immense potential, performance and effectiveness through higher stages of leadership consciousness development. This is an opportunity to get a head start for the challenges and opportunities that awaits us as the future of work emerges heedlessly in our lives.

 

 

Benefits

  • Unsure of how to face the challenges and opportunities in the future of work? Get a head start and stay ahead by investing in an advanced and a new, well-tested, practical and actionable solution in raising leadership performance and effectiveness beyond current limits.
  • Lack of talents? Grow a spectrum of talents in-house, each at their unique levels of leadership consciousness to minimise the need to hire new talents from outside the organisation.
  • We are not asking you to abandon what you are doing but to enrich and leverage your leadership development and growth initiatives to unleash leadership potential – for productivity, capacity and profitability gains.
  • The bonus is that you are also seeding the co-creation of a Conscious Culture as you invest in creating Conscious Leaders as the catalyst and moving force for change in your organisation.
  • Leadership consciousness (or action logic) goes beyond creating economic value (income and profit) and contributes to employee engagement, meaning, trustworthiness and happiness. This attracts millennials and Gen Z talents to join the organisation.

 

How some of our customers have seen demonstrated business benefits

 

  • “I love that the tool does get at deeper discussions, this is terrific.” (HR Director P&G Europe)
  • “We as Omega truly are inspired by your intent and we are experiencing a true partnership. We are really proud to have partnered with you.” Senior Director Human Resources, Omega Healthcare Management Services
  • “It’s heartening to see so many of us working towards a common vision in our own ways across the world. Look forward to working with you in trying to understand what we can do for our organisation…hopefully make it into a larger case study”. Head of Personal Excellence & Organization Transformation at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
  • “Together with HR, I have reviewed and endorsed the “Being At Full Potential” methodology and believe it could be a great enabler in our journey as a Team. … I entirely trust the solidity of the self-assessment survey he (Mark) is offering us to take. VP Global Sustainability P&G.

Leadership today – We are taught what to do as leaders, but we must learn how to be good leaders[4]

Organisation have done a great job at teaching leaders in what to DO as managers and leaders – in setting direction, translating goals into concrete actions, establishing the right systems, structures and reward mechanisms to influence behavior, all contribute to the DNA of an effective “DOING” leader.

Leaders in the modern era are trained for the need to manage (and DO) things that works well in simple and complicated situations. We have learned how to be very good at this. We are taught well in what to do as a leader and we are good at it. But this world is clearly disappearing in the new technological age of unrelentless changes, complexity and often chaos that leaders must deal with constantly today. In other words, effective “DOING” leaders alone are insufficient for meeting today’s and especially the future needs of organisations.

But in terms of our innate Human Potential “How much of a person’s true leadership potential is being expressed when we solely focus on the “DOING” or stay at DOING level? 50% 65%?

Our Human Potential data shows that the average is 65%

 

 

What new learning will it take to move the ‘Human Potential needle’ to 80% or 90%?

New studies by many prominent constructive-developmental researchers[5] have shown us a new body of knowledge of higher stages of leadership development by new learning that can shift the “leadership potential meter”. This body of knowledge called “Action Logic”, first developed by William Torbert (building on the work of other scientists and researchers) and it is catching the attention of global leaders – both in high ranked organisations and large not for profit global organisations.

There are 8 action logics prevalent in the adult population as summarised by the generalised diagram (by Edward Kelly[6]) shown below.

 

 

Note: for a good and detailed description of the 8 leadership action logics, please refer to Barrett Brown paper “The Future of Leadership for Conscious Capitalism”, (page 14 and 15).

http://resources-website.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf/metaintegral_brown_the-future-of-leadership-for-conscious-capitalism_20131018.pdf

 

Vertical Learning is the key to shift the leadership potential to the next level of action logic or consciousness

According to the constructive-developmental scientists and researchers, there are two kinds of growth that we associate with adult development – vertical and horizontal and both are important, but they are very different. “If horizontal development is concerned with content and what we know, vertical development is concerned with how we know it (Harris & Kuhnert). As Cook-Greuter describes it, horizontal development is the gradual accumulation of new knowledge, new skills and experience, which can occur without any fundamental change in the individual’s overall meaning making, epistemology or worldview. Vertical development on the other hand, which is a much rarer form of development, entails a complete transformation in the individual’s meaning-making and in their overall view of reality that in turn transforms what they think, how they feel and what they do.”[7] This is illustrated in the diagram below.

 

 

The new science of vertical learning and is becoming central to leadership and high-performance development

There is an economic value business case for leaders to develop their leadership action logic or consciousness. In a study by Zenger & Folkman (of over 20,000 leaders), they state that “Good leaders create 3x more economic value than poor leaders, and extraordinary leaders create significantly more economic value than all the rest.” (emphasis mine). From their study, they show that good or great leaders have leadership characteristics that enable them to increase productivity, employee engagement, innovation and customer orientation.

Newer studies show that by developing the action logic or consciousness of leaders, they can potentiate a shift (an increase) in their leadership potential leading to higher performance and expanded effectiveness.[8]

Today, this new leadership action logic development and learning has been accessed by primarily by high-ranked global corporations or more progressive companies. They have paved the way for this adopting new developmental research science into the organisational world. But they also gain a head start in developing the next generation of Conscious leaders.

We[9] believe is that leadership consciousness development goes beyond creating economic value. Together with creating economic value, conscious leaders also learn how to enable breakthroughs at all levels of society – individuals, teams, communities, organizations and even nations. In other words, conscious leadership goes beyond just creating economic value.

Another actionable pathway in learning and applying leadership action logic or consciousness

We offer another viable and practical pathway to access higher stages of leadership consciousness or action logic. Our work lies at the intersection of cutting-edge science and ancient wisdom traditions.

Modern management science and ancient wisdom traditions recognize a certain state consistent among those who operate at high potential. These people tend to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, create significant impact and have the ability to do all of this while remaining centered, irrespective of the circumstances they encounter.

Rupert Spira inspires us that “Knowing and Being are identical when referring to Consciousness.” We shed light on leadership consciousness through the “Beingness” of a leader. Hence our motto is “When the BEING comes alive, the DOING thrives.”

In the realm of sports, music and arts we have known this for a long time. Acquiring more skills can only take us so far. Getting to Peak Performance however also requires doing the inner work of shifting mindsets, addressing our limiting beliefs and learning to manage the EGO through higher stages (or levels) of consciousness. Now is the time to bring this same thinking into the world of organizations.

Since the late 2000s, we have taken on the challenge to create a holistic model that will inform and help drive greater levels of Human Potential realization among individuals and organizations. The “Consciousness Maturity Index” is the product of that effort.

The ultimate test that decides whether leaders are reaching their ultimate leadership potential or not is by finding out how masterful they are in the manner they consciously experience reality.[10]

Awakening our consciousness through vertical learning AND elevating levels of consciousness help us to redefine our view of reality (and help others to do so as well), to start showing up in our full potentialities as leaders and in “dancing” with the how the reality of the emerging situations is occurring  to us in the complex and uncertain world we live in.

Our Human Potential diagnostics gives leaders in organisations another affordable, practical and actionable way in advancing leadership action logic and consciousness, leading to the development and liberation of leadership potential that lies within themselves and their performance and effectiveness.

Our Human Potential diagnostics also give us a new kind of language and crucible for supporting, shifting and uncovering consciousness to help us to see the world with “new eyes” that reflects new possibilities and insights. The diagram below summarise how this new pathway helps us in learning and advancing leadership action logic and its correlation with consciousness maturity states or levels.

 

 

Developing a spectrum of next generation conscious leaders

 

It is a well know statement (attributed to Albert Einstein) that “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Through this new pathway of developing conscious leaders with the Human Potential Diagnostics, we are also developing a conveyor, pipeline or spectrum of the next generation of conscious leaders – in solving today’s and tomorrow’s problems, challenges and opportunities with new levels or states of consciousness.

Companies developing a spectrum of leaders with different stages of action logics is better prepared to take advantage of the opportunities and face challenges in the fast change, volatile and complex future world that we are working in. These companies have a greater capacity and confidence to act in and on the world in a way it believes it can be effective and have significant impact.[11]

The diagram below shows how for example we can map or profile the spectrum of leadership consciousness levels or action logics of 10 leaders in an organisation.

 

 

Creating the Future That We Aspire For

The Human Potential Assessment Tool and methodology makes it very easy for organizational leaders to discover how and where to place themselves (the types of leadership action logics and consciousness) based on today’s reality, and more importantly, get a glimpse of what the emerging future reality and human capacity could look like at its full potentiality.

It is this future state, and the additional value that it can create for an organization, that triggers an openness to look at the deeper human levers sitting beneath the surface. Not only do we measure where you and/or your organisation are today on these leadership priorities, but we also provide you with a detailed map of your ideal end state.

With this ideal state in mind we work backwards to identify the areas of intervention at the deeper human dimension to bridge the leadership gap and the readiness to deliver short- and long-term expectation and outcomes demanded by customers and stakeholders.

 

 

APPENDIX I

 

A reflection on Consciousness and Reality

 

Reality

On a ‘gross level’,[12] reality, as seen through a pair of pink glasses appears pink in colour. Is the reality of a half-filled glass one that is half empty or half full? Consider how the reality of people who are are feeling annoyed and dismayed with the father (with a pale look and blank stare) who appears to be ignoring the ‘naughty’ behavior of his two noisy young children running around in the train. Now consider how the reality of the people change almost instantly when they discover and understand that the father has just found out that his wife died in an accident, and he is taking the children to the hospital. How sure are you that the chair that you are sitting is real?

 

 

Reality and Consciousness

So, reality is not what it seems at everyday level.

Postmodern scientists and contemporary spiritual masters and teachers have been drilling deep into the nature and our experience or reality, and its relationship with consciousness. Not too long ago, quantum physicists admits (gradually but convincingly) that “consciousness creates reality.”[13] Furthermore, as stated by Rupert Spira, “The Consciousness which perceives the world is one with the Reality of the world. Consciousness and Reality are one.”[14] Another observation by Bernard Kastrup is that “… consciousness – whatever it may intrinsically be –is the only carrier of reality anyone can ever know for sure.”[15]

Today, there is another development that you may not be aware of yet, but postmodern science is answering age-old questions about the nature of reality through advances in cognitive developmental studies, neuroscience and integral psychology, and interestingly theses studies around the subjective experience of reality and consciousness is now being introduced into the organisational fields of leadership development from the perspective of “… a broader focus on the human being’s growth towards optimal functioning, often called self-actualisation (and self-transcendence).”[16]

Reality, consciousness and leadership consciousness

Postmodern leadership development has now evolved into the realm of leadership consciousness and reality as we have shown above.

In paraphrasing the “First law of performance” by Zaffron and Logan, we can say that “how people think and act (i.e. perform) correlates with how the reality of the situation occurs to them.” In other words, we can say that people organises reality as they experience a situation. Another way of looking at consciousness and reality is that “everything in our world is self-created … we construct our own reality.”[17]

Could we be looking at the next wave of value creation in the field of leadership development? We believe we are.

“Raising consciousness is the next paradigm for advancing the development of leadership potential, performance and effectiveness for the future of work. “

————-

“We live in unprecedented times. Science is answering age-old questions about the nature of reality, the birth of the cosmos and the origins of life. We are witnessing technological advances that a century ago would have seemed science fiction, or even magic. And, more alarmingly, we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact our burgeoning growth is having on the planet. Yet along with these rapidly unfolding changes is another development that is passing largely unnoticed.

We are in the midst of an unprecedented spiritual renaissance, rediscovering in contemporary terms the timeless wisdom of the ages. Most spiritual traditions began with an individual having a transforming mystical experience, some profound revelation or inner awakening.”

“… it usually led to a delightful joy in being alive, an unconditional love for all beings, the dissolving of the sense of self and an awareness of oneness with creation.”

 (Rupert Spira – The Transparency of Things: Contemplating the Nature of Experience)

 

 

[1][1] Rupert Spira – The Transparency of Things

[2] Debashis Chatterjee – The other 99%

[3] Ibid – adapted

[4] Inspired by an article I read (but could not find the reference to it)

[5] Piaget, Loevinger, Kegan, Cook-Greuter, Torbert, Ken Wilber, Barrett Brown and many (many) others

[6] Edward Kelly – Transformation in Leadership, Part 1: A Developmental Study of Warren Buffett

[7] Edward Kelly – Transformation in Leadership, Part 1: A Developmental Study of Warren Buffett

[8] Reference – Barrett Brown – Leadership at the edge – leading complex change with postconventional consciousness; with adaptations

[9] Being at Full Potential – https://beingatfullpotential.com/

[10] Debashis Chatterjee – The other 99% – adapted

[11] Reference – on action logic and action inquiry by William Torbert – http://www.williamrtorbert.com/

[12] As in “gross-subtle-causal” states or levels of consciousness in cognitive/behavioral, psychological and developmental science

[13] Reference – Collective Evolution – “Consciousness creates reality.”

[14] Rupert Spira – The Transparency of Things (2016)

[15] Bernard Kastrup – Brief Peeks Beyond (2014)

[16] Hartman and Zimberoff – Higher Stages of Human Development; parenthesis mine

[17] Adapted – Debashis Chatterjee – The Other 99%

Employability and Future of Work – Our unique vision and solutions for policy makers and leaders

CONTEXT

 

There was a time when completing a degree or certificate (also known as a “Hard Skill”), like speaking a foreign language, typing 80 words / minute, operating a machine or programming computers, was sufficient to find good employment and earn a decent living. Although it wasn’t that long ago, when EMPLOYABILITY was synonymous to having a degree, it certainly does seem that way.

 

In today’s world, the workplace not only demands that we master a Hard Skill, it also expects us to have impeccable social skills (known as “Soft Skills”). In fact, most jobs attribute at least as much importance to communication, flexibility, motivation, persuasion, problem solving abilities, teamwork, time management and work ethic as it does to hard skills. Given the hyper connected / competitive world we live in, this makes sense. Innovation, speed to market, trustworthiness, customer centricity are no longer a nice to have, they are now a MUST for any organization to survive. Without highly evolved soft skills our ability to collaborate on projects, earn the trust of stakeholders and listen deeply to the needs of the marketplace will be limited. So EMPLOYABILITY in today’s world is very much a function of how well we master both hard AND soft skills.

 

This much is clear and most organizations, as well as some of the more progressive educational institutions, recognize it and have invested significantly in building the soft skill competencies of their employees. With the advent of AI (artificial intelligence), advanced robotics and other exponential technologies, the big question on people’s mind now is what will the FUTURE OF WORK look like in this new environment.  What new competencies will be needed, in addition to hard and soft skills?

 

Clearly competing with the productivity benefits of advanced technology is not a viable employability strategy going forward. We believe the future of work will require human beings to express more of their innate creativity in order to imagine new solutions for the grand challenges we face as a society (climate change, population growth, income inequality…). At least in the short and medium term, this is not something that technology will be able to do for us.

 

A recent McKinsey study supports this vision. It concludes that Creativity and Entrepreneurship will see the biggest % increase in hours worked between now and 2030 (40% and 33% respectively).

 

 

Other experts, like NYU Professor Richard Sennett, advocate that the future of work is about how well a person hones in on their own craft and becomes better at it than 99% of the population. Craftsmanship, he says, is an “enduring basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake.” Whether you’re a coder, customer sales rep, surgeon, or lawyer, your work is craft, and if you hone your ability and apply it with respect and care, you can generate meaning in the daily efforts of your professional life.

 

Therefore, creativity, entrepreneurship, craftsmanship and meaning, will be the buzzwords of the future. This is not only what will be expected from employees going forward, it’s also what the younger generation of more conscious leaders will demand! EMPLOYABILITY in the future will require us to go beyond hard and soft skills. Ultimately, it will be all about expressing and unleashing HUMAN POTENTIAL. In other words, we will need to look deep inside ourselves and connect with the creativity and passion that fuels our unique craft and inspires greatness. Only this will unleash the next wave of value creation for organizations while at the same time providing a deep sense of meaning for the individual.

 

The following diagram illustrates how the Future of Work will require a “whole-person” approach to Employability. By integrating our hard and soft skills with the innate sense of purpose that lies inside each one of us, it will be possible to unlock vast amounts of underutilized Human Potential, access creative breakthroughs and turn a simple job into a meaningful craft.

 

SOLUTIONS:

 

Our unique Future of Work and Employability assessment for policy makers and organizational leaders is a holistic tool to measure all the key levers that will enable success of the future workforce. The output of this 83 question survey includes:

  1. Employability Index: a robust assessment of how well a person will perform in today’s environment. This index takes into account:
    • A person’s hard skill qualifications which determine the depth and breadth of work that he or she can take on at a certain point in time.
    • A person’s ability to master the 10 most important soft skills (what we refer to as behaviour skills).
  2. Future of Work Index: a robust assessment of how well a person will perform in the future environment. This index takes into account:
  • The extent to which a person embraces what we refer to as the 8 Being Attitudes. These are the attitudes or mindsets that we must adopt in order to fully access the inner resourcefulness that lies within each one of us.
  • As well as the hard and soft skills as outlined above.
  1. Personal Performance Metrics: a robust assessment of how the combination of a person’s hard skills, soft skills and Being Attitudes will determine their ability to impact the five Professional Performance Measures (ie: the five key priorities for employers (PPMs): Trustworthiness, Getting Things Done, Inventiveness, Personal Engagement and Stakeholder Orientation) as illustrated in the “Future of Work” wheel below. The 8 Being Attitudes are at the core of the wheel, the 10 soft skills or behaviour skills in the middle and the Personal Performance Metrics on the outer circle.

 

The 8 Being Attitudes are at the core of the wheel, the 10 soft skills or behaviour skills in the middle and the Personal Performance Metrics on the outer circle.

 

 

FEATURES AND BENEFITS OF OUR “EMPLOYABILITY + FUTURE OF WORK” SOLUTION:

  1. We shift the focus back to core of people’s innate potential and not jobs.[1] The Human Potential Employability + Future of Work assessment is not just an idea or an intellectual theory, but it is practical, actionable and experiential developmental process. It is an advanced, well- tested solution delivered by Human Potential facilitator and coach.
  2. We offer state-of-art learning and developmental solution that lies at the intersection of cutting edge of cognitive-development-psychological science and ancient wisdom traditions. “No problems can be solved from the same level of consciousness created it.”[2] We develop people to shift mindset to a next level of consciousness and self-awareness (or self-identity) to solve and adapt to problems, challenges and opportunities in the future of work.
  3. Edward Deeming famously said that “In God we trust, all others bring data.” Our Employability Assessment and developmental tool puts a wealth of 23 Human Potential data-points and tangible “facts” on the table to help millenials and Gen Z youths coming into the workforce to be able to stay focused, engaged and inspired to participate fully in meaningful and new conversations (head-heart-spirit) at the workshop discussions.
  4. Our solution is transformational in practice, a rarer form of development that entails a more complete transformation in the individual’s meaning making and in their overall view of reality that in turn transform what they think, how the feel and what they do.[3] This is sustainable and contributes in time to life-long benefits in personal development, wellbeing and happiness. It is ‘learning-to-Be’ beyond ‘teaching to do’.
  5. Self realization (not self preservation) is now the primary motivation to work and driver of business performance in the future of work. This translates to increased employability capabilities through measures of personal engagement (self-agency), inventiveness, trustworthiness, stakeholder orientation and getting things done (refer to ‘Employability Wheel’ on page 4).
  6. It is a “win-win-win” for young people seeking a job, the employers and the policy makers and leaders. As mentioned above, ultimately, it pays breakthrough dividends to the overall wellbeing of people in organisations, society and the nation overall.

 

 

APPENDIX

 

Vertical Learning is the key to shift the Employability mindset to the next level of consciousness or self-awareness

According to the constructive-developmental scientists and researchers, there are two kinds of growth that we associate with adult development – vertical and horizontal and both are important, but they are very different. “If horizontal development is concerned with content and what we know, vertical development is concerned with how we know it (Harris & Kuhnert). As Cook-Greuter describes it, horizontal development is the gradual accumulation of new knowledge, new skills and experience, which can occur without any fundamental change in the individual’s overall meaning making, epistemology or worldview. Vertical development on the other hand, which is a much rarer form of development, entails a complete transformation in the individual’s meaning-making and in their overall view of reality that in turn transforms what they think, how they feel and what they do.”[4]

 

 

[1] Inspires by PWC’s report – “Workforce of the Future – The competing forces shaping 2030” – page 5; italics mine

[2] Quote is attributed to Albert Einstein.

[3] Reference – from Cook-Greuter research and her work.

[4] Edward Kelly – Transformation in Leadership, Part 1: A Developmental Study of Warren Buffett

 

Creating Conscious Culture – Part 3

Have you ever wondered…What makes a great organizational culture? How culture impacts and influences organizational performance? Why so many attempts to create great cultures fail? What we can do to approach culture change in a more sustainable way?

Thank you for your joining us on this 3 week Conscious Culture journey. We hope you have enjoyed the incredible thought leadership that Peter Leong brings to organizational culture work. Please do get in touch with him directly if you would like to explore how this work can be applied in the context of your organization (pleong@changestrategy.co.nz).

Here’s a brief recap of what we explored in the past weeks and a preview of the third and final part of this series:

In Part 1 of this series on Conscious Culture, we set the context for why culture programs have taken center stage in the management world. Most experts now agree that working at the organizational culture level is key to unleashing the next paradigm for value creation.

In Part 2 we acknowledged that too many culture change efforts fail because they only focus on the change in desired organizational outcome. For example, we often hear clients aspire “for a more performance centric culture” or “a culture of innovation” or “a pragmatic culture of getting things done”.

There is nothing wrong with setting these objectives. However, we must be aware that they are only the tip of the culture change ICEBERG. If we simply act on these without also making the necessary changes at the mindset, values and attitude level (ie: the hidden parts of the ICEBERG), then nothing will really change.

This week, in the final episode of the Conscious Culture series, we introduce very concrete tools and methods to sustain-ably bring a more conscious culture to life by shining the light and bringing more concreteness to the depth of the ICEBERG.

PART THREE: BRINGING OBJECTIVITY TO THE SUBJECTIVE NATURE OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE:

  “What gets measured get done”

One of the organizational realities that we must contend with as Organizational Development practitioners is the importance of data in the decision making process. The more strategic the decision, the more likely we need to back it up with compelling data. Therefore if we want to create culture change programs with lasting strategic impact, we must also be able to provide robust data points at every level of the Culture Change ICEBERG.

We are proposing a holistic framework that quantifies and intuitively connects the deeper human levers of culture with the strategic priorities of an organization – something that has not been available until now. With these tools and methodologies it is now possible to go about implementing Conscious Culture Change in a reliable and highly efficient way.

The 83 insightful questions of the Organizational Human Potential Survey (developed by BEING at Full Potential) assesses an organization on all levels of the conscious culture iceberg. In other words, we can now quantify the invisible aspects of the iceberg and accurately determine which of the deeper human levers need to be worked on in order to elevate the consciousness, and subsequently, the performance of the organization.

The following diagram draws the parallel between the three levels of high impact culture of Edgar Schein’s model that we introduced last week and Being at Full Potential’s ORG value creation iceberg. Focusing on the bottom of the iceberg will elevate the consciousness of the culture and ultimately result in the desired performance outcomes (top of the iceberg).

Let’s break each one of these levels down into more details:

 1. Artifacts & Practices: 6 Organizational Performance Metrics

Our research has identified six high level organisational performance measures or criteria that organisational leaders wish for most – not only to survive but to thrive and excel in a complex business world. We call these the six Organisational Performance Metrics (OPM) – or the six drivers of performance in an organisation.

The higher the level of performance in each of the performance measures, the higher the success of the organisation will be in terms of increasing the capacity and capability to grow in the long run.

These six organisational performance metrics are the visible and measurable part of the culture iceberg. A sample of the Organisational Performance Metrics, shown as a spider graph in the diagram below:

2. Espoused beliefs & Values: Creating ORG value through Human Potential realization (the 4 BEING States)

Edgar Schein states that “When reduced to their essence, the problems of internal integration are language.” In carrying out the Organisational HP assessment we are rewarded with access into a deep pool of Human metrics that can now be used to bring in a new language and to start new narratives on the Human states and dimensions as the pathway to address the internal integration issues that are unique and different for each organisation.

“It is language that makes thought possible … (not the reverse…)”

Using the language and measures associated with Human Potential realisation, we are able to go beneath the surface and explore the deeper human dynamics at play in the organisation. Specifically, we measure the extent to which the collective Human Potential is utilized. We have broken down Human Potential realization into 4 States and 23 Dimensions as illustrated in the diagram below:

3. Basic underlying assumptions: Adopting the 8 conscious BEING Attitudes 

Whether an organisation thrives or struggles is highly dependent on whether top leaders have the desire and will “to yearn to bring more consciousness to the way (they) run organisations”, to overcome the current limits of people’s performance as they face this technology-driven, fast changing, complex and uncertain business world.

The 8 conscious BEING Attitudes are backed by both ancient wisdom traditions and modern science as key levers for unlocking outstanding human performance through conscious culture. The more an organization deliberately adopts these mindsets, the more likely they will thrive in today’s VUCA world.

4. Bringing it all together: Consciousness Maturity Index

For the first time, we have a way to assess, ‘see’ and experience the consciousness level (index) of the organisation. Now we can begin new and rich narratives and dialogues as to what the result of the assessment of the Consciousness Maturity Index means to the group. See Figure below:

The Consciousness Maturity Index has been adapted from the “five Koshas” which are the basis of Indian spiritual traditions. These five layers measure the level of consciousness (or consciousness maturity) of an organization at a given point in time and indicate its next stage of growth or maturity in consciousness.

This measure is a useful guide and predictor of organisational performance. It also provides practical insights to organisational performance “in relation to internal cohesion and external fit with the environment”, [1] and to the alignment of individual aspiration with that of the leadership team and the organisation on the whole.

Example:

Take the example of Company X whose level of conscious culture maturity index shows that the company is operating at the level of a “REASON-BASED CULTURE” (or rational) organisation. This would suggest that:

  • the organisation is adept at problem solving and applying logic to understand the root causes and underlying motives
  • decisions are typically made with a lot of forethought and plenty of supporting data
  • the organization tends to play it safe in order to avoid making ‘mistakes’

However, in ‘hiding’ under the current culture based on reason and rational, we can also discover that:

  • the organisational leaders and managers also forgo the opportunity for passion, creativity and breakthroughs to emerge
  • growing into the next level of organisational maturity (PURPOSE-BASED CULTURE) will require more compassionate and visionary leadership, that is committed to realizing the full potential of its people
  • the organization will learn to access and rely more on its intuition (in addition to the rational processes) in order to make informed decisions about the ‘emerging future’ vs the best practices of today

In their explorations many researchers found consistently that humanity evolves in stages of consciousness. High consciousness creates the ‘silence’ from where we show up in our fullest Human potentialities. By expanding our consciousness, we are more able to source from our highest level of Human energy to become more of ‘who am I’, emerging and converging ultimately into our highest Self.

“That is the true genius of organizations: they can lift groups of people to punch above their weight, to achieve outcomes they could not have achieved on their own.” [2]

[1] Reference: “The many faces of culture: making sense of 30 years of research on culture in organisational studies (2015)”; Denison & Mishra, 1995 and Arogyaswamy & Byles, 1987)

[2] Frederic Laloux – Reinventing Organisations

FROM CONSCIOUS CULTURE DATA POINTS TO A NEW SET OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIORS & ACTIONS

The new insights & discoveries emerging from the data can now be fully integrated and transformed into actionable next steps, fully owned by the organisation. This is reinforced by new practices of adopting new language, symbols, rituals and ceremonies.

“…. you design a (conscious) culture that itself immersively sweeps every member of the organisation into an ongoing developmental journey in the course of working every day.”

We encourage the leadership team to get together and go through a DISCOVERY process to re-visualize what the emerging future organisation looks like. In the process, they will be supported in:

  • integrating and translating the new ideal into concrete language, symbols, rituals and ceremonies so that employees are engaged in new empowering ways through shifts in consciousness or self-awareness (see below for more details)
  • developing a new implementation plan – making explicit choices in favour of a higher purpose
  • focusing on high leverage change and development interventions, based on what the leaders and people in the organisation deeply care about
  • developing targeted personal development training and coaching programs that are rolled out at the individual and group levels to make the new inner states a reality
  • collectively adopting new language and customs so that employees are engaged in more empowering day-to-day conversations and ways
  • embracing new Leadership BEING Attitudes and habits, and the new consciousness being reflected in the management objectives and planning tools, like Balance Scorecard, Strategy mapping, Performance Measures, Lean Management practices, Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), etc.

There are four levers that have been used for centuries to shift mindset (self-awareness or consciousness) and we will look at how these can be applied to creating self-realized organizations.

  1. Language (or vocabulary): The first and foremost lever to shift individual or organizational mindset is VOCABULARY or LANGUAGE. If we want a new reality, we must speak a new vocabulary.
  2. Rituals: Rituals are perhaps the most effective lever to transform an individual’s or organization’s mindset. They rewire your brain and impact the way you think, speak and do things.The following definition of rituals is found on the net: Rituals are a series of actions or type of behaviour, regularly and invariably followed by someone.
  3. Ceremonies: Ceremonies have the power to develop greater meaning and deeper relationships, whether they be personal, organisational or community ceremonies. Ceremonies help focus the collective intentions for yourself and your organization.
  4. Symbols: Symbols resonate with you on a deep level. They are reminders of what you stand for. They stimulate your thoughts and ideas and awaken your deeper mind. They have the power to penetrate you and code their message deep within your subconscious.

For more info and practical examples of the 4 levers of mindset change please refer to the following article by Sujith Ravindran

“From a developmental perspective, real growth requires some qualitative shift, not just in knowledge, but in perspective or way of thinking. Growing is when the form of our understanding changes; we often call this ‘transformation’. As we grow, the previous form is overtaken by the new form, leaving traces of the less-mature form behind like rings in a tree trunk.” (Jennifer Berger – Changing on the Job)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR (Peter Leong)

I write this White Paper with full and humble acknowledgement that my personal learning and knowledge is derived from the wise and intelligent work of many other preceding authors, researchers, thought leaders, and especially the ancient masters and sage of wisdoms from both the East and West.

More recently, I cherish the wisdom I gained from Sujith Ravindran and Mark Vandeneijnde in their passionate work in the field of Human Potential Realisation – both from a beautiful blend of scientific and ancient mystical approach. I also draw new inspiration from the growing network of deep thinkers and practitioners at Being at Full Potential around the world.

This White Paper is simply a curation of these wisdoms and knowledge weaved into my own thoughts and words that I hope do justice to those wise and enlightened people who influenced my life.

Creating Conscious Culture – Part 2

Have you ever wondered…What makes a great organizational culture? How culture impacts and influences organizational performance? Why so many attempts to create great cultures fail? What we can do to approach culture change in a more sustainable way?

Our partner in New Zealand, Peter Leong, has been passionately researching these questions over the last couple of years. and has come to the conclusion that the next paradigm in value creation will come from raising the consciousness of organizational cultures.

Last week we shared PART 1 of this series on Conscious Culture. We set the context for why culture programs have taken center stage in the management world. Most experts now agree that working at the organizational culture level is key to unleashing the next paradigm for value creation.

Today we share PART 2 in which we break down the key reasons why most culture programs fail and why a more CONSCIOUS approach is the only viable way forward

Next week, in PART 3, we introduce very concrete tools and methods to sustain-ably bring a more conscious culture to life

This series shows us that there is great reward in raising the consciousness level or maturity within organisations. Leaders can now have access to a new way to re-imagine and re-sculpt their organisational culture as the pathway for outstanding performance by everyone in the organisation.

We will provide a roadmap to shift mindset and raise consciousness of the people so that we can unleash the immense (but untapped) Human Potential in the process of co-creating and actualising a conscious workplace culture. 

PART TWO: THE DEEPER DRIVERS OF CULTURE CHANGE

“For (the) organisation to change its way of working would require a complete assessment of all aspects of its culture”.[1]  

Edgar Schein (one of the preeminent thought leaders and practitioner on organisational culture since 1980s) explained that “the biggest danger in trying to understand culture is to oversimplify it”, for example, to say that culture is just ‘the way we do things around here’ or that culture is ‘the company climate’ and so on. These are only manifestations of culture, but none is at the level where culture matters.

The term ‘levels’ of culture means the degree to which a cultural phenomenon is visible, or not visible, to us as leaders of culture change.

“In order to manage culture, you must understand what culture is, what content culture covers, and how to assess it. It is dangerous to oversimplify this concept because of the illusion that one is managing culture when one is, in fact, managing only a manifestation of culture and, therefore, not achieving one’s change goals.”[2]

He adds that a better way to think about culture is “to realise that culture exists at 3 ‘levels’,” namely, the Artifacts, the Espoused Values and the Basic Underlying Assumptions levels, and that “we must understand and manage the deeper levels of culture” for greater impact of the culture change process. This is illustrated in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1 – Edgar Schein’s – Structural Framework – 3 Levels of Culture

Culture is deep, extensive, and stable. It cannot be taken lightly. If you do not manage culture, it will manage you—and you may not even be aware of the extent to which this is happening. But this is not easy.”[1] 

 


[1] Edgar Schein – Organisational Culture and Leadership

[2] Edgar Schein – The Corporate Culture Survival Guide

A DEEPER LOOK INTO THE CULTURE ICEBERG

Let us expand and transform Edgar Schein’s 3 level culture structure into a more comprehensible and practical ‘HP Culture Iceberg’. This will make it easier for change leaders to take a closer look at what they are dealing with in terms of the management issues at each level of the culture iceberg, and the corresponding types of Human Potential (HP) assessments that they can now use to measure how well they are doing in overcoming and solving these management issues, as illustrated in Figure 2 below.

  • Top level – Artifacts and practices – looking primarily at external survival issues and how we can manage and track these issues with the HP Performance Level assessment tool
  • Middle level – Espoused beliefs and values – looking primarily at internal integration issues and how we can manage and tract these issues with the HP States of Being assessment tool
  • Bottom level – Basic underlying values – looking primarily at the ultimate source of deep Human values and actions issues and how we can manage and tract these issues with the HP Leadership BEING Attitudes and Consciousness assessment tool

The iceberg metaphor helps us to explain the importance and impact of all 3 levels of culture more clearly, especially in paying attention to the ‘invisible’ and deeper layers of the culture iceberg. What we see (or is visible) above the surface of the water is only the tip and a very small part of the total iceberg. The rest of the iceberg is ‘invisible’, being below the water. The point is that we cannot ignore this massive and ‘dangerous’ chunk of the iceberg that is hidden from us if want to safely navigate around the ‘invisible’ danger posed by the iceberg, even though we can see where the visible tip of the iceberg is.

Most culture change programs navigate and address the (simpler) first two culture levels (artifacts and espoused values) without adequately addressing the third and deeper level at the bottom of the ‘culture iceberg’ (deep underlying assumptions). They are in fact mainly addressing the visible (or surface) manifestations of culture, but not adequately addressing the ultimate source of deep Human values and actions in the organisation’s culture.

“We cannot oversimplify culture, it gives us the illusion of managing culture with managing only manifestation of culture – therefore not achieving one’s change goals or performance.” [1]

To achieve the high-performance goal of any culture transformation initiative, we must acknowledge the WHOLE (all three layers) of the HP culture iceberg to gain the full impact of any culture transformation.

The most important advantage of the HP culture iceberg as shown in Figure 2 above is that it gives change leaders a new solution – how to successfully manage and change not only the top two levels, but especially the bottom level of the culture iceberg – the most elusive, troublesome and ignored aspect of culture change initiatives in the past – where the greatest impact and reward lies.

“It is the degree of alignment or congruity between the 3 levels that determines how an individual’s ‘sincerity’ or ‘integrity’ is judged by others.”  [2]

[1] Adapted from Edgar Schein – The Corporate Survival Guide; italics mine

[2] Edgar Schein – Organisational culture and Leadership

A MORE CONSCIOUS APPROACH TO CULTURE IS THE (ONLY) WAY FORWARD

.

“Unconscious assumptions sometimes lead to ridiculously tragic situations.”[1]

The third level of the culture iceberg (deep underlying assumptions) deals with the ultimate source of Human values and actions. We can now associate the third level of the culture iceberg with raising the awareness and consciousness of people in organisations and other ecosystems as the ultimate source of Human values and actions.

Our first contention in this paper is that the more we understand, manage and nurture culture on all three levels and especially at the third level of culture, the higher and greater the impact in achieving breakthrough performance (and results) that are long lasting.

There has been a lack of know-how (or practical knowledge) that can help culture change leaders to address this third level of the culture iceberg. But not anymore. Change leaders can now lead and manage the third layer of the culture iceberg by using the Human Potential Leadership Being Attitudes and the Consciousness Maturity assessment tool. We will examine the various maturity levels of consciousness in this paper.

“Conscious culture is driver of peak performance and value creation in the organisations.” [2]

Our second contention is that only by raising the individual and collective awareness or consciousness can we create that ‘space’ where sustained breakthroughs in performance and results can truly take place. Culture and consciousness being integral to each other and operating consistently from this deep ‘space’ will lead to real and profound culture change. This ‘space’ is the new change lever for high-impact culture transformation.

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” [3]

Figure 3 – The Space is the Secret – the Wisdom Carrier

Image – Vanessa Smith – www.craftingconnection.com

In a recent HBR article[4] by Tasha Eurich, she wrote that “Self-awareness seems to have become the latest management buzzword — and for good reason.” She went on to write that when we are more self-aware or conscious(when we see ourselves clearly),  “we are more confident and more creative. We make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. We’re less likely to lie, cheat, and steal. We are better workers who get more promotions. And we’re more-effective leaders with more-satisfied employees and more-profitable companies”[5]

In this white paper, when dealing with the deep and basic underlying assumptions of culture, we are treating ‘awareness’ and ‘consciousness’ as the same thing.

“… awareness or consciousness is all that is ever known or experienced, and it is awareness or consciousness that is knowing and experiencing itself” [6]

Next week we will further expand on our understanding of CONSCIOUSNESS and why it is so important in the context of culture. We will also introduce some very concrete tools and methodologies that help us raise organizational consciousness in more sustainable and systematic way.

 

[1] Ibid

[2] www.consciousculture.nz

[3] Albert Einstein

[4] What Self-Awareness Really Is (and How to Cultivate It) – 2018

[5] Tasha Eurich – HBR article – What Self-Awareness Really Is (and How to Cultivate It)

[6] Rupert Spira – The Nature of Consciousness

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR (Peter Leong)

I write this White Paper with full and humble acknowledgement that my personal learning and knowledge is derived from the wise and intelligent work of many other preceding authors, researchers, thought leaders, and especially the ancient masters and sage of wisdoms from both the East and West.

More recently, I cherish the wisdom I gained from Sujith Ravindran and Mark Vandeneijnde in their passionate work in the field of Human Potential Realisation – both from a beautiful blend of scientific and ancient mystical approach. I also draw new inspiration from the growing network of deep thinkers and practitioners at Being at Full Potential around the world.

This White Paper is simply a curation of these wisdoms and knowledge weaved into my own thoughts and words that I hope do justice to those wise and enlightened people who influenced my life.

Creating Conscious Culture – Part 1

Have you ever wondered…What makes a great organizational culture? How culture impacts and influences organizational performance? Why so many attempts to create great cultures fail? What we can do to approach culture change in a more sustainable way?

Our partner in New Zealand, Peter Leong, has been passionately researching these questions over the last couple of years. and has come to the conclusion that the next paradigm in value creation will come from raising the consciousness of organizational cultures. He is now ready to share his wealth of insight in this three part series that will unfold over the next couple of weeks.

Part one sets the context: Most Culture programs fail despite being hailed as the next value creation paradigm for organizations

Part two breaks down the key reasons why most culture programs fail and why a more CONSCIOUS approach is the only viable way forward

Part three introduces very concrete tools and methods to sustain-ably bring a more conscious culture to life

This series shows us that there is great reward in raising the consciousness level or maturity within organisations. Leaders can now have access to a new way to re-imagine and re-sculpt their organisational culture as the pathway for outstanding performance by everyone in the organisation.

We will provide a roadmap to shift mindset and raise consciousness of the people so that we can unleash the immense (but untapped) Human Potential in the process of co-creating and actualising a conscious workplace culture.  

PART ONE: SETTING THE CONTEXT

Today, the discipline of organisational culture has taken centre stage in the management world (from over the last decade or so). It is not surprising that a Google search on “organisational culture” yields about 2.79 million results due to the vast amount of written information on the importance of culture and culture change in organisations in the last few years. Culture really matters.

Leaders today understand that organisational culture is the paramount factor in growing its future strategic capacity and capabilities to achieve sustainable and outstanding performance and results, in the face of today’s “age of disruption”. Ignoring culture will leave in its wake, a large trail of struggling, underperforming or uninspired business and organisation around the world.

“… we know that the pace of industry disruption means that modern organisations must be truly customer-centered and continually innovating. Many organisations need to transform their culture to match the different business model from the one with which they started in the decade.”[1]

Study after study show that there is breakthrough value to be created with culture transformation. One such research found that;

“84 percent said that the organization’s culture was critical to the success of change management, and 64 percent saw it as more critical than strategy or operating model.”[2]

Culture is now acknowledged as a key strategic business driver. It is not surprising that one finds many phases in management literature that highlight how important culture is as a strategic imperative for breakthrough performance in organisations. A few examples are listed below as example.

  • “Culture eats strategy for business” (Attributed to Peter Drucker)
  • “Culture by itself is strategy” (Adapted – Kegan/Lahey; Everyone Culture)
  • The thing I have learned at IBM is that culture is everything. (Lou Gerstner)
  • “Your company’s culture is the foundation of everything you do. It is the real bottom line.” (Barry Phegan)
  • “Your company culture is your major asset – understand and take charge of it.” (Barry Phegan)
  • “Culture is perhaps the ultimate strategy and risk management tool: get the culture right and objectives will more likely be achieved and risk managed. Get the culture wrong and failure will be just about inevitable.” (Andrew Smart & James Creelman)
  • “I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game; it is the game.” (Lou Gerstner – IBM)

“Far from denying the play of freedom and human agency, the discipline of culture …. enables us to create, in our social and individual beings, the wildest thoughts and feelings our imaginations allow and the selves we choose to actualize. The more, and the better, the collective constructions of culture work for us, the freer are we, as individuals, to be, to do, and to think as we please.”[3]

[1] Bendelta – The role of human potential in creating exponential organisations

[2] Survey by Katzenbach Center – quoted in a Strategy + Business Article; June 6, 2014

[3] Simona Giorgi, Christi Lockwood & Mary Ann Glynn (2015) – “The Many Faces of Culture” – quoting from Patterson, 2014, pp. 22–23)

BUT THERE IS A PROBLEM… MOST CULTURE PROGRAMS FAIL!

“It is particularly annoying to managers that culture is not easily measured and controlled. In the occupational culture of management, to be able to measure and control things is a sacred cow. If you can’t put numbers on it, it is “soft stuff” not to be trusted or taken seriously. Cultural forces therefore pose an automatic problem because they cannot be controlled.”[1]

Most culture programs fail because it is hard for leaders to try to achieve deep culture change. It is hard because it involves having to dive into the ‘messy’ human dimensions and dynamics that, until now, is difficult to assess and measure.

Organisational leaders sense and understand that changing organisational culture is a finicky and messy thing – many choosing not to go down this path of deeper level culture change involving the Human dimensions, not wanting to rock the boat.

“One cannot really build, evolve, or change culture without getting into the messy details of particular cultures.”[2]

All too often, leaders see cultural change initiatives as a last resort. They prefer to take on the safer (and more visible and externally orientated) change management initiatives like changing organisational and management structures, processes and operational designs.

These ‘externally orientated’ change initiatives and organisational development do give the desired results for a while but soon it falls back to a default culture of the “old ways” of doing what is expected and little more. Change fatigue and exhaustion creeps in and it looks like any new change initiatives appears to have reached the limits of the value creation for breakthrough or exponential growth in the face of this new, complex and fast changing world.

“The more things change the more they remain the same.” (Jean-Baptise Alphonse Karr – 1849)[3]

Many studies have shown that organisational change interventions (including culture change) have had a poor track record and this reduces the confidence of leaders to undertake culture change initiatives.

“70% of all change attempts fails to deliver the desired outcomes.” (McKinsey & Company research)

But even if executive leaders and HR managers wanted to launch culture change interventions, they will come across two key stumbling blocks[4];

  1. There is a lack of structured process for deep level culture deployment and intervention, that is, how do we put culture into actions and use?
  2. There is also a lack of systematic way to address the Human experience and multiple dimension of people – and yet, this is at the heart of organisational culture

“… more than 60% of change projects are people related, and they “stumble on … trying to transform employees’ attitudes and management behavior”[5]

Human science and research shows us that we need to go beyond and beneath the surface of Human systems and its deep rooted intrinsic nature of Human Beings.

While today’s leaders are steep in management knowledge, skills and capability in implementing strategic organisational, systems and process improvements by leveraging the latest IT technology and intelligence, they are mostly unsure of how to walk down the road of deep culture transformation, including how to shift mindset and consciousness to the next higher level of maturity.

Hence, this is the frustration that leaders face today – being wary or uneasy and not trusting themselves and external consultants to step into new but important culture change initiatives where it really matters.

Next week we will introduce a powerful framework that acknowledges and shines the light on the WHOLE culture “ICEBERG” structure.

[1] Edgar Schein – The Corporate Culture Survival Guide; talics mine

[2] Edgar Schein – The Corporate Culture Survival Guide

[3] Source – David Leonard and Claude Coltea – Most Change Initiatives Fail — But They Don’t Have To (Gallup)

[4] Reference – Onirik – “Cracking the Change code”; with adaption

[5] Kotter 1995, McKinsey 2002 & 2008, and Prosci 2005, 2009

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR (Peter Leong)

 

I write this White Paper with full and humble acknowledgement that my personal learning and knowledge is derived from the wise and intelligent work of many other preceding authors, researchers, thought leaders, and especially the ancient masters and sage of wisdoms from both the East and West.

More recently, I cherish the wisdom I gained from Sujith Ravindran and Mark Vandeneijnde in their passionate work in the field of Human Potential Realisation – both from a beautiful blend of scientific and ancient mystical approach. I also draw new inspiration from the growing network of deep thinkers and practitioners at Being at Full Potential around the world.

This White Paper is simply a curation of these wisdoms and knowledge weaved into my own thoughts and words that I hope do justice to those wise and enlightened people who influenced my life.