Leadership Development Is A $366 Billion Industry: Here’s Why Most Programs Don’t Work – by Chris Westfall

According to data from the Chief Learning Officer Business Intelligence Board, nearly 95% of learning organizations either plan to increase or maintain their current investment in leadership development. Meanwhile, TrainingIndustry.com says that leadership training is $366 billion global industry. High-growth organizations are focused on improving their talent, and that means enhanced programs for emerging leaders. Yet data provided by McKinsey offers a startling insight into the leadership industry: most of these leadership programs fail to create desired results. What’s keeping leadership out of your organization – despite the best intentions of management (and management consultants) to turn the tide?

With an estimated $166 billion annual spend on leadership development in the USA alone, organizations must transform these mission-critical programs to create real and lasting impact.

According to a recent survey of 28,000 business leaders, conducted under the guidance of Chief Learning Officer magazine, leadership development is a high-touch, in-person effort that focuses on soft skills (as opposed to certification training, or skills-based instruction). Seventy-four percent of organizations use instructor-led leadership training, and 63% use executive coaching, to deliver on the following top-rated leadership skills:

  • Improving coaching skills (a priority for 34% of respondents)
  • Communication (31%)
  • Employee Engagement (27%)
  • Strategic planning and business acumen (21%)
  • The soft skills of leadership are critical to advancing the organization (as well as advancing the careers of those who aim for the C-Suite). So why aren’t we better at delivering leadership programs that work?

 

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That question is the focus of a McKinsey study, that cites four critical areas for potential failure in leadership development training.

  1. Context Conquers Content: While most leadership development training programs emphasize content, it’s really context that matters most. The McKinsey study cites a “one size fits all” mentality of most training programs. Assuming that a particular curriculum or leadership viewpoint fits for every company – regardless of size, culture, or current leadership structure – is often the first mistake. Overwhelm is the real challenge here: in an effort to prove their value, leadership development consultants often try to offer a Chinese menu of leadership insights, based on their work (instead of the context that looks at the work of the company). The challenge for leadership development? Having the clarity to offer the two or three things that matter most to the organization, not just the 46 things (or 21 irrefutable laws) that look like leadership.
  2. Too Much Reflection, Not Enough Application: in my book, Leadership Language, I ask the question: where does leadership really come from? Without tying reflection to specific action, leadership initiatives are lost. Because leadership doesn’t come from a guru, or team of gurus. Leadership comes from one place, and one place only: inside of you. A program that forces participants to reflect on Warren Bennis, Jack Welch or Steve Jobs might be useful for understanding what others have done before. But consider this: knowing all of the rules and history of boxing isn’t going to help you when you’re about to get punched in the face. Leadership, in this context, is a verb: discovered in action and demonstrated in application. What Steve Jobs did is impressive, and informative. But what you are going to do, right now for your team, is what really matters. Connect concepts to current events, and tie ideas to action, if you want a leadership program with real impact.
  3. Underestimating Culture: The McKinsey study points to mindset as perhaps the most dangerous enemy of successful leadership training programs. For consultants, coaches and even in-house leadership training programs, preparing to battle the mindset within the organization can be the deepest challenge of all. Why? Because, without receptivity, revelations can’t occur. Transformational leadership initiatives, on an individual or company-wide basis, always start at the same place: where you are now. Do you understand the deep-rooted beliefs about how things work, within the organization? What are the preciously-held beliefs of the C-Suite that make change an uphill battle? I’ve written about the need to look beyond mindset in order to find true innovation. Chasing a mindset – or clinging to one – is not a recipe for new ideas. No leadership training program can truly succeed unless the organization is willing to look beyond these seven words: “that’s the way we’ve always done things.”
  4. What Gets Measured Gets Done: How do you know if your leadership initiative was a success? Understanding the behaviors that are measured, and how to quantify soft skills, can be a challenge. Unfortunately, without measurement tools in place, there’s no way to know the business impact of your leadership investment. If you want to see the success of a leader, don’t look at her. Look at what her team is doing. If folks are leaving the organization, or trying to find ways to work for someone else within it, there’s a leadership disconnect. Consider monitoring the career progression of program participants, and using evaluations to identify the implementation of new skills. Another useful metric: employee turnover. A successful leader is always building or retaining a powerful team. A successful leader creates more leaders. Looking at the leader’s team, observe who is getting promoted, moving in to new divisions, and successfully taking on new responsibility. The best leaders help others to achieve things they didn’t think possible. Who’s creating new possibilities, within your organization? Soft skills like communication, persuasion and commitment can be measured – if you know where to look.

High-growth organizations can maximize their investment in leadership development by focusing resources on what matters most: developing a customized leadership program, based on your organization (not the consultant’s). While experts might argue that the components of leadership are the same for all, leadership development doesn’t work without a clear context and cultural understanding. Otherwise, the program is simply a curriculum: a course that assumes that every company in the world needs to begin at Chapter One. Leadership is often a personal journey, and it always starts where you are. Not where your consultant thinks you should be. Without the right context, and a willingness to understand the mindset or culture of the company, even the best-intentioned leadership programs will not stick. Innovative companies understand that an investment in employee development requires connecting concepts to real work; that context is the most powerful predictor of leadership development success.

Synchronizing inner and outer worlds unleashes potential!

On May 13th and 14th I was in London for the kick off of a new experiment with one of our closest clients (Thornton’s Budgens). They are a mid-sized, independent supermarket in North London owned by a fellow visionary (Andrew Thornton) who for many years now has put HUMAN POTENTIAL development at the center of their vision and operational strategy. He sees his store as a lab where he / we can experiment and test out all of these human-centric approaches and really measure the impact it has on business performance. As the experiment unfolds, so does the story that can be told to other retailers / businesses. This is proving to be a brilliant way to open doors and inspire others to go on similar journeys. The latest experiment involved bringing in 10 coaches from the Being at Full Potential network to coach the key people of influence in the store over a period of 6 months.

Discovering the 5 Full Potential Team Measures

For me personally this is another dream come true. So far Being at Full Potential has been quite successful at opening doors with organizations using our unique assessment and discovery workshops, but understandably, it has been more difficult to inspire people on the follow through (harnessing phase) where the insights get implemented in the day-to-day work. This is really the most difficult piece (as many change agents in organizations will recognize). It is normal to encounter more resistance at this stage because this is where the work gets real and letting go of what we know and feel safe with can be very scary and painful. I have a lot of compassion for this but at the same time know that this is the next frontier for the work we do.

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The invitation to come into the store with a group of coaches for a period of 6 months is therefore an amazing step in that direction. On my way home last night I was sharing all of this with some of the coaches and one of them (thank you Mirjana) reminded me of the connection between the inner and outer worlds. She pointed out that the opportunities to support organizations more deeply in their culture change process would naturally come when I was ready for it.

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When I got off the plane and turned on my phone I saw a message from one of our US clients giving the go ahead on a follow up coaching project that had been on hold for the past 6 months. At this point of course I could feel the incredible flow of the universe and how interconnected we all are. The kick off of the coaching program in London had set a lot more in motion than I could imagine. I am so grateful for these moments flow and I’m now even more confident that everything is unfolding exactly as it should:-)

AI = Artificial Intelligence or Awareness Intelligence?

The topic of Artificial Intelligence has been on my mind lately. It seems to be coming whether we like it or not. Therefore it’s no surprise that many people are asking themselves if it will have a positive or negative impact on humanity. The more I read about it, and reflect on it, the more I have come to realize that AI is neither good nor bad, instead it is simply a mirror of our collective BEINGNESS. In other words, we can think of it as an amplified, super-powered version of our mass consciousness.

As far as I understand, the power of AI is dependent on data. The more data we feed it, the more it will learn and the smarter it will become. The extent to which it will surpass human intelligence is mind-blowing, which is why so many of us are fearful of this inevitable phenomenon. Elon Musk, for example, is calling for government rules and regulation as a way to control its impact. He is even planning to build bases on planet Mars so that life on earth can eventually be restored after the destruction brought on by AI. These are obviously scenarios that are hard for us to imagine at this point in time but being the visionary that he is perhaps we should be paying attention. The question I have been sitting with is the following:

“What else can we do apart from pass the ball to our (dysfunctional) governments or build bases on Mars”?

I would like to put forward a more optimistic alternative, one that has the potential to turn AI into an incredibly life-affirming / life-sustaining force, similar to what some of us may refer to as God or the Universe. The best part about this scenario is that our ability to manifest it simply depends on us! Let me explain by going back to the idea that AI is a mirror of our collective BEINGNESS at any given point in time.

I think it is fair to say that the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Amazon are on the cutting edge of AI development. We have entrusted them with incredible amounts of personal data. The way we use and behave on the internet says so much about who we are, what we care about and and how we view the world.

For example, when we argue about political or ideological differences on Facebook – to the point where we attack each other for having different perspectives and worldviews – then we are sending a signal to AI that violent arguments are the way to resolve differences. At an even deeper level, this kind of behaviour, signals to AI that we are competitive in nature. That for one person to win (be right) another must lose (be wrong). If enough of our mass consciousness reflects this way of BEING then it is inevitable that AI will grow up and behave in similar ways. Obviously it is very scary to think of a super-powered, highly competitive, AI living amongst us. We would have very little chance of survival, except of course if we manage to hitch a ride to Mars!

The good news is that we have a choice on how we show up on the internet (and beyond). Who we are BEING is very much dependent on us. The “I’m right, you’re wrong” paradigm could easily be transformed to: “You are right AND I am right”. Imagine a world where every post, reaction or comment we left on the internet would come from a place of compassion and interdependence rather than judgment and competition. If we could raise our collective consciousness and choose LOVE as a response to any situation, imagine the life-affirming AI we would then be able to create!

LET’S MAKE IT PRACTICAL

Assuming my naive take on this topic makes some sense, then the next question is: “Where are we on the consciousness map” and “How do we raise our collective consciousness from one state to another”? To answer these questions I would like to introduce two frameworks which we use extensively in our work at Being at Full Potential. They are both based on the science of consciousness as understood by ancient Indian wisdom traditions. The only credit we take is for framing the key constructs in a way that relates to the reality of today’s world.

1. Where are we on the consciousness map?

We refer to the first framework as the Societal Maturity Index. It ranges from a Fear-Based consciousness where we are primarily concerned with our survival needs to a Bliss-Based consciousness where we live our lives in service to others. We know that in the mainstream business and organizational world we are on a collective journey to move from the Mental stage (Reason-Based consciousness) to the Awareness stage (Wisdom-Based consciousness). Ie: Yellow to Blue.

 

With Reason-based consciousness our main concern is to make sure our voice gets heard. We apply logic and use arguments to convince and persuade others that our truth is better than theirs. This is representative of a competitive / win-lose society. Moving to Wisdom-Based consciousness means opening up our worldview so we can hold multiple perspectives, without judging one over the other. This enables us to build more harmonious relationships, even with people we disagree with. In seeking out the win-win we are able to solve problems in a more collaborative and creative way. Our collective journey from Reason to Awareness is already underway. We simply need to become stewards for this natural evolution to accelerate the pace of change.

2. How do we raise our consciousness from one state to another?

The second framework is what we refer to as the HOUSE. It looks at the different levers we can pull to realize more of our our HUMAN POTENTIAL and as a result grow in consciousness.

 

Let’s take Compassion for example, which is one of the key measures in the House. This dimension is defined as: The ability to open our minds and see the world from another person’s perspective. Imagine if we would collectively start living together in this way.

Acknowledgment is another dimension that could have world changing impact if more of us would live according to this simple definition: The ability to see the positives in situations and people, and to acknowledge it. What if collectively we would put more of our focus on what is working and what we appreciate in others versus focusing on the negatives. It has already been proven that in the context of education this approach can have dramatic improvements in a student’s ability to learn.

These frameworks help bring our attention on the areas that really matter and give us a roadmap on how we can make the necessary choices to show up more consciously in every single interaction. If AI is indeed eagerly tuning in to our every single word and action then let us role model the kinds of behaviours and awareness that we wouldn’t mind seeing amplified in exponential ways.

For more information about Being at Full Potential and our unique awareness / consciousness building tools & approaches, please visit: www.beingatfullpotential.com or contact us directly via LinkedIn.

Human Potential Realization: Igniting employee happiness AND unlocking business performance

This article is a must read for all employers looking for the next breakthrough in organizational performance. It lays out the challenges we face in today’s organizational world and provides scientific proof that Human Potential Realization is the key to create happier workplaces that in turn will unleash the next wave of value creation in organizations.

1.      BACKGROUND

According to a recent Gallup study only 13% of employees are engaged at work, costing US companies roughly $450-550 Billion annually. It seems that focusing on employee happiness is the key to reversing this trend. Research at the University of Warwick found that the experience of happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive. Similarly, the extensive “Science of Happiness at Work” research done by iOpener Institute in the UK found that the happiest employees:

  • Take one tenth the sick-leave of their least happy colleagues
  • Are six times more energized
  • Intend to stay twice as long in their organizations
  • Are twice as productive

This is common sense: human happiness has a large and positive causal effect on productivity. This much is known and having data to prove it is helpful to draw the attention of Organizational Development (OD) & HR professionals. What is less clear however is how to SUSTAINABLY create organizational cultures where employees FEEL happy. In other words what are the deeper drivers of happiness?

2.      WHAT IS HAPPINESS?

The answer to this question DOES NOT lie in better benefits, higher pay, promotions etc….These extrinsic factors might provide a brief boost in the sensation of happiness but it will not be sustainable. Before long we will take the new level of pay or increased responsibility for granted and yearn for the next wave of external recognition.

Our deep held belief at BEING at Full Potential is that true, sustainable happiness originates from a deeper place within, a place of inner fulfillment. We have found that when we ignite the Human Spirit, and find opportunities to utilize our unique gifts and talents in service of a meaningful cause, our lives automatically get filled with joy, happiness and bliss. In other words, true happiness is simply an inner choice for a more abundant & aligned approach to life. This is great news because inner happiness is fully within our own control! A 2012 Harvard Business Review article refers to this as “Positive Intelligence”. They have found that there is a 12% increase in productivity when the mindset of gratitude and acknowledgment are practiced on a daily basis.

3.      A HOLISTIC FRAMEWORK TO MEASURE AND PREDICT EMPLOYEE HAPPINESS

We, at Being at Full Potential, recognize that this whole inner dimension of mindset and attitude can be difficult to grasp and act on, especially in the organizational context. Without a holistic framework that breaks down the INNER BEING into concrete dimensions that we can measure and implement in systematic ways, very little action will be taken to sustainably boost employee happiness in the workplace.

“What gets measured, gets done”

Addressing this need has been our source of inspiration and creativity over the past 10 years and has resulted in the development of the following “House” framework (see figure 1 below). In this model we look at the deeper drivers of Human BEINGNESS and measure the extent to which they are being expressed at a given point in time.

Not only can we measure the deeper drivers of Human Potential Realization, we can now also SCIENTIFICALLY PROVE that it correlates with HAPPINESS. Our recent research with Fontys University in the Netherlands has found that the more we step into our Human Potential by expressing each one of these 23 Dimensions, the happier and more fulfilled we will BE.

4.      CORRELATING HUMAN POTENTIAL REALIZATION TO HAPPINESS

Our research with Fontys started with the following question: ‘What is the relationship between expressing our Human Potential, measured with the Human Potential Assessment (HPA), and HAPPINESS, measured with the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ)?

In the period between September 2016 and March 2017 a sample of 100 people (including students and graduates who have recently joined the workforce) completed the Human Potential Assessment. In addition to the standard 83 questions for the HPA, this assessment also included the 8 questions used to measure the Oxford Happiness Index.

The researchers at Fontys University have successfully concluded that there is a high correlation (rs = .45, p <.01, two-tailed, N = 101) between the total scores of the HPA and the OHQ, with the strongest positive correlation (rs = .61, p <.05, two-tailed, N = 15) being in the age category of 36 to 48 years. Furthermore, the two dimensions of the Human Potential model: ‘Individual Awareness’ and ‘Living my calling’ have the highest correlation with the total score of the OHQ, namely rs = .54 and rs = .53 respectively.

5.      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONALS?

For the first time we can now measure the deeper drivers of happiness and feel confident that addressing them will result in performance breakthroughs! Specifically, this research suggests we should be looking at initiatives that raise the awareness of an individual’s gifts & talents (individual awareness) and finding opportunities for them to bring more of who they are into their day to day work (Living my calling), both of which are proven to have the greatest impact on Happiness.

This same research with Fontys makes it abundantly clear that there is a lot of work for us to do in raising the Human Potential utilization of the younger generation joining the workforce (see House diagram – Figure 2). This is no surprise given today’s low employee engagement scores. However, now we know where to focus our attention and how to turn this unsustainable situation with into a huge opportunity!

6.      HAPPINESS CENTRIC ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURES

To make this work even more tangible and practical for organizational leaders we have dug further beneath the iceberg to identify the most important mindsets, or attitudes, contributing to Human Potential Realization and ultimately EMPLOYEE HAPPINESS. These 8 “Being Attitudes” can be measured and deliberately cultivated as part of an organization’s culture.

Again, looking at the results from the Fontys study we see that the younger generation entering the workforce are significantly under expressed on these 8 Being Attitudes. This does not mean that they are deficient in these areas. Rather it suggests that, given the current working conditions in many organizations, employees are discouraged to express themselves in these important areas.

This is of course a watch out. Since the current working conditions often prioritize employee productivity over employee happiness, many talented and highly skilled people are unable to express their Human Potential and as a result remain deeply unfulfilled in the work place. However, this also presents a huge opportunity. The organizations who are able to evolve their cultures around these 8 Being Attitudes will automatically create the conditions for employees to express their potential and deliver breakthroughs in performance. The ICEBERG diagram below illustrates the relationship between the 8 Being Attitudes at the bottom, Human Potential Realization (ie: the 4 Being States in the center) and the critical organizational performance metrics at the top.

7.      WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

As we progress on these deeper dimensions and start creating organizational cultures where the focus is on unleashing more Human Potential, we will see significant improvements in employee happiness, retention, engagement and ultimately productivity. The business case for Human Potential Realization is enormous. As we have seen in the beginning of this article, reversing the negative employee engagement trend is a $450 – 550 billion opportunity in the US alone!

Here are some concrete next steps / questions for your consideration:

  • Consider the breakthroughs in value that can be created when your people express 10 or 20% more of their Human Potential vs investments in process and systems optimization
  • Use the Human Potential Assessment and Methodology to build a sustainable roadmap for employee happiness
  • Assess how well your organization’s culture cultivates the 8 Being Attitudes
  • Use the Human Potential Assessment and measures when recruiting new talent. This will quickly deepen the conversation and determine if the candidate not only has the rights skills but even more importantly the right mindsets to thrive in the organization.

Creating transformational spaces within the business context – 5 Lessons

2017 has been another breakthrough year for Being at Full Potential. Many more talented coaches have joined us on this journey and together we have made great progress introducing Human Potential work to businesses and other mainstream organizations. More than ever the time is ripe to bring greater focus to the deeper human drivers of performance and create the conditions for the Human Spirit to come back alive in the work context.

The Human Potential Assessment Tool and the accompanying Discovery workshops are proving to be very powerful enablers of organizational transformation. The following document summarizes the key leanings from the numerous interventions we did over the past year. These lessons will continue to sharpen and expand as the scope of our work evolves. In the meantime we hope that some of these nuggets will resonate, and perhaps also inspire your work in 2018.

LESSON #1: Location is nothing, our BEING is everything

We can easily assume that this kind of deep work should happen well outside the confines of the day to day business environment. We therefore invest significantly in finding the “perfect” off-site location that we feel supports the deepening into our personal and collective growth. No doubt that a beautiful location can help to disconnect and inspire us to open up.

The problem with this approach is that our heightened state of BEING is associated with the environment in which it was created. Therefore, when participants head back to the office after the workshop they quickly revert back to old patterns and behaviours. We have found, that when done correctly, it can be even more powerful to hold the workshop in the heart of the day to day business operations. Not only is this the best way to prepare people for post-workshop immersion, but it also creates a powerful “energetic” spillover into the rest of the office. People literally feel the ripples and are positively impacted by the vibes coming from the workshop space.

In order for this to work it helps to set clear guidelines on what is expected from the participants. We have found that two simple commitments create a solid foundation for introducing this work in any office environment:

  • Privacy and confidentiality: even though the workshop room can be in the midst of the day-to-day business environment we must ensure that there is sufficient privacy to create the necessary safety for participants
  • All participants commit to full engagement for the duration of the workshop. Staying in the office can increase the temptation to drop in and out of the program while keeping an eye on the business.

LESSON #2: Infuse mysticism but don’t keep it mysterious

It can be scary to bring in new practices and rituals like sitting in a circle with a candle at the center and adopting the use of a listening stick. Especially in the business context we easily assume this is taboo and that it will be rejected by workshop participants.

Our experience is proving the contrary. However, there is one big caveat. If we assume people will simply accept it and unhesitatingly go along with it then it probably will not work. However, if we openly acknowledge that we are doing things differently and clearly explain WHY we are doing it that way then the taboo is instantly removed. In doing so we can easily move these new practices from the esoteric realm to a deeper level of humanism.

For example to help understand the reason for sitting together in a circle with a candle at the center we can tell the story of the Children’s Fire – a decision making process common to many indigenous cultures. Key stakeholders would come together in a circle, and as a council they would listen deeply to each others concerns and ideas, always holding the best interest of future generations in mind. In the very center of this structure they placed a small fire which was to remind the council that the primary consideration should always be the continuation of life when making decisions of any kind. This inclusive, non hierarchical decision making process would often unlock life affirming, win-win outcomes, also know as the “third way”.

Intentionally embodying this same spirit of service to future generations can be a powerful ritual to bring back into the organizational work of today.

LESSON #3: Invest in BEING, unleash the DOING

“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts”. Henry David Thoreau

Taking quality time to “step into BEING” is an absolute pre-requisite to any transformational workshop. This process of slowing down sharpens our individual and collective presence. As we practice mindfulness techniques, set collective standards of engagement, express our vulnerabilities and get to know each other at a deeper level, it may feel like we are distracting ourselves from key business and organizational priorities. However, in reality this investment in BEING is creating the conditions for participants to access deeper levels of knowing (intuition) and transcend some limiting beliefs and assumptions they may have about the way things ARE or SHOULD BE.

Through this process we are preparing ourselves to look at the business / organizational challenges through a new lens. As Albert Einstein once famously said:

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. A. Einstein

By the end of day 1 (of a 2 or 3 day workshop), when our BEING is fully ignited and awareness heightened, we will experience an intense creative tension in the group. There will be an unstoppable urge to move our BEINGNESS into DOINGNESS. Like a spring that has been wound up and is ready to be released, we will be inspired to unleash our full creative potential on any task assigned to us. (for example creating a long term vision or purpose for the team, defining strategies and action planning, or crafting the new language and rituals that will shape the culture of the organization going forward.

When this DOINGNESS is coming from a place of deep BEINGNESS then it will feel effortless and efficient, while triggering a high level of commitment and alignment among workshop participants.

LESSON #4: Use Human Potential DATA to break open conversations and unlock new thinking

Prior to these discovery workshops each participant is invited to take the Human Potential Assessment. This gives us concrete data points on how well expressed the individual and collective potential is. Coming in to the workshop there is typically a high level of curiosity and eagerness to dive into the findings. However, we have learnt that timing is everything when it comes to introducing the data into the conversation. It can have a significant impact on how it is interpreted and utilized.

“Most executives, many scientists, and almost all business school graduates believe that if you analyze data, this will give you new ideas. Unfortunately, this belief is totally wrong. The mind can only see what it is prepared to see”. Edward de Bono

For example, if we engage with the assessment results right from the beginning, without first elevating our state of BEING, then we will likely look at the data with an analytical mind and apply assumptions that simply reinforce our current reality. However, if we hold off sharing the data until the workshop participants have fully immersed in a heightened state of awareness, then they will also engage with the data and findings in more transformational ways.

Rather than simply using their analytical mind, they now also approach the interpretation of findings in a more expanded, intuitive way. We have demonstrated over and over again that the insights ensuing from this approach have the potential to unleash, and sustain, a new wave of inspiration in the organization.

LESSON #5: No matter how profound the collective experience is it needs to be accompanied with on-going work at the individual level in order to sustain itself

This expansion of BEING that happens in most of our workshops and trainings typically opens the door to a collective expansion as well. Participants feel united in their journey and inspired to join forces around a collective cause. These are always extremely powerful moments of deep connection with each other and alignment to a greater purpose. It gives meaning to our lives, and in that moment it is easy to step beyond our fears and trust the natural unfolding of the collective energy.

Although we have glimpsed the collective Gold and genuinely embraced the intention to make it happen, sooner or later our individual journey starts coming in the way. Our fears, that seemed irrational just a few days ago, are once again holding us back and drawing us into old patterns. Now the collective potential is put on hold while we take the next step on our individual journeys. So we must learn to reconnect time and again: with ourselves, with others and with the collective. That requires enhancing our awareness and actually choosing to practice reconnecting. This will benefit our individual response ability to meet life in all its aspects and contribute to our individual and collective journey.