Anyone who has ever orchestrated organizational change or culture change will have run into the hard-wired operating energetic patterns that run subliminally (sometimes known as the organization’s ‘immune system’).
Ever wonder why a lot of effort gets incremental change at best?
Dr. Rollin McCraty explains. Understanding and recognizing the energy patterns within companies provides myself, and other practitioners, the insight needed to design adaptive change to be faster, considerably more fun and fluid with changing outside conditions.
– Dawna Jones
Part 2 of Dawna’s interview with Dr. Rollin McCraty from the HeartMath Institute. The interview was inspired by an observation I had when working with organizational change. I sensed a distinct roll back underpinning change initiatives that took place when thought pushed action rather than feeling (care and engagement in achieving a goal).
How do energetic patterns work?
I can’t do this topic justice in a short interview but I can refer you to the work of Dr. Raymond Bradley who has done some very elegant research over many years. It all began with large numbers of groups by studying groups in the sixties with communes, church organizations, companies many types of organizations. What he did was do individual assessments at the individual members of the group or organization about each other and their emotional relationships between each other and others in the organizations. No questions were asked about who the boss or managers were or the structure of the organization. This was done blind. What he found were two important factors that described the organization and the relationships within the organization. This had to do with agreeing with whether people felt they had power or whether others had more power over them and what the emotional relationship was like. These were the questions asked which turned about to be significant.
Then he created energetic maps, which are what he actually called them, based on these two main factors: affect, positive or negative emotional relationship and who agreed had more power or structure. These maps were very telling about the organization. He used the word coherent. There were very beautiful coherent relationships. What was amazing was that he could predict the long-term survivability or success even academic success, based on this network of relationship. There had to be a balance between positive affect need to have emotional energy to get anything done and be successful but it also had to be regulated in a balanced way. So you had some way of guiding all of that energy towards the goal of the organization.
If there wasn’t enough control the energy was scattered and the group and the organization flew apart nothing got done and it wasn’t successful. With too much of a command and control structure it was too controlling, stifled the energy, the groups didn’t survive and weren’t successful. A number of these groups over a number of years had very high turnover including a turnover of leadership, new leaders coming in and out of the organization. What was surprising and fascinating to Dr. Bradley was that the structures of these relationships remained unchanged even with new leaders and high turnover. There was nothing that could explain this in organizational change research.
This led him over a number of years to come up with an energetic model. He got together with Dr.Carl Freedburn to produce what is a literal quantum holographic model. A literal energetic field model created in organizations was the only thing that could explain the data. This has a lot of implications. For example, when an organization or work team is being established, when attention wasn’t paid to the relationships; how problems are worked out and how we get along, it created an incoherent structure field. Once that field becomes set it at the energetic level it becomes very difficult to change it. Lots of other examples come up. A professor at Claremont Graduate University mentioned that this happened in his neighborhood. There was one household where everyone went there to have coffee in the morning like a central hub, to find out what was going on. After that family moved out and a new one moved in the house still served the same function as the central hub for the neighborhood. If we think deeply about this we probably all have real examples from our own lives.
There is real opportunity here if we understand the reality of what I am saying. When you create a new team or work group by paying attention to these relationships and keeping them balanced, you can set up a coherent structure that will remain for quite some time. It will take a large energetic structure to change these relationships. The key takeaway is that we are talking about a real energetic field. We can’t measure the field directly. We can’t say these organizational fields aren’t real because we can’t measure them since even a well established thing like an electrical field has never been measured. No one has ever measured a field of any kind directly, but we can measure the effects of the field.
The kind of work the Dr. Bradley and colleagues have done since is quite convincing. We have to think of these as real tangible energetic structures created around relationships in a company, family unit, or sports team.
When a company is trying to reinvent itself, when it doesn’t work they roll back. The brain works with familiar patterns. What is familiar is what is comfortable.
How do you nurture the emergence of intuitive knowledge so you can shift fields?
In a practical way, the organization might cease to exist. One state has been very pioneering in education. What they have chosen to do and are doing in a number of new school initiatives involves literally starting from the ground up meaning they are starting new schools rather than restructuring old ones. Even when they brought in new people the organizational field that existed in the old schools had an identity that is hard to overcome. On the other hand, if they start over just down the block it is more successful.
The other thing that we are seeing even more of is that teaching and providing individuals with practical tools and techniques for achieving their own self-regulation and inner coherence has a lot of benefits. First of all, it has a lot of health benefits because it connects them more with their intuition. Being in coherence is really being in alignment with body, mind and spirit, providing greater access to our higher capacities. As individuals become more self-managed and coherent, you create a self-reinforcing feedback loop, through the energetic fields generated. If enough people start doing this in a company or a group a literal resonance occurs which reinforces the field making it easier to maintain coherence. As the field grows and stabilizes it becomes easier for more people to shift into the new field which, in turn, becomes more self-reinforcing.
It sounds like you are accessing the subconscious part of the company?
I don’t think there is any other way to do it. A CEO issuing a proclamation that we are going to start caring more without changing the energetics is a joke. The words must translate into action, listening deeper to the customer, whatever that translates into for the organization and its employees and customers, combined with an energetic shift at an individual and group level before that shift can be sustained. At the energetic level the heart is the key player. We have to learn to be more self-regulated, more aligned between mind, spirit, emotions, which brings us to our intuition and allows us to not be in a cortically inhibited state, but rather, to be in a cortically facilitated state. The effect increases awareness of not only others but also the environment. With intuition to help guide us through these times, you gain support for thinking out of the box, not reverting back to old patterns and old ways that clearly don’t work in many ways.
What would advice would you give companies who are trying to reinvent themselves and don’t want to roll back? What would be the things they need to watch for in that reinvention process?
What will determine businesses that are successful from those who don’t’ succeed is their capacity to creating a culture of care and compassion and tolerance and latitude within the organization and of course care for the customers, environment that they live in to whatever degree they can. A top down combined with a bottom up approach is the best way to facilitate it.
Leadership brings in the initiative, sets the vision and goal, however that translates into products and services, and provides individual members or units with practical tools and techniques for the individual to self-regulate and become more coherent at the individual level which then creates more coherence at the team group level then jump to next organizational level. It takes time and commitment. The larger the organization the longer it takes. Even a small percentage in coherence can make the energetic shift that can be the catalyst for change in the whole organization.
Sounds like a massive ripple effect.
It is. Someone must have the care and understanding to create the field, maintain and stabilize it so it can become a standing wave. As more and more individuals sync up with it then it becomes easier and easier. It is the same thing we are trying to do on a planetary scale with the Global Coherence Initiative.
Just like we talk about walking into the room and feeling the energetic of a feeling really good, peaceful and coherent; we just want to do that on a global scale using the same type of modelling described here albeit in an a simplified way. Our aim is to do this on a global level where as more and more individuals and groups of individuals are committed to becoming more coherent energetically in the way they act and behave, shift what we call their coherent baseline which becomes their stable operating platform creating the resonant field for larger and larger numbers of people. We are just talking about wanting to facilitate that on a global scale. We are adding measurement to the Global Coherence Initiative by designing and employing earth monitoring systems that measure the energetic systems of the earth: geomagnetic fields, resonances, fields generated in earth’s ionosphere, random generator networks to look at other types of social fields.
This interview was originally published on the Evolutionary Provocateur podcast on August 26, 2009. Dr. Rollin McCraty also provided invaluable help in the crafting of Chapter 7: Intuitive Decision Making of Decision Making for Dummies.
Reading the invisible is a core competency for executives and entrepreneurs. I’ll be speaking and doing a one-day workshop at Agile People Sweden October 25,26, 2016 on decision-making, cultural health and sensory intelligence. Join us!
Contact Dawna if your company is ready to adapt to a fast changing world: decision making, leadership, mindset = inspired innovation.