Decision-making consciousness is the highest leverage point for the survival of civilization. Preferably business leaders will lead the way but it will take commitment on the part of each person leading themselves to take the initiative and accept shared responsibility. The stakes are high. Will you be a part of making the quantum shift?
Situational Imperative: Signals and Accelerators
Responsible leaders in partnership with inventors of all ages are finding ways of restoring and regenerating life support systems that have been compromised through human activity. You may be one of them. Naysayers would have you believe that civilization is not at risk, that there is no climate change, or that it is not the fault of humans while staring blankly at the symptoms. Intuitively, you know differently. In the face of real and significant issues that have a high cost to life, species diversity, and the economy, everyone is invited to do their part to collectively reduce the probability of total systemic failure.
Workplace engagement is low; depression at a high. Both signal failure to provide the optimal workplace environment to transcend adversity, design creative ways to get things done through inspirational contributions. Decision-making consciousness of the majority of managers resides in the limited range as noted by Bill Torbert’s work so we have work to do in order to sharpen focus and clarity on the state of reality and on the interrelationships.
The nature of the complex issues we collectively face calls for accelerating the evolution of consciousness so that well-being, care for all life and ethical decisions come naturally. A unifying thread tying human well-being with organizational well-being to global biosphere regeneration is a state of coherence that starts within each person. At a personal level, coherence is a fine-tuned set of vibrations where “every element is responsive to every other element… coherently connected to other systems around them ” The butterfly effect illustrates the interaction as does the negative effect of political decisions made by overly simplifying and misunderstanding of what strengthens or weakens economic health. Art imitates and often leads life. One way or another, everywhere you look there is evidence of how one action has a ripple effect on reality. TV shows like Timeless or Legends of Tomorrow or movies like Back to the Future illustrate the effects across the timelines of history. Applied to personal and professional decisions, recognizing the entanglement of all life demands a more conscious foundation. Without compassion, consciousness is dangerous so expanding empathy sits firmly on every step of the rise above adverse conditions.
The level of self-responsibility to maintain coherence, particularly, in climates of polarity and fear of uncertainty is much higher than what is required to retain a passive stance of hopelessness or fatalism. True self-leadership contributes to collective efforts to leverage the expansion of consciousness, ethical decisions and the reversal of conditions creating a trajectory where collapse and failure of our species is inevitable. As long-standing institutional systems fail and leadership rolls back to reactive habits, polarization plagues the political landscape. Unknowingly polarization is indirectly, often intentionally and certainly recklessly reinforced to distract from opportunities to focus on what has deep meaning and purpose for the benefit of all. Transcendence requires quantum jumps in how reality is perceived, information processed and sense made.
If there is one word that sums up the difference between today and the presence of a new paradigm, it is the word connected. Not connected in the digital device sense; not Instagram, Facebook/Renren or LinkedIn, but connection to what has heart and meaning and benefits all over the few (think shareholders). Connection is essential at a personal level, to a healthy workplace and to a company’s sense of higher purpose, and to Nature as the underlying teacher and role model. Ask Nature to be shown the most sophisticated technologies on the planet, which far exceed anything humanity has been able to duplicate. For instance, Horseshoe Crabs have been on the earth for 445 million years even superseding the tough tenacious cockroach in survival longevity. The Horseshoe Crab’s blue blood is used to detect bacterial endotoxins in medicine. And that may result in its demise. Humanities sense of entitlement to surviving at all cost may destroy life that has learned far more about how to survive a long time without resorting to destruction than humanity has.
Adding to the word Connection is the word Respect. Humans have recklessly harvested the planet’s creatures and spaces as if there were no consequences and then denied responsibility when faced with the impact. It is like making a mess of the house you live in then blaming it on the dog. The new paradigm then is the antithesis of what we have seen up to today. Reality in the new paradigm is full of solutions that power economic, social and ecological health that respect the need and value of all life without exception. Diversity is not only a core value in the new paradigm, it is a pre-requisite for solutions that expand capacity rather than contract into a narrowly defined bubble of self-righteousness.
The new paradigm requires replacing the belief that life on the planet is infinite and unlimited with a value for all life; an appreciation that without biodiversity, without caring for ecosystem-based life support systems, humans will fail. This is much easier said as an imperative but not easily accomplished when fear and nationalist protection is the dominant force driving trade discussions, migration, and racial/cultural division. Biologically, humans can either be in fear and protection or be in growth. Not both simultaneously.
Scale that knowledge to global political discussions and you can readily see moments where force is being used to gain power over others rather than sharing goals and ways to achieve them. Higher consciousness, to the level where it is understood that everything is inter-connected and inter-related would provide a rational foundation for decisions that hold the biosphere as sacrosanct. The imperative for moving beyond fear, to see the larger landscape and to make choices that allow us to collectively bring differences to the table, not to win at all costs but to work together to reduce costs and loss of life. As nation-states become increasingly unable to meet the challenge of adapting to the systemic collapse weighed down by complexity, visionary individuals who live true to their higher purpose and what has heart and meaning for them will and are taking a dominant leadership role.
If the view today reflects a mash-up of failing systems, leaders regressing to fear-based tactics and failure to feel, see, respect or calculate the impact of decisions, what might the future look like?
The new paradigm is made up of civil society, indigenous people, small to medium-sized companies, the tertiary sector, private benefactors and young people who share a vision for a better world and who consistently choose growth and self-efficacy. Natural visionaries, they look beyond the realities created by limited consciousness, characterized by surviving at any cost, to focus on a desirable, ethical, compassionate future that embraces all. Companies like Vulcan Inc., a Paul Allen company, illustrate responsibility in action. Company profits fund conversation efforts in Africa, restoring health to the oceans and redesigning the education system to name a few areas in which they are active.
The entire landscape for what business looks like and how it relates to society, the environment has changed in the emerging future. In the new paradigm, business goes beyond accepting responsibility for social and ecological regeneration to leading regenerative solutions either through applying principles of the circular economy or by partnering with social entrepreneurs to complement strengths. Surviving large companies, few in number, are those that manage using biomimicry principles, remaining responsive to ecological and human accountabilities while retaining foresight as the foundation for intuitive leaps of innovation. Companies that mimic the principles the planet has used to maintain resilience and responsibility show how it is done, accompanied by a learning culture so capacities grow without limits. Companies like Apple, which is the first company to reach a market cap of $1trillion, recognize and accept the responsibility that goes with their size and economic prowess by incorporating ethical principles into the workplace and wider societal leadership.
Remaining large companies that have adapted to serve society and the environment, act as incubators and accelerators for social entrepreneurs rebuilding economies in post-conflict or in compromised economies. Initiatives such as impACT, where the initiative of young people leads through current political limitations, continue to grow as more and more take the future into their own hands in nothing less than inspirational ways. Global companies operating in countries behave ethically recognizing that indigenous peoples are not pawns in development but rather partners in retaining our connection to life. In their traditions, they hold irreplaceable and vast knowledge of nature’s ecosystem, the nuances of natural technology worthy of learning from and respecting over-utilizing and harvesting without regard for impact.
Listen to the interview with impACT here:
Conscious value-driven consumers drive a reconnection to meaningful values, improving workplace health. The purpose of business shifts to solving shared complex local to global problems, replacing the idea that business exists to create profit benefiting the wealthy few. Consumers hold companies accountable to their stated values and where they fail to be transparently truthful, citizens and social entrepreneurs resort to using tech to magnetize like-minded consumers in pressuring early majority companies to make the switch. In the course of installing more transparency and truth to business operations, consumers and business partner to restore and regenerate natural systems where economic endeavors based on past assumptions operate in overdraft.
Nation-states that sacrifice the health and well-being of its citizens to achieve global status or retain control over a suffering populace find themselves becoming increasingly irrelevant. As nation-state self-determinism adjusts to a rising awareness that geopolitical boundaries are porous, citizen-lead initiatives and partnership with the tertiary and private sector take a prominent role to achieve what politicians are unable to.
Knowing that citizens in countries functioning at survival levels must have basic needs met, support comes from the expression of ‘creatives’ funded in turn by private donors, the tertiary sector and responsible ethical global companies that blend economic activities with social value. Survival at any cost lies at the source of corruption, violence, and aggression. The alternative, patiently waiting in the future, is practices that restore ecological and social health and opportunities to express empathy by meeting the needs of citizens, hearing the voice of young leaders, such as those in Rwanda, rebounding from traumatic genocide. As young people recognize that the governments cannot do what can be better accomplished through the entrepreneurial initiative they fill in the leadership gap. In solving one problem, another is solved such as providing Kenyan girls with a way to handle their monthly cycles without dropping out of school.
Radical tech innovations, characterized by robotics, AI and an increasing number of sensors, are put to ethical use. Deep learning and AI power regeneration of depleted ecosystems, for example, regenerating coral reefs. Sensors monitor the impact of the emotional state of the global populace with the geomagnetic state of the planet to track how humans are adapting to the impact on planetary coherence. Financial innovation such as distributed ledgers wipes out corruption in nation-states vulnerable and fragile.
A group of enlightened foresighted leaders has evolved their consciousness to accelerate the paradigm shift. Tipping points for shift do not require the entire global populace to rise up to widened compassionate states. Rather, the tipping points direct attention toward ‘how’ humanity can evolve in quantum leaps. And provide the basis for better decisions knowing the systemic entanglements.
“Profit for a company is like oxygen for a person. If you don’t have enough of it, you’re out of the game. But if you think your life is about breathing, you’re really missing something.” -Peter Drucker, 1954.
Workplace engagement increases as organizations elevate their purpose from breathing to more of a 10X goal and release fear of losing control to trusting in their internal capabilities. Working environments and the metrics that track accomplishment openly encourage taking your whole self to work. Governance models that distribute power and offer autonomy support the freedom to contribute creatively unconstrained by limitations of past administrative practices. Business identity is interwoven with the health of society and no longer operates as if there was no connection between the economy and the environment. The inter-relationship is deeply understood and it anchors decisions at every level in an organization.
Game science and virtual (VR) plus augmented reality(AR) or mixed reality make distant issues visceral and alertly real so decision-makers and strategists cannot ignore or evade harsh realities by applying unconscious bias created by distance. Global citizens cooperate across the world to support, exchange ideas and creatively work with adverse conditions either through a platform or through a game format where teams collaborate globally to recover the wiser side of humanity. Game science supports the leveling up of consciousness through switching contexts and a value/principle-based approach by igniting deep intrinsic motivation. Battle4Humanity, a global movement of young people for peace, is an example of a game format designed for global interaction that can scale.
By opening access to collaborative, empowered positive action young people are drawn to an alternative to seeking a sense of purpose and belonging through gangs and terrorism. Companies working with deep learning collaborate with grassroots communities to nurture creative new ways to achieve survival that magnetically replaces the lure of 3D printed weapons or violence.
Who is the new human in this enlightened more consciously compassionate world? What principles will accelerate the evolution of consciousness?
Self-efficacy is defined as believing a good outcome is in your direct control no matter what the circumstances are. It is ubiquitous in the sense that no matter what sector: health, medicine, ecology and technology, business – name it – all are being tossed about by the chaotic process of ‘disruption’ coming from tech innovation, ecological or social breakdown and inequality. The degree of adaptive agility each person or organization is capable of is reliant on accessing a holistic worldview. Habitual linear thinking does not forge a sustainable or workable basis for decisions so greater cognitive agility: to select the best way of thinking to create better solutions is a core attribute. The intersection of complexity and confusion creates the imperative, calling for more conscious leaders to evolve into emerge and strengthen self-efficacy as the foundational personal and collective power to lead ethically.
In the words of Lao Tzu:
“Those who want to know the truth of the universe should practice the four cardinal virtues. The first is reverence for all of life. This manifests as unconditional love and respect for oneself and all other beings. The second is natural sincerity. This manifests as honesty, simplicity and faithfulness. The third is gentleness, which manifests as kindness, consideration for others and sensitivity to spiritual truth. The fourth is supportive. This manifests as service to others without expectation of reward.”
Principles for personal mastery reside in the universal traditions that underpin indigenous traditions:
- Be open to an outcome not attached to it.
This principle speaks of releasing attachment to engineering outcomes rather than tickling the system to catalyze and support the most beneficial response.
- Tell the truth without blame or judgment.
Climates without judgment, even when it comes from love though typically driven by fear or self-righteousness, allow potential to thrive regardless of the socio-economic context. When blame or judgment are removed from the source of communication, the climate is set for truths to be shared and meaning to emerge from the mix.
- Pay attention to what has heart and meaning.
When people are valued more than profit, more than self-interest, then the interdependence of all can thrive. The success of an individual depends on the community and the community depends on the success of the individual. Heart leads by meaning, which humans naturally seek, and the intellect does all the organizing. Inherent in listening to the heart, is the opening of empathy, which is the conduit for intuitive intelligence and the strategic advantage for anyone seeking to thrive in a chaotic world.
- Show up and choose to be present.
Collective ethical action is more highly valued. People feel alive and vibrate engaged in fixing where reality is broken in contrast today where addiction to adrenaline, video games or drugs substitutes for feeling alive or an escape from life. In the new paradigm, feeling respected and honored arises from the quality of listening, from holding the space and being present to an exchange from the heart energy. All the senses are employed, with mental faculties taking a back seat. Mindfulness is the vehicle for accelerating personal evolution and the quality of the collective space holding the potential to expand or contract, depending on the choices made.
These personal mastery principles reflect four archetypes that are as relevant to the individual as they are to teams, organizations, or communities. In the new paradigm, practices are based on these principles and support strengthening of community and personal power simultaneously.
10 Possible Principles for Selecting Transformational Strategies
Optimally working with complex conditions that hold invisible leverage points, benefits from a consistent set of decision-making principles. While these are not prescriptive or definitive perhaps the following principles may offer a way to test an abundance of possible strategies for their efficacy in moving humanity toward a higher state of conscious compassion.
1. Local to Global: Does this strategy fit local needs and offer options to the status quo? Does it work close and far simultaneously? (Proximity)
2. Learn-Repeat: How does Nature achieve this now? What can we learn from Nature and repeat?
3. Spirit: Does this strategy ignite and inspire initiative in the most marginalized people while calming those who seek to control?
4. Unity: Does it bring together and respect diverse perspectives?
5. Movement: Is movement accelerated toward a more compassionate stance, supported by peer and community?
6. Diversity – Variety: Is there enough diversity in approach and delivery to approach solutions on several tracks at once?
7. Golden Bridge: Is there benefit and value for all the parties to move into a new space for interaction and inter-relating? Are people inspired to change?
8. Trust and Safety: Is greater trust in creative contribution instigated? Love over fear.
9. Balance: Does all life benefit? Is balance restored?
10. Contrast: Does this offer an attractive contrast to what is available now?
It is my sincere hope that you will find vision, inspiration, sensitivity, and sensibility in what is possible with greater decision-making consciousness and empathy. Strategies are required to support realization. Many will simply emerge; others must be nurtured and created. Overall the business way of seeing the world is exceptionally disconnected. Singular dots are in view but not much else is, so mapping the inter-relationships of existing decisions, such as escalating trade disputes, will assist in making what is obvious to those who see the indirect inter-actions, evident to those who do not. From experience, I can say that funding decisions sourced in a traditional mindset still seek a singular solution to global governance ignoring the reality that it will take everyone to commit to creative solutions. Funding for innovative solutions that arise from understanding the intrinsic leverage points is the only way to do things differently and achieve the butterfly effect of empathic benefit.
Personally, I am optimistic. Somehow knowing that the few can tip the scales of consciousness to support an acceleration of consciousness and compassion is comforting. Courage is needed. Transcendence – capacity to rise above adversity- will result. Creativity is our ally. Solutions abound. We need only to recognize them, dream and nurture them into reality.