Integral Business Leadership
"Work is love made visible."
–Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
"There are those who see the free market as an enemy. But the market is an invaluable instrument for human development. Every act of commerce is an act of mutual service. Even though it can be motivated by personal interest, the market system channels that selfish energy towards assisting others."
–Fred Kofman, Business-sattva: The Business Bodhisattva
The World Needs More Integral Leaders
This is an exciting and challenging time to be alive, because the world is evolving. Fast.
As part of this evolution, humanity is facing a number of critical global challenges. At root, these are not political, ecological, ideological or economic problems — they are challenges in consciousness. Global hunger is not an issue of too few resources — it's a resource allocation problem — and this in turn is simply a sign that our race has not yet made the shift out of our ego-centric and ethno-centric heritage, into the world-centric perspective that is our calling and our destiny.
We're staring a number of potential catastrophes in the face, and while these crises present enormous danger, they also presents us with unparalleled opportunity — the opportunity to step in to a new level of global consciousness and loving — for nothing else will suffice. As Einstein said, "a problem can not be solved at the same level at which it was created." Our many challenges are signs of the hand of Spirit, telling us it is time to grow up, to evolve, to step up to the next level of consciousness and global response-ability. Evolution, as the loving and insistent hand of Spirit-in-action, is pushing us forward into a brave new dawn.
And it can use all the help we can give it.
Be Part of the Evolution of Business
On the whole, business is already a tremendous force for good. Capitalism is a remarkably powerful system for meeting our needs for survival and success. It’s why in America we now drive to our protests.
At the same time, while capitalism’s greatest strength is its unparalleled capacity for economic expansion, its greatest challenge is its addiction to economic expansion. Our entire financial system is predicated on the assumption that GDP will always keep increasing. Stock markets, debt and retirement funds all depend on this. So does our monetary supply.
Continuous exponential expansion is unsustainable, and we’re rapidly reaching its limits. The upcoming years are going to be increasingly defined by the collision of an “unstoppable force” (unconscious capitalism) meeting an “immovable object” (the environment’s limited resources).
This core problem cannot be solved through incremental change. It requires the creation of entirely new systems and ways of doing business: systems which are created from a higher level of awareness (i.e. consciousness) than the level at which the problems were created.
Integral Business Leadership
Core Coaching trains integral business leaders — servant leaders who realize that in addition to financial success, there is a greater purpose to business.
To us, Integral Business is simple. It doesn't require fancy maps or complicated theories (though they certainly can help!) It happens whenever people consciously seek to integrate their highest needs (i.e. to serve, evolve and make a difference) with their lowest needs (i.e. to create financial security). It happens whenever we consciously seek to create businesses that provide both money and meaning.
This process is simple, but it's not easy. To be an integral business leader requires being able to simultaneously embrace the full range of the spiral, and to work with the conflicts that automatically arise as we do so. Plus in many areas, it requries fundamentally reinventing what it means to do business. What does sales look like from the top of the spiral? How about motivation?
Integral Business Leadership is all about answering these types of questions. Not just as theoretical discussions, but as life transforming, world changing experiences.
Does this sound like something you're called to do? If so, we'd love to help. Please feel free to contact us directly, or to browse through some of the complimentary resources below.
Integral Business: How to Make a Difference and Make Money While Doing What You Love - 2010 ITC Conference
This paper was presented at the 2010 Integral Theory Conference.
Abstract: Given that most people want to have careers that integrate their needs both to make a difference and make money, why do so few do so? Based on a synthesis of integral theory and applied practice, this paper proposes an explanation for why it’s often much harder to build careers and organizations that embrace such a dual mission rather than ones that are strictly for-profit or non-profit; explains five reasons why addressing this challenge is one of the largest opportunities in the field of integral business; and proposes three key principles for doing so. In doing so, it also proposes a novel way of approaching the field; a new definition of integral business; and a theoretical discovery regarding the core dynamics of psychological and spiritual growth.
Video - Please see the first video on the page (above).
Slides - Here are the slides for the presentation.
Paper - Here is the version that was presented at the conference. An updated version has been accepted for publication in JITP in 2013. This work was first published in the Integral Leadership Review.
From Theory to Practice - 2008 ITC Conference
This paper was presented at the 2008 Integral Theory Conference at JFK University. It talks about the strengths and challenges of Integral Theory, and presents a roadmap for turning integral theory into practice.
From Theory to Practice - Paper (PDF) - The paper for the ITC conference
From Theory to Practice - Slides (PDF) - Slides of the conference presentation
Teaching vs. Preaching (PDF) - An earlier version of this article, published in Integral Leadership Review
Abstract: The overarching breadth and depth of Integral Theory (IT) offers a breathtaking opportunity to create practical, world-changing, consciousness-raising value. At the same time, a key tenet of IT is that each stage of development comes with inherent limitations. In other words, “with every great strength comes an equal challenge.” So when it comes to turning integral genius into widely applicable wisdom, what are the challenges that come with IT’s great strengths? This paper asserts that the radical scope of IT is both its greatest strength and its greatest challenge. If we think of IT as a mountain, the journey into integrally informed wisdom requires climbing the mountain of theory, mastering its gifts, and then bringing them back down the other side. The larger the mountain is, the larger the challenges there are in integrating theory and practice – and IT is a very large mountain indeed.
Selling By Giving - The Practice of Integral Business
We've found, much to our surprise, that one of the best laboratories for learning about integral business involves teaching coaches, counselors and healers how to make money selling their services.
That's because these "purpose driven practice builders" have to do integral business in order to be successful. They're so committed to being of service and making a difference, that business as its normally practiced just doesn't work for them.
Selling By Giving is at the cutting edge of teaching practice builders how to combine money and meaning, and "give your way to a soul-centered, six-figure practice." It's a complete system for integral business (at least on an individual basis - organizational issues are different).
It demonstrates what business - and in particular, sales and marketing - looks like, when viewed through the eyes of love.
While the case studies and languaging are tailored to this specific audience, we believe that 90% of the core principles apply to integral businesses in general, and are seeing great results from applying it to larger organizations as part of our coaching work.
To learn more about Selling By Giving, please watch the four short videos at www.sellingbygiving.net
A Conscious Business Manifesto
Integral Business is conscious business. And conscious business is Integral Business. So what is conscious business? Click here to find out.