Each company has its influence on the wider society
More and more often we hear it said that we find ourselves in a process of radical transition, that the time in which we live is bringing an all-changing tilt or shift. Just as the Enlightenment once chased away the darker Middle Ages, by using the intellect to question the authoritarian political and the ecclesiastical power structures; and just as the Romantic period challenged the cold, rational, enlightened thinking by shifting to introspection, intuition and spontaneity. After these great shifts, another tilt occurred, to modernization and industrialization, which broke with the mysterious and infinite mind of the Romantics, turning instead to demarcation, computability and a mechanized way of thinking.
Text: André Platteel
The ideas of that industrial era are now more than two centuries old and are so embedded in our system that they manifest everywhere: in the way we treat each other, the way we do business and the way we lead our companies. Many of today’s habits are still based on the fundamentals of that rusted model: dividing, mechanizing and isolating. Company leaders have become powerful rulers, public figures and role models, while holding on to long-skewed industrial principles and performing their mechanical tricks before a public which is less and less inclined to watch. For these leaders, time has kept running, but at the same time, it’s running out. The new developments look very threatening for them.
So what is the radical shift, tilt or transition that is presenting itself right now? And why does it appear to be so threatening to entrepreneurs?
One of the dimensions of Quantum Mechanics (illustrated by Bell’s Theorem and practical experimentation) is that a change in one particle influences another particle, even when they are miles apart. The implication is that nothing whatsoever is separated, and our scientists are finding increasingly finer ways to demonstrate this powerful new concept, that everything in this world, and beyond, is interconnected. Each part or particle has an influence on the whole.
Translated into the world of the entrepreneur, each company has its influence on the wider society, and even influences the whole world. Every human being, no matter which position they hold in the company, or which function they perform or what their capacity may be, each one has an influence on the essence of the organization, and therefore subsequently on society, and as a result on the whole earth.
Nothing happens without having an effect on all there is. We might think of ourselves as small or insignificant, but every individual action has its effect on the whole.
This may be hard to comprehend with the mind. Therefore it is more valuable to try and experience it, rather than simply trying to understand it. Through experiment and experience we can start to bring about this radical change, from a separated society to a whole, united society, which more accurately reflects the true nature of life itself, and which is increasingly necessary right now.
From separation to unity
Mechanizing implies “separating”. It would not be possible to automate processes without separation. That’s why we see mechanization reflected in so many places: in how we are educated; how we do business; how we practice healthcare; and how we tackle our economic, ecological and social problems.
The moment we start thinking from the perspective of cohesion (that everything is one whole), we will bring gigantic, radical, seismic shifts into all these different areas.
In the area of entrepreneurship, the transition to wholeness would mean that a company would not stand on its own in society, but would have natural social responsibility. Sustainability, transparency, innovation, internal and external interactions would all be based on the principle that every action adds to the greater unity. The leadership would clearly understand that visions or missions that do not recognize their larger scale effect are narcissistic, focused inward and simply have no further right of existence.
When separate departments, employees or different parts of a company are seen from an implicit unity or wholeness, in which they are an integral part, there naturally arises a consciousness of their social impact and importance, and that will ultimately lead to economic growth for the organization (the particle).
Companies that only strive for economic growth will eventually pass away.
A new kind of leadership implies more than the practical operations of managing an organization. The new leaders see what kind of leadership is necessary in any given moment, constantly realizing that there is no difference between the company itself and the world in which it is a part. These leaders look beyond the limited borders of the company’s walls, creating visions for society, with unity as the starting point. They see and feel the places where the organization is fitting the integrity of the larger scale, and consequently they know what is making the company unique and how that uniqueness is working through into the greater whole.
The leaders who do not sense this nascent relationship between the company (the particle) and our society (the whole), are pushing their organizations out of the game, and out of business.
The organizational chart, the vision or the mission of a company are no longer valid starting points or goals. It’s now all about the centre and the heart of the company, the ever-evolving dialogue between the part and the whole, the company and the world. Structures, mission and visions are still useful, giving temporary directions, but they must be continuously elevated, and always grounded in the deeper substance of shared growth.
The focus is no longer on the creation of a strategic horizon where the company has set its target, but on the overall change (the total growth) of the landscape in which that particular horizon will naturally appear.
Positions in a company are not separate from each other and cannot be isolated. To work means to manifest in a way that comes from a more dynamic context and which ultimately leads to situational leadership. This leads to the further possibility of exchanging tasks and responsibilities, according to individual development. This will protect employees from alienation and burnout, and will motivate them. By seeing the integrity and consistency, people will instinctively know where they can best contribute. So an HR manager should no longer be interested only in the employees themselves, but in the dynamics (fusions) between people, between the various parts of the company and, in the end, the whole unity.
Working will no longer manifest itself within a set framework, but will derive from a constant changing of dynamics that creates meaningful commitments, focused on the growth of the whole.
Specialists will still be required, but the company will add the skills of the generalist who sees further and deeper, who sees the integrity and consistency. From this general perspective comes the recognition of the principles that form the basis of everything, and from here it is possible to zoom in on a specialist portion within the cohesion. In that specificity, generalists will support the deepening, making it possible to work in fluid connection.
The generalists, through their deeper understanding of totality, can grow more helpful by also becoming specialists in certain fields. Likewise, the specialist can broaden his understanding of the whole, and so a new kind of workforce is envisaged, interconnected, dynamic, meaningful and empowered.
The relationship between suppliers and consumers is also shifting. Everyone consumes, and everyone produces, or has the ability to create or produce. But a new transparency is required in order to make this possible, and the company must facilitate this openness, whatever happens. Even if it means a temporary economic downturn for the organization, openness will ultimately always lead to joint growth. And if this is not the case, then the company does not belong in this new era and will pass away.
The company must realize that it only exists by the grace of life, and openness to the organic whole (which is life itself) will naturally lead to a meaningful and thriving existence.
In terms of communications, these will no longer extol the benefits of a product or service compared to other products and services. Communication will become an invitation to contribute to the growth of society as a whole. Companies will invite creative and intellectual knowledge of all involved to achieve joint growth. Communication no longer has greater consumption as the ultimate goal, but will become a platform for ongoing development. No longer will companies tolerate the decadent waste of money used for advertising based on fear, anxiety or a tempting form of cynicism. Communication will become a form of actual creation that contributes to created reality, and thus to the growth and quality of each individual part, the organization and all the people concerned.
Communication becomes an invitation to add collective intelligence and creation.
When it comes to production itself, the aim is not simply to develop something that will become someone’s property. Production must be the generation of shared growth. Through sharing, the product can grow and develop continuously, bringing greater enjoyment and utility, without the emptiness of separation driven by consumerism.
Consumption is no longer to possess, but to enjoy or to use through temporary experience. At the end of one useful life, a product can be moved through the whole with added value, passed on with growth and good feeling.
All of these developments will be taking place, with or without rigid leaders. The transition to unity is simply too urgent and powerful to stop. The transition has started already, even though some leaders do not realize it yet, either through ignorance or fear, and the implications are far reaching. All companies will now have to change their course radically, whether they operate in retail, banking, insurance, mobile telephony, education, healthcare or any other sector. A short and temporary solution will not work long term. The new technologies and the fundamental changes in the way we think and relate are democratizing production, communication and consumption too fast and too powerfully to resist.
As the old structures shift, bringing alignment with the whole, there will be no more shielding of knowledge and creation, no more power through possessiveness or ruling by secrecy. This will all become impossible and, in fact, is impossible already.
Those who want to lead the way through this radical transition will need to feel the unity in every fiber of their being. By feeling and experiencing the wholeness, they can intuitively shape the transition that is now taking place.
Experiencing the unity, feeling wholeness and its impact on all areas of our lives, this is what we facilitate at Your Lab.