Conscious Capitalism, Conscious Business and Conscious Leadership
What about conscious everything? Can you have conscious leadership without a conscious business, or conscious organisation? Can you have conscious business in an unconscious society operating an unconscious capitalist system?
Our human thinking systems have evolved. We don’t think the same as the ancient Greeks, the Kings of the Middle Ages or even our great-grandparents, one hundred years ago. That evolution will continue – indeed the fact that we are having conversations about evolving consciousness is in itself a new feature and even now many might ask “Consciousness? What’s that?”
So, what of leadership, business and economic systems? My point today is that picking these off one by one might not be getting the job done, or not getting it done fast enough. Perhaps we need some joined-up thinking.
This is how I look at it. Individually we have thoughts about money and what it is. That includes thinking it is real when it isn’t and getting into fear, greed and other emotions about it. Collectively our societies have certain ways of functioning such that our politics and our businesses reflect those skewed perceptions. Leaders have to navigate their own perceptual frameworks and those around them.
Alongside the mind-sets we have the external world. Our previous ways of thinking (earlier stages of development) incubated and formed the structures and processes we now operate with. They have framed our laws and our corporate governance practices, which we know have caused one collapse, threaten another and offer no comfort that we can create sustainability for our future.
So what does it take to create something different? Can we do it will better leaders? That is not enough if the system is broken. Can we do it through Conscious businesses? Not if these are a small minority, and not if the governance and decision-making prevents a larger number from making the shift? Can we do it through Conscious Capitalism? Well, that might depend on what you mean, because some people equate it with conscious business.
I am suggesting that we need all of these, plus one more. We need an external frame for how money works in the world that fixes the structural problems and creates a framework that supports money managers, corporates and societal decision makers to make ethical, sustainable, long-term decisions, and empowers conscious leaders to do what they can see is needed. And then we need a collective reframe so that individually we are ready to give up our addiction to debt, vote for politicians who will tell the uncomfortable truths and not buy financial fantasies that promise us unachievable growth and free lunches.
Are you ready to think differently about money? Are you ready to accept that it wasn’t just bankers and fat cats and that you might have unwittingly played a role in our collective insanity? Are you ready to be a conscious participant in a conscious economy?