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Saturday
Nov102012

Accessing The Business Consciousness

The Conscious Business is much more than a series of conscious tools and methods.  By actually shifting the place from where it operates, conscious practices naturally rise from the core of energy intelligence present in every organization.  Mindful and present in the moment, the organization broadens its perspective – both within and beyond itself – deepens it perception to access rich insights, all the while acting with intention.  

In so doing, the Conscious Business generates sustainable results.  More than sustaining people, planet and profits, it is able to sustain its actual existence.  It does this by evolving consciously so that the business remains relevant, responding to an ever-changing environment.  It embraces conflict as an opportunity for growth, and comfortably engages change so that it operates effectively and efficiently.  It relates authentically with its customers, suppliers and competitors, and utilizes individual’s strengths for its collective well-being.  In short, it has a genuine awareness of its being and purpose, moving collectively as a singular entity.

Great theory, but …

That sounds great as a theory, but how do we actually access this energy intelligence and harness it to build and sustain an organization consciously?  Focalizing is a method for setting aside familiar thoughts and feelings to instead access our innate intelligence.  Business Focalizing does the same for organizations – accessing the innate intelligence present, though often un-utilized, in every business organization.  It connects people with the energy at the core of their organization and conveys new perspectives, illuminating previously unseen possibilities for moving forward – generating creativity, supporting innovation and actually manifesting what the business seeks to create in the world.

The Business Focalizer

A Focalizer empowers them self and is empowered by others to bring focus to matters at hand and elevate everyone’s energy to the highest level, directing it toward the common good. A Focalizer demonstrates willingness in gatherings of two or more people to bring a respectful cognitive, emotional, and energetic focus to what concerns us.  The Business Focalizer holds the highest view of the organization’s potential, elevating its energy and accessing deepened awareness as a resource to bring holistic attention to matters at hand. From this perspective, the Business Focalizer is a catalyst for transformation in the organization.

Transcendence is a knowledge one becomes and enlightenment is the ability to maintain the boundless state of being where all possibilities co-exist in the moment.  These are conscious states that more and more people are frequently experiencing.  And we are just now realizing the same is possible in the collective of an organization such as a business.  

The Business Focalizer provides the means to access this consciousness – unleashing the conscious business practices that naturally arise and generate sustainable results.

Sunday
Oct212012

Conscious Business Practices: Acting With Intention

The Conscious Business takes a broader perspective and with deeper perception, allowing it to act more intentionally.  In this post, we look at the remaining conscious business practices – those that reflect how the organization acts.  Shifting its focus from external behaviors to inner resources, the Conscious Business operates from its core where actions arise deliberately, authentically and often with greater purpose.

Relating Consciously

The Conscious Business relates authentically – with employees, customers, suppliers and even competitors.  In fact, it operates in co-operation, not competition, recognizing it has a unique role to play in both the economy at large and the greater, evolving world.  From this perspective, the organization realizes there are sufficient resources and customers to support its business.  

Communicating consciously is about integrity – saying what we mean and meaning what we say.  It is also an exchange where often it is more important to listen and seek to understand another’s point of view than attempt to communicate one’s own message.  The next time you are communicating with someone, challenge yourself to hear them fully – listening intently to what they are saying without any effort to begin crafting your own response.  Let what you say simply come up and out once the other person is finished speaking.  Don’t be afraid to take a moment and pause after they speak, breathe and then deliberately choose your response from awareness.  In that moment you might ask yourself, “what is most important here … and what is needed at this time?” or “what is the most helpful message I can share?”.

Sense and Respond

This may be the biggest departure from expected business behavior, yet in many cases, closer to how we naturally act in our own personal lives.  The Conscious Business moves from an exclusive model of predict and control (thinking) to one that includes sense and respond through feeling.  It utilizes analysis to understand the past, not attempt to predict the future, and actually engages intuition as a tool to inform the present.  It’s a shift in perspective that looks to the future to inform the present instead of the past to simply predict it.  

Consciousness, like nature, has an organizing power that moves naturally towards growth so that every situation has the capacity to actually indicate the appropriate path.  When operating from awareness and the core of inner resources, you ask yourself “how does it feel?” rather than “what does the data tell us to do?”.  In so doing, you momentarily suspend the thinking mind and adopt an attitude of not knowing that allows you to sense in your body before responding.  This becomes an ongoing practice of sensing, responding and then sensing again.  By creating room for purposeful mistakes rather than tightly controlled actions with expected results, sense and responds allows the opportunity for deviation that provides the possibility for break-through innovations.

Consciously (Co)Creating

Conscious (Co)Creating is a 5 step process, in partnership and dialogue with the intelligence of the unfolding creative process utilizing both heart and head – each in due time.  You begin by creating space, setting intentions, exploring the possibilities and then making a plan before taking action as you listen for feedback (click here for more details on the process).  

The Conscious Business is much more than a series of conscious tools and methods.  By actually shifting the place from where it operates, conscious practices naturally rise from the core of energy intelligence present in every organization.  Mindful and present in the moment, the organization broadens its perspective – both within and beyond itself – deepens it perception to access rich insights, all the while acting with intention.

Saturday
Oct062012

Conscious Business Practices: A Deeper Perception

As previously shared, there are at least seven conscious business practices that emerge as the organization shifts its focus from external behaviors to inner resources.  At a high level the organization broadens it perspective, deepens its perception as its actions become more intentional.   We looked last week at those practices that broaden the organizational perspective – first going deep within and then further beyond itself.  Next, the organization’s field of vision deepens and changes the way it approaches normal, daily situations.

Cultivate Curiosity

The Conscious Business actually embraces uncertainty – seeking answers and solutions, rather than attempting to defend a point of view or quickly drive to certainty.  By adopting an attitude of not knowing, the organization opens itself to broader possibilities and can more comfortably engage change.  The business may even find it has far more power by embracing uncertainty than trying to exert control.

To operate in this manner, the business must cultivate curiosity and move beyond the conditioned mind of experience to see with a fresh eye.  It does this by re-conditioning its leadership to face any new situation by first asserting they don’t yet know what is actually going on, opening the possibility of what’s really happening to reveal itself.  They then engage an inquiry asking, “what appears to be happening here?” as a way to first assess the facts of the situation.  While many leaders and managers stop there, the enlightened leader goes further to then ask “what’s really happening?” and “why is it happening?” and even further, “what is it trying to tell me?”.  In this manner, the inquiry can open a communication with the whole system of the organization and hear what it is trying to say.

Engage Rather Than Resist

While the normal tendency of most organizations is to avoid or dissipate any tension or resistance, the Conscious Business recognizes conflict as an opportunity for growth.  From a conscious perspective, there is a transformative potential of actually engaging opposite energies.  By honoring resistance however it surfaces, the business can process any source of tension into meaningful change.  From a whole system perspective, tension, resistance or conflict is viewed as a valuable feedback loop – providing information useful in moving the business forward.  Through acknowledging and actively engaging resistance, the organization gains a powerful tool for integrating this valuable input back into the business. 

Taken together, the practices of deepened perception provide the Conscious Business with rich new sources of insight that have the ability to actually transform and evolve the organization.

Saturday
Sep292012

Conscious Business Practices: The Broader Perspective

I recently wrote that the Conscious Business operates from a place of deep wisdom that naturally gives rise to the conscious practices that generate sustainable results (see earlier blog).  It’s a paradox where the organization shifts its attention to inner resources and the seemingly external behaviors begin to naturally change.  By working from the inside out, conscious business practices become an extension of who the organization and its leaders really are.

There are at least seven conscious practices that emerge as the organization makes this shift.  At a high level the Conscious Business broadens its perspective, deepens its perception as its actions become more intentional.  This article will look at those practices that broaden the organization’s perspective – a matter of first going deep within and then further without. 

Authenticity

From its interior perspective, the Conscious Business presents itself authentically – bringing who it is to what it does.  In turn, this deep integrity allows everyone in the organization to fully be who they really are.  It’s a harmonious balance with no attempt for the organization to dominate others or for others to dominate the organization.  The business has a self-awareness that allows it to move beyond its limited ego perspective to a larger, more holistic point of view.

Holistic, Systems Approach

The Conscious Business sees its interconnectedness and realizes it is part of a larger “ecosystem” – individual and distinct, yet part of a greater whole.   From this perspective, it is able to see and appreciate the entire system, enabling it to act individually within the greater whole.  In this way, the conscious business takes responsibility through a long-term view and respects its overall place in the world.  It seeks harmony, rather than exerts control in an otherwise futile attempt to dominate its environment.   

While these practices may seem theoretical and even aspirational, a familiarity with them is enough to awaken their potential in the business that is growing more conscious and aware of who and what it really is.  

Saturday
Sep222012

Innovation Is An Inside Job

“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.” – Rumi

In her TED talk (see video) Elizabeth Gilbert suggests a shift in perspective from the rare person being a genius to all of us having genius.  She goes on to say this used to be our point of view. In fact, the people of ancient Greece and Rome believed creativity came to humans from a distant and unknowable source.  Somewhere along the way we lost that perspective and came to identify with actually being a genius and that now limits us all from accessing our genius.  

Yet we have a reference point many have already experienced – flow, the operating state where one is fully immersed in an activity with an energized focus and total enjoyment of the process.  In short, you lose yourself in the moment of doing.  And in that losing yourself, you tap into the genius coming through you.  It’s Gilbert’s movement from being a genius to having genius.  While this experience is most often random and even somewhat elusive, there is a way to access it when you want.

At the core of every conscious being – including organizations – is a nucleus of energy intelligence.  This circulating core contains the wisdom that informs the continued flow of energy – all within each and every one of us.  This sustaining exchange of energy and wisdom is flow!  And we have the capacity to access it whenever we like.

It’s just a matter of connecting with our core through deepened awareness and moving deliberately into a state of flow.  Focalizing Creativity is a four-step process for accessing this deepened awareness – quieting the mind, being present, connecting with our core and moving into flow.  Imagine the potential for business innovation of tapping directly into the creative muse for design and creative professionals as well as software and applications development and even business strategy.  

As a first step, the next time you find yourself with a challenge that requires fresh, new thinking take a few minutes to step away from the task.  Then close your eyes and begin to notice your breathing as you slowly deepen each breath.  As you exhale, feel yourself drop deeper into your body and out of your head until you notice a resonance at the center of your chest.  When you find this place, bring your attention back to the challenge at hand and just notice what insights and ideas float into your awareness.  These thoughts can be a thread with one idea unfolding into the next.  Simply follow where they lead to hear the genius they have to share.  

In time and with practice, this inner wisdom can become the sustaining source of innovation for your business.