The 21st Century is an exciting time for business because we are in an important cusp of change; a change in attitudes, a change in visions, a change in social responsibility and sustainability, and, a change in the way we manage organizations. Indeed, we are even beginning to re-think the reasons to have a business and a career. In its evolution, business was first a means of social survival by trade. Perhaps it was a family trade or just a way of life. And then our wants began replacing our needs as the reason to make more money. We began to follow the money trail. A growing absence of inspiration, passion, and career interests as motivational factors has been a plague to both business and social development. As a result, corporate cultures still suffer many problematic, source-level, symptoms; and people often find themselves discouraged by missing something important at their workplaces. Highest potential outcomes do not flourish in these environments.
Today however, we are gaining momentum towards a new evolutionary value system where initiatives, like Gross National Happiness (GNH), Presencing, Learning Organizations, and The HorizonPath Project, attempt to measure not only economic impacts, but facilitate the value measurement of social development, environmental impact, sustainability, and... happiness. By integrating these value systems with economic value systems, we can better understand organizational causes and effects because we now have insight into the source levels rather than just the symptom levels. The HorizonPath Project primarily focuses on helping business organizations measure the value and impact of their own business cultures, and to facilitate positive value impact through those same channels of influence.
To understand how this value flows through an organization, we must understand that inputs and outputs in the form of thoughts, feelings, and actions have multidirectional impacts that also carry with them positively and negatively charged influences. In other words, cultural actions are either destructive or nurturing by nature and affect the total system accordingly beyond the direct input or output connection. Cultural factors are often completely independent of the influences of market, technology, policies, procedures, supply chains, marketing, and such areas of attention. This is often why many frustrating problems plague organizations by repeating themselves, regardless of how well the system is designed non-culturally. Conscious Business Awareness is changing the way companies solve problems and create opportunities.
Transitioning periods are often chaotic because as people we traditionally have not adapted easily to evolving the way we think and feel. The wonder and discovery of learning and having new experiences is in conflict with the belief in already knowing everything and the fear of new experiences. Visionary companies love to learn and be fluid. Many well established companies have also embraced new insights as learning organizations and thrive. But unfortunately many companies become blind to insight; and in particular to their own business cultures. Collective egos become our company's ego and it feels threatened when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to contradictory or nontraditional ideas. We kick back with closed hearts and minds. Even when the awareness of nurture and destruction are self-evident, we fight change as a reflex and fear of judgment. But small steps turn into leaping strides when we find the courage to take the first step, and then grab a hand to take another. Each step becomes easier and we establish muscle memory to our actions.
In this era of transitioning business methodogies, we should expect to see an increasingly wider gap between successful companies and those that fail. To those with ever-increasing problems and constraints, blame will be placed on industries, governments, employees, and consumers. And to a large degree, these are substantial influences. But there is a choice to take responsibility for one's own business awareness and learn to operate efficiently and productively in our new evolving marketplace. For those that find sustainable success, business cultural insights and initiatives become so self-evident that they wonder how it was possible to ever be so blind. How could we ever have believed that the world is flat, or that the night sky moves around us, or that only what exists is only that which can be seen?
Today, in the 21st Century, we are restructuring business with initiatives that open more hearts, minds, and wills. However challenging, it is worthwhile and necessary. We are discovering that companies have a spirit; that cultures are living things and can be self-aware and self-improve. We are discovering how much easier business thrives when we don't work against the grain. Companies are not esoteric and driven by the corporate elite. Companies are not machines. They can only be lead and guided because they are alive from within themselves and as a part of a larger social existence. For this reason however, we do need good leadership. The courage, insight, and awareness of corporate leadership is imperative.
Conscious Business Awareness is evolving through new tools and practices. Below are summaries of a few of these transformational perspectives that The HorizonPath Project integrates together to maximize your business potential.
The Three Fundamental Factors of Creation
A Business Perspective(Summary)
To understand effectively how emotions, thoughts, and actions at personal and group levels translate to business organizational structures and outputs, we first need to understand how these expressions flow between people and groups. For the sake of simplicity here, we suffice by knowing that we act by our thoughts and feelings, and these determine our outcomes. We share positive expressions and positive outcomes, and vice-versa. If this makes sense to you, skip ahead.
Without getting too metaphysical here, let's just say that we pick up on the vibrations within ourselves and in the spaces between us. For example, if someone is angry, happy, or motivated; we often know independently of what is communicated verbally. Attitudes, habits, and personalities have an expressive life of their own. Have you ever noticed how the changing moods in a work environment are often synchronous? Thoughts and feelings can be contagious. Our awareness of these vibrations and our ability to interpret them is called intuition. Intuition is not an on or off thing, but rather like a muscle. Without use it is weak in its awareness and interpretation. With training and regular use it becomes stronger and more reliable in interpretation. The awareness of our individual self and group selves can be strengthened through simple daily practices that make us relate in context to our daily work responsibilities.
Science can now demonstrate that we are all connected through our interactions in the form of energy. Energy is the power by which anything has the capacity to move. Knowledge is the intelligence by which things know how to move and be what they are. Purpose is the reason why things move by intelligent design. Creation is the effect or outcome of energy, knowledge, and purpose. The source and influence of each of these determines whether the effect or outcome is nurturing or destructive by nature. We call this the Higher Self and Lower Self. The Higher Self is nurturing. The Lower Self is destructive. Awareness is our obervation of Self.
The interactions of energy scale up from sub-atomic particles to molecules, from cells to human bodies, and in the contexts of business from employees to company organizations, from companies to industries, and so on. There may very well be an infinity of energy group levels, but we are essentially all one connected field of energy. We are not really separate beings, but individualized expressions of a common source in constant interaction with itself. You may call this God's design, or nature, science, or whatever you wish. Either way, it is useful to think in terms of cause and effect.
It is commonly understood by most everyone today that known forms of energy move from one place to another by waves, electric currents, sound waves, heat, etc. It moves through air, water, wires.. and our bodies. It also moves between bodies and objects. It is in the field of metaphysics that we now study the intelligent nature of energy flow with cause and effect. Regardless of the science, we can understand and recognize the concepts through experience and awareness. And regardless of our conscious awareness and willingness to understand,, we all still contribute as participants whether we are aware of it or not.
The following graphic attempts to show the interactions between group structures regarding thoughts (knowledge), feelings (purpose), actions (moving energy), and outcomes. It is hopeful that you will find this self-evident. But it useful for our purposes to review in the context of business.
Every Outcome(what we create) is the result of Purpose(why we create), Knowledge(how we create), and Action(when we create). It is also commonly believed today that this is a co-creation with the collective universe. To realize the highest potential outcome at any energy group level, it must also nurture the highest collective potential outcome. This can be challenging to comprehend until you progressively see more as your Higher Self. The truths of Conscious Awareness are achieved by the open heart, open mind, and open will of our Higher Self.
The Nine Expressions of Business(Summary)
The state of health for a company is not determined by the profit & loss sheet or by turnover numbers. It is determined by the incoming and outgoing impact that is made in each of The Nine Expressions of Business and its relational impacts. (see illustration below) However, traditionally, we measure impacts by the more well known physical outcomes. Through awareness and observation practices, we may preferrably identify, value, and measure the source-level, non-physical influences.
In The HorizonPath Project for Conscious Business, the collective balance and flow of all nine individual business expressions determine the health of a company. This interaction takes place at the individual level, small group levels, department levels, company whole levels, and beyond into industries and broader cultures.
The Nine Expressions of Business are actually the flow of life energy, as determined from all stakeholder(s) to all task(s). They relate to any context and any business situation, and can be utilized in many ways. Beneficial insight is gained at both group level(s) and project scope(s). To put another way, The Nine Expressions of Business concept and practice platform is applicable to large and small projects, short-term and long-term projects, by individuals and groups. It enables a company or organization to measure the sources of all impact on business and from business.
Another veryimportant dimension to this business awareness is recognizing and understanding the impact of higher/lower-self individual and group influences. This can best be described as working from the highest potential or lowest potential. This key aspect is what actually determines the nurturing or destructive nature of the impact which originates at these source levels. For this reason, customized leadership development, team development ,and engaging daily practices are so important for every stakeholder connected to the organization.
Of course, there is a lot of work that can go into utilizing The Nine Expressions of Business platform effectively, from observation, to conscious business awareness, to working initiatives. The true value comes from the continuous observation, reflection, and actions gained through an established program.
The illustration below depicts a simplified view of The Nine Expressions of Business to one individual or group to a task. It is also a very useful tool for identiying constraints, blindspots, and challenge areas. Often we look within specific business functions like manufacturing, strategy, HR, marketing, etc. for the cause of conflicts and new opportunities. And of course they exist here, but these are often symptom areas. At deeper source levels, we can discover perceptions that are non-specific to function and affect all functions. By addressing the cause of effects, we can cure the source rather than just the symptoms.
Business Expressions may be viewed in the context of individuals, teams, departments, the whole company, the industry, and so on. For the purpose of general discussion here, the contexts described below are in the perspective of the individual and whole company.
1) Feelings, Intentions, Vision (Internal)
Collective company expressions of purpose are the majority of similar thoughts or feelings within the company, that create a path towards its fulfillment. Expression as Purpose exists at all energy group levels, and scales up from individual to company to network to global. An expression of purpose is an internal expression to the energy group.
From the Higher Self, this expression is a co-creation with universal harmony and purpose. As positive energy and higher vibration, this expression nurtures as it interacts in the collective energy field. A positive expression in purpose attracts to other like-positive expressions to create the synchronicities as opportunities required to fulfill the purpose.
From the Lower Self, thoughts and expressions conflict with universal harmony and purpose. As a negative force of expression, this energy is destructive by nature as it attracts other negative expressions moving toward its fulfillment.
Collaborative expression is when individuals or groups, that are closely related within an organization as a team or department, act together on the synchronicities and opportunities that bring them together. The group collaborates on common intentions and purpose. Collaboration is an internal expression to the energy group, in contrast to Networking, which is an external expression of similar energy.
A healthy expression of collaboration greatly amplifies positive energy flow as like-intentions merge. Collaborative expression that is in alignment with Universal purpose also amplifies inspiration and synchronicities. A healthy collective expressing is like fine tuning purpose and intention, which facilitates a rapid rate of co-creation. These interactions create satisfaction, hope, joyful expectation, excitement, happiness, passion, gratitude, and love.
An unhealthy expression of collaboration is weak. The vibration is low. Energy turbulence is created as ego's clash and power struggles thrive. Energy flow is very unproductive and destructive. Negative energy is amplified and released which attract similar crisis situations. Products of unhealthy team environments include arrogance, worry, criticism, blame, anger, revenge, hate, and fear.
3) Physical Health, Environment, History (Internal)
The expressions of company heritage and history are like the human memories and experience of family. That which has brought a company into the present is a significant factor to how we exist in the present. Corporate Management is a connection point to heritage. The expressions of history and heritage are internal expressions as they are intentions from within the company that created the history of the company.
From the Higher Self, the expression of Heritage is simultaneously both of love and gratitude for learning through our past experiences, and an awareness of love and gratitude for creating heritage from the present which will shape our future.
From the Lower Self, we resent and blame our heritage from our troubles. In the present, we can resent and blame our peers, the company, the industry, or many things. From here we fail to recognize the lessons we need to learn, the things we need to release to heal, and the synchronicities and opportunities that lead to prosperity. We repeat the same destructive patterns that we create for ourselves.
4) Values, Assets, Resources, Wealth Management (Internal and External)
The expressions of Assets are what attract them to us, our intention and use of them, and how we release them. An asset has a life-cycle that begins when it is desired, or when a purpose is created for it, and ends when it is released by the company. The thoughts and actions of a company generate assets that either create value or de-value the company. Asset Management is both internal and external in expression, as it is an interaction with the world to call in what we desire in assets.
Assets manifested from the Higher Self have purposes that nurture the collective energy, as well as the company, in some capacity related to the company's intentions. They carry within them the energy of nurturing as they progress through their life-cycle from the point of thought to the point of release or elimination. These assets are enablers for higher purpose.
Assets manifested from the Lower Self carry with them energy that is destructive to our collective energy and the company. Although, they may take the form of company addictions, as in assets that serve the personal desire of the company at the expense of others outside the company. They may appear valuable to the company, but only serve the company's ego.
5) Conscious Business Source Awareness (Internal and External)
The expressions of Conscious Business come from the conscious awareness of higher purpose, knowledge, and action. Being is becoming a Conscious Business that is fully aware of itself in the context of its connections through energy to everything. The expressions of Conscious Business are both internal and external to the company (or energy group) as it is how we manage a conscious business as one with the world.
From the Higher Self, Conscious Business expressions are the thoughts, feelings, and actions that are co-creating harmony with the universe. As conscious awareness increases in business, as a company whole and within each individual, the negative energies that create problems are replaced by the positive energies that create solutions. Increases in energy and vibration include inspiration, productivity, emotional and physical wellness, collaboration, and cooperation.
From the Lower Self, the lack of conscious awareness promotes separation from the enablers that synchronize business to harmony. The lack of conscious business awareness results in a turbulent flow of positive and negative energies interacting. Common symptoms of turbulence include sluggishness, unclear opportunities, emotional stresses, confrontations, and a generally unhealthy work-force.
6) Empathy, Networking, Philanthropy, External Human Relations (Internal and External)
The expressions of networking happen when individuals or groups reach outside their common relationships to interact with the larger world and explore opportunities. Networking may also be within a company as departments cross-communicate with common intentions. As a company whole, the networking expression includes reaching outside the industry and business environment to engage in the flow of the world as a whole in order to create new opportunities. Networking is internal and external to the company as it relates to inter-departmental networking and networking outside the company.
From the Higher Self, networking expressions aim at building relationships that nurture each other and the world. Higher Self expressions ask the world, "What can we achieve together?" Emphasis on positive affects outside the company are seen as purpose. The Higher Self is aware that networking expressions are in the best interest of the company and not sacrifices.
From the Lower Self, networking expressions are manipulative and self-serving. Lower Self expressions ask the world, "What will you do for me?" Concerns about affects outside the company are seen as distractions. Lower Self networking may, or may not, be intentional.
The creation expressions of business are the manifestations created by a company. They may also be external creation expressions that are used as an integral part of a business environment. They are in the products are produced and consumed. They are in the manifested contributions that are shared with the world. While Asset Management is more related to energy in how things are created, Products and Contributions are more specifically about the energy in what is created. Products and Services are external expressions as they are what we create for the world in purpose that reaches outside the company.
The expression of Knowledge is that which comes in and out of the company. What are the inputs, outputs, and frequency of learning. How open is the channel for knowledge in a company? Where does the knowledge come from? Is knowledge gained from within the organization shared outwardly to help others? When does the company collaborate with others in the industry on mutually collected knowledge? Knowledge is primarily external in expression as it is an interaction with outside sources. It is giving and receiving knowledge with those external to the company.
Recognition and Acknowledgement are expressions of how your company is seen and felt by the world, and how the company sees and feels the world around it. This is the company's perspective of being in the world, and the world's perspective of being with the company. The expressions here are not about how the company wants to be perceived, but how the company actually is in being a company. It is the truth that permeates into the world, and back into the company. The expressions of recognition and acknowledgement are external expressions in that they are related to how a company sees the world and how the world sees the company.
A traditional perspective is to look at business systems as related to functions like: operations, sales, human resources, management, marketing, public relations, etc. The function view is necessary for business. The health view is a different perspective. It is a holistic view of influential expressions that are present in all business functions. Each area is a separate representation of expression. By observing all nine areas of health, it becomes easier to identify areas of neglect where healing is necessary.
It is also important to distinguish between cause and effect when considering the health of business. To promote health and heal conflicts, it is more beneficial to focus on cause rather than effect. Traditional indicators, like profit and loss balance sheets, are important when observing the results of a company. But the focus of health in business is more about cause than effect. Creation follows expression.
In the biology of the human body by comparison, health can be observed at the cellular level or body systems level. One can also reflect on the overall health of a person. In the book, Anatomy of The Spirit, author Caroline Myss, PH.D, states that our biography creates our biology. The concept is that the health of our human body is a reflection of our emotional, spiritual, and environmental state of being. The energy expression of our emotions and thoughts create the health of our body. At an energy level, a company is exactly the same way. The health of a company is determined by its ability to express itself in such a way as to be purposeful, nurturing, and sustainable with balance and harmony. A truly healthy company is one who's energy flows effortlessly in each of the nine areas as a balanced total system of expression. The total system of health creates the presence of a company.
There is a also a tremendous value with focusing attention on the intended-state of business health. Once a system is in harmonious health, it is important to let unfold the highest potential outcome as a co-creation with the universe. However, it is very powerful to express future potential outcomes given the law of attraction. When we think, feel, and express, we attract the same energy back to us. When we create a balanced and expressive health system on paper as a guide, and focus on achieving rather than failing, we send a powerful message out into the universe.
In The HorizonPath Project, we explore the ways in which to identify the energy flow in all nine areas of health. We go deeply into the root of the expression and how a company actually expresses in business terms. We look at the interactions and relationships between the nine areas of expression. We also examine the methods of evaluation and processes to integrate health awareness throughout an organization.
Theory U and The Presencing Institute are very respected within the vision of The HorizonPath Project. The intentions between The Presencing Institute and HorizonPath Corporation are with common purpose. Theory U illustrates perfectly the process of HOW we apply conscious business within the framework of The HorizonPath Project. There is no reason to re-invent what is done so effectively here. Thank you to Otto Scharmer and The Presencing Institute! We recommend the educational materials, tools, and workshops as an integral accompaniment to The HorizonPath Project.
As presented by The Presencing Institute:
"Presencing," a blend of the words "presence" and "sensing," refers to the ability to sense and bring into the present one's highest future potential—as an individual and as a group. Theory U offers both a new theoretical perspective and a practical social technology. As a theoretical perspective, Theory U suggests that the way in which we attend to a situation determines how a situation unfolds: I attend this way, therefore it emerges that way. As a practical social technology, Theory U offers a set of principles and practices for collectively creating the future that wants to emerge (following the movements of co-initiating, co-sensing, co-inspiring, co-creating, and co-evolving).
The Twelve Management Functions - Product to Process to Source(Summary)
In every business function, the function output is the Product (or service) that we create in action (or expression). The Process is the method by which we produce the output, or how we produce the outcome with knowledge. The Source is the purpose or reason that influences the process that creates the outcome. This circulatory breathing process takes
place with every thought, feeling, and action from all connections to that function. The dominant expression influences the health of the business function. And of course, there are always cross-functional influences as well. So why we feel, how we think, and what we do in every moment is very important to each function of business. Consequently, we can evaluate each function from this perspective to identify the source of constraints and solutions.
Based on Twelve Management Functions: Organizational Complexity (f:4.3), Theory U, C. Otto Scharmer, 2007
WHY we create influences HOW we create, which influences WHEN we create, and produces WHAT we create.
WHAT we create is influenced by our actions, our knowledge, and our sources of reason and purpose.
The reason and purpose from which we process knowledge to output is either productive or detrimental to a HIGHER purpose.
Business leaders today face new levels of complexity and challenges with an awareness of the source from which all functions originate.
A Whole-System approach meets the challenges of delay between cause and effect (Dynamic Complexity) in the Product-only focus.
A Multi-Stakeholder approach meets the challenges of diverse interests and views (Social Complexity) in the Product-Process focus.
A Sensing and Presencing approach meets the challenge of an Emerging Complexity, where the future cannot be predicted by past trends, by dealing with situations at the Source as they evolve; and removes the boundaries between management functions.
C.Otto Scharmer comments, "The wheel of management depicts an organic breathing process. The completeness of that breathing determines the health and wholeness of an organizational field. Breathing in moves attention from execution toward the sources of attention and intention, while whatever emerges from the center is breathed out and enacted in the downstream areas of manageing and organizing. In this view the whole of an organization or field is dependent on and emerges only from the relationship of all its parts." - Theory U, 2007