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Liberating the Corporate Soul: Building a Visionary Organization
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am 10. Dezember 1998
In his visionary and hopeful book, Global Mind Change, The Promise of the 21st Century (1990), futurist Willis Harman observed that we are in the midst of the greatest social shift since the Middle Ages, a change in the actual belief structure of Western society. As the dominant institution in society, Willis felt business had an obligation and the potential to lead this shift. In Creative Work: The Constructive Role of Business in a Transforming Society (1990), he provided some benchmarks of new paradigm business and examples of a handful of leading companies.
Richard Barrett is clearly an inspired central figure in empowering the business world to take its place as an evolutionary and transformational force. Through his consulting practice, speaking engagements and now his powerful new book, Liberating the Corporate Soul, Richard presents the business world a gift of immense proportions providing a clear understanding of how to liberate the untapped creative brilliance, deep compassion and universal love that has been trapped within the prisons of old paradigm business models.
He challenges business leaders to "create strategic goals that call for quantum increases in performance that promote transformational thinking." "These improvements are achieved", he says, "only by taking a systems approach-a shift in basic assumptions that create a new way of being and doing - evolution". "Not doing things differently, but doing different things." Not shifting things around a table but creating a new table. "When individuals are asked to participate in transformational thinking they tap into their intuition and creativity. This type of thinking can only be maintained in corporate cultures that are built around trust, employee involvement and openness."
He cites the research of Collins and Porras whose book, Built to Last, proves that "contrary to business school doctrine, maximizing shareholder wealth and profits are not the dominant driving forces in most long lasting successful companies. Throughout the history of most visionary companies a core ideology existed that transcended purely economic considerations."
Quoting mystic poet Kahil Gibran, who said "work is love made visible", he goes on to say that "the challenge for companies in the twenty-first century is to create a work environment that encourages personal fulfillment-taking care of employees' physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs....to live out their passions and provide them with opportunities for service". According to a 1995 Newsweek article, 58% of Americans feel the need to experience spiritual growth. "What better place", Richard asks, "than through your work?
Building on the work of humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow, he finds that "most companies are stuck in the lower levels of consciousness he has identified as survival, relationship or self-esteem consciousness."
Barrett has developed the Balanced Need Scorecard and other powerful laser-like measuring tools to help organizations determine if the values they espouse are being embraced and lived. In the end, he believes "companies either operate from the fears of the ego or the love of the soul". Richard defines evolutionary leaders as "people who hold a vision and courageously pursue that vision in such a way that it resonates with the souls of people".
As the editor of an online publication that explores new paradigms in business and other disciplines, I would not risk entering the 21st century without reading, digesting and implementing the ideas contained in Liberating the Corporate Soul. Those companies that do will have a strategic advantage over those that don't. More importantly, it is unlikely that corporations will survive without creating transformational cultures that nurture and liberate.
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am 1. Dezember 1998
New Book Provides Road Map and Tools For Building Visionary, Values-Based Businesses
(Washington, D.C. - December 1, 1998) You don't have to look far these days to witness the growing trend in business to nurture the corporate "soul." Once muttered in hushed tones of self-conscious reserve, soft-sounding words like "values" and "meaning" and "spirituality" are becoming as bold and common in the corporate lexicon as hard-nosed phrases like "bottom-line" and "return on investment." Until recently, though, the two vocabularies have struggled to come together in any cohesive, systematic process for guiding the strategies and actions of corporate America.
In a new book entitled Liberating the Corporate Soul (Butterworth-Heinemann publishers), author and business consultant, Richard Barrett, bridges that gap with an approach to organizational planning that will warm the hearts of human resources, corporate affairs and financial people alike.
The book begins with a review of Barrett's central thesis that "who you are and what you stand for are becoming just as important as what you sell." Next, Barrett describes his Corporate Transformation ToolsSM which is a set of measurement instruments for "auditing" individual and organizational values. Finally, the book provides a framework for using those tools to build a visionary, values-based organization.
Barrett's model is based partly on the landmark work of Abraham Maslow who defined the human "hierarchy of needs" on four main levels - security, relationship, self-esteem, and self-actualization. "Maslow himself concluded, however, that self-actualized individuals were actually motivated by higher states of consciousness, including spiritual needs," says Barrett. "But he never fully delineated what those states were."
Liberating the Corporate Soul expands on Maslow's work with a detailed explanation of Barrett's Seven Levels of Organizational Consciousness (survival, relationship, self-esteem, transformation, organization, community, and society) and Seven Levels of Leadership Consciousness (authoritarian, paternalist, manager, facilitator, collaborator, partner/servant, wisdom/visionary). According to Barrett, one level isn't necessarily superior to another. "All are relevant. It's really more a question of balance," he says. "However, it is at the higher levels of consciousness that organizations are meeting spiritual needs that focus more on the common good than individual self-interest."
The book's message and methodology are receiving acclaim from noted business leaders and authors throughout the world. Martin Rutte, co-author of the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work calls Barrett's book "the bold, practical blueprint we need for moving business to the next evolutionary level. Sweeping, brilliant, a sense of the grandeur of the new paradigm of business." Marcello Palazzi, Co-Founder and Chair of the Progessio Foundation in The Netherlands says that "Liberating the Corporate Soul achieves the impossible: it integrates the intangibles of ethics, vision, and consciousness into a tangible measurement system."
Barrett began his search for a mechanism that would align an organization's actions and decisions with individual and social values when he was employed at the World Bank. In the early 1990s, he set out on a personal mission to move values to the top of the bank's business agenda. Through a series of determined steps - including the formation of the "Spiritual Unfoldment Society" at the bank - he managed to fulfill his mission and simultaneously formulate his values-based organizational development system.
Today, Barrett is head of his own consulting firm, Richard Barrett and Associates, LLC, and he is using his values-based system in working with organizations throughout the world. He is quick to point out that all of the organizations with which he works have values. The question is whether those values resonate internally with employees searching for deeper meaning in their work lives, as well as externally with a society increasingly favoring businesses that exhibit advanced levels of social consciousness.
The book cites revealing data from several research studies to support Barrett's claim of shifting trends in employee and social attitudes. The Cone/Roper Marketing Trends Report shows that 76% of consumers in 1997 said they would switch to brands associated with a good cause if price and quality were equal. That figure is up from 66% in 1993. On the employee front, a study conducted by Students for Responsible Business with 2,100 students at 50 graduate business programs found that 50% said they would accept a lower salary to work for a "very socially responsible" company. Perhaps more revealing, 43% claimed they would not work for a company that was not socially responsible.
Data like that is not being lost on some of the country's leading business figures. In his book, Barrett quotes Levi Strauss CEO, Robert Haas, as stating "In the next century, a company will stand or fall on its values."
None of the enthusiasm for this growing trend is much of a surprise to Barrett. "People naturally feel better about themselves and their companies when they see a clear sense of values, vision and compassion driving management decisions and actions," he says. And there's good news in that for the people watching the bottom line, because those positive feelings will translate into greater loyalty, stronger performance, and higher profits. It's a win-win outcome all the way around."
Liberating the Corporate Soul is now on sale at major bookstores across the country.
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Liberating the Corporate Soul is one of the most practical books to come out on spirituality in the workplace. Barrett builds a strong case for the need to see organizations as living entities and how doing so provides a competitive advantage. His basic premise is that you cannot have organizational transformation without individual transformation.
The heart of this book is Barrett's model of Seven Levels of Organizational Consciousness. Through the process of a Values Audit, this model is used to "support organizations in building cultural capital, strengthening human resource capacity, developing values-based leaderships and promoting socially and environmentally sustainable development." There is a thorough description of the Corporate Tools used to implement the model as well as detailed case studies.
The book provides numerous exercises and practical steps that leaders can take to build their organizations into a more successful and long-lasting company. It is extremely well-researched, drawing on the work of the most progressive organizational thinkers of our time.
I highly recommend this book to those people who see that the world is changing and that a new paradigm of work and of organizations is being called for. This book helps you to understand the trends that are driving this change, provides a vision for what a visionary organization can be like, and then gives you the roadmap on how to get there. Barrett has been successfully consulting with organizations all over the world, and we are fortunate that he is sharing his wisdom, his experience, and his transformational tools and processes with us.
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am 25. November 1998
New Book Provides Road Map and Tools For Building Visionary, Values-Based Businesses
You don't have to look far these days to witness the growing trend in business to nurture the corporate "soul." Once muttered in hushed tones of self-conscious reserve, soft-sounding words like "values" and "meaning" and "spirituality" are becoming as bold and common in the corporate lexicon as hard-nosed phrases like "bottom-line" and "return on investment." Until recently, though, the two vocabularies have not come together in a comprehensive, systematic process for guiding the strategies and actions of corporate America.
In a new book entitled Liberating the Corporate Soul (Butterworth-Heinemann publishers), author and business consultant, Richard Barrett, bridges that gap with an approach to organizational planning that will warm the hearts of human resources, corporate affairs and financial people alike.
The book begins with a review of the rationale and research supporting Barrett's central thesis that "who you are and what you stand for are becoming just as important as what you sell." Next, Barrett describes his Corporate Transformation ToolsSM which is a set of measurement instruments for "auditing" individual and organizational values. Finally, the book provides a framework for using those tools to build a visionary, values-based organization.
Barrett's model is based partly on the landmark work of Abraham Maslow who defined the human "hierarchy of needs" on four main levels - security, relationship, self-esteem, and self-actualization. "Maslow himself concluded, however, that self-actualized individuals were actually motivated by higher states of consciousness, including spiritual needs," says Barrett. "But he never fully delineated what those states were."
Liberating the Corporate Soul expands on Maslow's work with a detailed explanation of Barrett's Seven Levels of Organizational Consciousness (survival, relationship, self-esteem, transformation, organization, community, and society) and Seven Levels of Leadership Consciousness (authoritarian, paternalist, manager, facilitator, collaborator, partner/servant, wisdom/visionary). According to Barrett, individuals and organizations have to strike a balance between the various levels of consciousness. "One level isn't necessarily superior to another. It's really more a question of balance," he says. "However, it is at the higher levels of consciousness that organizations are meeting spiritual needs that focus more on the common good than individual self-interest."
The book's message and methodology are receiving acclaim from noted business leaders and authors throughout the world. Martin Rutte, co-author of the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work calls Barrett's book "the bold, practical blueprint we need for moving business to the next evolutionary level. Sweeping, brilliant, a sense of the grandeur of the new paradigm of business." Marcello Palazzi, Co-Founder and Chair of the Progessio Foundation in The Netherlands says that "Liberating the Corporate Soul achieves the impossible: it integrates the intangibles of ethics, vision, and consciousness into a tangible measurement system."
Barrett began his search for a mechanism that would align an organization's actions and decisions with individual and social values when he was employed at the World Bank. In the early 1990s, he set out on a personal mission to move values to the top of the bank's business agenda. Through a series of determined steps - including the formation of the "Spiritual Unfoldment Society" at the bank - he managed to fulfill his mission and simultaneously formulate his values-based organizational development system.
Today, Barrett is head of his own consulting firm, Richard Barrett and Associates, LLC, and he is using his values-based system in working with organizations throughout the world. He is quick to point out that all of the organizations with which he works have values. The question is whether those values resonate internally with employees searching for deeper meaning in their work lives as well as externally with a society increasingly favoring businesses that exhibit advanced levels of social consciousness.
The book cites revealing data from several research studies to support Barrett's claim of shifting trends in employee and social attitudes. The Cone/Roper Marketing Trends Report shows that 76% of consumers in 1997 said they would switch to brands associated with a good cause if price and quality were equal. That figure is up from 66% in 1993. On the employee front, a study conducted by Students for Responsible Business with 2,100 students at 50 graduate business programs found that 50% said they would accept a lower salary to work for a "very socially responsible" company. Perhaps more revealing, 43% claimed they would not work for a company that was not socially responsible.
Data like that is not being lost on some of the country's leading business figures. In his book, Barrett quotes Levi Strauss CEO, Robert Haas, as stating "In the next century, a company will stand or fall on its values."
None of the enthusiasm for this growing trend is much of a surprise to Barrett. "People naturally feel better about themselves and their companies when they see a clear sense of values, vision and compassion driving management decisions and actions," he says. And there's good news in that for the people watching the bottom line, because those positive feelings will translate into greater loyalty, stronger performance, and higher profits. It's a win-win outcome all the way around."
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am 28. Oktober 2014
... yet, does not live up to my expectation: does not deal at all with the concept of corporate soul.
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