Integrating Spirituality & Business

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Two can look at the same object and see it differently — the difference exists in perspective. Mankind is not a machine but rather an incredibly complex form of both spirit and matter; that is one perspective, with no appropriate means to falsify and/or confirm as reality.  Another is that mankind is composed of a miraculous structure of matter, and only matter; atoms formed in an elegant display of a scientifically integrated process— the product of fragile and profound evolution. One is based on a theory of extrapolated data while the other, a quest to define life as a higher purpose by transcending perceptive reality.

The western world generally consists of a material paradigm, where rational and objective experience has created the likes of a secular state, reductionist medicine and standardization. The eastern world however, maintains a commonly universal paradigm where the sense of connectedness has been reflected its findings such as holistic medicine and cultural diversity. As globalization diminishes the barriers once culturally isolating fragmented ideologies, western and eastern philosophies have entered the same room, especially within the private sector. Conflicts progressively arise over deductions made from objective vs. subjective perspectives. Solutions continue to develop from a rational-logical perspective or an intuitive-imaginative perspective.

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Either way the cat is skinned, progress is made whether its means are physical-tangible or creative-intangible.  As the growing worldwide collective conscious manifests in a surge towards social and environmental justice, the idea of spirituality has transcended its historically esoteric mountain-retreat mentality and is knocking on the front door of private enterprise. Luminaries have long been integrating spirituality into their daily lives and the masses have begun to follow suit. The question is how to mend spirituality into a digestible form for the traditionally western minded private sector.

Mechanically minded individuals may stop spirituality at the front door and insist on feeling, measuring and quantifying it. They are overwhelmed when spirituality unloads terms such as dharma, insight, intuition, imagination, mindfulness, self-awareness and intention. However, true spiritual enthusiasts do not claim either intellectual superiority or hopelessness for integration in a traditionally rational minded private sector. Showing real-life examples and creatively implementing culturally tolerable forms of workplace spirituality is how transcendent spirituality can grip the multitude of organizational components and form its profoundly influential oneness.

Workplace spirituality is a unity in diversity — where system components are streamlined in such a way that each individual or organizational function is contributing the best that there is in them. Within this profoundly efficient system is a thriving enterprise with maximized potential of human capital and organizational components.

Spirituality can be defined a number a ways, from a number of different perspectives. To rationalize this ideology to an implementable form however, spirituality must become an identifiable and adaptable force that the private sector can reckon with. Workplace spirituality is a unity in diversity— where system components are streamlined in such a way that each individual or organizational function is contributing the best that there is in them. Within this profoundly efficient system is a thriving enterprise with maximized potential of human capital and organizational components.  Effectiveness is championed and the organization reaches a supreme form of self-awareness for both its individual counterparts and its collective agenda. The organization realizes its part in the holistic function of the world and strives for optimal profit maximization and social and environmental enhancement.

Portrait of a boy with the map of the world painted on his face.

In a spiritual context the free enterprise realizes the community is not just another stakeholder in the business but in fact the very purpose of its existence. When the free enterprise integrates authentic spiritual principles, the organization realizes it has no higher calling than to strive for the greater good of society. The financial, intellectual, physical, ecological, social, cultural, emotional and ethical components are all gears the private sector influences when it functions and should be holistically considered in the process of seeking enterprise self-awareness. These gears must synchronize in such a way that maximizes value for owners, workers, customers, communities and nature. In this sense, profits mobilized while contributing to social and environmental betterment are more valuable than profits gathered at their expense.

The individuals comprising an enterprise cannot be expected to check their spiritual lives at the door and conform to an institution oppressing the values of which compose their means of self-actualization. Individuals have strong emotional connections with external workplace activities such as family households, neighborhoods, hobbies, interests, civic groups or churches. The private sector should encourage these daily human inspirational assets. The human capital within an enterprise is wide-ranging and to maximize each individual’s productive input, the company must be flexible enough to provide fertile ground for its employee’s sources of vital energy, inspiration and purpose.

Like a swarm of birds, chaotically shifting in unison through the sky, the private sector must recognize the collective intelligence within its network. Leadership must form a structure of openness and trust where its actions are reflective of its authentic objectives. Harnessing an atmosphere of clear vision will bring inner certainty, greater happiness and greater value to the organization. This harmonization builds on the resiliency of the company, making it more adaptable and flexible in times of turbulent change and market chaos. This fosters unity in diversity— a clear vision with a strong sense of identity and clear vision of principles.

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When the concepts of spirituality are forbidden, the rational decision making process dominates strategic processes and a rigid sense of organizational structure subsists. Leaders depend on a mechanically oriented decision-making matrix rather than relying on intuitive insights and often lose cohesiveness in times that challenge the status quo. Spirituality creates a template for creative processes while rational systems seek change through reaction-oriented models. The silos created by rational systems oftentimes inhibit the flow of creative potential and leave businesses lagging behind maximum performance. Building an environment receptive to individual assets that enriches organizational potential gives the company a competitive advantage where excess capacity is formed through a sense of belongingness and enhanced states of satisfaction.

Workplace spirituality encourages individuals to reflect on their self— who they are and their purpose of contribution. When employees are self-aware, their pragmatic approach to the organization is fulfilled with meaning. Too often humans operate in a mechanized fashion, on “auto-pilot” while failing to reflect on the present moment, the past or their future. Each moment that passes while not in a state of conscious awareness is a moment lost, efficiency diminished, and meaning deteriorated to both to the individual and the organization. Consciousness, (engaging in the present moment with authentic self-awareness) is the most tangible form of spirituality. States of consciousness convey clarity, meaning and purpose to the experiencer. The organization can implicitly encourage greater workplace consciousness through creative and engaging methods of optional participatory functions.  Individuals can optimize their potential by slowing down the chaos and clutter in their minds. The human brain is a powerful tool and spirituality exists to harness its full potential.

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For the private sector to champion the highest levels of sustainable transformation, workplace spirituality must be considered to create a holistic enterprise that realizes its function in society. The free enterprise must practice self-awareness to realize its relationships in both social and environmental structures.  For an organization to maximize its value, it must optimize profit maximization with social and environmental betterment. To enhance human capital and optimize potential, the enterprise can integrate spirituality through means of meditation, self-reflection, mindfulness and inclusiveness to arrive at states of consciousness, self-awareness and a sense of oneness. When the workplace transcends the material environment to integrate the principles of connectivity, a higher potential is achieved where the organization reaches an extended state of flexibility, resilience, efficiency and effectiveness. Combining the scientific principles of rational thinking with ethereal ideologies of spirituality gives an organization a competitive asset to function humanly.

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