Spiritual Connectivity: A Concept for Business Management


“The world is moving so fast these days that the one who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.” — Harry Emerson Fosdick

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Would organizations be more productive and innovative if the individuals comprising them felt inwardly connected to their workplace? Business is above all, the platform used in contemporary social activity to connect humans to resources. Therefore, the business mindset of exclusive profit maximization is at best shortsighted and limiting when considered among the holistic realm that business endeavors are innately concerned with.

Time and space have essentially been compressed in today’s highly globalized economy. Thus, it is up to organizational leadership and democratic forms of corporate governance to instill value-adding properties that transcend the barriers that are adverse to sustainable business development. The land grab that ignited private sector expansion in the Industrial Revolution has since been replaced by a contemporary land squeeze. The global free market economy no longer blesses entrepreneurs with free geographical reign unless a profoundly creative and niche market is sustained. This saturation eludes the notion that the modern industrial template is no longer a separate and subversive establishment with exclusive claims to widespread environmental resources and disposable human stakeholders.

Traditional power structures cannot resist the democratic transformation seen throughout the global economy. Humans today are more connected than ever before. The relativism that once divided cultures with vastly differentiating worldviews, methods of communication, spiritual containment, paths to knowledge, morality and truth is no longer an impenetrable barrier preventing global integration. Quite so, a washing of cultural identity is occurring, for this antecedent relativism has been inundated with global economic development. This economic proliferation has proved itself an acute stressor upon cultural heritage.

We live in a rather vastly interwoven and complex world. Wars wage, conflicts soar — yet still — unity is imminent. We are all human and must share this Earth as one home and not a house divided. Rather than systematically advancing towards a uniformly homogenized globe, the aim of sustainable transformation is to progress economic development and quality of life while concurrently maintaining safe holds on the environment and cultural heritage. Our minds and body’s may inevitably clash, but the embracing of a sustainable spirit will serve benevolent to all. The central question that pervades humanity’s universal determination to press forward in timely progression is; why fix the problems of today when a new tomorrow can be created?

williamjamesPhilosopher William James, father of Radical Empiricism and forefather of American Philosophy suggested, “Trans-empirical entities may exist, but it’s not fruitful to talk about them”. Contemporary globalization has fabricated a vastly different arena than the late 19th century when James, productively so, paved intellectual institutions with Radical Empiricism. Nevertheless, this methodology has thoroughly forged a dictatorial force in today’s forums of knowledge; and as always, tracks, when laid down eventually narrow off in the distance for we are unable to comprehend what lays beyond the horizon. Pragmatism is prudent upon the physical plane when resources are abundant; however, this shrewdness is limiting to creative power, especially under the modern anthropocentric umbrella of finitude. Let us stand on our own horizons today, laying down new tracks for the generations to come.

The downstream effects of private enterprise are apparent throughout this figuratively shrinking world. The aforementioned concept of separateness seen in the phenomenon of land-grab has run out of room. Interconnectedness, cooperation, and a sense that “we’re all in this together” is the reality of the 21st century. Injustice, whether occurred as crimes against fellow humanity or the environment, is felt with non-local empathy throughout the world. There are forces that are unseen; an immaterial world that intensifies with each new technological innovation. Quite literally, the imperceptible electromagnetic waves that ping from satellites cluttering Earth’s atmosphere engage populations divided by vast seas in real time. “Big Data” analytics indicated by popular web user interfaces such as Google and Twitter make it possible to show trends in the waxing and waning subjects of popular thought and topics of collective emotional authority; these are the transcendent strings that unite the heart of humanity. This could be considered analogous to the concept of bird swarm, the synchronous phenomenon seen in a large flock of birds that appear to move as a single larger entity.

Humanity is thread with the very same fiber as nature itself, and separateness from nature has never been so great. It is nothing to consider bulldozing a mountain to construct an industrial complex or to fill an office with plastic plants and virtual sounds of nature to engage trendy and superficial forms of employee well being. Initiatives as such waste resources unless they penetrate the essence of what is means to be human. Thus, the social structure that is deeply rooted in western corporate complexes may become queasy at a word such as spirituality; it is a word with negative cultural weight attached to esoteric meaning and religion.

Religion began much like science. Many useful components helped it spread, such as its facilitation of social progress and creation of large institutions that benefitted humanity within a certain window of time. Nonetheless, this eventually led to the concentration of wealth, power and resources that ultimately forced dogmatic principles which limited individual progress and conformed the individual spiritual quest under the orthodox of religion. Once a critical mass was reached, diversity of thought and worldviews were diminished, and the backlash of religion began to fill the streets with blood, war, and canonical law. These worldviews were established so deeply within the cross-sections of human psychological development that our world contemporaneously suffers from afflictions rooted centuries ago in an indoctrination that coursed throughout multiple generational bloodlines.

Under manipulated perspective experience, both religion and science have constructed social frameworks that are cloaked with cognitive dissonance to anything that challenges their carefully fabricated system of methods. May we embrace science as a welcome alternative in search for the truth but recognize the human fallacies that result when diversity of methodology is diluted, as seen under the blanketed forums of knowledge fabricated from the loins of radical empiricism. After all, the rational mind of humanity is composed of only a limited perspective reality and therefore is imperfect.

Perhaps mankind has fallen into a void of arrogance, reducing forward progress to an iron curtain of empirical checks and balances. Scientific methodology has benefited humanity profoundly with innovation and with unquestionable advances in material quality of life, but perhaps this inexorable path to ultimate truth has narrowed the human psyche. Spiritual connectivity transcends the limitations of observable science without making divine proclamation. Spiritual connectivity is simply the notion that the world our businesses operate within is deeply entangled and is greater than the sum of its parts. Therefore, it befits management to mold their businesses into this quantum field of relationships in a way that achieves balance within a greater complex system.

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There is a certain immaterial fabric that echoes throughout the physical realm that I will refer to as “spiritual connectivity”. This spiritual connectivity is of great concern to the modern business manager aspiring for sustainable success and should not be considered of a divine or theological theme. In order to acquire spiritual connectivity’s effectiveness it must be separated from any notion attaching it to supernatural agency. Spiritual connectivity is the holistic view that considers both rational and irrational relationships concerning humanistic, environmental, organic, inorganic, and universal subgroups. Put simply, it considers that all is connected. The circular system of spiritual connectivity negates any ulterior motives within the scope of business management to generate profit. Any effort a business entity contributes to creating a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world enhances the strength of spiritual connectivity and thus should reap proper financial award, if that is the material incentive that indeed kindles its existence.

The egoistic framework often prescribed upon individualistic nature and self-fulfillment can be addressed from many different angles, yet an exhaustive picture of the labyrinth will most accurately describe the individual egoistic quest. If each component were part of a greater meritocratic system where fierce competition bade individuals to strive to reach their utmost potential, this egoistic ambition would surely yield positive results in collaboration with the forward progress of humanity. Thus, qualities such as merit and equal access to the resources necessary to develop this merit would link the egoistic sense of self-actualization to the greater ubiquity that lends positive transformation to any and all things within the universal balances of spiritual connectivity.

According to the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), “Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance that affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives.” Humanism stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. Humanism is not theistic and is not subjugated to supernatural views of reality.

Diversity in humanism is about aligning many different individual components to work in synergy for the most prosperous outcome. On the same note of diversified access to social construction as religion and science, a similar remark could be appropriated to all arenas of human endeavor that directly affect the realm of the private enterprise, ranging from political viewpoints, to culture, social class, gender, and age to name a few. Diversity is at the core of progress and each unique component illuminates a different corridor in the labyrinth of business management.

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Integrating humanism into the workplace illuminates the potential value that individuals can add to both their life and to the company. This is a way of respecting the personhood and dignity of fellow human beings at the workplace. Humanism provides a platform for meaning that does not have to come from a supreme being as seen in religion. There is no divine purpose, although humanism displays the vast interconnectedness that constructs the web of planetary life; therefore, to add humanist values to an organization’s concept of spiritual connectivity in appropriate. However, spiritual connectivity in addition recognizes the non-human stakeholders that are constantly engaged and part of the greater system that humanity must treat as an integral element in all organizational deliberations.

As humans, we can reason, feel, and dream in our way of life. These qualities must not be overlooked. Intention dominates the human will. Humanity can manipulate each decision and therefore can transcend the barriers of the natural world. Perhaps this is the very root of good and evil. To delve further into this topic, perhaps this tendency for humans to practice pure empirical rationalization is a good reason for leadership to develop the quality of recognizing intuition. However abstract it may seem to the empirical world of management, leadership must learn to listen to their hearts.

The human mind is astoundingly developed; nevertheless, it is composed of a limited perspective. It’s a construction of linear time, spatial orientation, objective facts assumed to be ultimate truth and has the natural tendency to slip out of conscious awareness thereby recognizing only a fraction of the externalities that are constantly molding the atmosphere our businesses operate within. Of course, the reality of the rational world in which leaders conduct their business does not give management the luxury to base a continuous stream of conviction based off intuition, yet still, learning to couple the oh-so-human qualities such as intuition and compassion with a deeper awareness of surroundings can yield a rather practical weapon for strategic processes.

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The humanist component of spiritual connectivity requires each business entity to follow an ethical outlook, holding each individual responsible for progressing towards goals prescribed in values that are considerate to others and establish positive relationships to the all-encompassing and universal array of stakeholders. This branch of humanism recognizes common values seen throughout the world and at the same time it considers the wide differences that exists in human nature. Spiritual connectivity illuminates these diverse and invaluable qualities and therefore dignifies the dormant potential of humanity.

Applying spiritual connectivity to the free market economy can render capitalizing effects upon the potential for human benefit in a world increasingly dominated by large organizations. There are multilayered responsibilities in business management endeavors consisting of material, social and spiritual. The balanced nature of a sustainable enterprise is achieved when it engages with its stakeholders under the consideration that its success depends on the success of the wider ecosystem in which it operates.

A spiritually aware leader recognizes the enterprise’s external connectivity, as well as each individual component in its particular cultural development. Each of these individuals contains its own belief system and/or philosophy and is comprised of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions. This concept, however, is acutely summarized when deduced in the following light:

When each component of a complex system is engaged to flourish, then that greater system will produce results far exceeding the command oriented and mechanical approach as seen in oppressive hierarchical leadership.

This convergence of diverse inputs requires artistic mastery from the contemporary business manager. Successful rendition of this convergence results in an optimization that demonstrates a natural synchronicity of components. This harmonization embodies spiritual connectivity and creates a more elastic, adaptable and resilient entity. All is connected, therefore let all flourish in its own unique and individual regard. A visionary leader beholds the intuition that understands potential is not always oozing in front of their eyes; it is sometimes laying dormant, waiting to be unveiled. This leadership quality is deeper than emotional intelligence. It takes tolerance, patience, and the innate aptitude necessary to stimulate individuals to show the best that there is in them.

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Dil ba yoru dast ba kor. This is a saying in Farsi that translates into “labor of love” and it recognizes that without heart, hard work is only materialistic. The broader meaning is that the work one does is out of love and therefore is invaluable. Dil ba yoru dast ba kor can be considered an integral concept for employee engagement and fulfillment so that the individual does not have to compartmentalize their life. The spiritual makeup of an individual is what makes them whole. Therefore, if a business wants their employees to engage their full potential, then they must not only offer a stimulating work environment but must also provide work that creates valuable meaning. The next stage of sustainable corporate development is to provide a platform for individuals to contribute an authentic part of themselves to something that improves their humanistic counterparts and above all, the greater world they are part of.

An individual’s life must converge with the meaning of their job in order for spiritual growth and development to flourish at work. Whatever a business does, if its source is not grounded in love for humanity or any distant fiber of spiritual connectivity then it is a fruitless endeavor, a short-term venture that is parasitic in existence, yields no cumulative progress and is only detrimental to the spiritual connectivity of all things.

Screen shot 2014-09-05 at 5.54.46 PMCompetitive advantages are dematerializing, transforming into the intangible, and running away from the observable arena that our forbearing business managers have grown so accustomed to. This paper provides a discussion on why spirituality should be given greater attention among business management researchers. In a world critically shaped by large organizations, spiritual connectivity is a concept containing splendid potential to address the most crucial needs facing business, society, and the universal collective. The rationale to direct resources to spiritual connectivity is for its apparent link to increased performance and productivity. However, the objectives behind this motive are subordinate to the idea that business entities add favorable value to society when committing their strategic missions to the wider array of spiritual connectivity.

The concept of spiritual connectivity serves to preserve cultural heritage and the diverse array of both tangible and intangible human qualities throughout the world. Spiritual connectivity also calls for a stimulation of human knowledge and seeks progressive sources of both intellectual and intuitional capacity. Knowledge creation, creativity, imagination, cooperation, and collective enlightened human consciousness are spreading quickly throughout the globe. The next visionary trailblazers will seek early adaptation in the revolution of spiritual connectivity. These leaders will position their businesses for long-term opportunity, realizing that this contemporary age of inter-being is too ubiquitous to disengage the human spirit from work.

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6 thoughts on “Spiritual Connectivity: A Concept for Business Management

  1. Great article. One of the risks of mixing business with spirituality is that the spiritual practise just becomes a technique to earn more profits.

    I am a big fan of mindfulness, however office employees are now using this merely as a technique. In the future those who practise mindfulness will be able to handle more stress, but all that will happen is the managers will just add more workload on to these people who can handle more stress.

    If anything the people at the top need to practise love and mindfulness, however it is the sociopaths that rise to the top so there is no positive way out of the current form of greedy driven capitalism.

    People are doing ‘wrong mindfulness’ and not ‘right mindfulness’. A salesperson using mindfulness as a technique to bond with potential customers so they can sell more is using wrong mindfulness.

    My prediction from a couple of years ago is becoming true. Stress can’t just be managed with techniques. People need to get to the root of the problem which is mainly about the sociopaths rising to the top. If people with power have little or no empathy then nothing can change. Nice people don’t stand up to sociopaths because… well they’re too nice to do so. However this is the main reason we live in a world like we do.

    1. I completely agree. The paradox of “being a good person” doesn’t necessarily bode well with “rising to the top” (perhaps there is something to be said of this along the lines of a disinterested middle path sort of notion). I’ve started combing through the scant but growing literature on spirituality in the private sector and what your comment illustrates is indeed the conflicting motives of our deprived value systems and social structures. I ramble on more about this in a post called “Success”. It’s quite hard to pry these sociopath’s one track minds from process, efficiency, return on investment, etc. even with the substance of empathy, love, spirituality. Enlightening comment, thank you for the input.

  2. Very thoughtful article. It would be wonderful to evolve into a society where spirituality could flourish within the necessities of production. Right now, a forward-thinking, humanistic company which believes in and encourages the inate talents and goodness of its employees may be tilting at windmills. A few non-responsive, perhaps sociopathic employees can take down the entire endeavor by fomenting dissent, inviting in anti-management unions, souring clients, sueing the company for wrongful dismissal, and generally burning out and beating down the well-meaning, generous hearts of the employer. A large corporation, of course, is another matter. They aren’t human entities and have built walls to protect the organization from assault from inside and out. If there is a path to global spirituality in business, I believe it will have to grow from small businesses that maintain that human contact. Your vision will take a thousand years to come to fruition, if at all, in this hard, combative environment where leviathan corporations fight to exist and so many people have their hands out for a free ride and a good work ethic is hard to find . What do you suggest is the first step to bring about sustainable spirituality in the real business world?

    1. Good point with the notion on local business holding the key to sustainable progress. The most resilient economies maintain thriving local business.

      The first step to spreading seeds of good is to not sit passive and say it can’t be done. There is diversity flourishing everywhere, from big businesses that inherently separate humanity from nature to localized platforms that build strong relationships and deeper connections on an individual basis.

      If everyone says it will take 1,000 years to come to fruition then that indeed will happen. Perspectives build reality and it depends on who’s voice is louder for which reality humanity will build. This is certainly a bottom-up movement and there has been a growing voice of local community; the more this voice is allowed to speak the more it will become effective. And who better to begin listening than the individual aching to see positive change in the world?

      Although large corporations are relatively toxic to organic life on a humanist and environmental note — spirituality, sustainability, and fundamental love that transcends barriers are essential business qualities that contain vastly dormant potential. Spiritual principles are something in need of transformation into a digestible vernacular; for many spiritual concepts are bogged down with heavy cultural weight attached to esoteric meaning and/or volatile religious history. There is no secret answer to a transformation such as this. Nevertheless, the dialogue must progress in order for game-changing actions to take root. Increased awareness of corporate footprint and values, along with a more competitive arena for entrepreneurship is a tangible form for a starting point.

      Popular culture can spread the conversation for better expectations from corporations. This form of corporate governance is regulated by each individual’s wallet. If society can inject its hunger for a better tomorrow with a shared understanding of our planet’s interconnectedness then the tide can shift. It is important to practice realism, however, there is great need for a positive twist on humanity’s contemporary transgressions. Ambitions for world transformation are grounded in love. Negativity has a way of manifesting in the physical world when it is a common denominator.

      Think positive. Think this — why fix the problems of today when we can create a new tomorrow?

  3. Nobel and profound ideas. You do give two actionable steps toward your goal….
    “Spiritual principles are something in need of transformation into a digestible vernacular”. True. People will need to hear your ideas in clear words that resonate with them. The ideas can be put into marketing plans, as in the Coke commercials…”I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.” For example, popular musicians might drop the gangsta images and sing of a different world. You are right. Much can be done.

    “Popular culture can spread the conversation for better expectations from corporations. This form of corporate governance is regulated by each individual’s wallet.” If popular spokespersons/images/icons speak of spirituality in our business dealings, my foretold 1,000 years can be shortened.

    Your original post left me with the impression that intigrating humanism into our corporate world is the responsibility of managers, supervisors, and employers in general. I contend that employees are not free from responsibility in the transformation. The evolution will spiral upwards only if the it is a two-way street.

  4. It’s funny that you mention the “I’d like to teach the world to sing” song. I’ve been listening to it lately. (I think its driving my partner nuts, but I love it). But that’s the idea I’d like to bring to the table of conversation for how to implement spiritual principles in corporations. It’s like native advertising. If you hear it enough it becomes a part of the collective subconscious. It’s all about changing mindsets.

    And integrating spirituality into the workplace is certainly a grassroots movement that requires the cooperation, tolerance, progressive mindsets of management. Spirituality considers the most expansive form of multi-stakeholder approach and I certainly agree, a two-way street indeed.

    Thank you for your thoughts Jeanne. Hope this weekend finds you well.
    -Aaron

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