How can we invite soul back in work. What are the leading principles to do so? These are my key thoughts I'll share during a presentation for an event for HR professionals organized by Balanced HR at AB Brussels.
Thanks for the invitation, thanks for organizing, thanks to be here …
I chose to do this lecture in English … it could be a good exercise to be “brief” and “slow” … I hope I will manage
I’m active in corporat life for almost 20 years now, 1/3 army – 1/3 profit-driven HR Consultancy – 1/3 independent entrepreneur
I’m using the word SOUL in corporate contexts since the start of my carreer … sometimes I got strange faces, so I’m glad soul and business are getting closer again
Who is spending time with a spiritual practice in this room, I’m talking about yoga, meditation, mindfulness, taichi, … or even reading about (cfr. eat – pray – love)?
Are you talking about that in your professional context? What do you share about that?
Anyway … it has become two totally different ways of looking at the world. You have to go to totally different parts of the book store if you want to find books …
Where and How did “Soul” and “work” started to loose each other ?
Step by step it has become clear for me that it’s part of my mission to re-connect those worlds again.
I studied corporate life for years now in several ways and I studied several more spiritual oriented disciplines like sjamanism, energy work, systemic work, meditation, buddhism, mysticism, …
Luckily … I’m feeling more and more connected in making the bridge between those two worlds …
Anyway … in 20 years a lot has changed and it’s becoming clear in several ways …
I started doing research, how?
Sunparks – CenterParcs (two companies with the same assets ant they create a totally different experience)
KBC, Douwe Egberts, … company examples
Positive Deviance -> ingrediënts of Positive Exceptions !!!
To be honest with you … it won’t work to just copy a solution of another company (based on what you read in books or saw in other companies).
Toyota opened it’s doors since years … it took years for companies to get on the same track. Buurtzorg is opening it’s doors for several years now. It will take years to get on that track. There are no shortcuts !!!
You’ll have to build your solutions that fit your company, people, market, … and it’s like an ecosystem … it’s an integral proces, it’s about all aspects of your company.
That’s the reason why I keep saying that “a fool with a tool is still a fool”
So here are some guiding principles to start building from scratch or from where you are now.
I discoverd those principles by diving deeper into positive examples.
We call this Deep Structure Modelling (= understanding on a deeper level why things work)
This slide is based on Spiral Dynamics – Wilber – Frederic Laloux …
Individuals, groups but also companies grow through these stages (not based on age but on maturity)
Baby/Todler – Child – Adolescent – Young Adult – Wise man or women
So at a higher level more capabilities emerge !!! That’s the reason why – from a competence level – it’s so interesting to get higher (or to get people higher)
Soul en Work start merging again from the green stage (below green “soul” is bullshit, non-existant, …)
Family determines the reality for the child
Company determines the reality for the emplyee
Ex. Foster parents (pleegouders)
Ex. Competent in context A and incompetent in context B
Ex. Training of skills that doesn’t get integrated in the work context (cfr. green skills)
Ex. Competence Management with coaching purpose didn’t work in lots of companies
Structure determines behaviour
The pioneering companies started learning that …
To build a company like that leaders need to let go their EGO (being the smartest, being the problem solver, …)
Giving room or space to employees seems to be a key aspect to grow towards higher levels
One central capabilitie I see within those leaders/people is connected to SOUL … so let’s dive a little deeper in this
Soul has been studied through the ages.
There are several definitions.
If I would make a summary I would summarize it like that:
Soul is kind of a 6th sense that helps us to be part of something bigger in a balanced way.
It helps us to relate to ourselves, to our family, to others, to society, to our planet, to next generations, … in a meaningful way.
Let’s make this a little more concrete so it becomes a little more palpable I’ll start left on my slide. The first kind of relationship is a pur EGOCENTERED one = using others for own benefit (this is where the “pressing the lemon” is about) The second kind is almost the same but I use a friendly mask, I market myself different = using others but don’t be transparant on that = cfr. exploiting others and sitting in the front row in church (indulgence) = exploiting others but sponsoring a NGO The third kind of relating is from the soul. Behaviour is starting from being connected with others, society, … But if something threatens my ego, my position, my title, … I’ll freeze and regress into an ego-way of relating = the collegue or manager that supports you as long as you’re not a competitor The final kind of relating is the ego that serves the soul, the ego feels integrated in the soul Consistent, linked to a Purpose, Interdependent, mindfull, … Working and collaborating to make a posiive difference in the world And it’s not about me but about making that difference
Let’s put on our goggle to look at how things are relating in working environments. It’s a special goggle with “levels” … because the managers I modelled kind of have such a goggl and what they do is based on what they see on that level !!!
Level 1 - intrapersonnal relationships (ex. Employees vs. Managers) -> 1, 2, 3 or 4 Level 2 – team (between team members) -> 1, 2, 3, 4 Level 3 – between teams/departments ( Level 4 – between company and society/planet
What I learned is that this last relationship – which is on a mission level – determines the lower dynamics !!!
This is the key for getting Soul back at Work
That’s why those companies talk about a “Living Purpose” in comparison to a “Paper Mission”
There are several ways in which you can see if a Purpose is Living … and it’s not in the wording of the mission or the lay-out of the posters …
A force for Good Every day somebody asks the question “is this serving our purpose”? Partnerships with “competitors” working on the same Living Purpose Whole Chain Balance Different Onwership Models emerge (cfr. Cooperatieve)
Business schools open for spiritual oriented teachers … or got their inspiration from spiritual sources (cfr. Daniel Goleman)
And it’s not a trend it’s kind of a evolutionary shift;
The number of people that start re-connecting with “soul” or our so called 6th “relational” sense is growing
They start seeing through those goggle’s too and they start feeling the effect “poissoned contexts” faster than ever
Let’s go for an experiment !!!
People become owners, co-builders of the Org Design …
Tensions in design are solved so most of the energy can flow towards the realization of the Living Purpose.
I call it Integral or holistic Lean
Prepare to be surprised
You’ll get tears in your eyes !!
That’s the reason why I keep repeating that a fool with a tool is still a fool
Refering to e-book
Refering to free contribution of speakers
Refering to donation from Balanced HR to Youth Start
Refer to donation of 50% bookprice (not benefit) goes to Youth Start or CUNINA