Getting to the spiritual dimension

Most organizations these days have a mission statement. These curious pieces of "corporate speak" often sound positively evangelical. The desire they express in most cases is, quite understandably, the company's aspiration to be number one or to make the most money. If mission statements provide a glimpse of an organization's soul, you would be forgiven for thinking that most businesses are pretty soulless places.

With the dot-com revolution and the growth of communications companies, it has become common for groups of individuals to leave one large company to set up another that has values with which they feel more comfortable. Partly as a result of this and partly, I suspect, out of genuine concern for their people, an increasing number of organizations are beginning to think about the kind of values they would like most to promote among their staff. If retaining good people involves respecting their spiritual interests, this becomes a business rather than a personal issue.

Following the publication of SQ: The Ultimate Intelligence, by Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall, a serious attempt has been made to explore the scientific basis for spiritual intelligence and define this new area of interest.

For me, spiritual intelligence is about the capacity to make meaning. It is, as Zohar puts it, the "soul's intelligence." It is linked to the capacity to see lives in wholes, not fragments, and to regenerate ourselves. Most importantly, it is connected to the ability to challenge whether we want to play by the rules of the situation in which we find ourselves. So, a person with a well-developed SQ may not make a business decision on financial grounds alone, preferring to be guided by an ethical viewpoint. Or they may choose not to do something a competitor is doing if there are any concerns about the morality of the action.

Zohar disagrees with the view of the seventeenth-century philosopher John Locke: "All ideas come from sensation or reflection. Let us suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, devoid of characters, without ideas." She argues that to understand

Power Up Your Mind spiritual intelligence, we need to understand consciousness. Some interesting scientific underpinnings are cited for SQ, mainly from the work of Denis Pare and Rodolfo Llinas. Zohar argues that the brain waves recently discovered—gamma waves oscillating about 40 times a second—may contain the clues to a kind of hyperthinking that is the basis of a higher-order SQ.

Author and ex-Fleet Street editor Will Hutton is quite clear about the role of this kind of intelligence:

I am a very anchored person in a value system. I know who I am. I have also felt that I stand here and can do no other than my values dictate. I will happily live with the consequences.

Hilary Cropper is similarly aware of this dimension. She talks of one of the Indian companies in her FI Group as "a being with a life of its own, with a distinctly spiritual feel." She believes that if you embody spiritual concepts in the way you manage an organization, you will have greater richness and depth.

The practical message you may want to take from this is a wake-up call to examine your values and beliefs and how they fit with your work.

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.

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