How to steer the higher evolution of business from the present condition.
There is at present a nascent ethical sensitivity and a spark of spiritual aspiration developing in business, which have to be carefully nurtured with a deeper and a more enlightened ethical and spiritual thinking. The aesthetic faculties were still very much underdeveloped in modern business, except perhaps in product design. The subliminal and intuitive mind manifests in innovative thinking in management theory, practice and decision-making much more frequently in business than in other organs of the society.
These are the manifest potentialities in business. Let us now briefly examine the unmanifest blue-ocean in corporate consciousness, which have to be fully developed for an integral self-actualization of the human potential in business. The conceptual mind in business should develop a practical philosophical intuition, by trying to find answer to questions like for example, what is the essential inner nature of business and what are the fundamental principles or values, which should govern a business organization. What is the role and function of business in fulfilling the evolutionary destiny of humanity and earth? What is the significance of higher values like truth, beauty, goodness, harmony and unity for the corporate world and their practical implications for enhancing the quality of corporate life? What are the higher aims and values of human life and how to incorporate them in human resources and organizational development policies? Rowan Gibson, best-selling management writer and strategy consultant, in a thoughtful introduction to a book edited by him, raises the following more or less philosophical questions which can be an exercise for further development of the conceptual mind in business.
Now that the old fight between communism and capitalism is basically over, will a new fight emerge between the different forms of capitalism? Does the concept of capitalism have a bright future at all? Or has economic progress turned out to be an empty promise?
What is that that truly binds a network organization together? Is it merely information technology? Or does it require something deeper and far more meaningful?
Is it the organization’s responsibility to give people a purpose?
Similarly the pragmatic mind in business has to acquire the ability to incorporate and implement philosophical, ethical, aesthetic and spiritual ideals in the work-life. For example, Dupont, in its effort to become a “Developmental Organization” has made the attempt to implement some philosophical and psychological ideas in its work-life, like for example ‘Being able to utilize every effort to improve performance as an opportunity to develop myself and vice versa’ and ‘Being able to perceive in every decision-making process a total perspective that holds within it a reflection of all the critical elements which make up the whole of business and the nested system of which it is a part.’
The ethical and spiritual impulses and aspirations emerging in business are still in the infant stage. They have to shed their dependence on environmental pressures and utilitarian consideration and founded on a deeper and a more comprehensive ethical and spiritual vision. The main questions, which have to be explored in this domain, are:
What is the role of ethics and spirituality in motivation and human development?
What is the basis of the moral and spiritual values discovered by the spiritual traditions of the world? Are there some fundamental laws of Nature, which govern the moral and spiritual development of individual and the collectivity? If yes, can this higher growth of people be pursued in a scientific and methodical manner?
What are the inner and outer factors in terms of attitudes, faculties, competencies and organizational interventions which have to be created or developed for actualizing the full moral and spiritual potentialities of people?
The other domain of consciousness, which remains very underdeveloped in business, is the aesthetic sense. There is a certain amount of aesthetic sensitivity in product design, packaging and advertising. But for a more comprehensive aesthetic development of the community, the main question, which the corporate world has to explore, is how to create a beautiful and harmonious organizational environment, which leads to aesthetic experience in work. We tend to associate aesthetics with art or poetry. But in a broader perspective, aesthetics means creating beauty and harmony in our consciousness and life. In our inner being or consciousness, aesthetics means beauty and harmony in thought, feelings, actions and sensations; in the outer life it is beauty and harmony in the arrangement equipment and organization of the material, economic and social life of the community.
The author is a student and practitioner in the path of integral yoga.