At Future Considerations, we fundamentally believe in the power of human potential to unlock creativity and innovation in the field of sustainability. The ability to unlock the power of a meaningful workplace, by helping leaders’ and their employees’ find alignment between their personal purpose and the wider ‘moral’ purpose of the organisation.
For many years, change in organisational sustainability has been focused on the processes or ‘hard-wiring’ that exists between the individual and the system with which we/they operate. Looking to the future, this lens must widen to encompass greater layers and levels of complexity within the system combining a change in process with a potential shift in the collective consciousness of those who make up the system or ‘soft-wiring’. The transformation for sustainability the world needs must come from working with the ‘hard’ and the ‘soft’, not one or the other.
Our own transformative experience gives certain insight into what it takes for those who share our vision for leadership in sustainability. For instance, we are a freedom-centred organisation and have just been awarded the honour of being included on the WorldBlu List of most democratic companies for 2013 for the fourth time. Maintaining meaning and constantly inspiring human potential year in and year out, requires courage of conviction to have difficult conversations and stay true to our purpose. Not the ‘warm and fuzzies’ that many could perceive is what is happening behind the scenes.
Caveat: We must respect our planet’s boundaries.
We have to ask ourselves the fundamental question of what is human potential or well-being? We know it can’t mean having the world’s population consuming at the same rate as developed countries. And we also know that meaningful work isn’t directly related to spiralling salary packages. Governments are starting to rise to this challenge by exploring the use of happiness and well-being indexes. While we might think this is innovative, none of this is new. And, despite our newfound global connectedness, we are still remarkably unconnected from what’s really important. I’ll go back to the words our aforementioned Hopi Indian elder, if the fulfilment of our human potential is not “connected to the earth and does not understand the spiritual reality of how to live on earth, it is likely humanity will not survive.”
Just like the environmental bottom line has extended from just minimizing environmental foot-prints to environmental innovation, so must our thinking around the social bottom line to extend from ensuring basic human and employment rights are in place and reducing negative impacts on communities, to creating life-affirming workplaces and delivering innovation for greater human potential.
As with our clients, I would like to invite you to reconsider, using the comment section below, the ‘human’ dimension within your understanding of leadership for sustainability. We often pose (and ask of ourselves) the following questions:
1. What is at stake?
2. What do I stand for?
3. How can I unleash the human potential within my organization?
4. To what extent do our product and services unleash the human potential of our customers?
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