Yesterday we explored several elements of Fred Kofman‘s Conscious Business model which maps onto Ken Wilber‘s Integral, four-quadrant framework which analyzes reality according to individual/ collective (y axis) and interior /exterior (x axis).

So far, we looked at the external, impersonal “It,” essentially everything on the right side of the integral model.  This realm includes business results, growth, making money, and increasing shareholder value.

Next, we looked at bottom left quadrant of Ken’s framework involving the internal “We.”  This quadrant encompasses the interpersonal, relational aspects of business including trust, respect, connectedness, and belonging. 

Today we turn to the upper left quadrant which involves the internal/personal self, or “I.”

Business results (“It”) and a thriving workplace culture (“We”) are essential, but as leaders we must also pay attention to the personal success of our associates and other stakeholders.  Without which, no organization can last.

The “internal/personal” realm of business encompasses the thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors of our associates.  It involves their quality of life, wellness, happiness, and sense of meaning. 

Happy people are much more productive.  We are motivated to deliver exceptional results.  We connect and cooperate with others and are enthusiastic about taking on new opportunities.  When setbacks occur, we are resilient. 

At the highest level, our work can stimulate self-actualization and self-transcendence in everyone it touches.

Unhappy people either quit and leave or quit emotionally and stay, neither of which is optimal.

Businesses can certainly achieve good financial results in the short-term with unhappy people.

But not over the long-term.

As leaders, to build a business which will endure, we must pay attention to and optimize all three dimensions of Fred’s conscious business framework: the impersonal “It” (strong profits), the collective “We” (a thriving workplace culture) and the personal “I” (the personal well-being of our stakeholders).

All three operate in concert with the others.  Each element influences and is influenced by the others.

Reflection: Are the three dimensions of business described by Fred Koffman properly balanced at my company?

Action:  Lead a discussion around this topic at an upcoming team meeting.

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