4 Consciousness Shifts for Real Economic Change
We're all born into a culture with certain norms and expectations. Most people will simply abide by those, but we have a choice. Two hundred years ago, slavery was a norm in the USA. Today, being employed by a corporation you don’t own and doing whatever your manager tells you to do for whatever they will pay you is the norm. Wage slavery isn’t that much different from physical slavery, and yet we continue to abide by it, simply because we are told that it is the way things are.
This doesn’t have to be the norm, by any means. Imagine a world where owning and controlling the company you work for is the norm. Just as we have drastically changed our culture over the last two hundred years, we can change it again.
There are four fundamental consciousness shifts that the CEO, Board of Directors, and anyone else who has the ability to pull the plug on a company's efforts must have so that things can be done differently without threat of subversion. Here are the 4 necessary consciousness shifts for fundamental change in the workplace...
Fixed to Growth Mindset
Believing that things can change is the first step to making change happen. Not only must business leaders believe that the system can change, but that people’s behavior can change to support it. We can’t expect that workers will be perfect angels and never make mistakes. We can expect that, if given the opportunity and support, most people will learn to do things better. Believing this, systems can be put in place that will give workers educational opportunities and allow for trial and error, building a much more intelligent and capable workforce.
Scarcity to Abundance Mentality
Perhaps the biggest difference between someone who is successful and someone who isn’t is the shift from believing that resources are hard to get and you don’t have enough, to believing that everything you need is within arms reach and all you have to do is take it. Someone with an abundance mentality operates as if they already have everything that they need and lo and behold, everything they need materializes right when they need it. Granted, some natural resources are scarce and we should be mindful of our use of them, but when it comes to money and support from other people, simply being confident in your ideas and your ability to get what you need will, by the law of attraction, make it come to you.
Command and Control to Trust in Evolution
From warlords to corporate executives, the idea that a few people can plan and make decisions for everyone else has prevailed for centuries. People in these positions of power believe that they can predict the future. They come up with big five year and ten year plans and expect that their workers will follow them to the letter. We all know how that goes, they're obsolete by the time it comes out of the printer. There is another way. The most successful, resilient systems on earth are evolutionary. Evolution is the process of testing each viable option until the optimal solution is found. If we mimic natural systems we can create distributed, iterative decision making structures that will allow people at all levels of an organization to conduct experiments and make informed decisions. In order for evolution to work, however, leaders need to trust that it can work, put systems in place that allow for experimentation, accept failures, share results, and empower decentralized decision making.
Separation to Unity
A company isn't an inanimate machine like a car, it is a living ecosystem of human beings working together to fulfill a shared purpose. It is interconnected with the society and environment around it. A separation mindset externalizes costs, such as dumping waste instead of treating it or paying employees less than a livable wage. Unity means looking at the bigger picture, doing what is best for the entire system and the long-term sustainability of the company. Unity also means partnering with other organizations, which creates a resilient web of mutual support. It's a step beyond conventional networking into real cooperation, which requires the willingness to share power and resources.
These consciousness shifts lay a foundation upon which to grow a healthy understanding of how the world works and how we can operate within it to the best of our ability. If you're thinking about implementing systems like Holacracy, cooperative ownership, or agile development, consider if everyone on the core team is ready for these changes. If not, you might need to reconsider your partners or try to help them raise their consciousness first. Have questions on how to do this? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.