By Laurel Elders, MCC
Integrative Intelligence. The wisdom that develops from understanding interconnectivity.
In 2013, John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, started a movement. He wrote the book Conscious Capitalism after noticing some forms of Capitalism were causing harm.
So far, it is the only integratively intelligent capitalistic business model, approach, and philosophy I’ve encountered. One could argue that Capitalism can only breed greed because it is structured to instigate competition. However, Integrative Intelligence teaches us that anything can be used for a greater good or used as homage to the ego.
Today, we will examine how the Eight Domains of Human Potential integrate with Conscious Capitalism. This process gives us a basis to evaluate how we are doing in Corporate America and where there is room to raise the bar.
Below, I’ve correlated each domain to the eight key ways companies focus on success.
How do each correlate?
SOMATIC = Financial
I placed financial under somatic because soma represents the physical aspects of the body. A business is designed to gain physical capital to survive. Financial gain is the blood flow of a company.
Somatic is also how a company's employees are physically impacted. This impact can include emotions and stress levels. "New data suggests that for almost 70% of people, their manager has more impact on their mental health than their therapist or their doctor—and it's equal to the impact of their partner." Forbes, Jan. 2023
COGNITIVE = Leadership
Leaders are at the head of the organization; they lead the thinking and the doing just like the mind/brain does in the human body. Leaders set a company's tone, mindset, and mental direction. Leaders either lend to clarity or deplete it.
Cognitive aspects also include strategy, efficacy, and efficiency of the company as a whole. Cognitive elements are also intimately connected to company resiliency, agility, creativity, and adaptability.
EMOTIONAL = Employee Support
The presence of, or lack of, employee support directly impacts the emotionality of any company. Whether a company is aware or not, its leadership directly impacts its employees' emotional lives.
Adequate emotional support can be delivered through good healthcare, living wages, cultivating a positive company culture, and building on employee strengths.
"Managers who adopted a transformational leadership style had the biggest positive impact on their employees' mental health." "… transformational leaders inspire others by painting a vision, encouraging team members to engage in creative thinking and tailoring their approach to the individual needs of each employee." ~ Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies
ENERGETIC: Company Culture
The company's culture is the company's heart and soul. Culture correlates to energy output. Negative cultures drain the employee's energy. Positive cultures inspire new energy and engagement.
Top-down toxic cultures naturally cultivate low productivity and low morale. If it is a supportive, positive-impact culture, there will naturally be higher energy levels, more productivity, motivation to perform with excellence, and enhanced agility.
RELATIONAL: Stakeholder Impact
First, let's make a distinction. A stakeholder is only sometimes a shareholder. A stakeholder is anyone with an interest in the business or is impacted by that business. Our current view of stakeholders has been so linear that many companies fail to see their actual stakeholders and how broad of a reach this concept actually goes.
When we approach business with a linear emphasis on financials, the full gambit of stakeholders is typically ignored, ironically leading to missed opportunities for tremendous business success. By first understanding interconnectivity and impact, we get a much more conclusive picture to work from and cultivate many more opportunities to expand a company's full value.
MOTIVATIONAL: Level of Awareness
The motivation of a company is intimately connected to its mission. Problems occur when a company starts with a mission to make money and then has to backtrack and create a mission statement. Integrative intelligence teaches us that money is not an actual purpose. Money is not a mission. Money is an outcome. A company bereft of a true mission is represented in the movie The Wizard of Oz as the proverbial tin man without a heart.
How aware a company is of its actual mission will directly impact the motivation showing up in its employees. The mission can shape the culture, heart, and soul of the emotional well-being of a company. If a company's mission is stronger than the leadership, the company can endure.
SPIRITUAL: Positive Impact
Conscious Capitalism teaches us that all business has the capacity to be used to elevate humanity and leave a positive impact. Spirituality is a connection to something bigger. For a company, this can be leaving a positive legacy. If every company decided to use its services to have a positive impact, this world would be 100% a better place to live.
Integrating a spiritual awareness in business can also elevate its leadership. This perspective includes big-picture problem solving because it is inherently connected to leading through positive impact.
The environment is a stakeholder easily overlooked when the linear focus is on money. When other companies look the other way, it is easy to justify doing the same. People who advocate for the environment are often passed off as hippies or tree-huggers. However, I don't know anyone who truly wants toxic air to breathe or a dirty ocean to walk through. Not one.
Integrative intelligence teaches us that it is time to put down the judgments and thank the environmentalists for caring. It is time to thank those who see cause and effect and are taking a stand to conserve life. We live in times when companies are not leaving a large-scale impact. They are leaving a massive, large-scale impact. Anyone who concludes humans have zero effect on the state of the planet is sorely self-deceived. We see a linear focus on money blinding people from the reality of the devastating impact they just don't want to admit they are leaving with their legacy. To have a positive future, the time to act in integratively intelligent ways has arrived.
As we can see, there IS a better way at hand. There is a way to empower people, lead with a positive cause, be a positive cause, and use business to elevate human potential - AND this includes expanding capital. When capital becomes one goal out of many, we start succeeding at business in all ways, not just one. This is the heart of true success!
Why limit full success?
Most billionaires currently are so focused on their linear goals that instead of using their wealth and leadership status to fix the issues at hand, here and now, they are building rockets and playing with their new toys like toddlers in preschool.
The excellent news about large-scale impact is that it goes both ways. It can devastate and kill off life quickly through toxins or cancer. However, it can also counter adverse effects quickly and bring life back. We saw this during Covid. Stanford University reported, "The global COVID-19 lockdowns caused fossil CO2 emissions to decline by an estimated 2.4 billion tons in 2020."
Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory reported in 2021, "Earth's atmosphere reacted in surprising ways to the lowering of emissions during the pandemic, showing how closely climate warming and air pollution are linked."
Covid took the blinders of ignorance off of us. Most company leaders were touting "changing our ways is too big of a leap and will harm us financially" and running "we will be sustainable by 2050!" campaigns. Yet, Covid called us out on our BS. Not only can we pivot, we did pivot. I'm not saying it was easy. I'm saying we are intelligent enough.
We are intelligent enough to cultivate business success in all areas, not just one or two. There are more benefits to tapping into Integratively Intelligent approaches than remaining linearly focussed. Linear comes with grave limits. It is time, my friends, to raise the bar on the American definition of success. Our future depends on it.
The articles provided here on Integrative Intelligence do not capture, nor claim to capture, the full breadth of human dynamics.
These articles offer only a glimpse into new possibilities when we become more integratively aware and develop our scope of wisdom.
There are many facets to a single prism. These are but a few facets to help inspire a deeper and broader exploration.