Consciousness and Business
The premise for Integral Business Forum is that success in business is dependent on superior management - the key executives who develop and refine business models and drive the organization to achieve its goals. In previous generations, businesses could thrive on a narrow vision of its place in the world. Today superior management is dependent on an expanded awareness that successfully integrates and implements the traditional facets of business, such as supply and demand, markets, and cash-flow, with dimensions that include self, community and the global enterprise.
The Integral Business Forum Program
The economic upheaval in the world today has generated worldwide concerns and fears about our personal and global future. Throughout the turmoil there has been a growing popular demand for new approaches to business and for business education and consulting practices that can better address these issues. Indeed, what brings us together in this endeavor is the awareness of the impending change that is upon us – yet we do not seem to know how that change will manifest or what it will be.
In our research to develop the Integral Business Forum, we have discovered many consultants and programs that heretofore have been on the periphery of mainstream business and management education that claim to address these issues. Many of these programs are now being drawn to the mainstream as standard business education and executive training models are unable to address their clients’ present concerns.
However, we feel that a majority of these programs in their own way are dated. These “alternative” programs, in one form or another, are about self-discovery -- variations on the themes exploring how to become better leaders and managers through compassion, creativity, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, etc.
The Integral Business Forum assumes that our audience no longer needs programs on self-discovery. Our audience will consist of sophisticated individuals who have already explored the curricula of self. Such programs, at best, provide a few new insights. And as most business people report that once back in the “real-world” of business little, if anything, changes, as the culture in which they operate does not change so easily. The Integral Business Forum program will not emphasize self-discovery as a primary goal, although certain programs may focus on self-mastery within a broader business consciousness context.
Another recent development has been the call for programs highlighting business ethics. Our audience however is assumed to be made of people of the highest ethical and moral character. Our students are inherently moral people who have found themselves, as we all are, caught in a systemic situation that is unsustainable, if not unethical. The Integral Business Forum programs will not be about teaching or lecturing on ethics.
Thirdly, we are not about business education because teaching business skills is best left to the traditional business schools. The presumption is that our audience already will be sophisticated business people, who have extensive practical experience in business.
Then the question arises: what is unique and meaningful to Integral Business Forum offering?
The Integral Business Forum's audience, by its nature, is self-selected. Our audience will be individuals who are highly-evolved, self-aware people - who have spent the time and energy to understand and develop who they are. Second, they are individuals who strive for and have demonstrated impeccable moral and ethical standards. Thirdly, these individuals are sophisticated, knowledgeable and experienced in the world of business. In summary, our underlying ethos should be one of profound respect for a deservedly accomplished and sophisticated audience.
Yet there is another all important factor at play. Everywhere we go we meet people who sense that we are at the edge of a global change – that we as a global community are coming together in ways never before seen in history, that the underlying economic assumptions that bind us together are fragile, and that there needs to be a new business consciousness to address these issues that confront us. While the changes appear imminent, no one truly knows what that change will be.
The Integral Business Forum can offer our sophisticated audience the ideas and tools that will help enlightened business leaders create change. The Integral Business Forum will become a catalyst for transformation. It will not preach or proselytize, but rather become the forum where innovative leaders will come together to discover and forge new systems, new cultures, new ideas that will alter forever change in how we conduct our business and our lives. We will draw on the breadth and depth of our East/West educational history as we look for the integration of values, theories, and practices that will have the global impact that we all seek.
The underlying ethos: a deep respect for an audience of our peers. The Integral Business Forum will be an invitation for forward-thinking individuals to join together into the inquiry and development of a new business consciousness -- using the resources that are unique to its curriculum and heritage.