By Jeff Klein
The short answer: A Conscious Culture is permeated with Conscious Awareness.
In the context of business – a form of human social organization, Culture represents and encompasses the array of behaviors expected and accepted by members of the organization. Culture includes shared beliefs and values, rules of conduct and rituals.
As I outlined in the third and fifth installments in the It’s Just Good Business series, Conscious Awareness is “a process of recognizing what is going on inside and out, the effects of decisions and actions, and the interaction between a complex array of factors and forces.” I add to this, a Conscious Culture is one that fosters individual and collective reflection, and explicit articulation of what we see or wonder as we reflect, which fosters ongoing learning, growth and development for the people constituting the organization and for the organization as an organism or ecosystem.
A Conscious Culture fosters and benefits from Conscious Awareness.
A Conscious Culture fosters recognition of the purpose of the company and the interdependent relationship between the company’s stakeholders. And it promotes behavior in alignment with this recognition to advance the company’s mission and deliver value to all of its stakeholders.
How do we address conflict in our workplace? Is it addressed directly, or suppressed and sublimated? Can we agree to disagree and even to express our emotions? Can we opt out of emotional conversations if we choose to?
Do we have an explicit understanding of the factors we consider to when making significant decisions that may affect one or more of our stakeholders?
To what extent do we engage our stakeholders in our decision-making process?
To what extent are roles, responsibilities, authority and accountability clear?
When people have issues with other people in our workplace, do they address them directly or do they gossip about each other?
Is power exercised explicitly or implicitly? Are people direct and respectful with each other or otherwise?
A Conscious Culture is alive. While it provides the same kind of sustained identity and social connective tissue as any other culture, it is dynamic. It fosters innovation and adaptation, and calls for people to deeply engage with each other and with the process of the organization and its work.
The Bottom Line
Conscious Leaders catalyze Conscious Culture by applying and cultivating the practice of Conscious Awareness for themselves, their team members, and between the company and its stakeholders.
There is no magic yardstick that measures and compares levels of Conscious Awareness or degrees of Conscious Culture. These are dynamic attributes that ebb and flow, with high tides and low tides. But with ongoing attention and practice, overall levels of awareness and functioning elevate.
How do you recognize a Conscious Culture when you see one? One indicator may be an acknowledgement from the people immersed in the culture that they continue to learn, grow and develop together, and they recognize that they always have room to grow.
In the next post in this series I will reflect on the Working for Good motto, the process is the product as an expression of Conscious Awareness at work.
Jeff Klein is CEO of Working for Good, a company that activates, produces and facilitates mission-based, Stakeholder Engagement Marketing™ campaigns and Conscious Culture development programs.
Jeff is a founding trustee of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. and authored the award-winning book, Working for Good: Making a Difference While Making a Living, to support conscious entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, leaders and change agents at work. He will be offering a 6-week tele-course entitled It’s Just Good Business, beginning September 22, 2011.
For more information visit workingforgood.com