Purpose – Why I do what I do
Looking around at today’s world, it is easy to see we are in the midst of a changing environment: rapid changes in technology, political and social unrest, shifting business domains, and environmental degradation. How are we to manage ourselves, and what is the contribution to be made towards positive change?
These are important questions, and ones I have been wrestling with to discover my offer. I am sometimes overwhelmed by the view of where we are and where we could or need to be to live generatively every day. Then I remember that if I fall into an over-serious, fight-against attitude about what I see, I am losing what may be most important. That play and playfulness is the mood of the natural world!
Well, okay, then! With an attitude of fun and playfulness, how do we work together to be the world we are looking to have?
My calling is to:
- Assist with positive transformation for organizations and individuals
- Ease the shift into a future world that respects people, the natural world, and relationships
- Assist in an alignment and embodiment of the values of the approaching future — personal integrity of speech and action, generative connection to others, and respect for all life
And all of this with a respect for a lightness of living, fun and playful interactions, and positive results.
My mission is to further positive transformation and aliveness in individuals, couples, families, and organizations for the sake of generativity for all life.
Why this offer
This offer will put in place purposefully chosen individual, organization, and cultural practices that will produce, over time, systemic, sustainable change. It is an investment in people and organizational cultures, experiential in nature, and creates a balance between being and doing.
The changing, shifting world is asking something of us. We are being asked to ally ourselves with the values and practices of a generative social, environmental, and economic world as if it currently exists. We are being asked to shift from the intellectual conversations, ideas, and tasks of a generative future to embodiment in action.
For those looking to explicitly heighten attention to and embody the practices of blending daily operations, coordination, and team inclusion with a deepened meaning and embodiment of triple bottom line, the Ecosomatic orientation provides these outcomes.
“Look! Look! Look deep into nature and you will understand everything.” –Albert Einstein
Components of Ecosomatic Offers
Spending the last 20 years working in a variety of types and sizes of organizations, I am dismayed and surprised (probably shouldn’t be) to recurrently see the patterns of breakdowns and heaviness in organizations. It seems more unusual to see fun and playfulness in the place we are usually spending the most of our time in our day.
Attending to the following components can fundamentally change mood, efficiency, and productivity.
Does the whole organization live in a shared conversation about why the organization exists? Is this shared mission lived day to day? Are the values associated with mission embodied by individuals as well as company culture? Can your organization’s mission be recited as a lived declaration by everyone?
Embodying a shared mission means living the mission. People often get so involved with the necessary “tasks” of work that mission can become secondary. The mission of organizations declares the values and beliefs that underlay the product or service being offered. It is not unusual to find a split between mission and organizational cultural practices – the difference between what is intended and what is actually happening. The organization’s mission becomes the ground of right action and a generative attitude within the organization.
Organizations have a “shape.” As with individuals, there is a history that defines the shape, the “shape” of a habituated propensity toward certain actions and cultural behaviors. And there is a future shape or direction the organization is moving toward. Are these shapes compatible? What is the “shape of success” into the future?
Another way to discuss the shape of an organization is to describe its cultural practices. Cultural practices are the ground for daily activities and can include:
- Mood and attitude of engagement – having fun!!
- How people interact
- Standards for accountability
- Building trust as a standard
- Standards for communication and listening
- Clear standards of success
- Transparent communication throughout the organization
- Cross-functional team communication
- Clear, practiced assessment process – let’s remove gossip from the equation!
- Shifting from a “task” orientation to a “relationship” orientation
- Did I say having fun?
The embodiment of cultural practices requires shared buy-in by all and by having individuals and the organization practicing the behaviors and actions expressed by the organizational values. Behaviors and habits are learned through practice. Reshaping the cultural practices of an organization requires a deep looking into current culture and asking the question, “What is working and what is not working as the organization moves into the future?” and implementing new practices related to the new shape. This is more than having new slogans and a list of values. It requires the participation of all individuals in new and ongoing practices.
How engaged are people in the organization? Have you created the optimum cultural practices, setting, and expectations to produce full, active engagement? Are people looking forward to coming to work and satisfied when they go home?
Embodied engagement has proven to reduce attrition and increase profits. Since the release of the first Gallup poll concerning engagement in 2000, it has become a corporate catchphrase. And since the conversation has begun, engagement has increases in US organizations by only a few percentage points.
According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR, September, 2013), for those who have successfully taken this on, the value of success is lower attrition, better customer service, better work outcomes, and stronger alignment between executive managers and middle managers. This results in higher profits. Also from HBR, top executives seem more optimistic than lower-level managers related to employee engagement, thus seeming out of touch. Today when companies are looking at what is critical to their success, “people-oriented ‘soft’ factors dominate this list.”
I strongly suggest that the question is less about what builds engagement or why it is important, and more about the willingness of organizations to invest the time and energy it takes to embody the new practices to build engagement that aligns with professed cultural values. One of my specialties is the application of ideas into embodied practices.
How are people working together? Are your people living smooth coordination and cooperation? Have there been opportunities for people to develop themselves to move past their automatic, built-in, reactiveness? Like active engagement, these skills reduce attrition and increase profits.
Composure – The ability to shift ineffective automatic reactions to appropriate responses. This is a skill. Some think people are “naturally gifted” in this domain, and I suggest it is a learned skill. It is a practice of self-awareness, and self-organizing, and knowing the why and how of one’s automaticness.
Comportment – Our personal bearing or conduct; demeanor; behavior. Do you have the shape/self/body of someone who is trustworthy, inviting, and courageous? Do you embody the moves and actions of a generative comportment? This, again, is a learned skill, embodied through serious introspection and practice.
Equanimity – The ability to have mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in difficult situations. I suggest the expansion of the definition of equanimity to include a calmness and composure toward life. This is the realization and embodiment of being a part of the whole and allowing oneself to be held and guided by Spirit. This is particularly important where it relates to living triple bottom-line ethics.
Interdependence – Being mutually reliant on each other. This is living the practice of cooperation and working well together. Especially in atmospheres of competition, when living in the drive and desire to “do it all myself” or “I know better,” connection to other is lost. With the recognition and practice of interdependence, cooperation, clarity, and efficiency increases. This would include well-managed commitments and requests, cross-functional team communication, and clear, transparent organizational communications.
Having individuals embody these aspects of organizational comportment is also a reflection of the culture “walking its talk.” This embodiment assists in defining and living the organizational center.
The cornerstone of building trust and living accountability is expertly holding commitments and promises. Is there trust, listening, accountability, and clarity in the day-to-day operations of your organization?
Having worked in many small, mid-sized, and very large organizations over the last 15 years, I hear the same top three to four areas of improvement: trust, accountability, communication, and authenticity.
Speech Act Theory creates a basis for clarity and effectiveness in organizations. It was put forth by John Austin and John Searle, both academics in the field of linguistics, and popularized in the field of business by Dr. Fernando Flores. It is a way to identify and gain expertise in action through language. The most effective, efficient, and satisfying way to “get the work done” is through focusing on commitments, promises, and relationships rather than the task of work. This orientation includes the skills of accountability and holding others accountable, trust built through recurrent timely fulfillment and management of promises, clear communication, and authenticity through offering honest and dignified assessments and feedback.
One must embody the related actions and practices. This connects to the value of developing personnel.
Although often seen as another tip or technique to be brought forward when useful, the embodiment of Speech Acts can become part of one’s comportment both professionally and personally, and reflects a deep regard for relationship and respect for what is important to others.
What is the organization’s connection to the natural world? More and more attention is being turned toward an ecological legacy for organizations. As the notion of building a business that has the effect of supporting and nurturing the natural world deepens and spreads, a thinly veiled screen of appearance will become unacceptable.
What is the organization’s connection to the natural world? Are decisions made with the inclusion of the effect on ecological sustainability? To what standards are these decisions held? Is the organization thought of as part of or separate from the natural world? How does this affect identity and brand? And how is this reflected in business processes and culture? Do all employees embody that depth of connection?
It is discouraging to see many organizations paying lip service to triple bottom line and Benefit Corporation responsibilities. Looking closely, it is revealed that this is an orientation to look good; it is good for marketing, and it increases sales, but the embodiment of the practices and culture are missing.
Alternatively, it is encouraging to see how many companies have a high level of integrity in their expression of triple bottom line and being a Benefit Corporation. It is clear from how people are treated and respected, and from programs and donations to organizations dedicated to nurturing all life, that they are walking their talk. And there are many organizations who want to fully embody these ways and just lack the skill.
Part of the skill is the ability to thrive within an obsolete industrial paradigm living the values and necessities of the coming world.
Aikido is a self-defense martial art, the Art of Peace. Through 24 years of practice and earning a second-degree black belt, I have learned that the principles imbued in the art are highly relevant to our daily lives, both personally and professionally.
First and foremost is living in harmony with Universal Energy. Peaceful resolution of conflict, seeking harmony with all that comes to us, connecting to our own ground, center (what is important to us) and aliveness, embodying control of one’s reactiveness, maintaining our dignity and the dignity of others, are just some of the possibilities of an Aiki way. These lived principles organize us as individuals and as an organization, and they are aligned with a generative connection to the natural world.
Though not teaching Aikido directly, the essence of Aikido includes full cooperation, peaceful resolution, deep connection to self and other, and being ready to harmonize. Ecosomatics in Organizations is imbued with the ideals, values and practices of Aikido.
I provide custom programs, organizational coaching and team development. All programs are custom designed for effectiveness and optimal results. Below are examples of program possibilities.
• Long Program
Longer, multi-conference trainings offer the best results and can have many different configurations to fit your organization. Sessions separated by 4-8 weeks is optimum.
• Short Program
These one-time events ranging from 2-5 days can have a huge impact on your organization. We are happy to custom design a program to fit your needs.
• Team Development
A specialty of Mark Mooney Consulting, these events can be used to accelerate teams to the next level of excellence, to coalesce new teams into world-class performance, or to restore an existing team to high performance.
• Organizational Coaching
This is a great accompaniment to organizational programs, either as part of the program itself or as a stand-alone process.