Richard Cox asked:
I recently trained a group at a leading hedge fund in central London. There were a few articles on the wall regarding what they do. It mentioned that there was a charitable arm to the business, which was directly investing a portion of the profits into caring for children in Africa and India.
In the articles, there was debate about whether or not the fact there was a charitable purpose to investing some of the profits; the main attraction of investors to this fund was that it focussed on performance. Business is primarily driven by profit, and although the world seems to be accelerating into ever increasing levels of change and uncertainty, this still remains key. Investors said that whether or not the fund chose to invest its profits in charitable ventures was of little concern, what they were focussing on was the return on their investments.
To think that business would all of a sudden turn from being hard nosed and profit-driven, to warm, soft and fuzzy is naive, but what is clear is that organisations are becoming more aware of human values, and are willing to give back into communities that require support. Are we developing a more appreciative culture, one which respects emotions and personal values – even spirituality?
Spirituality is finding its way into the workplace, as each individual person brings themselves to the office or place of work each day. How they show up, and their relating performance, is strongly linked with the state that they are in. There are many factors that influence a person’s mood, and if someone becomes more aware of the influence of these factors on their animating spirit, then they would have a hand in improving their performance.
Something as simple as valuing the human inside each one of us, taking care of the basic needs, like adequate sleep, food, water, and positive, uplifting work environments, with good, supportive relationships go a long way to creating optimum environments to peak performance.
As levels of change and uncertainty increase, there is a natural tendency to focus on values that are more spiritually orientated to enable businesses to navigate through uncertain times. Letting go of some of the control can be a good thing.
Business and spirituality come from different sides of the spectrum of human “being-ness”, and still have a way to go before they are working hand in hand. That said, there are many positive initiatives underway across the world to bring forward a global awakening to the true power of our human consciousness. One of these is transformational leadership, which shows a way that we can influence and shift the balance towards a more enlightened and sustainable future humanity, whilst still making a proft.