Conscious Business Hardcover – 1 Sep 2006
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More and more business leaders are catching on to an often-overlooked fact: consciousness is our basic faculty for survival and success. Without it, we forget what's important to us and lose sight of the steps we might take to reach those goals. Conscious Business, explains Fred Kofman, means shining this awareness on every area of your work: in recognizing the needs of others and expressing your own, in seeing the hidden emotional obstacles that may be holding your team back, in making good decisions under pressure and even in delving into such "spiritual" questions as "Who am I?" and "What is my real purpose here?" With "Conscious Business", you hold the definitive resource for maximizing profit and potential in the workplace and beyond.
About the Author
Fred Kofman is Axialent's co-founder and President. An extraordinary teacher, Fred awakens people to act with greater responsibility, integrity and courage; his ideas combine philosophical depth with practical applicability. He has created and taught programs in leadership, personal mastery, team learning, organizational effectiveness and coaching for more than 15,000 participants. His clients include leaders such as Microsoft, Shell, Yahoo! and General Motors.
Fred holds a Ph.D in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was distinguished as outstanding instructor. He worked as an assistant professor of Management Accounting and Control Systems at MIT's Sloan School of Management, where he received the "Teacher of the Year" award in 1992. At MIT, he was also a senior researcher at the Organizational Learning Center, where he worked with Peter Senge. He is a founding member of the Business Branch of the Integral Institute, where he works with Ken Wilber. He is also a member of the Dharma Ocean Foundation, an organization devoted to meditation practice led by Reginald Ray.
Fred has led seminars in the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia and presented his research at MIT's Sloan School, Harvard University's Economic Department, Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of California at Los Angeles and Berkeley, The London School of Economics, the University of Tel Aviv, Universidad de Barcelona, Nanyang Technological Institute of Singapore, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires, and Universidad Francisco Marroquon. He also teaches in Naropa University and the University of Notre Dame's Executive MBA and non-degree executive education programs.
His work has appeared in several publications including The Fifth Discipline Field Book, The Journal of Organizational Dynamics, Management Science and Econometrica. He is the author of the trilogy Metamanagement (Granica, 2001) and the audio program Conscious Business (Sounds True, 2002).
Beyond his work, Fred enjoys traveling and outdoor activities, having run nine marathons, climbed Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya, heli-skied in the Bugaboos and the Himalayas, scuba-dived in the Caribbean, and trekked for several weeks in Nepal and Thailand. Fred lives with his wife and six children in Boulder, Colorado.
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"This Way has no return and it never ends. There is nowhere to arrive, no final summit to conquer. Only higher and higher reaches of the human spirit. Whenever I feel like I've gotten it, that I am finally in control, I am humbled by a challenge that exceeds my ability to respond. However, I have found peace and satisfaction in success beyond success."
To understand `Conscious Business' and `success beyond success' you have to read this book. It establishes the conscious business organizational map on a 3X3 matrix, with three dimensions of the organization as a noun (the impersonal `It', the interpersonal `We' and the personal `I') and three dimensions of the organization as a verb (the `having' product, the `doing' process, and the `being' platform).
And it establishes that the highest leverage is in beginning with the platform or `culture' and its systemic artefacts, because that drives or causes everything else. There are seven attributes of a conscious business culture, namely unconditional responsibility, essential integrity, ontological humility, authentic communication, constructive negotiation, impeccable coordination and finally emotional mastery. Each of these are explained in a manner which will touch your left brain, your right brain, and your heart.
The book begins with an extraordinary prologue, and concludes with an extraordinary epilogue, both reflecting the deeply personal experiences of the author. Reading them will make you agree with Ken Wilber, who calls Fred Kofman a `genius with a heart as big as his brain, if that's possible'. If you savour the experience of upliftment at work, and would like a ready reckoner of that on your table, gift yourself this book today.
Some practices including dialogue and accountability are very close to my heart.
What I like about this book most is Fred Kofman's clarity and writing style - he presents complex ideas with great apparent authority.
Personally I think conscious business is about more than the ideas contained here - there's a lot more going under the surface of most businesses as I am sure Fred Kofman knows - but this is a excellent starting point for any reader.
Kofman comes across as someone who practises what he preaches. He spells out in detail valauble techniques for becoming more authentic and for relating constructively to people in a working context. This book is not just a me-too book in the mainstream of managemernt literature but is a significant contribution to the evolution of that literature with new material and new insights drawn from other sources and from personal experience. Enjoyable and enlightening!