People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch The door is round and open, don’t go back to sleep. – Rumi
Another exceptional find for you from the Spirituality and Creativity in Management conference in Barcelona. Judi Neal has written an exceptional book about those who walk on the leading edge of creativity and innovation. A friend of mine calls it ‘the bleeding edge’ – as you can bleed to death out there. It is not a place for the faint-hearted. Judi Neal has courageously walked this path all her life.
Judi Neal is the retired director of the Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas. Judi has been one of the earlier and consistent professionals and academics dedicated to the topic of Spirituality in the Workplace over the past years. She created the Spirit at Work association and website more than a decade ago, played an essential role in creating and establishing the Management Spirituality and Religion interest group within the Academy of Management and developed the Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace from 2009 to 2013 as its first Director. Judi is an officer at the Academy of Management and co-founder of the Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion. She has earned her place as an Edgewalker and moves freely across the bridge she has built.
Edgewalkers tells the tales of those change agents who wish to truly revolutionize the role of business in the world. Edgewalkers are those that don’t ‘fit’ the conventional roles in an organization. Edgewalkers have a strong sense of their purpose in life. Edgewalkers are the ‘bridge builders who link different paradigms, cultural boundaries and world views’. Judi speaks to five major attributes of all Edgewalkers: self-awareness, passion, integrity, vision and playfulness. Who do you know that has these traits? She believes that Edgewalkers are the leaders of the future and calls them the corporate shamans who walk into the invisible world and bring back wisdom and guidance for their organizations. Any organization that embraces and nurtures their Edgewalkers will have a unique competitive advantage. I couldn’t agree more!
This book provides both stories that inspire and practical tools to enhance your edge walking skill. So … will you come to the edge?
So happy to announce the 2nd edition of my workbook, Finding Your Creative Core, is now available. Its been a really busy Fall! Building a creative environment within any organization starts with values – your own and the values-in-action within the organization. How often have you articulated your own values? Even thought about them? Something that most of us take for granted and yet, values form the foundation of almost everything we do. My workbook provides a starting point of exploration – a personal Heroic Journey to the centre of Self. For it is there that you will find the creative core you have always had. I love working with the Heroes Journey – I admit my bias! Many business books have been written that utilize the idea of the Hero, but most play at a superficial level, failing to address the power of the archetype itself. In November, I published an article in the Integral Leadership Journal that gives a more in-depth look at why the Heroes Journey has such power to transform. Suffice to say that the Journey always begins with each of us, willing or not, ready or not. An old Roman motto says it best – the Fates aid those who will … those who won’t they drag. When you are touch with your creative core, you are better prepared for the Journey. I wish you safe passage!
2015 will be again be a busy year. I’m getting ready for the 2015 Human Resources Professionals Association national conference in Toronto. I’ll be speaking on corporate culture and the ‘secret sauce’ of design-driven innovation. I hope to see you there! Best wishes for you and yours for the holiday season and 2015. Our journey continues.
If you want competitive advantage, here is the place to start. Hyatt and De Ciantis take us on a journey of discovery in one of the most interesting areas of our lives – our values. Working with values allows us to keep track of what is really important to us. I use this process and program within academic courses at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as executive education. We also use the software package – you can go online and explore, the details are all in the book. It will be added to my course work for Business Anthropology at the Copenhagen Business School this summer (only 7 more sleeps until my flight!)
It makes for a great discussion around the kitchen table or the office. A conversation that needs to happen on a regular basis – just as a reminder that there is more to life than daily routine. The Values Perspective Survey is one of my favourite tools, I highly recommend it.
Popular, thought-provoking, stimulating and (best of all!) fun – working with values perspectives will give you insight towards making better judgments and decisions – for yourself, your family and your organization.
Terry Pearce followed his heart and went back to school – something dear to my heart. Even better, he was drawn to the same program that I took a few years back – a PhD in comparative mythology and depth psychology. In his studies, he explored what it meant to lead across cultures, deepening his understanding of why people do what they do. I know I am biased, but, I believe no better preparation for the complexities of our current global world of business.
Pearce first published “Leading Out Loud” in 1995 and it quickly become a classic in the field. In this third edition, he expands on the reflective work necessary, no demanded, by authentic leadership in order to inspire commitment and action. He asks the question ‘where do passion and commitment reside’? Answer: in inspiration – and this book will act as both guide and nourishment for the journey to the authentic Self. Pearce has taught leadership communication at UC Berkeley, the Haas School of Business and the London Business School. He draws upon a wealth of experience and adds a deepening of perspective in the authentic leadership model.
Finally! Some brilliant soul – in this case, Susan Cain – has written the book for which every introvert has been looking. For those of us who, when silent in a meeting, are asked if something is ‘wrong’ – this book will make an excellent gift for those who asked the question. From the front cover:
“At least one third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying, who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favour working on their own over brainstorming in teams.”
Listen to Susan Cain on ted.com for an inspiring talk on the power of introversion. She speaks to the need to respect diversity in how we work – instead of forcing introverts to become something that reduces their creativity and ability to innovate. If you know or more importantly, are introverted, this book will confirm what you already know and few believe. Introverted leaders often deliver better outcomes as they allow the employees they manage to run with their ideas. So, if you want more innovative and sustainable leadership – perhaps you should look to the introverts in your organization. You might be overlooking an amazing source of creative capital.
I received the sad news a few minutes ago of the death of James Hillman at 85 years young, one of the founders of archetypal psychology. He was a tough teacher; admittedly not one of my personal favorites. A stimulating speaker, his lectures at Pacifica were always standing room only. Author of more books than I can count, and I read every one of them at least twice – he demanded both rigor in thinking and a compassion for the collective. Our community has suffered a great loss; we will mourn his passing and celebrate his life.
If you have not had the pleasure of being introduced to his body of his work; my favourite is ReVisioning Psychology, written in 1975. He has written many since then from which to choose. Oprah Winfrey liked The Soul’s Code – maybe an easier place to begin. In our current economic climate – perhaps a call to character is needed. James Hillman was a bright light in our community. His work will continue to illuminate a path to a better future.
Canadians are once again returning to the polls – an interesting question to ponder is why? Same politicians, same issues, same political rhetoric which is deteriorating into childish mud-slinging. Have we now deteriorated into the cheap methods of American politics? Please let it not be so!
Andrew Samuels has written an interesting book entitled the Political Psyche. Samuels explores the connections between inner and outer worlds and sets into motion a two-way dialogue between depth psychology and politics which addresses such key concerns as market economies and our attitudes towards social responsibility and environmentalism. Perhaps our politicians should take heed and update their reading load walking into this next election. For all those who are “Jung at Heart”, this is an interesting read.
For those of you interested in depth psychology, here is a new offering that I think you will enjoy. I had the pleasure of seeing Ginette Paris in action at the Jung Society in Calgary this past weekend. Ginette was one of my favourite professors at Pacifica Graduate Institute – an accomplished writer, an insightful psychologist and one of the leaders in the field of depth psychology. It was a highly enjoyable way to spend a weekend – I feel energized and refreshed! Who could ask for more?
Her most recent book, Wisdom of the Psyche, speaks to the relationship between depth psychology and neuroscience – how they differ and how they relate. She explores the question of what belongs to science and what belongs to the humanities in the quest for identity and healing. Ginette also speaks to her brush with death after suffering a brain injury in 2002 and how she witnessed from the inside-out how the brain heals itself.
Perhaps Jungian analyst James Hillman says it best: “Emotionally personal, immediately useful, surprisingly original, beautifully deep, this page-turning read also turns the pages into a new century of psychology. What an achievement!”
First people deny a thing; then they belittle it; then they say it was known all along.
– Alexander von Humboldt
For those of you who are hard-core devotees of the power of story, Christopher Booker has written a master work. The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories is a 728 page reference guide extraordinaire. There will always be those that think storytelling is for children only – a plaything useful for entertaining. But one day, it will eventually be seen that one of the most remarkable failures of our scientific approach to understanding the world was not to see that our innate ability to imagine stories is as much governed by scientific laws as the structure of our genes. Booker has also tackled the use of conscious and unconscious archetypes and does an excellent job of explaining how archetypes – both personified and transformational – work in practice as well as theory.
The profound influence of Carl Gustav Jung spans literature, psychology, ecology and science in evidenced in the release of Jung’s diary, The Red Book. Finally permitted by the Jung family to be digitized for the public, this amazing work leads us into the world of C.G. Jung.
Asking “What Story are you Living”, Jung brings us the tools of transformation required to re-vision our current path and change the ending of the story in which we current reside. The Red Book is his opus and provides both guidance and inspiration to find our own.