Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values

Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values

4.8 6
by Fred Kofman
     
 

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**Winner of the 2009 Nautilus Gold Award**
 
Consciousness is the main source of organizational greatness. Conscious business, explains Fred Kofman, means finding your passion and expressing your essential values through your work. A conscious business seeks to promote the intelligent pursuit of happiness in all its stakeholders. It produces

Overview

**Winner of the 2009 Nautilus Gold Award**
 
Consciousness is the main source of organizational greatness. Conscious business, explains Fred Kofman, means finding your passion and expressing your essential values through your work. A conscious business seeks to promote the intelligent pursuit of happiness in all its stakeholders. It produces sustainable, exceptional performance through the solidarity of its community and the dignity of each member.

Conscious Business presents breakthrough techniques to help you achieve:

  • Unconditional responsibility—how to become the main character of your life
  • Unflinching integrity—how to succeed beyond success
  • Authentic communication—how to speak your truth, and elicit others' truths
  • Impeccable commitments—how to coordinate actions with accountability
  • Right leadership—how being, rather than doing, is the ultimate source of excellence
A conscious business fosters personal fulfillment in the individuals, mutual respect in the community, and success in the organization, teaches Fred Kofman. Conscious Business is the definitive resource for achieving what really matters in the workplace and beyond.


Excerpt
 
Consciousness is the ability to experience reality, to be aware of our inner and outer worlds.  It allows us to adapt to our environment and act to promote our lives.  All living beings possess consciousness, but human beings have a unique kind.  Unlike plants and other animals, we can think and act beyond instinctual drives and conditioning.  We can be autonomous (from the Greek, “self-governing”).  While this autonomy is a possibility, it is not a given.  We must develop it through conscious choices.
To be conscious means to be awake, mindful.  To live consciously means to be open to perceiving the world around us, to understand our circumstances, and to decide how to respond to them in ways that honor our needs, values, and goals.  To be unconscious is to be asleep, mindless.  To live unconsciously means to be driven by instincts and habitual patterns.
Have you ever driven down the highway on cruise control, engaged in a conversation or daydreaming, only to realize you missed your exit?  You didn’t literally lose consciousness, but you dimmed your awareness.  Relevant details, such as your location and the actions needed to reach your goal, receded from the forefront of your mind.  Your eyes were open, but you didn’t see.  This is a poor way to drive—and an even poorer way to live.
Praise
 
“Consciousness has a real and deep business impact. Learning how to work in full congruence with our values has inspired every person in my tem to be a better professional—and a better human being.”
—Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook
 
“Fred has been a true partner in our efforts to build a conscious organization, helping us move from aspiration to implementation.  His advice is never easy, but always worthwhile.”
—Eugenio Beaufrand, Vice President, Microsoft Latin America
 
Conscious Business translates the tools of organizational learning into day-to-day business applications.  Both at Chrysler and DTE Energy, Fred’s work has allowed us to shift our culture faster, but with much greater sustainability than any other effort.”
—David Meador, Senior Vice President of Finance, Detroit Edison
 

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fred Kofman is a genius with a heart as big as his brain. In this remarkable book, he takes us on a thrilling tour through what business would be like if it had both a heart and a mind -a conscience and a consciousness. The result is a practice of business that transforms you and your world."
- Ken Wilber, philosopher and author of A Theory of Everything

"A fundamental book for our times."
- Peter Senge, MIT professor and author of The Fifth Discipline

"Fred has been an inspiration, helping connect responsibility and integrity to create the freedom leaders need to succeed."
- Daniel Rosensweig, Chief Operating Officer, Yahoo! Inc.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591798712
Publisher:
Sounds True, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/01/2006
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
360
Sales rank:
216,156
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Fred Kofman

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.


Ken Wilber

Ken Wilber is one of the most influential and widely read American philosophers of our time. His writing has been translated into more than 20 languages. Ken Wilber is the author of many books, including The Spectrum of Consciousness; The Eye of Spirit; Grace and Grit; Sex, Ecology, Spirituality; A Brief History of Everything; Boomeritis; and The Marriage of Sense and Soul. Ken Wilber lives in Denver, Colorado.


Peter Senge

Peter Senge, Ph.D. is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management; founding chairperson of the SoL (Society of Organizational Living), a global network of individuals and organizations working together for systemic change; the author of the widely acclaimed The Fifth Discipline; and co-author of Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future. He teaches the principles of conscious learning to organizations and individuals internationally.


Peter Senge, Ph.D. is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management; founding chairperson of the SoL (Society of Organizational Living), a global network of individuals and organizations working together for systemic change; the author of the widely acclaimed The Fifth Discipline; and co-author of Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future. He teaches the principles of conscious learning to organizations and individuals internationally.

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Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Conscious Business is the first book I've read on an important subject I'd like to tackle as an author: How to move those in an organization from focusing on their selfish interests to concentrating on what creates the most good for the most people . . . with the least potential harm to any individual. I thought that Dr. Kofman did a good job in defining one path to creating mutual benefit in Conscious Business. If people in your organization seem to be emphasizing their own careers rather than the tasks that need doing, this book is a must-read for you! Let me agree with Dr. Kofman about his warning for readers: It's much easier to understand his principles than apply them. But with practice, you can do great things. Here are the goals he sets: 'In the impersonal It dimension, the goal is to accomplish the organization's mission, enhancing its ability to continue doing so in the future, and delivering outstanding long-term returns to shareholders. In the interpersonal We dimension, the goal is to establish cooperative, trusting, and mutually respectful relationships, a community of shared purpose and values in which people feel they belong. In the personal I dimension, the goal is to live in a state of flow, feeling a transcendent happiness that comes from living in full integrity, with one's principles and ideals.' As you can see from this quote, Dr. Kofman draws heavily from his interest in Buddhist tradition and other streams of spiritual beliefs that are outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The text is enlivened by quotes from many sides of the spiritual spectrum and psychologists. As a result, the material will speak directly and deeply in places to virtually any reader, regardless of background and beliefs. The risk he points to is a real one: If we don't make our intentions explicit and specific, people will take the knee-jerk route of looking after themselves. That self-focus is the basis of much bureaucratic behavior, procrastination, avoidance, poor customer service, misconceptions, disbelief about what needs to be done, poor communications and over-reliance on tradition. A key exhibit in the book can be found on page 17 where Dr. Kofman draws a contrast between relying on unconscious versus conscious attitudes in business. Here are the unconscious attitudes and their conscious counterparts: Unconscious Attitudes Conscious Attitudes Unconditional blame Unconditional responsibility Essential selfishness Essential integrity Ontological arrogance Ontological humility Unconscious behaviors Conscious behaviors Manipulative communication Authentic communication Narcissistic negotiation Constructive negotiation Negligent coordination Impeccable coordination Unconscious reactions Conscious reactions Emotional incompetence Emotional mastery The book goes on to devote a chapter to each of the seven conscious attitudes (excluding conscious behaviors and reactions from the list above). Since those attitude titles are not exactly self-explanatory, let me see if I can explain each a little more. Unconditional responsibility is the Victor Frankl concept of determining your response to a situation, even if it is a situation you cannot change. You take charge of choosing your response. Essential integrity is acting in accordance with your values, even if the results are less than perfect. Ontological humility is being open to seeing what's going on from the perspectives of others and valuing those perspectives. Authentic communication means sharing your emotions, opinions and knowledge openly with those who appear to be headed in the wrong direction . . . and encouraging them to do the same. From that baseline, you can then proceed to develop options that may better fit what's needed. Constructive negotiation is focused on finding a great solution for everyone, rather than simply winning your point. Impeccable coordination involves making informed commitments, staying on top
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jos0320 More than 1 year ago
Chapters 4 and 5 are very crucial to shaping an unbiased perspective. It teaches that to disagree with comeone is ok, however further questioning is needed to grasp the full concept of the disagreement and opposing views of the subject.
ReadingToLena More than 1 year ago
This book was part of a suggested reading list for a doctoral course on higher level thinking. It should be required. I am not a business major and was resistant to read the book because of the title; however, I am glad I did. It is an easy read but the message is clear and the impact is undeniable. The point Kofman makes is easily translated to any field.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
David_Tussey More than 1 year ago
Very useful book that explores inter-personal behaviors in the business environment. Each chapter explores a behavior or trait that we encounter in business organizations on a routine basis...and how to better address those issues within the context of human and inter-personal behaviors. My group at work (11 people) used this book + training from Axialent (the author's consulting company) to try and improve our business performance, from the emotional and inter-personal aspect. It was a very use endeavor, and not the least of which it provides a vocabulary and taxonomy to discuss and recognize certain human behaviors. But...I, and my group, felt that all these ideas are only useful if the company or organization can develop a culture that supports these tenets, and helps nurture them. So this is my complaint. I would like to have more guidance on how to implement the ideas that Prof Kofman expounds in a company or organization. How can a manager (or a non-manager) operationalize these concepts into the corporate culture, so that they can flourish and yield benefits? Perhaps this can be the next book.