Organisational Change Management Volume 1

Framework 30 Spiritual Capital

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Most organisations, especially those in the private sector, focus their attention on self-interest, short-term gains, isolationist thinking, with the bottom line dominating thinking. It is a business approach based on narrow assumptions about human nature and motivation. These organisations are more interested in short-term shareholder value than long-term sustainability.

Spiritual capital envisages a business culture driven by fundamental values and a deep sense of purpose in which wealth is accumulated to generate a decent profit while acting to raise the common good. The emphasis is on stakeholder value where stakeholders include the human race (present and future), and the planet itself.

This is linked with the 3 kinds of capital (material, social and spiritual) and 3 types of intelligence (rational intelligence - IQ, emotional intelligence - EQ and spiritual intelligence - SQ). In summary: IQ (what I think), EQ (what I feel) and SQ (what I am)

There are 8 issues that dominate corporate culture (communications, fairness, relationships, trust, power, truth, flexibility and empowerment) and these are influenced by SQ

The 10 principles and 12 criteria of SQ are required to complete the transformation with the ultimate goal being sustainable capitalism achieved within the framework of a more meaningful working life. The 10 transformative principles (below) will underlie any attempt to shift human motives and therefore behaviours. The 12 criteria of transformation following will allow SQ to dissolve old motives and create new ones

Ten Principles of Transformation

1. Self-organising

This is a state that potentially takes whatever form is required to adapt as the system self-organises

2. Bounded instability

These systems exist only at the edge of chaos, in a zone of instability that falls just between order and chaos. If they were wholly unstable, they would disintegrate into chaos. If they were wholly ordered, they would be inflexible and non-adaptive

3. Emergent

These systems are larger than the sum of parts. The whole has qualities and properties that individual parts don't possess and this whole emerges only as the system adapts to and evolves within its environment

4. Holistic

These systems have no internal boundaries, no recognizable separate parts. Each part is entangled with and impinges upon each other part. The parts are internally defined through their relationship to each other and to the environment

5. Adaptive

These systems have not only learned as they go; they create themselves as they act to explore their own futures. This adaptation is always in mutually self-created dialogue with an environment to which they are internally sensitive

6. Evolutionary mutations

Mutations play a creative role in the finally emergent structure of these systems' future

7. Destroyed by outside control

Delicately produced internal order and balance of the systems is destroyed if we try to impose control from outside. Their own self-organisation collapses and they revert to being simple or complex newtonian systems

8. Exploratory

These systems are constantly exploring their own possible futures and creating themselves as they go

9. Recontextualising

These systems reframe their own inner developments as they recontextualise (relearn) the boundaries and qualities of their environment

10. Order out of chaos

These systems create order out of chaos; they have negative entropy. They bring new form into an unformed or unstructured arena

Twelve Criteria of Transformation

1. Self-awareness

To know what you believe in and value; what deeply motivates you. Awareness of your deepest life's purpose

2. Spontaneity

To live in and be responsive to the moment and all that it contains

3. vision-and value-led

Acting from principles and deep beliefs, and living life accordingly

4. Holism (a sense of the system, or of connectivity)

Ability to see larger patterns, relationships, connections; a strong sense of belonging

5. Compassion

Quality of "feeling-with" and deep empathy; groundwork of universal sympathy

6. Celebration of diversity

Valuing other people and unfamiliar situations for their differences, not despite them

7. Fierce independence

To be able to stand against the crowd and maintain your own convictions

8. Tendency to ask fundamentally why? Questions

Need to understand things; to get to the bottom of them; basis for challenging the status quo

9. Ability to reframe

Stand back from the problem or situation and look at the big picture; the wider context

10. Positive use of adversity

Ability to own and learn from mistakes; to see problems as opportunities; be resilient

11. Humility

Sense of being a player in a larger drama; sense of your true place in the world; basis for self-criticism, self-reflection and critical judgment

12. Sense of vocation

Being "called" by something larger than yourself; gratitude towards those who have helped you; a desire to give something back; basis for servant leadership

Complex adaptive systems

(principles of transformation)

Spiritual intelligence




bounded instability



vision-and-value led



in dialogue with environment

compassion (feeling-with)

evolutionary mutations

celebration of diversity

outside control destructive



asking why?

recontextualise environment


order out of chaos

positive use of adversity




sense of vocation

(source: Danah Zohar et al, 2004)


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