21st Century Social Entrepreneurship

Courtney-Klein

SEED SPOT signage with CEO/Co-founder Courtney Klein

21st Century Social Entrepreneurship

We all wonder where the world is heading. We see many things that need changing and few who are engaged in the positive efforts that make change possible. Social entrepreneurship is on the rise. SEED SPOT, a Phoenix-based co-working and incubator space, is doing just that – creating positive change. They are doing it on multiple levels simultaneously through their leadership, mentoring and social-entrepreneurship programs that create jobs and benefit the community.

When you walk into the space, an entire floor of a high-rise in central Phoenix, the first thing one notices is the sprawling work space area with the notable signage (see photo) front and center. It is the epitome of a collaborative environment where budding entrepreneurs and possibilities coagulators bring people, places and things into a new order that empowers each entrepreneur. The opportunities to stretch and grow, both personally and professionally, bring entrepreneurs and the help they need for launching and growing their business together in a wonderful symbiosis.

The team includes CEO and Co-founder, Courtney Klein; Director of Entrepreneur Initiatives, C’pher Gresham; Director of Development, Tabitha Branscome; and Operations Manager, Corinn Perry, among others, who demonstrate that good things can happen when the right components can be brought together and shared openly. Their programs bring together community leaders, corporate supporters and mentors that provide an excellent foundation for business and community development.

It is the author’s opinion that this organization is poised to grow exponentially. It is obvious from their success in the community that their leadership methodology is working. Truly, collaborative alliances are key factors in developing processes for positive change in local environments. No doubt over the next decade SEED SPOT will have a profound effect on Arizona. In order to change the current social architecture of our country, efforts like theirs are imperative to facilitate people, places and things toward positive change. This is just the beginning of a large-scale change in how business is done in America.

It is also the opinion of the author that examples like SEED SPOT need representation in both large and small communities around the country. How fast this happens will depend largely on public support and local/national leadership that also aligns with the goals and objectives of positive change through rebuilding our economy with sustainable methodologies. These kinds of efforts deserve our attention and support. Our communities and country will benefit and demonstrate that America is truly a world leader for positive change. It has been questionable to date.

Making Sense Common

Holistic: Cosmic Conundrum or Common Sense?

Making Sense Common8-aspects

Holistic, adj.

1. Of or relating to holism.

a. Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.

b. Concerned with wholes rather than analysis or separation into parts

Defining the variety of subsets in the equations we consider for our daily living decisions have been the norm for many years. Not that we are necessarily mathematical in nature; simply that we calculate our actions to produce results whether we realize it or not. Our brains are like supercomputers that operate nearly unconsciously in the process, spitting out answers just in time to move our bodies or open our mouths. When defining ‘holistic,’ do we consider a systems approach?

We tend to focus on the immediate and be less aware of the larger picture of our lives and how we interact with the world. The latter growing general awareness reveals that indeed we are ‘connected to everything.’ This understanding is creeping into the consciousness of a growing segment of society. Some see things as being connected with some half-baked idea of oneness, but don’t know how to put it into practical use. On the other end of the spectrum, scientists are grappling with the concepts contained in quantum mechanics, still an idea of oneness and again with no practical outcome to date. What if we perceived the world as whole already and looked backward to see how we became so intimately engaged.

Now when this concept is cascaded through layers of patterned behavior and outcome, change is possible. Peering into the depths of what keeps us afraid, angry, ignorant and immobile might reveal the best way out. If we determine the bottlenecks, we can free the flow. In theory, harmony among people and planet is possible using current metrics in the applied sciences. We have ways to analyze and chart superior systems and know how they work.

Inquiring Minds Must Know

So what does that really mean? Let us explore some relevant data.

Peter Senge introduced the “systems thinking” model to the business world in the ’90s. He notes four disciplines, integrated by a fifth. Personal mastery, mental models, building shared vision and team learning are synergized by systems thinking. Basically ‘systems thinking’ is a way of viewing an environment from a broader perspective that includes seeing overall structures, patterns and cycles in systems, rather than seeing only specific events in the system. Those same patterns are likely to appear as fractals throughout any organization. Similarly, the human system is rarely considered in the process of personal growth and, instead of a whole view, we look at a specific behavior as the focus for change.

“A high-functioning system continually exchanges feedback among its various parts to ensure that they remain closely aligned and focused on achieving the goal of the system. If any of the parts or activities in the system seems weakened or misaligned, the system makes necessary adjustments to more effectively achieve its goals.” (Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC., 2007)

Could we apply this view to people and planet as we move into the new millennium? What about off-planet relationships? How about applying it to our body/mind/spirit/soul complex? In the concept of holistic systems we can extrapolate a theory of what oneness might look like from a logistical standpoint. No, that doesn’t mean from a mountaintop. It means we can begin to grasp being able to step out of the old paradigm of separation and stagnation.

Holistic health and medicine present a myriad of modalities capable of addressing the plethora of perturbations within the mind/body/spirit/soul or ‘system’ of our individual consciousness. In essence, we are vibration in motion affected by subtle biochemical and physiological changes for the most part. Now we must include environmental changes as our air, land and water have questionable purity. We also know that where we are affects many aspects of our health and mental clarity.

Indeed we are inextricably connected to the world around and within us. We feel sensations, but are challenged to describe them. Apparently we are not used to looking within yet. What about treating the whole person instead of just symptoms?

Holy Water or Stinking Thinking

Dr. Masaru Emoto’s research on water crystals, feelings and thoughts suggests that we have a profound capacity to affect ourselves and our environment. We are roughly 60% water or so. Just imagine the affect our thoughts and feelings have on each of us. What are you thinking about now? What was your last inspiring thought? How did that feel? When was your last desperate thought? How did that feel? Choice is optional.

Scientific discoveries continue to validate what mystics have espoused for years – our thinking affects our reality; the observer’s thoughts and feelings directly affect the experiment. Science and spirituality speak with one voice.

Are we listening? How do we think and feel in a holistic fashion that is life-friendly and supportive of change? Are we aware of the thoughtmosphere, the repository of intelligence we all share and how accessible it really is?

Holistic ecology reflects the argument made that “in order to move toward greener societies, homogeneity and universalism will have to be replaced by recognition of the importance of cultural, biological, and epistemological diversity. Without such diversity, the options for life itself are removed. We are all related at our core.

Indigenous peoples appreciate this diversity. Without such diversity, the options for life itself are removed. Collectively, they embody cultural and epistemological diversity, and by their very character respect the importance of the diversity that exists within the natural world.” (Timothy Boston, University of Tasmania, Australia).

Holistic education is a multi-leveled experiential journey of discovery, expression and mastery where all students and teachers learn and grow together. Holistic education recognizes the innate potential of EVERY student for intelligent, creative, systemic thinking. Holistic learning is organized around relationships within and between learners and their environment while empowering learners to live fully in the present and to co-create preferred futures.

Holistic curriculum is inquiry driven, interdisciplinary and integrated, and is based on explicit assumptions of interconnectedness, wholeness and multi-dimensional being. (Holistic Education Network of Tasmania, Australia).

How We Are Who We Are

You might want to ‘google’ Howard Gardner’s ‘multiple intelligences’ and Daniel Goleman’s ‘emotional intelligences’ to garner greater understanding of how we learn and work in the world. Suffice it to say we are very complex beings with very simple motivations and a natural urge to merge runs through our entire being. As we explore the notion of universal order or cosmic consciousness there is a certain inspired logic the permeates the thoughtmosphere.

We create relation ships on the ocean of emotion, usually buffeted by our inability to control our own emotions, driven by our desire to control. Emotion that is, operating our minds and bodies after a response is called for, instead of remaining quiet and observing the prudent path. Sense becomes common in our listening. When we step back we can see a bigger picture, a broader scope of how possibilities can coagulate to move the foundation of behavior to a higher order.

The growing wisdom about creating a ‘holistic’ relationship with the people and planet flows across multiple industries and the burgeoning global economy, not to mention echoing in the thoughtmosphere of a conscience that appears as a new trend toward ethical behavior. “This broader view and inclusive approach to personal and professional endeavors is challenging patterns of behavior and the ‘old way’ of doing business.” Daniel Pink

Change agents are melding with Cultural Creatives™ as the need for holistic practices in business is met. Business as usual, driven by profit and loss statements, is transforming into something much greater today as some individuals and companies are necessarily redefining their vision and mission statements to reflect a new mindset. To note a recent milestone, the International Standards Organization brought representatives together from 90 countries with the task of creating social responsibility standards. The ISO 26000 Social Responsibility Standards Draft copy is available at PlanetaryCitizens.net

The ratified copy was released in December of 2010 and provides a holistic approach to doing business and corporate behavior. This very well could be the tool that we can use to change the behavior of the corporatocracy. We certainly aren’t going to get rid of them, so let’s get them to act a little differently. After all, it is the internal informal communication fostered by management and employees that drives a company. Can you imagine an internal change that would foster ethical and responsible behavior?

A New Paradigm of Inclusion

The new 21st Century mindset includes a ‘holistic’ view, yet focuses on the practical elements that engage a new living awareness. After all, it is our awareness that changes and because of that change the world around us appears to change. When that change occurs to harmonize and resonate with natural patterns, rhythms and timing there is a shift. That is the shift we seek as we move into the new galactic year, another spin around the center of our galaxy. The current fragmentation of our society and developing global village demand a new view.

Might a holistic perspective seeking harmony among people and planet through best practices help? Einstein alluded that this might be an aspect of quantum entanglement, where the universe is seeking to reveal itself through extraordinary ordinary means, like learning to get along so we can care for each other without fear. Perhaps focusing on the health and well-being of a planetary civilization is more appropriate given our understanding of attention and intention.

Evidence of advancing connectivity and an evolving new view, a holistic world view model, is showing up in the co-creation wheel model that both the Thrive website and the Shift Movement. I wonder if Gamble and Marx-Hubbard conferred? Are there more folks climbing on the bandwagon for a holistic system emergence on the planet? I’m sure if you look around there are many other examples, like IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign. It seems Senge’s affect on the learning organization and systems thinking is filtering through the thoughtmosphere. There is still the matter of collaboration that remains in question. It seems competition for value still reigns, even with all the talk indicating otherwise.

How do we create value in the 21st Century? How do we create bridges for a holistic systems approach to planetary administration and merge diversity effectively? Whether we fear or welcome it, there is a ‘new world order’ that is emerging. How do we, as planetary citizens, make sure that the momentum takes us toward living as ONE – one people, one planet, one time?

It all seems to make perfect sense when we realize that there are enough resources to feed, clothe, house and provide health care for everyone. We’ve placed the economics of war over human life, though, and that mindset has to change soon or we’ll self-destruct. Even with those supposedly working for ‘good’… are they more interested in sharing or selling you something? The truly confusing piece of information is that we spend more money on corporate and military functions than, if redirected, would provide more than enough funds to feed, clothe, house and care for everyone. Of course those are statistics, but what if they are true?

Donald Keys, speech writer for U Thant in the 60s, coined the phrase Planetary Citizen on the way to creating The New World Alliance. The United Nations had some great leadership in these mean, attempting to create a holistic view of the world at that time.

From Donald Keys circa 1982… “To cross over the threshold and enter into a world of new and exciting promise requires us to fulfill the tasks immediately before us: first, to become aware; second, to accept responsibility for the human situation; third, to acquire skills; and fourth, to act wisely and well, consciously and continuously on behalf of… a better future for humanity.”

So now that we’ve made it past the latest bump in the road, let’s opt for a true apocalypse and transform our way of looking at the world, our lives and our relationships.

If you like what you’ve read so far, you might enjoy my book – Are We ONE?: https://www.createspace.com/3452312

The Most Common Fear

be successfulWhat do you think is the most common fear in business today? Fear of failure? Fear of success? Fear of dissolution? Fear of the market? Fear of regulations? Fear of whistle blowers? According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, 19 million people have specific phobias, such as crossing bridges or tunnels; 15 million have a social phobia, e.g., public speaking; and 2 million have agoraphobia, when sufferers avoid places where they previously had a panic attack. Those who have one phobia likely have others too. (Forbes-Allison Van Dusen, 12.14.06, 12:01 AM ET)

Now these are common personal fears, but what about how those translate into the business environment? It is this writer’s opinion that the most common fear is ‘losing control.’ Years of project management and organizational observations edify this perception and it shows up most commonly as micro-management or the feeling that you have to ‘do it all.’ The lack of trust in the leadership/management team diminishes their ability to perform. Oftentimes the opportunity to develop a strong management team never appears because of the ‘energy’ of the leader/owner/CEO. How are you ‘controlling’ those around you? Do you carry unspoken and unfulfilled expectations of your cohorts? What are they?

The answers to the latter questions are the first things you need to put on the table. The expectations and questions that evolve from the discussion will literally set you free inside. That may be uncomfortable at first because you’ve never done it before, never allowed yourself to be vulnerable in sharing for fear that you might hurt someone’s feelings maybe. Or you think you might have expectations that are too high. If you never voice them, how can you expect any kind of commitment to them? Can you match them with your own expectations of your personal performance? Oh my…. you might fail. You might make mistakes.

What is interesting is the anxiety-driven decision-making process is obviously not the best practice for management, let alone for the survival of the company. The mental constructs for the organizational development often don’t see the need for making sense common – jobarchy – the job/project is the boss and everyone wins. The ‘anxious’ feeling is often misinterpreted and mismanaged in the ‘flow’ of optimal experience. Quite serendipitously engaged, this same feeling often is the same as the ‘creative spirit’ showing up in consciousness. It actually shows up in the body’s sensations first.

Now, there is a choice when the feeling shows up. Anxiety results in being afraid, angry, ignorant and immobile in the process of making sense common and providing good leadership decisions. The paradox is that same feeling opens the door to change, of doing things more congruent with flow only the experience is lacking validation because of past choices. The challenge to change appears and invites participation. Is the perception of control that important when it stifles the possibilities for growth and escalation of revenue?

People naturally want to do the right thing right when supported in the workplace, whatever the function. Happy people get more done in less time with less supervision and often reduce costs with value engineering choices that better use resources, both human and material. As a leader, you have to be vulnerable. The paradox of being vulnerable is that it allows the inner strengths of your team to emerge. Your business SWOTT has just taken and evo-leap with the new skill set capacity for application you’ve invited to the party.

Let’s look briefly at what others have said about this process. Peter Senge states, “Learning disabilities are tragic in children, but they are fatal in organizations. Because of them, few corporations live even half as long as a person – most die before they reach the age of forty.” The anxiety model keeps you from execution, the most critical part of leadership. Larry Bossidy writes, “Many people regard execution as detail work that’s beneath the dignity of a business leader. That’s wrong. To the contrary, it’s a leader’s most important job.”

NOW is the most important time you can engage as a leader. The desire for control takes you out of the present moment because it does two things that divides your attention. First, you think of past failures and undesirable results. Next, you move into some future view of mixed-messages that craft an equally dismal result if certain things don’t happen. How is that effective management? You’ve got the team, right? So let them go and do what you’ve hired them to do, just make sure they’ve got the resources to execute your plans.

Your strategic planning needs to have the buy-in from all your team, your organization cannot perform well when the plan is nebulous or without specific action items assigned to each component of the plan. Years of facilitating projects, from community events to multi-million dollar product lines, public events and construction projects have demonstrated that clear codes of ethics, mission statements, goals with objectives, issue resolution action procedures and work breakdown structures with a schedule make for smoothing out the bumps in the road to success. Let go of your fears and ask for help from your team.

For entrepreneurs this process is a little different because you need the help of outside resources. The critical needs are addressed in your business plan, a flexible document that is your roadmap to success. If you don’t have one, it’s hard to manage the details and the desire for control is exacerbated because all the details are in your head or loosely detailed in notes or charts around your workspace. Take the time to craft a plan, put your business on the path it deserves so that you can solicit help to achieve your dream. If you need help, that’s where people like me come in to take your full color dream and help you turn it into a black and white system for execution.

If you do have a plan, share it. You’d be surprised how the natural law of attraction can draw the people you need to execute it. There are a growing number of organizations with helpful people that can provide classes and workshops, office space and networking opportunities that can energize your passion and purpose in achieving your dream, too. Check out The Vault in Colorado for a great model.