A little less that two years ago I started Balanced Is, a company designed to provide a broad range of business consulting and coaching services to organizations oriented toward broadening their objectives beyond the single-minded mantra of bottom line management; to incorporate something akin to the triple bottom line. Additionally, and deeply related to my personal philosophy toward business, is to approach every situation from a perspective interconnectedness; which is to say that businesses are like living organisms functioning best when each individual component operates in concert with the whole.
Sounds good right?
You betcha. And that’s the feedback I’ve consistently received for the past two years, that it sounds good.
But, no. It’s merely palatable.
Two years ago when I considered the kind of work I wanted to do in the world, when I considered my gifts and deepest passions related to the world of business, the balance concept was the approach I felt would be palatable to business people. That was the type of offering I felt some people would resonate with and would translate into a lot of interesting consulting work.
But it’s not the whole story, nor does it reflect the true core of my gifts and passions. It also did not translate into the kind of meaningful consulting work I’m most interested in doing.
The epiphany is that I chose a palatable approach versus the more honest and scary approach. The scary approach is that I have a vision of how to effect culture shift on an order of magnitude rarely seen in business, and that the pathway to culture shift is through an integration of principles from Indigenous society; those cultures typically viewed as over simplistic, primitive and superstitious in the Western mindset. Yet with thirteen of these principles codified into a system for culture change I am confident that this is highly effective. I know it because I’ve been living it and applying it in my own work for more than fifteen years now.
It’s scary though, really scary, because it’s so big and so unique.
It’s big, in that it’s so powerful and completely scalable. It’s unique, in that I haven’t found anyone doing this work from an Indigenous perspective. Yet it’s authentically me and speaks to the core of who I am.
All the most celebrated thought leaders and writers are telling us that to be truly good at something we have to do what we love and feel passionate about. In The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin defines our most authentic work as “doing our art.” This new path is both my art and my passion, and I’m going out on a limb with it. I’m risking criticism, the rise of the single eyebrow, the comments like “what do Indian people have to teach us about business?” Well everything really. They represent the only cultures that have lived in perfect harmony with nature for long before recorded history can measure, and our business thought leaders are already espousing their principles in their books, blogs and talks, they just don’t know it yet.
So this post is more than just a post because today I’m introducing the re-launch of my website and the repositioned of my company and work. While all the principles for Indigenous living reflect balance in life and work, the focus of this blog will shift to incorporate the specific teachings that come from ancient societies that relate to our working world and their applicability therein. I’ll still blog about awareness’s I’m having and various topics that I feel inspired to write about, but will also include the Indigenous teachings related to business and how their teachings can bring about significant culture shift. This is also the work of my soon to be published first book, SHIFT: Indigenous Principles for Corporate Change, more on that later.
In the meantime, I hope you will take a little time to read through my rewritten website. I look forward to your comments, even your criticisms, as I know I can either take them to heart or leave them aside, just as you can with this blog.
All the best,