Control is a big issue in our society.
We want to control how people think and behave. It gives us predictable situations and outcomes.
We want to control the dynamics around us so there are no surprises and it is safer.
We want to control nature so it doesn’t inconvenience us or threaten us with its unpredictable behaviours.
Control does not bring happiness. It brings sterility.
This societal level desire for control doesn’t nourish us or challenge us to grow. We invent only to contain not evolve. Our creativity is used to bind, restrain and constrict. It is a cold creativity that limits rather than harnesses the extraordinary energy and power available to us.
Within this construct individuals are suffocating, desperate to release their true essence and creativity.
The imbalances control has created are increasingly being questioned. We are talking more about the need for a wild spirit in our lives. Outside our inner worlds, evidence in mounting that our approach is harmful rather than helpful.
The natural systems that sustain us are failing or struggling.
The fear around this is palpable. In pursuit of control, plans are everywhere to engineer our way out of the mess we have created. In tandem, there is more and more desire to let nature do what it does best and solve the problem in its own way.
As rewilding our environment is tentatively putting its foot on centre stage, we are talking more and more about rewilding ourselves.
Finding freedom and freedom of expression is absolutely pivotal to our welfare and our wellbeing as individuals and as a collective. We need to find ourselves or rediscover ourselves outside the constraints we have experienced for so long.
We need this piece as much as we need nature to help us recreate balance in our environment.
There is a lot of healing to be done within each of us and for all of us.
There is another piece to the equation that is being grappled with but seems too unwieldy to address. A piece that requires we dismantle our global structures and rebuild them from the ground up. It is a daunting task.
This piece is business. Specifically, its role in our society, wellbeing and the nurturing of our life support systems.
Business has largely been at odds with the wellbeing of people and planet because it has depended upon taking to turn a profit. Whether that is stripping nature for resources or people for labour, business has needed to drive down costs to maximise return.
This race to the bottom has created a global infrastructure so mammoth that turning its direction is a Herculean feat. We simply cannot move at the pace necessary and we lack the ability to work collectively to create the change.
We think of business as our property over which we have total dominion and control, where we measure progress by numbers and dictate the measures that change direction. It is not as simple as this.
Business is an expression of purpose. The businesses we have known were created only to bring profit and the cost of that profit to our collective and individual welfare has not been measured or considered. But it has most definitely been felt.
Increasingly businesses are being brought to the world that are using different benchmarks of success. They are working primarily to bring to life an intention that sustains life.
Conscious business is a growing concept. We are moving beyond corporate social responsibility and triple bottom lines into a broader ethos of integration into society and contribution to it. It goes far beyond philanthropy, where profit redressed imbalances often created in its making. It is a richer concept and practice of working to bring about change through changing the structures, systems and principles of business.
But to me conscious business is merely a stepping stone. It is not the destination, not by a long way.
We are discovering, or remembering, that everything is energy. This includes businesses.
All energy has a voice. We need to listen to this voice.
Business is energy.
For so long we have imposed structure, measurements, systems and requirements upon business. In pursuit of controlled outcomes, we have created endless blueprints to contain and restrain the voice that lives at the heart of each and every business.
We have measured all businesses by the same benchmarks of success for too long. We are slowly realising that blueprints only work at a superficial level and can not respond to the intention that runs through a business, nor to the unique energy of expression that is coming from it.
The era of the blueprint is over
One size fits all is not fit for purpose.
But what can we put in place is we have no universal system to govern business? Will chaos reign in our economic systems if we do not follow the protocols?
Chaos has been feared for as long as society has existed. Control exists to stem the chaos and keep society in place.
What we are learning about letting nature do its thing is that it creates balance. It always creates balance. It may not be what we have been used to but it always moves towards a state of wellbeing.
We can learn from nature how to rewild business.
Nature can create an environment that is balanced by responding to the conditions and raw materials available. We can do the same for our businesses.
We can dispense with blueprints and create utterly unique businesses that are in harmony with environment, people, community and economy. We can create businesses that are part of our life support systems rather than working against them.
We need to listen. The energy of each business has a voice that we can hear if we choose to hear it. We can choose a different path if we choose to respond to what we hear not ignore it.
This requires driving business from a different place. It requires letting go of control. It requires us to tap into a deeper part of ourselves that is quashed by normal approaches. We have to listen to a voice we are not accustomed to hearing anymore.
That voice is rooted in the intent of the business. Every business has a purpose. Every business started with an intent, no matter how far it may drift from this as it grows.
If we listen to the intention, we will be guided to the choices that are for the greater good, for harmony and prosperity on every level.
A prosperous environment and a happy community are just as critical to the businesses of the future as any bottom line. But business can also become part of the ecosystem if we can learn to think and perceive life differently. Business can give as much back as it needs to create through its work. Creativity is essential to this process, but not the cold creativity of the past. We need to access our full-blown creative wild selves to make this happen. By creating the possibility to develop businesses in a totally different way, we make it possible to find the ways to make this happen. It’s a gradual shifting of beliefs, perception and actions that will take us toward harmony and balance.
Instead of changing the macroeconomic structures, we change one business at a time until the structures are no longer relevant or appropriate. It’s a faster way of doing things and will get us where we need to go way ahead of any attempts to work at a macro level collaboratively. We just aren’t evolved enough as a global community to make that happen yet. But we are as individuals and the more of us who make the shift now, the faster it will happen for everyone.
We can listen to that part of ourselves that we have controlled, stilled and silenced for so long. We can access a new form of creativity to bring contribution, harmony and wellbeing for people and planet.
Rewilding is bringing into play our forgotten pieces and power. We have not witnessed this power at work in business before, so we do not know how it works only that it does. But we haven’t totally forgotten, it is written into our DNA to work in this way.
It feels different but it feels natural. Rewilding people, planet and business is finding the true nature of expression. It is rewriting the rules and creating the impossible in the process.