Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lissa Jones: Cultivating the spirit of an organization and of a culture

Lissa Jones is the Executive Director of African American Family Services. I've had the chance to work with Lissa on a couple projects, and I've experienced her leadership as a combination of challenging, appreciative, and spiritually grounded. It was an honor to talk with her about how she engages the spirit of her organization and also the spirit of the broader African American community. Here are some video clips from our conversation:

"The greatest weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed" / A belief in the goodness of people / We will endure this too / Putting our faith in things unseen

Welcome to the first day of your liberation / People look around ... "what drug is she on?"

A spiritual crisis in Black America

Do I really make the just and right decision, or do I do what the world calls me to do that might cover myself better? / I mostly find the strength I need ... in difficulty

Avoiding despondency

A searching and fearless inventory

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'm not alone: Other groups integrating spirituality and organizational life

When I left my job a year ago to learn about the "spirit of institutions," I imagined I might be the only one with that particular focus. One of the most fun things about the past year has been discovering many other people and organizations that are also on this path. This month I went to a spiritual retreat in Chicago that was organized by the Religion and Spirituality Interest Group of the Academy of Management. For three days, I did spiritual practices with a group of academics who study management. I came back home feeling less alone in my path.

Here are some of the groups that I've been very happy to discover this year. They all have some focus on the intersection of spirituality and organizations. I see these groups as resources for both engaging more of our individual's spirit in work and leadership--and also resources for how whole organizations can integrate spiritual principles into their management and operation. As an expression of my geographic bias, I noted the groups that are based in Minnesota (MN).

Nonprofit Organizations:

Seeing Things Whole "A network for bridging faith and organizational life."

Institution Institute for Spiritual Leadership "Our objectives are centered around maximizing the triple bottom line through the application of the spiritual leadership paradigm, personal leadership coaching, planned retreats, consulting and keynote presentations.

Holacarcy One "Holacracy integrates the collective wisdom of people throughout the company, while aligning the organization with its broader purpose and a more organic way of operating."

Center for Contemplative Mind in Society "integrates contemplative awareness into contemporary life in order to help create a more just, compassionate, reflective, and sustainable society."

Presencing Institute, "a global action research community that applies Theory U to societal transformation by shifting the social field from ego-system to eco-system awareness."

Stone Circles: "Sustaining activists and strengthening the work of justice through spiritual practice and principles."

The Management, Spirituality, and Religion (MSR) Interest Group of the Academy of Management (AOM), "focuses on research related to the relevance and relationship of spirituality and religion in management and organizational life."

Center for Courage and Renewal, "nurtures personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it."

Center for Contemplative Dialogue, "assists both groups and individual leaders in engaging the 'Collective Mind' or 'Spirit' of their organizations."

Heartland (MN), "convenes conversations, programs, trainings, and communities of engagement, dedicated to creating a world that works for all."

Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, "promotes the awareness, understanding, and practice of servant leadership by individuals and organizations."

Foundation for Workplace Spirituality, "raising spiritual awareness and consciousness in the workplace."

Spirituality at Work

Based in Academic Institutions:

The Yale Center for Faith and Culture, "promote the practice of faith in all spheres of life."

Center for Ethical Business Cultures (MN), "encourages current and future business leaders to build ethical cultures in their organizations and high standards of integrity in their communities."

Center for Integrative Leadership (MN), "develop a better understanding of how collective action across sectors (business, government, nonprofits, media, academia) and geographic boundaries can solve some of the world’s most pressing and complex societal problems."

Center for Faith and Learning (MN), Augsburg College

Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace, at the University of Arkansas, led by Judith Neal

Center for Workplace Spirituality and Business Values, "promote the understanding and practice of spirituality and values in the workplace."

Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative, "to generate intellectual frameworks and practical resources for the issues and opportunities surrounding faith and work."

Centre for Spirituality and the Workplace, Saint Mary‘s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia,

Center for Business as an Agent of World Betterment "advances extraordinary business innovation and entrepreneurship by turning the global environmental and social issues of our day into core value-creation opportunities."

International Symposium on Spirituality and Business, " dedicated to having personal, in-depth conversations on how spirituality impacts the core values on which a business is built and how those values can be successfully incorporated into the life of a business."

Conscious Capitalism Institute at Bentley University

Center for Integrity in Business,"promote a thorough and rigorous reevaluation of the purposes, role, and values of business in these times of moral and ethical crisis."

Other organizational development consultants with a spiritual-base to their work:

Nova Group (MN) Supporting institutional formation among higher education institutions.

Magis Ventures (MN), "To help leaders align values with action to build successful organizations"

Executive Soul, helps leaders make better decisions through spiritual leadership."

Kaizen Solutions, "inspires, guides, and fosters the creation of spirit at work so that employees experience fulfillment and meaning through work and organizations attain improved customer service and increased productivity.”"

Servant Leader Associates, "Servant-Leaders seek to understand the cares, yearnings, and struggles of the human spirit."

Sullivan Transformation Agents (MN) "Whole System Transformation"

Judith Neal and Associates, "committed to helping leaders, teams and organizations reach their full potential through personal and organizational transformation."

Conscious Pursuits, "founded on the belief that developing spiritual and emotional intelligence leads to more motivated, productive employees, resulting in reduced stress and improved bottom-line performance"

Legacy Coaching, "centered on developing awareness of the difference we can make."

The Presence Project, "devoted to the integration of spirit and practice in the workplace."

Cambium Consulting, "We believe in the need to inspire and celebrate the best of the human spirit, all while aiming for practice, observable, and sustainable results."


What groups would you add to the list?