There, I said it. I said Love and Business in the same breath. It’s time we stop thinking about a business as a machine, with workers nothing more than cogs in the machine. At NextGen Orgs, we believe that every business has an innate intelligence. It knows what wants to happen, and the role of the leadership team is to listen to what wants to emerge and faciliate that emergence.
It’s time to start thinking about business as a sentient organism, with workers, like the organs in a body, essential to the health and growth of the organism. This is the premise of what Frederick LaLoux calls Teal Organizations. And sentient beings need Love in order to thrive (yes, even plants: studies have shown that plants subjected to positive talk thrive significantly more than those subjected to negative talk).
Teal companies have a level of consciousness that is higher than most typical for-profit organizations, and more effective than most typical non-profits. Often highly self-managed, these are companies that are purpose driven, have conscious cultures, conscious leadership, and have a strong stakeholder orientation. Teal companies are conscious companies.
They operate with a high degree of caring for their employees, supply chain, and customers. And caring is a form of Love. When most people hear the word Love, they immediately think of romantic love. But that’s just one small aspect of Love.
The ancient Greeks had six different words for Love: Eros for passionate, romantic love, Philia for deep friendship, Ludus for playful love, Agape for selfless love of everyone, Pragma for longstanding love, and Philautia for love of oneself. Businesses are desperately in need of more Agape, Philia, and, believe it or not, more Philautia.
Agape, selfless love of all, breeds empathy, and empathy breeds inclusion and engagement. Companies that have high levels of employee engagement are almost certainly using agape, even if they’re not aware of it. Agape makes it obvious that you want to have a full stakeholder orientation and not just focus on shareholders. Agape is a critical component of conscious cultures.
Philia develops over time when people come together to overcome challenges and make things happen. It’s about loyalty, sacrificing individual needs for the needs of the collective, and sharing your emotions with your comrades. When a culture is built consciously and with agape, philia will arise naturally.
Philautia, love of oneself, has two faces. The unhealthy face of philautia devolves into narcissism, and we already have far too much of that. But the healthy face of philautia results in feelings of worthiness, which enhances a person’s ability to feel more love for others. As Aristotle once said, “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.” So yes, we need more philautia in business, too. How can you bring more Love into your company? PM me to learn more. And check out topics I’m available to speak and train on here.