Is the Force really awakening in business?


Salt is delighted to introduce its spirituality and finance columnist ‘Just In Time Guru’. JIT Guru is the alter ego of “Raj”, a thirty-something, London-based city professional with over a decade’s experience working at some of the world’s pre-eminent investment firms.

Imagine if, rather than applying their training to bring balance to the Force, the Jedi decided to start a business to reap profit from it instead.

In a secular business society, institutions may be kept safe from spirituality and religion. Which is fine – there are clear historical reasons for doing so which remain relevant today. However, that doesn’t stop individuals within businesses from practising whatever they wish and bringing these values into work. And they can align themselves with the values of whomever they work for.

But could a rise in compassion and consciousness really help people and businesses transform? And actually generate profit from purpose?

As Stephen Vasconcellos-Sharpe (Salt founder) suggests, we need a new world order. I’m sat wondering if today’s growing interest in body awareness, mindfulness and (to a lesser extent, so far) consciousness provides an opportunity for spirituality to help build this newest world order.

If so, then we need to find a balance between intuition & logic, which means more of the former to match the latter. That said, many businesses end up making intuitive decisions perhaps without knowing it! Have you ever been asked for your “gut feel”, or made a decision based on intuition rather than logic? Ultimately, it’s about striking the right balance between both, as well as finding the right mix of people to make those decisions.

Spiritual principles can help businesses to achieve their goals.

The tenets of spirituality, through practice by individuals, can help businesses find their own “flow”. This is achieved by shifting from a finite mindset of scarcity to an infinite one of abundance, and from dealing in the “greater good” (win-lose) to operating with the “greatest good” (win-win) in mind.

The principles can also break down self-imposed business barriers by leaders evolving from a mindset of “OR” to one of “AND” – intuition AND logic, creativity AND analysis, purpose AND profit.

By tapping into and understanding the interconnectedness of all things, you’ll find solutions that have never before existed. And you can deliver them to your customers in a way that is more likely to be sustainable, ethical and responsible.

And let’s be clear… being spiritual does NOT mean you cannot make a profit. It’s less to do with making profit and more about what you do with it when you have it. If the intention is wholesome, you might even find profits arise with less effort!

The results may save time, money and energy.

Let’s face it, the world is getting poorer despite the trillions of new currency “printed” by central banks. Governments and businesses, burdened by excessive debt, are no longer able to rely on higher compensation being the main motivation for their employees. Why? They probably don’t have much more money to offer them in this age of austerity. Nor do they need to offer higher wages with such a globalized marketplace for human resources!

Instead, they can look at non-monetary steps to keep workers happy, by helping with their non-financial well-being for example – their health as well as their wealth.

How can purpose and value be applied to your business?

Having a clear business purpose with a set of shared values can bring a range of benefits. The trick is, you can have purpose and values, but you need to build and nurture a culture to live them. Otherwise, they’re just a nice marketing gimmick.

From a commercial perspective, growing numbers of consumers are becoming more aware of what businesses stand for and conscious of who they buy from. Here, Steve Fuller spells out five ways purpose delivers extraordinary commercial success.

From an internal perspective, you’re likely to attract more motivated and productive employees that you don’t necessarily need to pay more to retain. Here’s one way to build such a business.

If you believe spirituality is hocus-pocus, that’s fine too.

Fortunately, you don’t have to believe in a higher power or purpose to get involved. Moral and humanist values often align with those considered spiritual – including empathy, equality, respect, freedom, honesty, justice, tolerance and sustainability for future generations. It should be easy to understand how the “dark side” – fear, anger, hatred, suffering – can have a negative impact on employees, consumers and bottom lines.

Share your passion, find your purpose, live your dream.