How can organizations become healing organizations


By Stephane Leblanc

I had a chance to talk to Raj Sisodia recently and here is what Raj shared with me on how organizations can become healing organizations.  Raj is the Co-Founder of Conscious Capitalism and the Co-Author of Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business.

We live in a  world with an extraordinary amount of suffering.  A lot of people are dealing with a lot of different challenges.  Just by opening our eyes, we can see the extraordinary suffering everywhere.  Therefore, the purpose of leaders and organizations needs to be a healing purpose. 

Because if we are not consciously part of the healing, we are probably part of the hurting. That healing needs to happen for us as individuals but also for the organization, the community, the environment and for society as a whole. There is a lot of need for physical, emotional, spiritual healing of every kind.

The unfortunate thing is that while business creates financial value, provides people jobs, provides goods and services, the way that we work, adds to the suffering of people because there is a tremendous amount of stress associated with work.

There are sad statistic about this , like heart attacks going up 20% on Monday morning which is directly connected to work. Stress levels going up. Employee engagement worldwide is extremely low at 13%. People don't have meaning and fulfilment through their work. And most people feel they work for a company that does not care about them as human beings so it is hard for them to be engaged, to be creative, to be innovative, to be happy. 

Most business take healthy and whole people and over time they get stressed out, burned out or they develop chronic conditions. Their children suffer, their family suffer and of course they also suffer. It does not have to be that way. Work does not have to lead to suffering. In fact it can be the opposite. Work can be healing.  Work can be a deep source of fulfilment. It can be a place of community. A place of caring, growth and development.  There are companies out there who take people who have perhaps been burned out, have been broken down, have been stressed out through their previous work experiences and actually make them whole again. 

Those companies seek to alleviate suffering and elevate joy in business. We are not talking about non profit or spiritual business. We are talking about for profit businesses that are able to be places of healing.

This is a continuation of conscious capitalism.  It is further exploring the frontiers of conscious leadership. What can leaders do to take the idea of business leadership beyond what happens 9 to 5.  Understanding that an organization impacts the way people live by the way it leads them. So it is not only what happens to people Monday to Friday 9 to 5, but also what happens to them outside of work and what happens to their children and their families.  It is a more expansive view of leadership as the stewardship of lives. 

That stretches the notion of leadership beyond what is traditionally seen.  The purpose of these organizations is imbedded in their people.  Success is measured by how the organization impacts the lives of people. So there is a strong people aspect impact to purpose.

Typically, we see purpose as what impact we have on the world, on customers. Healing organizations include their people in their purpose and they see believe that the ultimate goal of every business is to elevate human flourishing.

And that starts at home, with the lives of people who are most impacted. It starts with the employees, their children, their families. So we need to expand the lense with which we look at business and understand the impacts of the decisions we make. It is about allowing people to become whole.

Conscious Leaders can create healing organizations.