A few weeks ago a colleague of mine told me of a movement or group called Wisdom 2.0 that is 3 years in existence and whose charter it is, “to explore how we can live with deeper meaning and wisdom in our technology rich age”
It turns out that this organization is making significant progress in having some important conversations. They are creating greater awareness of some of the perils that may lie ahead for society if we don’t pause a little from time to time and be mindful of how we can be our best selves in the world and for the world. They attracted a varied number of prestigious speakers to their annual conference in Silicon Valley in February 23rd and 25th 2012. There were many executive representatives from companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Ebay, PayPal to name a few, but the speaker that surprised me the most was a Congressman from Ohio named Tim Ryan.
Congressman Ryan is on his fifth term in the House of Representatives and has just written a book called “A Mindful Nation “that comes out in April 2012 “How a simple practice can help us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance and Recapture the American Spirit.” His views on mindfulness and the potential benefits to society are very powerful. He speaks of influencing school systems, health care systems and such organizations as veterans affairs and generally help build mindfulness into the main stream of society.
I then had the good fortune to meet and briefly chat with Congressman Ryan at a meet up in San Francisco on March 18th 2012 and we spoke a little about the economy and business practices in the US. We spoke very specifically about Industry in the United States and of how improving the way we conduct business by having a more sustainable, long term and balanced view can enable the revitalization of the American Dream, which seems to be dying for so many people.
We spoke of some companies such as the Ford Motor Company that have become one of the beacons of hope in terms of helping people to believe again in the American Dream. In 2005 it was a distressed company, then was hit with the deep recession of 2007 and after a transformational change initiated by Bill Ford and led by CEO Alan Mulally, they came back with such resurgence that it proves that people, under the right conditions and leadership are capable of achieving remarkable things.
What I like about the language that Mr. Ryan uses is that it is balanced, practical, sensible and grounded. He speaks of living an integrated and fulfilled/happy life where work has its place as does having time with our kids and our family, not to mention taking care of our own health and well being. He speaks of this being attained by being really Present as much as possible, at the work place, in our schools, in the home and in general with our families and the communities in which we live.
So, watch out for his new book, It sounds very promising. If it ends up as being as grounded as Mr. Ryan seems to be, it could be worth a read and of value in helping us all live a more integrated and fulfilled life at work and at home.
There is no doubt in my mind that long term high performing companies pay attention to creating the conditions for success and that happy and fulfilled people will create a culture that is difficult to compete against. Isn’t it time for America and the Western World to recommit to getting back to this sustainable way of working. The majority are crying out for it.
We here at the Business Value Group are working hard to do our part to contribute ideas, energies and efforts to help us all move forward. Our bias happens to be that Better Business leads to a Better World. There is great honor and pride in people finding meaningful work that contributes to healthy societies. We are here to do our part, and will be continuing to work to influence and drive positive change in our free enterprise and capitalist system.