Eighteen years ago, a dialogue was held among the world’s faith and the development community, hosted by the President of the World Bank and the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace. Its theme was about the “Creation of Spiritually Based Indicators for Development.” A working group of the Bahá’í Faith prepared a concept paper for this dialogue, entitled “Valuing Spirituality in Development.” [amongst them this ebbf event speaker Arthur Dahl]
The first principle in that paper was that of “Unity in Diversity” and it noted that the idea of developing spiritually based indicators for development was timely and to have spiritual values and principles seriously considered in the development arena. Now 18 years later much of the above dialogue outcome seemed to have been lost in the shovel. The paper asserted that to use spiritually based indicators, it must have its foundation in the application of universal spiritual principles.
The concept paper defines the concept of “Unity in Diversity” as a way of expressing the principle of the oneness of humanity. It further states:
“…Unity in diversity stands in contrast to uniformity. It cherishes the natural diversity of temperament and talents
Jeff Lynn will be offering the “Transformational Leadership as a tool for exploiting diversity” learnshop during ebbf’s annual conference and offers these initial thoughts on the theme of the event.
“I’m no artist but I’m guessing that a palette of just one colour would constrain one’s ability to produce great art. Even Malevich changed the colours that he used for his monochromes.
Now, by the very fact that you found this article, you probably see human diversity as a good thing in itself – mainly because you see a lack of diversity requiring exclusion – and that just isn’t just.
However, we are diverse in our experiences and thinking and we currently live in a world where profit and results are the main drivers for most organisations. Diversity will be seen as desirable by some or by others as an imposition. Either way it is usually seen as an add-on. I learnt very early on in my Business …
ebbf member Iko Congo shares views on diversity, encouraging new thinking in the run up to ebbf’s annual conference (taking place in May in Geneva) that will explore how can we and ethical business build the future going beyond diversity? Here is what Iko has to say.
“We need diversity of thought in the world to face the new challenges.” Tim Berners-Lee, founder of WorldWideWeb
In its literal definition, diversity is “a range of different things”, “a great deal of variety”.
When we look at the phenomenal world we are able to see this variety and different things in multiple ways – different coloured flowers, different sized plants, variety of animal species and completely different climates. At an initial glance, such diversity might be seen as an obstacle to organization – after all its impossible to have a penguin and a lion in the same habitat, or provide the same exact quantity of water to different species and sized trees.
I believe it is on this initial glance that diversity has at times, predominately in the past, been eschewed from organizations.
We share with you an example of the kinds of local ebbf events, that bring to various parts of the world the learning and exploration of new ideas through ebbf’s meaningful conversations.
This time it is the ebbf Sarajevo team who shares the learning from on of their series of local ebbf events where these five questions were covered:
. What are the differences between ethical and non-ethical businesses?
. In what ways can a company create a good reputation?
. Why is multiculturalism beneficial for an organization?
. Why is it important for people to know the purpose of an organization and their role in it?
. What are the benefits to companies for providing a service to the community?
See keynotes, photos and what we learnt about #BuildingCapacity from recent ebbf international event
If you are looking for highlights from the recent international ebbf event where we explored and found ways to implement Capacity Building in our organizations, you can click here.
You can find there downloadable keynotes from the three day event, photos, a storify of key learnings and ways to keep informed and to join the new ebbf crowdsourced learning project.
Last but not least the announcement of the next ebbf international annual conference that will take place on … click to find out.
#BuildingCapacity as a concept, action, service, discovery ... here's what we learnt with Sjoerd Luteyn
#BuildingCapacity may sound like a simple concept – but what is it? Is it actually any different from capitalising on skill development or talent management? The final pre-learning developed into a stunning interaction between participants from three continents as an exploration with Sjoerd Luteyn (who also will be at ebbf’s #BuildingCapacity International Learning Event 6-9 October Bucharest to continue deepening our dialogue on ‘Capacity Building in Organisations’).
Vahid Masrour who works for the Wikimedia Foundation led the pre-learning online event ‘Rethinking Organisations and Capacity Building with a View of Abundance’ to give a foretaste of the adventure the ebbf #BuildingCapacity International Learning Event, Bucharest 6 – 9 October is fast becoming.
Participants from Sweden, UK, Romania, Ecuador, Italy, USA enthusiastically discussed their insights of Vahid’s myth-busting accompanying presentation “From Crisis to Abundance: Exponential Organisations” in which he quickly demonstrated how people and organisations unwittingly hold themselves back from creating the adaptive and meaningful workplaces that they seek, by unwittingly maintaining a scarcity mass consciousness mindset.
It turns out, the way we use our own media spaces actually drives our views on scarcity and therefore our views on Abundance too. We have this tiny amygdala in our brain which triggers reactions to what surrounds us and to what we witness such as impulsive need to fight back, flee danger or become frozen to the spot. By our daily consumption of ‘bad news’ distributed in mainstream channels and, if we are not careful, our own social media channels we become hooked into media consumption, and unfortunately for us the viewer, we innocently keep ourselves wired into a negative feedback loop through the constant retriggering of the amygdala by consuming stories that reflect and trigger our ‘survival’ instinct states.
Fit for the 21st Century
Good news on the other hand, decouples us from the negative feedback loop and instead takes us back to the present moment, bringing us face to face with the immense possibilities standing before us in this 21st Century.
To illustrate, Vahid opened up the parameters of what becomes possible when we begin to appreciate stories of progress
In one of the series of pre-event learning session Nabil Elias, Business Faculty Emeritus from the University of North Carolina gave a beautifully tempered presentation on Accompaniment as a powerful tool for #CapacityBuilding. Participants joining the call came from Italy, Croatia, Romania, England, Portugal, Scotland and the USA. Below are some of what we learnt in that interactive online session.
What is Accompaniment?
Accompaniment envisions at least two friends, with different levels of experience in a specific area of action, learning together. What Nabil Elias described as taking “a posture of collective learning” that endows #BuildingCapacity with new meaning.
Whether talking about #BuildingCapacity in Non-Profit Organisations wanting to achieve their service mission or in For-Profit Businesses setting out to meet demand and build operational capacity, it is Accompaniment which is the foundation of all successful #BuildingCapacity.
What makes Accompaniment different to Training and Mentoring?
It will never be as good as one of these face to face meaningful conversations we enjoy at ebbf’s international learning events (if interested to attend, click here to book still a few places available) but all the same ebbf is offering the opportunity to join online explorations of the themes we will cover in the next international event.
Interested to hear what we learnt in one of the online explorations of what building capacity means and of what it takes to create the right culture to allow capacity building in a company?
Want to join Marjo Lips-Wiersma taking you through a "map of meaning" helping you create a more meaningful workplace?
ebbf member Marjo Lips-Wiersma was one of the participants at the recent ebbf annual conference and also a world expert in the area of Meaningful Work. She will now run a one-off three day workshop on meaningful work in the Netherlands together with Lani Morris (Msc in sustainability and action inquiry from Bath University) Their book on meaningful work, The Map of Meaning has just sold out and they are working on a second edition, which will include case studies of the implementation of their work by many of the participants of their workshops.
We asked Marjo, what are some of the key findings about Meaningful Work?
1) Blue, pink and white collar workers have the same desire for meaningful work.
2) Leadership, as it is presently done, does not create meaningful work.
3) Corporate Social/Environmental Responsibility does not, in itself, create meaningful work.
4) Meaningful work does not only require consultation, but also the power to change one’s circumstances (the culture and structure of the organisation)
5) Given their innate spiritual capacity, human beings know what is meaningful (but forget or have too many obstacles put in their way
6) Creating meaningful work is a bottom up rather than top down process
7) Meaningful work is holistic concept and as such is much more than making a difference, or finding one’s life purpose, alone.
Do you want to know how to co-create meaningful work based on solid-peer-reviewed research findings and ongoing action learning from our by now hundreds of workshop participants? Do you want to immediately apply the workshop knowledge/together with your own expertise and wisdom ? Would you like to generate a case study for the second edition of our book? Would you like the opportunity (but you can decide post-workshop) to become a certified Meaningful Work practitioner through and action learning/reflection/accompaniment process? If so join her workshop.
To see if this one-off opportunity is for you, please go to: http://www.inpractice.nl/agenda/10-06-2016_introduction+to+the+map+of+meaningful+work/
Marjo is New-Zealand based where she is a Professor/Hoogleraar in Sustainability and Ethics Leadership. She works in the US, Scandinavia, UK (Oxford) and Europe. The workshop material is designed to be immediately actioned and to be used in multiple settings – personal, group, community and organisation.