An Evolutionary Development Perspective on Business

In our previous blog we talked about how the current models of business are no longer working to fulfill the desires that align with our rapidly shifting values.

And so we started to explore the possibility of taking a new perspective on business; one that aligns with where we, as the human species are evolving to.

And this isn’t the first time an evolutionary development approach has been taken toward organizational design and management theory. Evolutionary development theory serves as the cornerstone of Frederic Laloux’s book Reinventing Organizations; based largely on a combination of Integral Theory and Spiral Dynamics.

According to Laloux, a number of researchers have empirically established that the higher we travel in the evolutionary developmental ladder, the more conscious we become, which means:

  • The more awareness we have of ourselves and others;
  • The more complex our cognition;
  • The more expansive our worldview; and
  • The more able we are to offer creative and effective solutions to deal with the problems we face.

Rising in consciousness is described as moving up a spiral and would be depicted as something like this:

Laloux’s book outlines how over the course of our evolutionary development humanity has been consistently shifted into a new stage of consciousness (stages that are specifically discernible and described in his book), and in that process,we have achieved extraordinary breakthroughs in co-creation and collaboration.

As such, it’s possible that if we can distill down what we’re learning from an evolutionary development perspective about the kind of consciousness and conditions that allow human beings to shift into a new and more effective way of being, then we can begin to explore how we can create our organizations and businesses (along with the corresponding structures, practices and cultures), to support and facilitate that.

By continually focusing our attention on our businesses serving as instruments for catalysing the evolution of human consciousness, we can thereby create a way for humanity to effectively spiral our way up and out of the current management quagmire, whilst also paving the way for our organizations to continually and sustainably grow.

Finally, if we can articulate a way where these more highly evolved structures, practices and cultures can be easily implemented and consistently nurtured, this could, in turn, support those who join the organization to adopt behaviors of more complex and conscious evolutionary paradigms that, as individuals, they may have not yet been able to fully integrate.

Ultimately, this is the true genius of organizations; they can lift groups of people to punch above their weight, to achieve outcomes they could not have achieved on their own.

What we’ve described here, is precisely what our intention has been at Transformation Agency all along…..