A few weeks ago, I wrote about coming into your greatest strength and the role of leaders and coaches as healers in today’s world. The root meaning of the verb “to heal” is “to make whole.” As structures and societies continue to “break open,” a new level of consciousness is emerging – a consciousness that honors the creative power of the human spirit as our greatest resource – an awareness of the interconnectedness of everything and everyone as a part of the whole.
Indeed, this movement is still in its infancy and we have a long way to go. Yet today we are witnessing the beginning of a “coming back to wholeness” movement on many fronts, perhaps most notably in the world of business. (See the Note below for some specific thought leaders and companies who are pioneers in this movement.)
Central to this movement is the focus on supporting and encouraging all people within a particular company or organization to develop their personal strengths and to realize their greatest potential. There is increasing awareness, as well as evidence, that as people are empowered to be creative, responsive, and resourceful – to bring the best of themselves to the playing field – everyone wins.
Graphik Dimensions LTD, the parent company of PictureFrames.com, is just one of many companies that are leading the way in this movement. When Lauri Feinsod became the CEO of the company in 2006, she and her management team made a conscious decision to, in their words, “create a culture that supported the freedom and human potential of each person.” Soul biographer and filmmaker Nic Askew has captured the inspiring story of Graphik Dimension’s transformation in the short video, The Unframed Map (see below).
Lauri Feinsod and her team began by encouraging all of their employees to question everything about the company’s ways of doing things. Every employee was encouraged to offer ideas, even if they didn’t know if the ideas would work. Their process of “unframing” the company began as “unlearning” their old approaches and patterns. No one had to worry about being right. The door was now open for potential and possibilities to emerge. As a result, the company started coming alive as never before.
In the video, Ms. Feinsod explains, “The engine for the organization and for our choices has been what we call C4 energy: Creativity, Consciousness, Community, and Collaboration.” They arrived at those four words through collaborative discussion among all of the employees. Soon, C4 became their framework for every conversation and decision.
She goes on to say, “Those four words let everyone out of the box. We don’t have many conversations now that look like the business story of the past. We see people into their potential all the time. We see them beyond how they have perhaps seen themselves. The invitation is to be whatever is true for you. Our people choose their own version of ‘Yes.’ This is how people become part of creating what is coming.”
In Transformational Presence work, we believe that as you expand people’s capacities for awareness and give them new ways of thinking, they start making different choices and taking different actions. Our job is not to tell people what to think and what to do, but rather to help them develop new ways of thinking, new ways of seeing and understanding. Graphik Dimension’s story is a great testament to this belief.
Towards the end of the film, Ms. Feinsod says, “We’re in this space between what we have been and what we are becoming. Everything about what we are becoming is already here, and we’re finding our way to being in conscious relationship to that. We’re finding our way to relaxing into our knowing. And what happens as that occurs is that our choices change dramatically, how we communicate with one another changes dramatically, the sense of how we see ourselves and one another changes dramatically. And so, of course, the nature of business changes dramatically.”
The results to date: In the last couple of years, Graphik Dimensions LTD has won awards for being the best company to work for in the region as well as the fastest-growing company in the region.
Thank you, Lauri Feinsod and Graphik Dimensions LLC, for being a leader in conscious business. And thank you, Nic Askew, for telling their story and many others.
Enjoy the video.
Note: Thought leaders to be aware of in this field include Frederick Laloux (author of Reinventing Organizations), Ricardo Semler (from Semco in Brazil), and Otto Scharmer (author of Theory U). There are many companies that are pioneering new models for organizational and societal structure and culture, including Buurtzorg (a neighborhood nursing organization in The Netherlands), Morning Star (a food processing company in the U.S.), Riksja Travel (a travel company in The Netherlands), Patagonia (an outdoor apparel company in the U.S.), Sun Hydraulics (a global manufacturer of hydraulics components), and Graphik Dimensions LTD (featured in this article), to name only a few.
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