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Emergent by Stephen Scott Johnson

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Chapter 6 Conscious leadership and culture

AS IF IN REACTION TO ALL that is systemically wrong in the world, the increase in conscious awareness in business and society has given rise to a plethora of self-help and DIY movements, spanning entrepreneurial ‘work from anywhere’ and ‘be your own boss’ programs, to ‘life hacks’ and vitality ventures focused on happiness, mindfulness and wellbeing.

At the heart of this ‘conscious leadership’ paradigm, co-creation and co-ownership are increasingly accepted as viable solutions for social and economic sustainability. This is evidenced by the many and varied ‘maker culture’ and ‘full circle’ initiatives dedicated to repurposing and regeneration.

These shifts and initiatives are a sure sign of people losing faith in an outmoded world system — emphasised by increasingly vehement consumer opposition to the unconscious action of organisations that harm people and the planet. Even so, a lot of confusion and differing opinion seems to exist as to what ‘conscious leadership’ actually is and why it is so important. To understand it more fully, we need to examine the past and understand what led us here.

The dampening field of consumption

In a consumption-led society, we have become detached and incomplete, trapped within an artificial construct that disconnects us from all that is life-giving and abundant. We unconsciously create an invisible, self-protective identity that enables us to live in a world of misconstrued form, feeling and emotion. ...

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