This book holds excellent news for anyone committed to personal growth, leadership
and working in accordance with their inner values.
Some of us may remember the bestsellers Megatrends (1982) and Megatrends 2000 (1990), which predicted the birth of the information economy and the subsequent information technology boom of the nineties. Megatrends 2010 tells us that the next capital to focus on is human consciousness and the new raw material to work with is our inner values.
Aburdene describes the current rise in consciousness as the increasing awareness we have of the impact of our thoughts and actions. More and more people realize that what shapes our actions is our inner world of ideals and beliefs. These inner truths or values play a crucial role in how we do business. Aburdene recognizes the dawn of a value-based economy from the rising percentage of conscious consumersthose of us who prefer to buy, even at a higher price, from companies that reflect our beliefs and lifestyle choices.
In order to thrive, todays businesses more than ever before have to demonstrate ethics, trust and integrity. As consumers turn inward to embrace their inner truths and values, leading-edge companieshave discovered that aligning themselves with social and environmental causes enhances profits and productivity. As the author puts it, When changing values meet economic necessity, transformation takes place.
The transformation she is talking about is rooted in spirituality, or the personal and universal experience of whats sacred in ones life. Triggered at the individual level, she says, spirituality is now spilling over from the personal to the institutional. People as well as businesses are asking, What is the truth here? What is the highest good for all?
How practical is spirituality in building a new economy?
Very! Aburdene asserts. Folks who feel they can bring their spiritual values to work are happier, more productive and stick around longer. She illustrates her point:
Successful high-tech companies like Apple, Google and Yahoo! as well as mainstream firms like McKinsey and Hughes aircraft sponsor meditation courses and offer mindfulness tools (such as HeartMath) to their employees. The logic behind this trend is clear: firing up alpha, theta and delta brain waves, meditation increases concentration, boosts intuition and enhances organization skills. Whats not to like?
The message of this book is simple and bold: we have the power to heal (make whole) capitalism. In fact, its already happening.
Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism has been called overly optimistic, but Aburdene provides plenty of evidence and examples to take her position seriously. Add to this the power of positive expectations and focusing on whats going right, and we just might be getting on track.
Hardcover, 218 pages; $24.95; Hampton Roads.