Rewiring the Network: We're All In This Together!

Rewiring the Network: We're All In This Together!

Once we realize we are all in the economic matrix together, it becomes apparent how much of our wellbeing is based on relationships, both those we recognize and those of which we are usually unaware.

You can see this by simply looking at the clothes you are wearing or considering where your last meal originated. Who conceived of these things, designed them, produced them, transported them, opened the relevant warehouses and stores, and assembled the necessary staff to make them available to you? And where did you obtain the financial resources to purchase these items, let alone the car in which you drove to the store (or the public transport), and the closet and refrigerator in which to store your acquisitions?

Each of these seemingly distinct items is actually the product of a long chain of interdependence. This might be hard to accept for the narcissistic parts of ourselves that want to believe we “did it all ourselves,” but it doesn’t take any exceptional awareness to see just how deeply we are embedded in interrelated human activities and relationships.

Linear Thinking

In the business world as we presently know it, there’s a predominance of linear thinking. As a result, too many strategic plans, not to mention funds, sit on the sidelines, often on bookshelves, when what’s needed is a focus on what the present moment is asking of us in light of the longer term vision. Life and organizations don’t function in a linear manner. For example, a valued employee suddenly leaves. A new leader takes charge, promoting a different vision. An unexpected service line emerges. Such changes have a way of torpedoing typical strategic plans on which teams have spent countless hours, all for naught.

We tend to think of the linear approach as masculine, with the boardroom as its epitome. Sadly, however, this approach has seeped into just about every area of life. It may surprise you to hear that linear thinking manifests even in yoga groups that are comprised mainly of women! The serious imbalance between linear and nonlinear needs to be redressed, with both being implemented as need arises.

A Vast Network of Connections

If we truly begin to think about our lives, it quickly becomes clear that, in a modern economy especially, we can’t even survive, let alone thrive, apart from a vast network of enterprises. In countless ways that are seen and unseen, the modern world involves people taking care of themselves by caring for the needs of others.

At some level, most of us recognize we need community just to exist, let alone to innovate and prosper. Yet, it seems it’s often only in times of disaster that this awareness rises into full consciousness. For instance, I was in the flood of 2013 in Calgary. Because the pressure was on, a higher consciousness manifested itself spontaneously as people did what was required to be done. It was unplanned, emergent, community-based, and had an energy of its own.

Those who were in New York on 9/11 and in the days that followed might well remember a similar phenomenon. Organization was based on what needs had arisen, a model for how all organizations need to rise to what’s needed. This is the key to fulfilling what’s “real” in the economy, instead of hyped needs.

What's Most Needed in The Moment

In his book On Servant Leadership, Robert Greenleaf rightly emphasizes the need to serve other people. While I agree with the importance of serving, it’s also the case that some of us fall into the trap of “give, give, give,” since service has become our mantra. I believe that it’s equally essential to focus on what’s most needed in the moment. For example, instead of taking action when action isn’t really needed at this moment, the wise choice might be to sleep on a decision. The research shows that when people are properly rested, they tend to make smarter decisions that are more in tune with the demands of a situation.

Imagine if we could access this kind of awareness without requiring a disaster to induce it. This is where we begin to see how the development of awareness makes new choices possible. If it’s true we need each other—even though, most of the time, most of us are unaware of our interconnectedness and interdependence—how much more might we all benefit if, instead of working against one another, we actually began to work with one another in a conscious manner?

While many people might feel they would rather work with others than against them, the unconscious habits we have accumulated through our history, both individual and collective, make it difficult to act on this more creative impulse in a sustained way. However, by noticing our habits and making them conscious, we empower ourselves to convert an idea that sounds good into a practical, lived reality. This accomplishes the life-altering shift from seeing the other as an opponent to realizing that, beyond sheer survival, we cannot thrive without each other—an insight that invites a massive restructuring of our economies, along with the corporations, companies, and businesses that comprise them.

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Why “Going with the Flow” Is Crucial in Business & in Life

The profoundly different sense of ourselves and our connection to the whole of life is something we literally feel, as our mind stops chattering, our emotional turmoil quiets down, our physical body loses its tenseness, and our voice becomes relaxed instead of strained. In this more awakened state, we find ourselves more grounded, more emotionally connected, and experience an alertness and clarity that facilitate an openness in which creativity begins to flow, as from a life-giving spring.

Working with the flow of life instead of against it—with the universe and its natural resources, seeing them as a gift rather than regarding them as something to be conquered—opens up a vista of possibilities that transcend our present vision.

For instance, if we were to question whether our prolonged exploitation of and reliance on fossil fuels may be jeopardizing our children’s future, relaxing into a deeper awareness—and thus engaging the flow of our creative genius—would allow us to relinquish our ego’s attachment to the wealth and benefits derived from fossil fuels thus far.

As we learn how beneficial and intelligent this flow of awareness is, applying it to our lives as we go, we come to trust it more. Consequently, it isn’t such a big jump to embrace the many changes before us. Trusting the beneficence of the interdependent nature of reality, we would then open ourselves to wherever the creative flow may wish to take us next, having full confidence that it will be an advance on our present situation—not a step back toward the Stone Age, as so many often object based on their fears.

Creativity can never be about resistance. It always presages new horizons, which is why it can’t be fossilized.

Companies and governments that seek to hold on to “how we’ve always done things,” instead of opening to a new paradigm, are cut off from the essential creativity these times require and are thus doomed to failure—and, if allowed to continue in their entrenched ways, may doom us all through their disastrous practices.

We can look at history or our own lives and see that whenever we turned away from the invitation to explore new possibilities, clinging to what was at a certain point a necessary stage of our evolution and resisting innovation needed for the next stage, we put our very survival at risk.

A Smart Way to Open Up New Frontiers in Business

The basic shift called for is one in which we view our businesses—or any other organizations, for that matter—as an ongoing process of learning and developing practices that ground the learning.

When our mindset is one of inquiry, we deepen our ability to investigate in ways heretofore undreamed of. As we become more receptive to new possibilities in our ourselves and in others, we find ourselves increasingly free to act in ways unfamiliar to our habitual sense of ourselves. We are awakening to our potential for creativity and more beneficial ways of doing things—in other words, to a fresh understanding of what it means “to be in business.”

When our learning is understood in the context of an awareness of our ultimate interdependence in our dealings with one another, we see all our interactions as an interchange of sacred communication and appreciation. What has until now been a mere coincidental sharing of a planet at a particular time in its history is transformed by seeing each other as human beings who are learning together, and whose lives are intrinsically interwoven in countless ways at a deep level.

As we begin to recognize those we have business dealings with as “people like ourselves”, we move beyond our habitual competitiveness into a new understanding of humanity as a collective expression of an evolving global intelligence. We can then begin to work with other awareness-oriented individuals toward shared goals. Functioning from this intelligence, we become capable of great insight and even genius, which facilitates entirely fresh and exciting new approaches to the kinds of challenges that arise when using the earth’s resources, harnessing its energy, and working together as a species for the greater good.

The way forward is to turn the light of introspection on our business enterprises and the way our companies and governments are structured. When we do so, we discover previously unknown assets in our existing personnel, hidden opportunities in our changing circumstances, and untapped prosperity that can transform the lives of all who journey with us on spaceship earth.

The Brain Rewires Itself

Science has revealed that the process of developing deeper awareness and awakening to an enlarged sense of ourselves, accompanied by an expanded understanding of the businesses in which we are engaged, triggers a restructuring in our brain. We find ourselves undergoing an actual physical rewiring of our neural circuits based on our different thinking, our ability to feel more deeply, and a growing capacity to act in innovative ways.

The more our understanding of ourselves gets stretched—along with our understanding of those we work with and what our business is really all about—the more our brain literally disconnects old circuits based on ego, freeing us to see ourselves, others, and situations in ways yet undreamed of. As the relatively new science of neuroplasticity compels us to realize, in terms of the work we perform, we in effect engage in our own conscious evolution as a person, a team, and a company.

Many of our old mental and behavioral patterns may have been useful at one point, but our overreliance on them can cause us to forget that more spontaneous, creative, and intelligent parts of us are available when we are more aware.

©2015 by Catherine R. Bell. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of Namasté Publishing,

Article Source

The Awakened Company by Catherine R Bell.The Awakened Company
by Catherine R Bell.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book.

About the Author

Catherine BellCatherine Bell holds a degree from Western University and an M.B.A. from Queen's University, is certified in the Riso-Hudson Enneagram and the Nine Domains, has taken the ICD not-for-profit course, and has more than a decade of international executive search experience in industries including renewables, oil and gas, power, infrastructure, high technology, and private equity. Renowned for her ability to build high performance teams, Catherine speaks frequently on leadership and careers to both business schools and companies. She has also been involved in a number of not-for-profit boards. For more info, visit

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