Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lessem & Schieffer

Here's the table of contents for a book called Integral Economics (not the Arnsperger book) by Ronnie Lessem and Alexander Shieffer. This is part of the intergraal alternative to kennilingus. The Prologue is available at this link. An excerpt:

"In this book we build up an ‘integral’ approach to social and economic systems that we have been developing for four decades, in fact over the same time period that the neoliberal model has predominated. It enables us to jointly reframe economics in a way that accommodates nature and culture, science and enterprise, across the whole world. According to our integral approach, every social system needs to find, in order to be and stay sustainable, a dynamic balance between its four mutually reinforcing and interdependent ‘worlds’ and its ‘center’. In other words, a living social system consists of a: Center: the realm of religion and humanity; South: the realm of nature and community; East: the realm of culture and spirituality; North: the realm of science and technology; West: the realm of finance and enterprise.

"This integral perspective is applicable for all types of social systems, from the individual to the organization, from community to society. On an individual level, for example we are seeking a dynamic balance between heart, spirit, mind, body and soul; or, in other words between our ‘Southern’ being (heart), ‘Eastern’ becoming (spirit), ‘Northern’ thinking (mind), ‘Western’ doing (body) and the inspirational and integrating center (soul). A sustainable ‘integral’ society, to bring another example, would have found dynamic balance between its ‘Southern’ environmental or animate sector encompassing nature and community; its ‘Eastern’ civic sector encompassing culture and spirituality; its ‘Northern’ public sector encompassing governance, science and technology; its private sector encompassing finance and enterprise; and, finally, its moral center, encompassing religion and humanity."

Lessem & Shieffer have a short article called "The practice of transformation" at this link. An excerpt:

"Transformation, not change: Four Premises of Transformation

To summarize our approach to transformation we list the following as our premises: 

Premise 1: While change is a part of the process, transformation is not change. We best perceive and address transformation as a process rather than a thing in itself. This flies against conventional change management, which comes from a dominant mechanistic paradigm of change as some­thing that can be switched on or implemented.

Premise 2: The second premise is that transformation is necessarily collabora­tive and relationship-based. No individual entity can engage in transforma­tion. Even at the level of the Self, the process of transformation must involve an engagement with the other that leads to a modification or recombina­tion of the self to produce another form. To “trans-form” is literally that: to go beyond the original form. As we progress we shall go deeper into what the “other” is and we shall be referring to it as the exogenous.

Premise 3: Transformation is a fundamental alteration of the very perspective from which we exist, think, act, and live. Literally it is the creation of a new real­ity in combination with the old one. Therefore, there needs to be a definition of the historical, natural, and cultural perspectives, as well as a process by which the Old can reach out to the politically and economically New. 

Premise 4: Finally, our fourth premise is that transformation is an integrative process and follows the evolutionary pattern of moving to greater complexity. Therefore, it necessarily depends upon difference. Logically, integration needs differentiation for it to happen. If all things were the same, there would be no pattern of transformation possible."

And here is an Integral Leadership Review article about two of their books. Russ Volckmann says:

"The connection between their work an leading authors in integral theory and adult development seems to be missing. As a preliminary move I went looking in the index for a few familiar names. For example, Wilber is mentioned once—in the last chapter—where the authors indicate he is doing important work. There is no mention of Bill Torbert, Robert Kegan and other developmentalists, including Graves, Beck or Cowan. No mention of Gebser, either. No reason to keep looking for what is not there. Better to get what is."

This might be a good thing?

Lessem & Schieffer's article "Beyond social and private enterprise: towards the integrated enterprise."


"In the past two decades we have witnessed – in conjunction with the rise of civil society – the emergence of social entrepreneurship as a new phenomenon. Such social enterprises have by now established themselves as a new force in societal development. Simultaneously, business and its engagement in society, hitherto termed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), has become ever more important. However, such CSR and social entrepreneurship remain very separate from each other. Further, both fail to take into account the so-called “hybrid” enterprises emerging. In this article we shall briefly analyse the fertile chaos that such a changing face of enterprise represents, and will argue for the need to transcend such current notions towards a more integrated form of enterprise. We illustrate how such a newly integrated form is better equipped to address the burning issues organisations are facing today, than the old economic-and-social ones in turn."

More from the article:

"Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus (by way of his own example through his Grameen enterprises in Bangladesh) has promoted a new form of 'social' business as a 'hybrid' between conventional private and social enterprise. For him, both concepts fall short. The private entrepreneur, for Yunus, is deemed to be dedicated to one mission only – the maximization of profit. Yet the reality is very different. People are not one-dimensional. They are multi-dimensional. They have the potential to selfactualize, to realize heightened levels of consciousness. Mainstream free-market theory, for Yunus, suffers from a 'conceptualization failure,' a failure to capture the essence of what it is to be human. It actually ignores higher levels of 'world-centric' consciousness.

"Recently upcoming discourses argue for the emergence of a public form of entrepreneurship via a redefinition of 'public space.' To illustrate this, we introduce the work of Scandinavian Academics Daniel Hjorth and Bjorne Bjeerke. Starting from a conviction that entrepreneurship belongs primarily to society rather than the economy, and that we need to go after life rather than simply business to understand entrepreneurial processes, Hjorth and Bjerke suggest locating entrepreneurship in the public."

And the following quite interesting, given some of our previous criticisms of integral capitalism. Continuing from BSPE:

"'Profits with Principles' is Not Enough

"The influential work of Harvard’s Ira Jackson and Jane Nelson on 'Profit with Principles”'(7) reflects the value-based expansion of traditional business towards a more intense engagement with society. There are many other authors who argue, that a new set of values would solve the problems. Consequently, for example, codes of practice (e.g. in Corporate Ethics and Corporate Governance) have emerged worldwide. However, the moral codes provided by such expanded perspectives fail to provide a new structure and functioning of enterprise, nor do they challenge the current economic functioning of society. By ratifying such codes corporations feel that they have done everything to comply with international business standards. A true evolutionary impulse is missing, one which would serve to evolve both the micro-structure and functioning and the macro economy and environment of business" (6).

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