By Janae Jean and Spencer Schluter –
For this interview, we had the pleasure of speaking with Richi Gil. Richi is one of the co-founders of Axialent and an expert in the field of conscious business. You can find out more about Richi and Axialent at www.axialent.com. The book Conscious Business: How to Build Value through Values by Axialent co-founder, Fred Kofman, is another great resource to learn more about the principles we discussed in this interview. Follow them on social media on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn@axialent.
The following transcript is just a portion of our discussion with Richi. Listen to the Conscious Community Podcast on our website, or subscribe and listen on iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher and TuneIn. We are pleased to announce that you can now watch our recorded live interviews on our Facebook page and YouTube Channel. — J.J
Janae: Would you define what “conscious business” is? How is that different from a traditional business model that people may be familiar with, or what people perceive business to be?
Richi: The way we define “conscious business” is, it’s a way of doing business where you basically pay attention to the decisions you’re making, to how you are doing business as such, creating something of value for the market, paying attention to the stakeholders of the ecosystem where you are working on, being at the service of some purpose. We believe that conscious businesses have a noble purpose, which is to create some service and better the lives of people. It’s paying attention to not only what you are doing, but how you are going about doing business. It makes all the difference in the world and creates a virtuous circle around business, which has grown some problematic reputation in the past.
JJ: Preparing for this interview, we looked at the book, Conscious Business, by Fred Kofman. How do you know Fred?
RG: He is a founder of Axialent. Actually, we’re both founders. We met each other when I was in the corporate world. I was working with EDS, Electric Data Systems, back in 1996. Back then, EDS had hired Fred as a consultant to work on some of these principles. That’s how I got to know Fred. I learned about conscious business, the principles and the philosophy. Then I started using those in my own business. I became a “superfan” of all that, and he and I became good friends. Then in 2003, we decided to create a company which would embody these principles and take these principles to the world, and then we created Axialent, a global consulting company.
Spencer: Could you explain some of the management principles? How they are different from what people may be familiar with when it comes to business?
RG: Actually, I would rather call them “meta-management” or “meta-principles” because it’s not that they replace any of the management practices. We claim that based on these principles, these ways of being and doing, these management practices can happen from a different perspective. The principle is “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change,” just like the late Wayne Dyer used to say. We have a series of philosophical ways of looking at the world, which challenge the traditional way. For example, we say coming from a place of curiosity and humility is better when approaching a new challenge than coming from a place of certainty and usually arrogance. A lot of our clients have been extremely successful in providing good answers for the problems they were facing. The important thing is that the questions have become much more important than the answers. So, a leader or a manager who is able to ask good questions, to really listen and to really embrace what’s he’s listening to with empathy…humility…with vulnerability is much more likely to succeed in the world of today than somebody who comes with a lot of certainty about what needs to be done. Normally, that certainty is based on experiences from the past, and something that we are learning, and is becoming more and more evident today, is that the future is not a projection of the past. So, if you want to embrace a new future, it’s a lot better to come from that place of openness, curiosity, humility, vulnerability… if you will…to own your part of the system.
One of the things we see a lot in corporations is that when things go wrong, or do not go well, there is a lot of finger pointing. It’s always “not my responsibility.” It’s always “who screwed up?” “Who did something wrong?” We invite leaders to make themselves part of the system, part of the problem, because that gives you a lot of leverage to become part of the solution. The principle to this is “if you are suffering, you have the biggest incentive to do something about it.” Those principles, which you can see, are ways of looking which enable you to act in the world from a different perspective. So, it’s not so much the tool, as we work with the tool user.
SS: Do you feel that a company that wants to embody these conscious business principles needs to change the way they look at advertising?
RG: The way we work with companies is we invite people to reflect upon their actions and to ponder “are my behaviors in line with my values?” You cannot control what you get because what you get has out-of-control factors. But, you can always choose how you respond in the face of a challenge in a way that is aligned with your values. We have a profound trust in human principles and the ethics of human behavior. The only way you can tell whether a person is more conscious is by her or his level of compassion and level of openness. So, we work on that. We invite people to become more open…to become more conscious…to pay attention to your actions. We trust that when they start thinking like that they will not be able to do deceptive marketing, because that will speak against their own values.
Janae Jean serves as editor, social media manager and podcaster for Conscious Community Magazine. She has an M.M. in computer music composition from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Music/Education from Judson University. Janae is actively researching using electronically generated sounds for healing. Visit www.janaejean.com and www.perennialmusicandarts.com for details about Janae’s upcoming classes, lesson information, workshops, shows and projects.
Spencer Schluter is the advertising account manager, social media manager and podcaster for Conscious Community Magazine. His experience includes visual communications, advertising, social media, marketing, public relations and business development. Visit www.yggstudios.com for more information about his freelance design and consulting work. He is also a master level Reiki and traditional Chinese Qigong practitioner.
Podcast Theme Music: Sublimation (Theme from the Conscious Community Podcast)
Janae Jean Almen and Spencer Schluter, composers SpindriftGreenMusic Publishing ©2017