“Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them.” — Nikola Tesla
If you placed two pianos next to each other and struck a key on one piano, the other piano would resonate at that same vibration and thus play a sound. This is a phenomenon called sympathetic resonance or harmonic resonance, which is when one thing vibrates at a certain frequency, it will cause other things to resonate at that same frequency.
Do you light up a room when you enter it or when you leave it? You know the people I am talking about; you are bound to know at least one. You meet, they talk, you listen, you empathise, they leave and your energy crashes. In life there are radiators and there are drains, those who radiate energy and those who drain it.
I once worked in a complex, bureaucratic organisation. When I first entered that building, I felt a void of energy. I wondered if the ceilings were too high, or perhaps it needed new furniture. Soon, I realised there was no physical reason; but there was an energetic one. The people who worked in that department worked in a climate of fear and disengagement, where a few toxic employees reigned supreme. I researched this to see if it was me or if this was a phenomenon. This Thursday Thought explores what I discovered.
In the early 1900s, philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and biogeochemist Vladimir Vernadsky introduced the concept of the noosphere. The term derives from the Greek νοῦς (nous “mind”) and σφαῖρα (sphaira “sphere”) and is related to the terms geosphere (inanimate matter) and biosphere (biological life). The concept holds that the noosphere is a sphere of thought encircling the earth that has emerged through evolution as a consequence of human growth in consciousness.
I was reminded of the noosphere by our guest on the Innovation Show, John Wood. John explores the noosphere in terms of organisational effectiveness in his book “The Humachine”. When a workforce is depressed, demotivated and psychological fearful, the “organisational noosphere” is impacted. If we operate in a “negative noosphere”, it will quell creativity, it will suppress collaboration and stifle innovation.
As we entered the experience of this Covid lockdown, you could feel a strange energy in the air. People grew fearful of one another, suspicious of the person clearing their throat and a general anger bubbling below the surface. Without any doubt, this will impact our planetary noosphere. If we received an interplanetary visitor, I am sure their reaction would be like my own when I entered the toxic work environment. If they were an advanced being, they would know it is an aura of fear, suspicion and anger. Living in a state of fight or flight for prolonged periods leads to illness and an impaired immune system. Therefore, organisations with sick cultures have higher cases of sick employees.
The good news is that this can be reversed. You will know of organisations that have reversed culture, with the arrival (or departure) of a new person and the energy they brought to the organisation. To show how the few can influence the many, we will explore what is known as The Maharishi Effect.
The Maharishi Effect
“When a certain number of people come together and they choose in a moment of time to create a precise emotion in their hearts, that emotion can literally intentionally influence the very fields that sustain the life on planet earth. These fields are now implicated in everything from the immune response in humans throughout the planet. Climate, weather patterns. Cycles of war and peace. Our ability to solve problems, our cognitive abilities.” — Greg Braden
The Maharishi Effect proposes that when a certain number of people meditate together the group creates an energy field. That field of energy influences the collective consciousness of others in a constructive manner at a local, national and worldwide level. This is a human version of one piano resonating with another.
In the 1960s, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi predicted that one percent of a population practicing meditation would produce measurable improvements in the quality of life for the whole population. In the 1970s, rigorous research was conducted to see if such intentional meditation could reduce crime rates in US cities. Studies across dozens of US cities proved the theory correct with a reduction in crime rates and violence.
The reason I share these theories is to highlight that change starts with how we think, act and interact with others. Having a better home environment influences a better working environment. Having a better working environment influences a better local environment. It all starts with us, in our minds.
Right now, we need it.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
Episode 207 of the Innovation Show is “The Humachine: Humankind, Machines, and the Future of Enterprise” with author John Wood.
There is a lot of hype, hand waving and ink being spilled about artificial intelligence (AI) in business. The amount of coverage of this topic in the trade press and on shareholder calls is evidence of a large change currently underway. It is both awesome and terrifying.
What started as an inquiry into how executives can adopt AI to harness the best of human and machine capabilities turned into a much more profound rumination on the future of humanity and enterprise. It is a wake-up call for business leaders across all sectors of the economy. Not only should you implement AI regardless of your industry, but once you do, you should fight to stay true to your purpose, your ethical convictions, indeed your humanity, even as our organisations continue to evolve. While not holding any punches about the dangers posed by AI, today’s guest uniquely surveys where technology is limited, and where the true opportunities lie amidst all the disruptive change that is currently underway.
Have a listen: