If we continue at this rate!
It is time to start on a clean slate,
So something new can gestate!
Humanity needs a face lift,
There are way too many a rift!
Much have to transform and shift,
Do you get my drift? (wink)
That which we see as a conundrum and a threat,
Is actually a hidden treasure and huge asset!
We only need to upgrade our mindset,
And take our beliefs to the local launderette!
To you the future may not look bright,
Yet, don’t give up, there is relief in sight!
We have missed what stares us right in the face,
Which has nothing to do with gender, or race!
Nor of culture, orientation, or our birthplace!
Once remembered, it brings much delight and grace!
Looking in the mirror will never be the same,
And a new person will greet you from the picture frame!
You will even feel different about your name!
And there will be no need to shame or blame!
What is this all about?
Ready to opt out?
From an undesired state without hesitation and doubt?
And uncover a treasure and explore a new route?
At long last,
We can let go of the past,
We are ready to terraform our world and have a blast!
More about that in ‘Resonance Alchemy’, our latest Podcast!
Follow this link and listen to the end,
As together we begin a new trend,
That will uplift, transform, and transcend,
And will be time well spent!
Fresh of the press,
Let’s now play some chess,
No more DEI struggles or distress,
This wisdom will lead to liberation and success!
Queen’s Gambit on Netflix was the most watched limited series in the history of the streaming service with 62 million views in its first 28 days of availability in 2020. What was it about this series that attracted so much attention? Chess of all things in a world of Virtual and Augmented Reality, the Metaverse, Artificial Intelligence, online gaming, social media, algorithms, and the likes? Yet there are 10 other movies, documentaries, television-, and streaming series in the last decade that hero and honor chess.
And moreover, what could it possibly have to do with DEI, as in Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, not only in the workplace, yet in every aspect of life? Must we all now learn to play chess to solve this dilemma? Does chess have a story to tell that can be valuable and useful if we are willing to look from a different vantage point at DEI and to explore another perspective that has the potential to create a breakthrough?
First of all, this popular board game, chess, is described by Wikipedia as an abstract strategy game, which involves no hidden information. These last two words are gold and have lots to tell.
If we care to look only at what is right in front of us and apply reductionist thinking, we notice the following:
Chess is a game played with black and white/ivory pieces, also called ‘material’ by experienced chess players, on a gameboard with 32 lighter and 32 darker squares. 16 pieces each side, consisting of 8 pawns. 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 bishops, a king, and a queen. Each piece has its own unique function and way of moving. Yet is that it?
To explore a full-spectrum perspective, let’s take an eagle’s view. According to the Chess Journal there are over 9 million variations after just 3 moves each, 288 billion different possible positions after 4 moves each, and 318,000,000,000 ways to play just the first 4 moves. In a whole Chess game, there are more possible iterations of chess games than there are atoms in the observable universe.
Could you have imagined this? A game played with 16 black and 16 white/ivory pieces, neither more important than the other, with both needed in order to play the game, no one getting more opportunities to move their pieces than the other, thus equal opportunity, with so many possible ways to play just the first 4 moves and with so many possible iterations. Why is this important to understand when we explore the world of DEI, as in Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion?
No players, no game!
Let’s come back to basics, to the players, to the Human Being. Without two Human Beings or a Human Being and a computer, there is no game.
1. Each player has equal opportunity and access to all the possible moves, ways to play, and iterations regardless of the color of the piece they play with.
2. Each player has exactly the same type of pieces, namely 16 pieces to apply during the process.
3. The game is not about the color of the pieces, but the players’ ability to take advantage of the thinking and creative process with endless possibilities that makes it interesting, stimulating, riveting, and engaging.
4. Each player has equal opportunity to enact and refine the sensibilities, abilities, and skills necessary to play the game well, such as high level of focus and intense attention, present moment awareness, farsightedness, perception with awareness, fluid decisions, embodied cognition, precognition, sensory awareness, fluid-, strategic-, quantum- critical- and whole system-full spectrum-thinking and consideration, mental dexterity, adaptive intelligence, flexibility, agility, intuitive clarity, consideration of not-so-obvious possibilities, attentive noticing, visualization, emotional maturity, bluffing, distraction, anticipation, reading patterns and the energy, reading body language, tuning and sensing into the other’s next move and determine how you will respond, whilst already thinking 3 to 4 moves ahead on how it will affect your tactics, how quickly you can adjust and bring the game back on track when the game does not go your way, and ability to stay calm and how quickly you can think on your feet in stressful circumstances, whilst maintaining your composure.
It is thus clear that both players have equal access to what is needed to play well and enjoy the game. It has nothing to do with the color of the pieces.
We are all players, not the black or white/ivory pieces or pawns on a gameboard that has lighter and darker squares. We make the moves. We create the patterns and leverage available iterations.
‘Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing is a field. I will meet you there.’ Rumi
We recognize the injustices and can begin to take a new direction. Every human on this planet has a role to play and contributes to a desired state with what we think, believe, feel, say, and do. Actions speak louder than aspirations. We cannot change the past, yet we can choose and explore how to move forward. Holding onto and keeping undesired states alive does not help, nor change anything. Our feet are facing forward, not backwards.
It is easy to get stuck in a repeating feedback loop when we discover and recognize injustices and imbalances in our world. Our focus is still on the problem, what is wrong, outdated, and no longer relevant, and cannot access other possibilities. It is impossible to focus on two such diverse things at the same time. We use the same mindsets and behaviors that created the problems to try to solve them. As Michael W. Munn so rightly said, a new paradigm comes along because it solves problems that could not be solved under the old paradigm. It holds no threat. To discover a better way we need to go beyond the normal and the customs, which created a condition that is no longer viable.
Why is a new paradigm needed? Matthew Fox describes it beautifully. He invites us to consider a new paradigm to be a wineskin. One does not harvest a new crop or grapes, crush them, and pour them into old, dried-up wineskins. Rather, we seek a new wineskin that is supple and soft, giving and forgiving, flexible, and eager to be made wet, one that welcomes newness and creativity.
It is through this creativity, thus our power to create, that we are able to create a different reality for all involved. Yet before we explore how we can do that it is important to claim our power back. Anything or anyone that makes us feel less than who we truly are, robbed us of our power, whether knowingly or unknowingly. The first step is to apply our power of choice. It is wise to focus on who we truly are, what is strong, what is working, and what resources we have available to us.
How do we access these, as our differences and versatility are being weaponized to create polarity? Even our trauma gets glorified. How do you create division? The easiest is to focus attention on opposites, at it results in power struggles, conflict, dissonance, and inequality, and in the process you cannot access anything in-between, around, above, and below. It is a major distraction.
So how do we transform this division? David Spangler reminds us that where differences meet, there hostility, fear, and conflict can arise or exploration, discovery, growth, creativity, and love can emerge. We feel trapped and entangled in the former, or free ourselves by choosing the latter. Imagine what could be possible when we become curious and explore other possibilities?
Life is not black and white
There is one thing all humans share – our humanity. We are all born from and nourished by the same earth. The same sun, moon, and stars warms and delights us during the day and night, without exception. Nature does not differentiate, withhold, discriminate, segregate, or cause division based on our unique expressions.
It is important that we step out of the black and white mentality of judgments based on us/them, either/or, and this/that. When we judge something we immediately create a story, and we gather so many of these stories during our lifetime that there is no space to heal or to explore other possibilities
We have been diluting and reducing ourselves from a full spectrum being to defining ourselves and others as ‘less than’. Why less than? The moment we label, classify, oppress, and stereotype, we deny ourselves and others the fullness of being human. We are Human Beings! We are not our education, status, class, gender, race, culture, nationality, preferences, orientations, wealth, role, position, religion, etc. Nature loves versatility and diversity, and we are not separate from Nature. These aspects are a reflection of how colorful, diverse, and unique we are in our expressions and our incredible power of choice and freewill.
Self-dishonoring, we subconsciously see ourselves as ‘less than’, regardless of how others see or treat us, when we identify as, or define ourselves and our worth, in terms of these aspects.
The journey to turn the page starts with the Human Being, and our sense of Self. Systems will adapt and transform accordingly, as humans make up the system. It is not some abstract structure. And it is counter-intuitive to design systems with the same type thinking, mindsets, emotional and psychological baggage, and behavioral patterns that created and sustain the dilemma. Thus it is wise to explore new ways of being, relating, thinking, and creating.
Who in the world are you?
How we see and define ourselves, and what we identify as, is how the world will respond to us. It is called our ‘self-presencing intelligence’. The moment we say, ‘I am this, or I am that’, we show up like that in the world. Like our life proceeds from our name, our lives then proceeds from this label. It is an announcement and a command.
You may say, ‘I didn’t choose my nationality, gender, or race. I can change the others, yet what about these 3? The quick response is that you are not your gender, race, or nationality. You are a Human Being, who happens to be born in a specific region, continent, or country, with an indicative pigmentation, and a biological physiology. Let’s come back to an undeniable truth and to basics.
Life itself has a story to tell! This is not just any other story and does not exclude any human being. This is the life-affirming story of the breath of life! Our breath is the first thing we take as humans and the last we experience when we depart from this plane. It fills our lungs and re-oxygenates our blood, regardless of any segregation, labels, classification, and stereotyping. And yes, you who read this – blood running through your veins and your heart beating -you are an organization of 70 trillion cells and billions of neurons. Each of these cells has a unique function and work together in harmony with the other trillions of cells when we are healthy. Is that not embodied diversity? Is that not inclusion?
How real can it get? How can it get any better than this?
Think about it for a moment and let it sink in. Your cells and neurons love hearing it and will rejoice when the penny drops for you. And guess what, this is what makes you Human, a heart, body, mind, and soul! And every other Human Being on this planet shares this with you, without exception! Don’t let anything or anyone else fool or deceive you, or make you believe you are ‘less than’, or that you are ‘more than’. That is a big fat lie!
You were born with all the sensibilities, abilities, intelligences, and potential that all 8 billion humans on this planet have access to. And yes, you might not have had the opportunity and ability to activate, stimulate, nourish, practice, engage, strengthen, or apply these abilities, or the environment where you grew up was not and still is not conducive to such abilities, or the way you were classified and treated as ‘less than’ conditioned you to believe you are different, marginalized, not good enough, and not deserving to live a full life, or you were undignified in some way. Yet, these inborn and hidden treasures are latent within you!
And yes, NO MORE of this. We understand such behavior can no longer be justified and injustices need to be corrected. This is the purpose of this piece, a starting point from which we can embark together to co-create another reality.
The moment you become aware, sense, feel, understand, realize, and embrace the fact that YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING, and not the things you identified with that make you ‘feel less’, or ‘not good enough’, you have taken a quantum leap! You are one step ahead and that is all it takes each day to transcend and transmute the lies you believed about yourself, or any resentment, bitterness, anger, hatred, or overwhelm you experience because you were mistreated, bullied, shamed, humiliated, negated, ignored, undignified, or dismissed.
The other side of NO is ON! You are onto something! Turn it upside down, inside out, and back-to-front, and you will discover a hidden treasure that you can tap into straight away on your journey to become whole.
Flow, the business of Luck!
You may ask what flow and luck has to do with DEI. Everything!
Anything that hampers flow, impacts our ability to actualize our intentions, visions, objectives, and goals, and to be successful. A flow state is a state where we are in alignment with the life-force that is prevalent in all living beings, creatures, and organisms, where all can thrive, where all is possible, and where we work with the most positive (life-affirming, life-giving, life-generating, and life-sustaining) energy available in any situation.
Luck is a basic principle of endless possibility and of being in the right place at the right time, having the right discussions with the right people, which in turn leads to right action. Such synchronicity opens up all kinds of opportunities and expands our reach and impact, almost effortlessly.
Why is Flow so important?
In such a state, where we are able to show up whole-heartedly and contribute our talents, passions, knowledge, and energy in a purposeful way, as a full spectrum human being, the following are some of the hidden treasures awaiting:
Generative (something that grow and bear fruit), energizing, synchronized, aligned, inspired, coherent action and wilful effort – Invaluable in our diverse, flexible, hybrid, a-synchronistic, virtual- and in-person workplace
Present moment Awareness – Very important in our world with so many demands for our attention. With no need to stand up for our place and to validate our contribution, we are able to stay present to what matters most.
Focus – We get so absorbed in our activities that nothing can distract us and prioritizing happens intuitively and instinctively.
Commitment – Motivation from the inside out causes devotion, determination, endurance, and a sense of fulfillment beyond the normal.
Efficiency – We blossom when we are in flow. Thus contributions and tasks are performed in a skillful way and with flair.
Context Management – Our sense of being interconnected to our external environments not only gives us sight of how everyone involved is affected by disruptions and rapid changes, it also assists us to adapt, regroup, and refocus rather quickly.
Energy Management – Self-regulation in highly demanding work environments is becoming more important than time management. In a flow state we know when to retreat to rejuvenate and reenergize ourselves. Burnout is not evident in such states.
These are but a few examples why we cannot afford that our people’s attention is scattered and fragmented because of matters such as DEI and ‘less than‘ situations and relations.
In the world of DEI we have business to do together. Why? We have been tricked and blinded. And we need each other as sounding boards and mirrors to see clearly. It is time!
Half and Half
Half milk and half cream is not the real thing, it is actually neither. It is a watered down version and does not have the same potency of cream, nor of milk.
We dilute all possible outcomes when we segregate, fragment, stereotype, label, and classify, and work against and stymie the natural flow in life. Besides it being a huge distraction causing unnecessary dissonance and conflict, exclusion or discrimination based on such factors, we lose at least 50% of the potential contributions to our cause. And the sad part is that we are oblivious to this effect and exponential impact. How is it that we have not realized this?
How can we expect a 100% contribution when we oppress, diminish, and treat someone as ‘less than’ or in an unjust way? We create hostile spaces where flight, fight, and freeze reactions are prevalent and where we are not able to access, direct, or express 100% of our potency and potential. The business of luck and flow states elude us, as we are focused on crisis managing the resultant dissonance, disruptions, division, and distractions.
We set ourselves up for failure! And most of all, we dilute our expected results, outcomes, and our chances of success accordingly. And there is no one else to blame but ourselves.
Double Up! Expand! Impact!
We don’t hire or work together with half a person, or a left or a right brain, or a brain and not a body, or half a brain and half a body.
As a full spectrum human being, we have, with no exception, a side that creatively inspires us, and which is receptive, creative, feeling, nurturing, kind, intuitive, synthesizing, connected, and imaginative. Likewise we each have a complementary side which give us confidence to transform our dreams and ideas into form, and which is thinking, active, understanding, focused, expressive, rational, analyzing, assertive, and directive.
The moment we begin to see and treat each other as full spectrum human beings, we have the potential to double up, expand radically, and impact exponentially – beyond what we can even imagine- whether wellbeing, income, profit, performance, productivity, scale, or reach.
Or as we prefer to refer to it, double up on our fulfilment, wholesomeness, spirals of manifestation, infinite abundance, sense of fulfilment, passionate and purposeful contributions, present moment awareness, meaningful and purposeful impact, or countless possibilities.
Any individual is about more than the pigmentation of their skin, their physiology, the place they entered this world, where they grew up, their preferences and sexual orientation, their language, their way of devotion, their education, etc.
The incredible potential hidden in diversity
Let’s revisit a game of chess for a moment. Imagine a game with just two variations and four iterations. There will be no fun or meaning in such a game. It will be over quickly and have no spectator value. How is it then that we are so averse to diversity? Life will be extremely boring if we were all the same.
There are over 8 billion humans on this planet, each unique in their expression, with their own thoughts, feelings, awareness, energy, vitality, talents, skills, abilities, sensibilities, intelligences, experiences, insights, knowledge, dreams, visions, ideas, opinions, and so on. That is super diverse!
No two people have exactly the same thoughts in any specific moment. Just think of all the combinations, iteration, variations, configurations, permutations, and co-creations possible between humans. The richness. The vastness. The depth. The intensity. The reach. The impact. Is that not worth exploring?
Instead of weaponizing and radicalizing our differences, polarities, fragilities, vulnerabilities, and promoting dualism, we can orchestrate coherence and benefit in infinite ways when we embrace diversity.
How is coherence possible in such volatile conditions?
Let’s first reflect upon coherence. What does it mean?
- It is the integration of diverse elements, relationships, or values
- Forming a unified whole
- Having clarity, or intelligibility
- Having the quality of holding together
In order to hold such diverse elements together, we need to have knowledge of each element.
Leaders have to be able to hold the tension of opposites and those things that does not seem to go together. Likewise, it requires the capacity to absorb conflicting energies of group members. Debasis Chatterlee says that this shock-absorbing mechanism makes it possible for the leader be a confluence of diverse energies.
Our Coherence Profile provides invaluable insight about all team members and the entire organization, teams, divisions, initiatives, communities, ecosystems, and networks. It is an indispensable change leadership and team dynamic tool that assists leaders, executives, team leaders, team members, and individuals to understand these diverse energies Debasis refers to, in order to converge them successfully, to orchestrate coherence, and to harness the potential they offer.
In ‘Full Circles, Overlapping Lives’, Mary Catherine Bateson reminds us that new patterns of diversity come into being constantly, like ripple patterns in a pond. It is not something we can control, neither do we need to fear them.
Our Leadership Intelligence Decision Support Application enables us to track coherence and these emerging patterns that Mary Catherine shared.
When the going gets tough!
DEI, high on the agenda in the workplace and society, in a world where we are conditioned and programmed to believe that there is not enough for all and where many compete for available resources, how do we move forward?
Henry Ford reminded us that coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress, and working together is success. In order to move forward we need to come together in a different way.
On a personal level
1. Spend time in Nature. Wise ones such as Da Vinci and Einstein both said we simply need to look at Nature when we seek solutions to problems. Nature is super versatile. Look at all the variations in density, form, texture, color, shade, hues, and the likes.
2. Paradoxical Thinking. Whenever you find yourself at the receiving end of DEI and ‘less than’ injustices, envision and imagine an identity shift. Jump from Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion to Doubling Up, Expanding, and Impact, as the total full spectrum human being that you are. Explore what that looks and feels like. Whenever you find yourself in ‘more than’ situations, or having to sustain and maintain injustices and dealing with DEI dilemmas, envision and imagine a system shift. Jump from Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion to Doubling Up, Expanding, and Impact, envisioning everyone involved as total, full spectrum human beings. Explore what that looks and feels like.
3. Creative questioning opens up possibilities. For example, ‘What will be possible when we allow ourselves to rise above the fray and meet each other on a whole new level, beyond what we identify with or as, or how we treat others unfairly and in an unjust way?’
4. Creative visualization. Imagine and see yourself in a space where you respond from a place of wholeness, not the fragmented, denied, suppressed, ignored, oppressed, dismissive, inhumane space of inequality, racism, injustice, etc. Likewise, imagine and see yourself holding a space where others can respond, contribute, and participate from a place of wholeness, as a full spectrum human being.
On a professional and organizational level
1. Sensemaking Salons and Learning Journeys are invaluable during our DEI and strategic initiatives. It assists us to seamlessly fuse polarities, where together, we coherently create the whole, each playing their unique part and magnificent role within the larger context. We are able to explore and experiment with new rules of engagement and the effect of doubling up. We have more than a decade experience in facilitating such Salons and Learning Journeys across 4 continents. They are available virtually or in-person at your convenience and are framed according to your unique context and vision in this regard.
2. Awareness Salons during which we harness flow states to explore our full spectrum human capacities, beyond labels, functions, roles, and stereotyping, and how we can consciously contribute and direct these abilities to transform DEI dilemmas in our environments. We have more than a decade experience in facilitating Awareness Salons. They are available virtually or in-person at your convenience and are framed according to your unique context and vision in this regard.
3. Resonance Alchemy. In Episode 5 of our Gateway to the Possible Multimedia Series, Set the Tone Podcast Series, Resonance Alchemy we share a novel approach and process to transmute Inequality in a practical and coherent way, it is available here.
4. Power of Choice. We share examples in the same podcast of what happens when we choose to perceive others in a different way, and how that changes the way in how they respond, work together, participate, contribute, and behave.
5. Fusion of the Opposites. During our Flow Salon, Fusion of the Opposites – Orchestrating Coherence in the Workplace, participants have access to the Business Intelligence outflowing from our Coherence Profile Intervention. This Salon is also available virtually or in-person, and in-house, at your convenience, within your unique context. You can register for this salon here.
6. Leadership Intelligence Decision Support. In the event you want to learn more about this application and tool, you are welcome to join and register here for our Virtual Tour on 9 April 2022 at 10h00 New York time.
7. Co-create a Morphic Field. In our Podcast, Resonance Alchemy, we share more about this. In this field we not only empower our habits, we also get the opportunity to tap into the power of morphic resonance through which we recognize those who belong in our lives and within the greater body, where our cells have business to do together. We weave this field together during our Coherence Profiling adventure.
8. Connect. You are welcome to connect with us at email@example.com in the event that you would like to explore any of the above or would like to hear how other leaders, executives, and team members benefited from these experiences. No spam please. Rather connect in person. Thank you for respecting this request.
I wonder what will happen next?
Beyond these words and the text?
Thank you for your curiosity, attention, and time,
Together, let’s shift this paradigm!
Ps. This is not an invitation to increase your people’s workloads. This is not the point!