Synopses & Reviews
After years of studying and practicing ways to help organizations change for the better, authors Ian Mitroff and Elizabeth Denton came to a surprising conclusion: All the conventional techniques in the world cannot produce fundamental change. Today's organizations are spiritually impoverished, and only when companies find ways to integrate personal beliefs with organizational values will meaningful change occur.
With this book, authors Mitroff and Denton become the first researchers to offer hard, scientific data regarding the effect of spirituality-or the lack of it-on corporate America, that is, on the performance of organizations and executives at large. Their "spiritual audit" is based on surveys and interviews with over two hundred leaders of organizations including the YMCA, Tom's of Maine, Ben & Jerry's, and Alcoholics Anonymous. It identifies those beliefs to which employees are most committed and to what degree they are being met on the job.
What the authors found is that spirituality is one of the most important determinants of organizational performance. People who are more spiritually involved achieve better results. In fact, spirituality may well be the ultimate competitive advantage. However, most workers don't know how to express their spirituality in the workplace. Employees and employers alike are hungry for positive models.
Based on their research, Mitroff and Denton present five non-religious, non-offensive models for bringing people-body and soul-to work. Recounting the best practices of organizations that have learned to harness the power of spiritual energy, they show managers, executives, and organization designers how to establish policies and procedures that accommodate spirituality and leverage it as a powerful force for positive change. Finally, through a series of critical questions, they help leaders address and correct the lack of spirituality in their organizations in order to make them more creative, competitive, and profitable.
"This is a very important book, I believe, both for its pioneering discoveries about spirituality in the business world and its leading-edge suggestions for putting those findings to good use."--Ken Wilber, author, A Brief History of Everything
"This work contributes a sober, well thought-out, research-based review of spirituality in the workplace--a welcome antidote to the current plethora of superficial treatments of the subject."--Robert M. Burnside, director of products, publications & alternative delivery systems, Center for Creative Leadership
"A masterful release of spirituality onto the center stage of managerial life. Mitroff and Denton have done us all, educators and practitioners, a great service. Someone needed to draw back the curtain to reveal the depth of the alienation caused by the separation of being and doing in the managerial role. Bravo!"--Andre L. Delbecq, J. Thomas & Kathleen L. McCarthy University Professor, Department of Organizational Analysis and Management, Santa Clara University
This first-ever survey of spiritual beliefs and practices among managers and executives finds that, while most people have strong spiritual beliefs, few feel that they can act on those beliefs at work. And yet, overall company performance is actually higher in companies where company values and spiritual values coalesce. Filling a gap in today's literature on spirituality and business, this book examines five proven models for introducing spirituality to the workplace and spells out the strengths and weaknesses of each model. More than a personal guide to spiritual well-being, it shows how you can harness the immense spiritual energy at everyone's core, and outlines solutions for bringing that energy into the organization.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 239-245) and index.
About the Author
IAN I. MITROFF holds the Harold Quinton Distinguished Professorship of Business Policy at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He is also the president of Comprehensive Crisis Management, a private consulting firm, and the author of twenty books, including Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.
ELIZABETH A. DENTON is an indepAndent organizational consultant based in New York City. She works with executives and teams in both Fortune 100 and entrepreneurial companies to promote vision and values, leadership, and performance effectiveness.
Table of Contents
Part One: Acknowledging Soul and Spirit.
1. Park It at the Office Door: The Unacknowledged Soul of Corporate America.
2. A Strange but Formidable Alliance: Barriers to Studying and Defining Spirituality.
Part Two: Auditing Soul and Spirit.
3. The Divided Soul of Corporate America.
Part Three: Models for Fostering Spirituality.
4. Taking Over Your Company for Christ: The Religion-Based Organization.
5. Called to Spirituality: The Evolutionary Organization.
6. Shaking Off Addiction: The Recovering Organization.
7. For the Betterment of Society: The Socially Responsible Organization.
8. We Are Family! The Values-Based Organization.
Part Four: A Plan for Spiritual Development.
9. A Best-Practice Model.
Appendix A: A Questionaire on Meaning and Purpose in the Workplace.
Appendix B: Selected Quantitative Results.
Appendix C: Detailed Dimensions of the Five Models.