We continue with the eleventh in our series of excerpts from Barry Carter’s book Infinite Wealth. See: 1) The Rise of a Win Win Civilization 2) A Personal Journey of Discovery 3) Why Corporations Don’t Work 4) The Emancipation of Capitalism 5) Mass Privatization: Organizing in the Information Age 6) Decentralized Wealth Creation 7) The Infinite Wealth Potential of Liberated Humans 8) The Mandate for Win-Win Wealth Creation 9) Breakpoint: Why You Must Act Now and 10) SYNOCRACY: True Democracy Through Synergy
THE SHIFT: Awaking to a Win-Win World
Today we are witnessing a change in the very definition of wealth-creation from the “self-centered” making, mining and growing of things, to the “others centered” meeting of human needs. It is a power shift that sets the stage for a win/win world.
Wealth-Creation Moves Beyond Self-interest
In defining the invisible hand of the “Industrial Age” free market in The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith drove home the point that civilization advances and creates wealth when each individual looks out for his or her own self-interest. By each individual looking out for his or her own interests, the “invisible hand” of the free market ensures that civilization also advances. We have order from chaos.
Smith was absolutely correct that Industrial Age wealth-creation is driven by self-interest. However, like all paradigms, there is a larger paradigm that encompasses the smaller one. Self-interest being the driver of wealth-creation is not wrong. It is just incomplete and incoherent. Some levels and dimensions of wealth can be attained by only looking out for oneself, however, deeper levels, broader dimensions and more wealth is attained by looking out for others while helping oneself—win/win.
The rallying cry for organizations in the 1990’s was “growth by meeting customer’s needs.” It is being expanded to include all stakeholders—customers, suppliers, partners and others. The frantic change in the last twenty years has been about a shift to win/win wealth-creation—the customer and quality movements, teams and collaboration, empowerment, incentive pay and far more. Today one must do far more than be interested in self-gain if one is to thrive financially.
As society has advanced, developed and reached breakpoint, Smith’s Industrial Age paradigm has simply run out of steam. It is an immature Newtonian worldview based upon fragmentation—we are separate from one another and the universe and we can help ourselves while hurting or not caring about others or the environment. What we are discovering, through experience, is that there is only so far that self-interest alone can propel a civilization. Looking out for oneself and dickering, haggling and negotiating to have one’s way, to see only from one’s narrow perspective, does add value in a relative primitive civilization and a relative immature humanity. Civilizations after all advanced and created wealth through slavery, however, far more wealth has been created though the less win/lose system of employment.
As we again shift civilizations we must make another leap towards greater win/win in wealth-creation in order to continue advancing. Today we must not only look out for ourselves but for customers and all stakeholders, as well as all of humanity and our environment. This change moves us to a new level of maturity and the opportunity to tap infinite wealth through collaboration. Smith’s view of self-interest driving wealth-creation is win/lose, “a sales paradigm” and the core of wealth-creation during the Industrial Age. It is no longer valid.
The Shift from a Sales to a Service Paradigm
When I’m ready to purchase a computer, I call Ted at Applied Computer. He is a partner whom I can trust to look out for my needs. Virtually every company today has written mission statements in the last few years. Most are mere plaques on the wall as controlled economies, operating on laws of the school, have little “real” desire or capacity to follow through. However, most say something to the effect of “growth by meeting customer needs.” Another way to put this is, “winning by helping other people to win.
In the 1970’s GM stated that its mission was “making money.” It was not long after this that things started going very bad for GM. In 1992, Revlon’s senior management published a similar mission stating that it’s primary objective was profit. Within months most of the senior management team was replaced. What we are seeing is a shift from a sales to a service paradigm where people with a “me first” sales paradigm produce less wealth for themselves.
A sales paradigm focuses on meeting one’s own needs regardless of other people’s needs. A service paradigm focuses on meeting one’s needs through the meeting of other people’s needs. The sales paradigm is one of win/lose, whereas the service paradigm is one of win/win. “I do not care if you win or lose as long as I win.” It does not have to be a paradigm of hatred, merely non-caring. In the new era, organizations like Revlon and GM, as well as individuals who are focused merely on their own personal needs, will discover meeting their own needs to be harder and harder without meeting other people’s needs first.
As shown in chapter 1, thriving organizations like Wal-Mart, Nordstroms, Rosenbluth Travel, Amway, Nucor Steel, Lincoln Electric, Johnsonville Foods, Mary Kay Cosmetics and many others are shifting away from the sales paradigm to the service paradigm. This includes service to internal and external customers as well as other stakeholders.
Whereas the old golden rule was to treat others as you would like to be treated, the new mass customization-based golden rule for the empathic era is to “treat others as they would like to be treated.”
Wealth-Creation Moves Beyond Material Wealth
Abraham Maslow showed that there is a hierarchy of needs, which motivates people. As a general rule, people are motivated to satisfy the needs at the base of the pyramid before higher order needs. A person who has no air is not likely to be searching for shelter. A person with no shelter is not likely to be seeking personal growth and so on.
If one takes Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy and overlays it onto Toffler’s “age wave” theory, as done on page 6 , Figure 12 – The Age Wave Chart , a striking observation can be made. The Agricultural Age can be classified as a basic needs-building period where people spent the majority of their time on the most basic needs: food and shelter. In an Industrial Age, people on average spent most of their time on middle needs: safety, security and stability with jobs, schools, stable incomes and the like. As we move into an Information Age as well as the Wisdom Age, which will be discussed later, we are spending more time on the higher order needs—knowledge, self-esteem, self-actualization and true spiritual needs.
It appears that our definition or view of wealth-creation has changed throughout the ages depending upon what people spent most of their time doing in order to meet their needs. In the Agricultural Age, the majority of human work-time was spent on basic needs mostly food production and other physiological needs from the land. In the 1600’s over 90% of the population worked on the land, by 1840 it was down to 70%, 1960 down to 10% and by 1998 it was under 1%. While writing this book I sit in my home office in Snow Hill, North Carolina watching a two person mobile mass production factory harvest a 100 acre field of cotton in a matter of hours. Two hundred years ago this job would have taken many dozens of slaves weeks. Because, in an early Agricultural Age, most of humanity’s time was spent on the land, the definition of wealth-creation was likely limited to physiological needs, primarily food production.
Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations speaks of a group of French economist, from the 1700’s, called Physiocrats. They believed that agriculture was the only form of productive labor and that land was the source of all wealth. They referred to manufacturing and commerce as sterile. The Physiocrats, in essence, believed that the meeting of physiological needs was the only way to create wealth. This was likely a mainstream view in the early agrarian civilization. As the Agricultural Age matured and the Industrial Age began ramping up the Age Wave curve it was becoming dated—a leftover remnant from an early-stage Agriculture Age. By 1776, the time of Smith’s writing of The Wealth of Nations, he was making fun of this obsolete notion.
Manufactured goods in an early Agricultural Age likely took up such a small portion of time as to hardly be considered wealth-creation. A manufactured tool may have been something with which one attained or protected wealth, but likely was not considered wealth itself. A plow was a thing used to produce food. However, since it did not directly stop the hunger pains in one’s stomach or meet some other lower order need, it likely was not considered to be wealth. An early herdsman’s wealth was, instead, measured by how many goats or cows he had.
As the Agricultural Age matured, manufactured “things” became a larger part of wealth-creation. As we began up the slope to the Industrial Age, even pre-breakpoint, our paradigm, or definition of wealth-creation, expanded to be more inclusive of manufactured “things.” Eventually our paradigm came to be dominated by the manufactured “things,” that we needed to meet needs higher up the hierarchy.
The classic Industrial Age definition of wealth-creation is the making, mining or growing of something hard and tangible—manufactured items, raw materials or food. This is where people have spent the majority of time working in the past 200 years.
Today, however, we have become the Physiocrats of the Information Age as we consider wealth to be created only through the making, mining and growing of things. In an Industrial Age knowledge was seen as something one used to attain wealth, but not wealth itself. As knowledge work rapidly increases knowledge is beginning to be seen as wealth not just a tool for creating wealth.
The increase in knowledge work is occurring from many perspectives. First, more and more people are knowledge workers, performing strictly knowledge work, not building a physical product in their daily work routines: engineers, writers, therapist, fitness trainers, programmers, network marketers, accountants, sales people, health care workers, buyers, technicians, mechanics and far more.
Second, of the people directly making, mining or growing things the knowledge content of their work is dramatically increasing. For example many people in hands on manufacturing are beginning to perform knowledge work as we transition to self-directed teams and empowerment. The team members are required to perform work previously performed by specialized knowledge workers such as engineers, planners, and supervisors even customer service representatives.
In agriculture, the two person cotton harvesting factory that I spoke of earlier had one fellow in an air-conditioned harvester with his stereo playing. He arrived at the cotton field in his four-wheel drive sports utility vehicle wearing a golf shift and slacks. The inside of the harvester looked a little like the cockpit of a jet. Though the driver did not have a laptop computer with him it would not surprised me if he had one.
Third the manufacturing or tangible part of work is getting enfolded into the entire work process as we shift to the Synthesis of Whole Work. Those like Ted at Applied Computer build “tangible” computers as one small part of a whole business process. Most of his time is spent on the knowledge work part of his whole business: billing, ordering parts, accounting, shipping, sales, marketing, engineering, receiving, customer service, programming and more. His actual time building computers is very small, perhaps two to five percent.
Fourth at home we are all spending more time on knowledge-based work or activity such as working on computers, programming VCR’s and Televisions, surfing the Internet, shopping via home shopping channels or Internet, reading, watching the news or educational channels on television, budgeting using computers and on line.
The knowledge content of work, of industrialize nations, is rising at a dramatic rate as more and more of all of our time is spent doing knowledge work. As the percent of time we spend performing knowledge work increases, knowledge itself becomes wealth. This is because we define wealth-creation based upon where people spend the majority of time working. Knowledge, however, has always been wealth just as manufactured items. However, like the Physiocrats we just never recognized knowledge as wealth. In fact we have made fun of geeks, nerds and brainy people. However, as brainy Bill Gates has become the wealthiest person in the world, I believe we are amidst a paradigm shift.
Beyond Toffler’s third wave lies the fourth wave as termed in Herman Maynard and Susan Mehrtens’ book The Fourth Wave – Business in the 21st Century. The third wave is one where we learn that, “we are connected and must cooperate.” The fourth wave is the age of wisdom where we come to understand, as quantum physics tells us, “we are one and choose to co-create.” Where the Information Age is driven primarily by knowledge power the Wisdom Age is driven primarily by emotional and spiritual intelligence.
Therefore, our definition of wealth-creation is today also being expanded to include emotional and spiritual intelligence. This happens as people spend more and more time on these higher order needs as an integrated part of their daily work and lives. People are spending more time on emotional and spiritual intelligence because with the Mass Privatization trend people meet their own needs by connecting with others and meeting other’s needs. Thus in the new wealth-creation system people are inherently developing emotional and spiritual intelligence as they work.
Emotional and spiritual intelligence includes such things as relationship intelligence, personal health (body, mind and soul), happiness, wisdom, environmental health. After all at the top Maslow’s needs hierarchy are self-esteem, self-actualization and spiritual awareness—emotional and spiritual intelligence.
Emotional and spiritual intelligence is about actualizing our infinite potential, deeply understanding ourselves and our relations to others and the larger universe. It is about taking responsibility for ourselves, our situations and our lives. It is about the ability to effectively interact, collaborate and synergize with others. Emotional and spiritual intelligence includes the ability to shift paradigms to see from many different perspectives, to synthesize and see larger wholes, to live fully in and appreciate the present and to be deeply connected to all things, as well as the larger universe.
A very large part of emotional and spiritual intelligence is about moving beyond self. It is about helping others, connecting with others and meeting other people’s needs. It is about the ability to transcend current realities, by shifting our perception. Finally it is about seeing the universal reality of love, win/win and abundance that has always existed.
Suppose we were to discover that we are all one being, who has infinite potential as we synthesize our various wholes together into a larger whole. Emotional and spiritual intelligence, as defined above, would make since as the ultimate driver of wealth-creation. Win/win wealth-creation would be critical to infinite wealth. If, however, as Newtonian thinking, leads us to believe, that we are all separate and can gain as individuals, by taking from others, then win/lose wealth-creation makes more sense. As we shall see in this chapter science is proving that we are all whole parts of a larger whole being.
Today the definition of wealth-creation has expanded to include all material and non-material wealth. Each day that we move further into the Win/Win Era intangible wealth is easier and easier to converted directly into tangible wealth, dollars, goods, or power.
As shown in the book How to Build a Network of Power Relationships by Harvey Mackey the more relationships and connections one has with other people the more dollars one has the potential to generate. Like neurons in the brain, whose connections determine intelligence, our connections to other people determine our potential for dollar and other forms of wealth. Mackay even shows that a couple of United States presidents have networked their way into the White House.
People who are mentally or physically healthy or happy are able to convert this into dollars with books, “how to” videos, television exercises shows, audio tapes and more. The explosion in the mental and physical health industries attest to the increasing ease at which personal health is converted into dollars. Organizations that help the environment are able to convert this into dollars from increased sales to the growing number of environmentally “awakened” consumers as documented in a host of business ecology books such as The Bottom Line of Green is Black by Tedd Saunders.
The dollars produced from intangible wealth can then be converted back to relationships, environmental health, personal health and happiness. People with dollars can have a relative easier time establishing relationships (given that they have good interpersonal skills) because others desire knowing those with money and power. Organizations with more dollars have more to spend protecting the environment. Individuals with money can hire personal trainers, therapists or purchase sophisticated exercise equipment to improve mental and physical health. In general those with dollars have more time to focus on higher order needs.
As we near the top of the needs hierarchy wealth has the capacity to flow from material to non-material wealth and back again. It can flow from one form to another with relative ease and the easier it flows the wealthier we all become. As we will come to understand the more fluid wealth flows in all capacities the wealthier we all become.
An Organization’s Hierarchy of Needs
The shift to emotional and spiritual intelligence has everything to do with the shift in organizations’ missions today from making profits to meeting people’s needs. In the past, we considered an organization’s mission to be merely making profit because, like people, organizations also have a hierarchy of needs. Near the bottom of the organizational needs hierarchy is profit. If a person does not have air he or she will not be around very long; likewise an organization without profit will not be around very long. On the other hand, a person’s mission in life is not to simply breathe air.
As humanity collectively matures and moves up the hierarchy of needs to focus on higher order needs, so too must organizational types, as their focus broadens from mere personal profits. The simple shift in organizations’ missions towards the meeting of human needs represents a significant change in our view of wealth-creation. In an Information Age, the mere act of increasing one’s emotional and spiritual intelligence, completely void of any material object, is in and of itself creating wealth.
As Goes Wealth-Creation, so goes Human Nature
Though attaining non-material wealth sounds great, most people today are still more concerned with material wealth. After all, we must eat, have shelter, cars, clothes, computers, and other material items which cost money. The shift to the broader definition of wealth-creation, “the meeting of human needs” means that higher emotional and spiritual intelligence are requirements for attaining greater material wealth, as well as non-material wealth. At a practical level, emotional and spiritual wealth is far more important than material wealth, since:
In the Win/Win Era the higher the emotional and spiritual intelligence the more material and non-material wealth one is able to create.
This is a radical departure from the Win/Lose Era. Control and victimization of the masses fueled the wealth-creation systems of the Win/Lose Era—employment, serfdom and slavery. Hence they were eras of mass victimization. One problem with mass victimization is that it limits and lowers the levels of emotional and spiritual intelligence in people. This includes both the people being controlled as well as those doing the controlling.
Mass victimization was done in the name of satisfying one’s own practical, immediate needs. You held a slave in bondage, control and pain in order to serve your own needs. Since wealth-creation was more about attaining something at someone else’s expense, one’s emotional and spiritual intelligence, as defined above, would need to be somewhat low to do this. One would have to think that he or she would gain by causing someone else to lose—one would have to see themselves as separate from the other—and this all by definition is low spiritual intelligence. We do not usually see those who participate in illegal win/lose activity (criminals) as having high emotional and spiritual intelligence. Likewise we who participate in legal win/lose activities also have relatively low emotional and spiritual intelligence. This is true whether the competition is in sports, business, war or for fun.
We must remember that the line between legal and illegal win/lose activity is arbitrary. Slavery is illegal today but was legal two hundred year ago. Gorilla warfare, during war times, is legal today and was not three hundred years ago in Europe. We will eventually come to understand that legal and illegal win/lose activity hurt us all as individuals and as a whole and legal verses illegal is irrelevant. Perhaps one day employment will be illegal! After all, from a liberty perspective, the only real difference between slavery and employment is that employees have the freedom to change plantations. However, the vast majority of employees must stay on some plantation. As one manager once said, “I want to hire people who are deep in debt because they are easier to control.” They are more “bonded” to the boss and his or her will.
Most people see spiritual intelligence and wealth-creation as opposites. The bible says that it harder for a rich man to get into heaven than a camel to fit through the eye of a needle. This reflects the misalignment between wealth-creation and spirituality throughout human history.
A customer-driven empathic era will force empathy and increased emotional and spiritual intelligence of the individual. This is because a customer-driven buyer’s market demands that people see from other people’s perspectives in order to tend to these people’s needs. Suppliers who are good at understanding and attending to others’ diverse needs prosper and grow. Suppliers who do this poorly or are mediocre either go out of business or increase their emotional and spiritual intelligence. For the first time in human history, wealth-creation is becoming aligned with higher order human needs—revealing a more coherent whole reality.
Great spiritual leaders, like Jesus and Buddha, thousands of years ago spoke of a win/win and abundant reality. However, without aligned structures we have not accepted it. Without direct alignment, which shows how the effects of our benevolent actions help us, we have had too little motivation to see the systemic win/win reality of the universe. We, therefore, talk a good game on Sunday and other holy days, but our actions for the other six days of the week, when it comes to meeting our practical needs, run counter.
The customer-driven movement is extremely powerful because of the new alignment between wealth-creation and emotional and spiritual intelligence. Within the new paradigm, there is no difference between growing emotionally and spiritually, helping others and wealth-creation. They have all been synthesized into one undivided whole.
What Human Activity Drives Wealth-creation
Work is Unpleasant
Work is Fun
Work is Done in Order to Live
Working is Living
Human Work Relationships
Sales (meet my needs)
Service (meet your needs)
Controlling Others Produces Wealth
Helping Others Produces Wealth
Debate/Discussion (get your point across)
Dialogue (Understand others)
Individual Work Outlook
Victims (powerless to effect change)
Mass Passivity (others lead, masses follow)
Mass Activism (everyone leads)
Competition for Limited Resources
Collaboration to Tap Infinite Wealth
Strength from Fear
Strength from Love
Impersonal Work Relationships
Interpersonal Work Relationships
Self-Protecting, Defensive, Tough
Open, Secure, Confident, Soft
Advances through Connections
The tables above shows the drivers of wealth-creation in the Win/Lose and Win-Win Eras. It illustrates that they are driven by almost completely opposite forces. The shift to a win/win era represents a complete reversal from all of human history. This is consistent with the science of breakpoint which shows that systems operate completely opposite after breakpoint as compared to before breakpoint (Land, Jarman 1992).
The shift to win/win is now practical because of humanity’s level of advancement in maturity, knowledge, technology and spirituality. Eventually, however, we shall see and come to understand that win/win and abundance have always been available to humanity, just as the great spiritual leaders throughout history have claimed. We, however, were not mature enough to see it. We humans have always been on a journey. It has been a journey of maturation. We have confused an immature humanity with an unchangeable human nature. We are about to reach a new level of maturity and with it comes more liberty.
Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence, Wealth-Creation and Love
Stephen Covey’s book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People has maintained itself on the business books bestsellers list as well as most generic bestseller’s lists for nearly a decade. This is unprecedented in business books. These seven habits are about increasing one’s emotional and spiritual intelligence in order to produce more wealth for oneself and others. It is no accident that this book has appeared today and not twenty-five, fifty or one hundred years ago.
These habits are more about effectiveness in the Win/Win Era than the Win/Lose Era. For example, thinking win/win, habit number four, would not be very practical in a competitive win/lose era. How could you think win/win towards the opposing team in the middle of a football game while the opponent is intently focused on defeating you? If we compiled a list of the most “effective” people in history and looked at their most common traits, most of these seven would not be on the list. Effective as defined by most people’s definition of success: money, wealth, power, high standard of living and quality of life.
The seven habits are: 1) Be proactive, 2) Begin with the end in mind, 3) Put first things first, 4) Think Win/Win, 5) Seek first to understand, 6) Synergize, 7) Sharpen the saw.
Today, however, as we shift to a Win/Win Era, companies and other controlled economies are attempting to implement Covey’s seven habits.
Just as organizations today with higher collective IQ’s, creativity, intuition and multiple intelligences, are more capable than lower IQ organizations, organizations with higher emotional and spiritual intelligence are more capable than companies where it is lower. There is even a new booming industry of consulting organizations helping organizations increase their emotional and spiritual intelligence. Jan Nickerson founder of The Prosperity Collaborative is able to share her emotional and spiritual intelligence with organizations. She helps expand organizations’ emotional and spiritual intelligence thus helping organizations better collaborate, meet human needs and reap bigger profits.
Today’s workers in self-directed teams must have high levels of emotional intelligence in order for the teams to function effectively. As the world is now shifting towards win/win and we attempt to mature and throw off the shackles of supervision, regulation and control, we run headlong into our low emotional and spiritual intelligence.
When the regulating supervisor is removed while implementing self-directed teams, all hell breaks lose. This behavior is a direct result of individuals’ low levels of emotional intelligence resulting from a history of win/lose human relations. This low emotional and spiritual intelligence includes: low tolerance levels, quickness to judge, blame and find fault, the obsession with being heard and the inability to listen, the lack of empathy and the inability to transcend paradigms to see from other perspectives. By far the most prevalent problem in newly formed self-directed teams is the perception by the majority of individuals that they are victims being picked on by others. An obsession with being a victim can be expected after thousands of years of mass victimization.
I was counseling one dispute within a self-directed team regarding an incident where one person incorrectly perceived an attack from another. I asked this person not to become so defensive and judgmental with others; to give people the benefit of the doubt and he’d feel less need to be offensively aggressive. Towards the end of the conservation he said something quite profound, “with the way things used to work, before teams, if I didn’t look out for myself nobody else would.” This simple statement is the key to wealth-creation in an Information Age and this entire book. A partner-based customer-driven empathic age is about people looking out for the needs of others.
According to Don Carew, co-author of The One-Minute Manager Builds High Performance Teams, teams that have broken through to become super high-performing all have one thing in common. They all have a very high degree of caring for one another. They are focused on each other’s needs; they are interconnected; there is love. A high degree of caring for others is a key trait of individuals with high emotional and spiritual intelligence. Obviously, in order to have a high functioning team, members cannot themselves be dysfunctional.
The team, which is the heart of Mass Privatization, has at its core the need to move beyond self. There is the need to focus on other people’s needs, to contribute to others and society. I refer to this as interconnectedness or spirituality. Some, however, simply call it love.
Copyright 2000 by Barry Carter
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