MANAGEMENT CONSULTING -PIVOTING TO THE NEW FRONTIER OF SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE
Dr. Nsombi Jaja, CMC, PMP, SMC, SAMC
July 15, 2020
As the pace of change in the world accelerates at an unprecedented speed, the need for a fresh, improved approach to the Management Consulting Profession becomes more urgent. This article identifies some opportunities for management consultants to bring a more holistic approach to their relationships with clients to help them to pivot to new levels of ‘Being’.
John Maxwell said, ‘Goals make leaders DO better, Growth helps leaders BECOME better’. A different type of growth is required for leaders today to remain sane and focused in order to identify the opportunities and pivot to the next growth levels. The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the fragility of some business models and the transient nature of value as we have come to know and measure it. If the news is anything to go by there are a number of business giants filing for bankruptcy, large retailers closing hundreds of stores, luxury brands discontinuing production, trusted role model investors have lost billions of dollars while unemployment in the USA alone have reached over 25% - close to 40 million.
The models of management consulting engagements have always sought to identify the clients’ pain points and develop solution to ease/relieve the pain. Now, more than ever, the pain is beyond systems, processes, technical and technology, restructuring and remodeling. The pain runs deep through the fabric of organizations and impacts the most fragile, yet the most resilient, the people. This includes the leaders and all who they lead. The sustainable solutions will be found in the spiritual intelligence of leaders and those they lead.
1 “I think the greatest discovery will be made along spiritual lines. Here is a force which history clearly teaches has been the greatest power in the development of men. Yet we have merely been playing with it and have never seriously studied it as we have the physical forces. Someday, people will learn that material things do not bring happiness and are of little use in making men and women creative and powerful. Then the scientists of the world will turn their laboratories over to the study of God and prayer and the spiritual forces, which as of yet have hardly been scratched. When this day comes, the world will see more advancement in one generation than it has seen in the past four.”(Steinmetz n.d.)
I think this day has now arrived. When we read White’s, Hodgson’s & Crainer’s ‘Future of Leadership’ little did we know that ‘Riding the Corporate Rapids into the 21st Century’ would have been so turbulent and so many would be destroyed in the process. The challenges of today present a prime opportunity for management consultants and those of us who have been studying and researching ‘spiritual intelligence’ to begin to use this knowledge and these competencies to help ourselves and our clients lead with spiritual intelligence. In my doctoral dissertation on ‘How Leaders Develop Spiritual Intelligence’ I sought to identify the ‘flight path’ (2Wolman) the leaders in the study took to develop their spiritual intelligence and how they used their spiritual intelligence to become better leaders. While the flight path was different for each of those in the study, the decision to honour their spiritual intelligence always led them to a place of right thinking, right behaviours, right decisions and right actions, leading to great results. Leading with spiritual intelligence can help us weather the storms of life and rebound with resilience as we navigate the rapids of the 21st Century.
Deep within all of us as humans is a spiritual being having a human experience. As we operate from our spiritual ‘being’ we discover that the power within us is greater than any circumstance surrounding us. Dr. John Maxwell, Dr. Danah Zohar, Dr. Richard Wohlman, Albert Einstein, Dr. Margaret Wheatley, Dr. Wayne Dyer and Dr. Stephen Covey, like countless others, have over the years provided us with the principles, the tools and techniques to operate from our highest selves, our spiritual selves.
The challenges of today require management consultants to pivot from mere intellectual to our highest intelligence (spiritual intelligence) in order to help our clients relieve the pain they are experiencing and bring sustainable solutions. A quote from Einstein: “The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don't know why or how. (Quoted in Forbes 15 Sep 1974). Einstein goes on to say ‘Our intellectual intelligence is our servant, our intuition is our master, yet we often honour the servant and ignore the Master’.
What then is spiritual Intelligence? According to Wohlman (2001) ‘It combines abilities, talents, gifts and a transcendent interconnection of the individual human spirit with a larger luminous universe that is the source of our being. Spiritual intelligence implies the capacity to think with one’s soul, a total phenomenon that can be viewed as the human relationship to sacred experiences, encompassing the knowing of spirituality through the mind as well as the heart and soul’ (p.115). Wayne Dyer 3(2003) reminds us that there is a spiritual solution to every problem and encourages us to raise and maintain our spiritual energy.
Spiritual intelligence is not to be confused with religion and transcends the rituals and rites of religion. It is an intelligence possessed by all humans.
The global pandemic has disrupted organizations and has led to depths of despair in many leaders. Today’s environment therefore requires management consultants to use their spiritual intelligence to work with their clients to arrive at sustainable solutions as they pivot to the next level of organization and leadership success.
About the author
Dr. Nsombi Jaja is a Certified Management Consultant and a member of the board of the Caribbean Institute of Management Consultants. She provides consulting service to both the Public & Private Sector in Strategic Management, Quality Management, Change Management and Leadership Development. She is the author of the book ‘How Leaders Develop Spiritual Intelligence’ and her inspirational CDs ‘Reach for the Stars’ and ‘A Celebration of Life, Love and Blessings’ have inspired many in the achievement of their dreams. She is a certified DreamBuilder Coach and a member of the John Maxwell Team.
1 Charles P. Steinmetz, (1865 – 1923) a German-American mathematician and electrical engineer, whose work as a scientist significantly influenced the expansion of the electrical power industry in the United States, was once asked, by the founder of Babson College in Massachusetts, what line of research he thought would see the greatest development during the course of the next 100 years.
2 Richard N. Wolman is a clinical psychologist and has been on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 25 years. He is the author of ‘Thinking with your Soul. Spiritual Intelligence and Why It Matters’ (2001), Harmony Books, New York, NY.
3 Dr. Wayne Dyer, ‘There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem’ (2003). Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY.
In There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, bestselling author Wayne W. Dyer offers compelling testimony on the power of love, harmony, and service. When confronted with a problem, be it ill health, financial worries, or relationship difficulties, we often depend on intellect to solve it.