Enlivening Edge Magazine Editorial February 2023 –  Why Is “Wholeness of a Company” Important?

By Lia Aurami for Enlivening Edge Magazine

Have you ever been so impressed by the excellent, kind, respectful, expert help you received from a company’s customer service rep that your “brand loyalty” got set for years, even if the company’s product or service itself might not have been ideal or perfect or best?

That example can bring home the realization that just as a person who works in a company is more, from the perspective of wholeness, than their job skills or activities, the company itself, seen from wholeness, is more than its products or services. Very often people think of their company’s identity as consisting of its products or services, forgetting the wholeness of its true presence in the world, via other aspects of itself–most notably the people representing the company outward with the rest of the world.

What is wholeness and why is it important?

Frederic Laloux identified “wholeness” as a label for a collection of characteristics of certain organizations he researched. He identified these organizations as reflecting and expressing a certain stage in the development of human consciousness, a stage previously identified by other thinkers about human development. He used the Integral Theory label of “Teal” for this stage, and with respect to organizations, he found it was accompanied by two other clusters of characteristics he called “evolutionary purpose” and “self-management.” These are the 3 “breakthrough” characteristics of “Teal organizations” compared to those organizations operating in the previous stage.

Wholeness is usually considered to refer to both how much of a person’s life, skills, and characteristics find usefulness or acceptance in the workplace, and how much the workplace takes into account the life circumstances and individual characteristics of the workers. The basic idea is that the worker is more than their job description and its required skills.

I’m simply exploring the analogous perspective on a company, not just on a worker. How does the company show up in the world in all its many qualities and characteristics, and how much of those can, if made conscious, bring increased benefit to both the world and the company?

What are aspects of the wholeness of a company? 

  • A company’s wholeness includes all the effects all the people involved have as they interact, representing the company, to those within and to others: workers, customers, suppliers, investors, “competitors,” etc.
  • A company’s wholeness includes the effect it has on the natural environment that it directly or indirectly impacts.
  • A company’s wholeness includes people’s reactions to the mission and purpose of the company: are people inspired or repelled? It also includes all the larger social effects of the mission and purpose.
  • A company’s wholeness includes its effect from possibly being an example, model, or prototype in some way. The hundreds of companies represented in Enlivening Edge Magazine’s library of articles are almost all offering themselves as models or examples.
  • A company’s wholeness includes the effect of its innovations on anyone who learns about those: what new ways of being, doing, and relating does the company bring to humanity as a whole?
  • A company’s wholness certainly includes the implicit and explicit aspects of company culture and values.

You can come up with more to add to that list.

Wholeness, brand, and reputation

In exploring the idea that a company has wholeness, just as a person does, I’m seeking to point beyond the ideas of brand or reputation. The wholeness of a company is not something the company can deliberately create or manipulate, like its brand. While its wholeness is similar to its reputation, wholeness is not a mass perception of the company. A company’s wholeness is not a widespread social perception such as brand or reputation. It is more diffuse, less tangible, and on a larger social and consciousness scale. A company’s wholeness is more a property intrinsic to the entirety of its “beingness.”

Here are some examples. The wholeness of a company shows up in the charity projects taken on by workers in their off time. The wholeness shows up in the degree of courtesy of its truck drivers. The wholeness shows up in the feeling people have when they walk into company headquarters, from the architecture and decor. The wholeness includes the way people act toward others after using its products or services.

How could this be important to you?

Do you know what your company’s wholeness is and how it is affecting people? That is sometimes called your company’s “reputation.” It is highly relevant to success by various measures of success, but we haven’t yet evolved good metrics to measure wholeness degrees or effects.

Another importance is that your company’s wholeness probably has some positive aspects that you haven’t been aware of: people inspired, etc. As is the situation for writers and teachers, the feedback about long term or short term influence and effects is often sparse. If you knew more about your positive effects, you could possibly leverage those effects to increase your success. If your company becomes aware of some positive aspects of its wholeness, as its wholeness is reflected in the world, that is cause for celebration; it can boost morale and suggest ways to increase what’s great.

If your company becomes aware of some undesirable aspects of how it shows up in its wholeness in the world, that can be the cause for some company self-searching and examination of values.

Enlivening Edge is walking our talk here by posing these queries to you: 

  • What influence has Enlivening Edge had on your life over the years you’ve known us?
  • What or who created or contributed to that influence?
  • How has the effect rippled out from you to others?

We’d love to hear back. Make a comment on this article, or use our Contact Form or write to anyone here whose email address you have! We’d like to know more of who we are to you, so we can become more of who we want to be!

Lia Aurami: Within Enlivening Edge, I energize a variety of roles to express my sacred life mission: to amplify our human capacity for living, working, and relating within shared higher consciousness.

That optimizes the chances of success of transformative changes, by operationalizing collective and spiritual intelligence to help organizations be efficient and effective.

I delight in creating and amplifying synergistic connections toward all that! 




Featured Image by renatomonterroso fromPixabay. Do you see the relevance? The “wholeness” of that object includes far more than being a transportation vehicle or a bus. It includes, among other things, being an art object and being a statement of personal sovereignty or empowerment or individuality. It might even include being an office or home.