The Wisdom Page 


Spirituality and Wisdom in Business
a brief introduction by Copthorne Macdonald

An area of current interest goes under several names: Spirituality in the Workplace, Spirituality in Business, and Wisdom at Work. An excellent article on the subject entitled Spirituality in the Workplace by Martin Rutte, President of Livelihood, Inc*, appears both here and in the book Heart at Work by Jack Canfield & Jacqueline Miller (McGraw-Hill, 1996). Another book, Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work, was co-authored by Martin Rutte, Maida Rogerson, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Tim Clauss. While you're at it, check out Martin's Spirituality in the Workplace Web site.
[* Livelihood, Inc., 64 Camerada Loop, Santa Fe, NM 87505. E-mail: ]

One more book dealing with these issues is Wisdom in the Workplace: On the Job Training for the Soul, by Ellen Krupack Raineri [ Braino Inc., 227 Seminole Ave., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702. E-Mail:]

Conferences on Spirituality in Business were held in Mazatlan, Mexico in 1995, '96, and '97. A Conference brochure highlighted some of the issues:

"In the past, corporations have shied away from workshops with the word "spirituality" in the title because there was a preconception of what spirituality meant. It usually meant some particular cosmology or set of beliefs. But that's the past. Now corporations all over the world are recognizing the need for spirit in the workplace. The old agreements between corporations and employees no longer hold, e.g., "We'll give you security if you'll commit to work for us through retirement." The current-day corporation wants and needs people who are creative, independent, and self-motivated. And employees now realize that in order to give at the level of their highest productivity, they must be doing what they love. If not, they experience stress, anxiety, fatigue, and eventually burn-out. The real value of the word "spriritual" is in the ongoing questioning of how it manifests, rather than in a specific definition.

"We can point to some of the signs that indicate that spirit exists in the workplace: honesty, respect, openness, compassion, commitment to quality, commitment to the environment, and connectedness among the employee group. And we can all recognize when spirit is blocked in our everyday work environment: low morale, low productivity, gossip, backbiting, and high employee absenteeism."