If we are sincere and practical in our desire to bring change we have to ‘be the change we wish to see in the world’ (Mahatma Gandhi). We can be the change only if we change how we orientate our own inner life to the change that we wish to see – and this we need to perform consciously. Just as a so called ‘motorcycle junkie’ sees his inner life of motor cycles reflected in his direct and personal surroundings in pictures and models and gadgets and so on because this is what he allows to live in his inner life, so too is the process through which we can bring change to our environment – but we must choose this future environment consciously and then return to our inner orientation and the clarity here to bring this outward reality about. A viable Threefold Social Order depends on this reality also. While it sits up there in the world of ideas as a readily available possibility to Humanity, it will stay there unless we bring it down. This article gives some of the detail that we are working with in order to do just this.
The basic concepts of the Threefold Social Order are that for any society to function as a whole and self-sustaining, viable and thriving activity – call this the viable, sustainable society – there needs to be three ideologically independent spheres with the identical interest of enabling the viable, sustainable society (VSS). These three spheres are the Liberty, Fraternity and Equality spheres. They need to become very distinct and clear in the inner life of all people of the world. Not only must they be clear and conscious, but we must all want the VSS to come about as an end goal. This is not a revolutionary end goal but an evolutionary one. A practical step in this regard is to report financially in this way. Reporting can be done to highlight the Liberty, the Fraternity, and Equality issues in ‘business’ and all other activities that require financial reporting. A start to this is very simple in fact. Below I give some key measures that we have derived in order to start to slowly bring about a separation in our thinking of the three spheres that will ultimately enable us to align them to the end goal of a viable society.
– These try to draw out our attention to the consciousness, morality and efforts we put into the awakening of our staff to their humanity in a conscious way.
- Training time
- Training cost
- Reviews done
- Personal development plans in place
- Study sessions
- One on one meetings held
- Staff turnover
- Throughput per staff member
- Throughput per staff cost
- People making inner progress – promotions
– These measures we split into two categories. They arise from the concepts of firstly efficiency, and secondly relevance, in serving the needs of others. They mostly come from tradition financial reporting.
- Efficiency: (drives costs down)
- Direct variable cost
- Quality via customer complaints
- Units produced per unit of time
- Plant up-time
- Plant utilisation
- Overall plant efficiency
- Trends in the above
- Relevance: (drives value up)
- Throughput percentage per category
- Sales by product category
- Customers retained
- Old product enhancements
- New product development
- New customers
- Trends in the above
– These measures direct our focus to what we are doing to create an environment of equal application of rules, fairness of rules, rules required, rules not required, corrective actions required, health and safety, control of internal and external contracts and their implementation, and the like. We are of the view that where the equality in the environment is openly striven for, people will feel safer and more confident in their desire and will to participate with ‘more’ of themselves.
- Equality meetings held
- Rules added, removed or changed
- Contracts with suppliers
- Contracts with staff
- Contracts with customers
- Health and safety matters
- Number and outcomes of corrective actions
Looking at these numbers in categories like this, with an awareness of why one does this, assists us in developing a consciousness around each different sphere. Each sphere requires a specific ideological focus that needs to be hewn out of the jumble of concepts that we generally live in today and make individually conscious in each of us. As this separation in our thinking starts to happen, we can then take the next step. This next step is quite a delicate one because each measure in each sphere can only improve if it has some form of conscious relationship with measures in the other two spheres. The relationships are of an independent kind where each requires independence but needs some consciousness to be taking place in both of the other spheres in order for it to find itself and improve.
Let me put it in an example:
Let’s take direct variable cost or DVC. If this measure is showing a downward trend because of supplier price increases, the trend cannot be changed by staring at the numbers. To address the trend line, our thinking needs to take us to the other two spheres to look for what in these spheres can change the numbers. So, let’s do this.
Actions required from the Equality sphere will be to look at agreements with the supplier and see what was agreed and whether this needs to be reconsidered with them. The supplier may themselves be in need of more work and be willing to amend previous agreements for mutual benefit.
Taking this to the Liberty sphere, we need to have our people better equipped to deal with suppliers and understand that agreements are made in specific circumstances and that suppliers may be unaware of our situation. Our staff should not see an agreement as fixed or the supplier fully informed.
The exciting thing here is that each measure requires identification on its own in one of the three spheres, but in order to address it, it needs conscious activity from both of the other spheres. With a bit of imagination this can be applied in exactly the same way to National economies. In my next article, I will give an example of how a management meeting can be held so that participants can establish these relationships between one measure in one sphere and the kind of thoughts and actions that are then required from the other spheres in order that a real change becomes possible to this original measure.