Friday, 17 August 2012

Book Review: Spiritual Capital; wealth we can live by. Zohar, Marshall

You know about IQ. Along came EQ. And now we have SQ - Spiritual Capital.

Published in 2004, this book languished on my bookshelf filed somewhere between management books, self-help and fiction. Having read it I will now file it permanently under management texts. Although it is written for an individual to read and contemplate their own SQ, it is framed for wider thinking covering society and organisations.

The authors provide explanation of the different type of Capital:
IQ: Material Capital, rational intelligence - What I think
EQ: Social Capital, emotional intelligence - What I feel
SQ: Spiritual Capital, spiritual intelligence - What I am

SQ is defined at what a community or organisation exists for, aspires to, takes responsibility for. These combine to provide a moral and motivation framework for existing. "Spiritual" is described as human beings asking why we are doing what we are doing and suggest we seek a better way of doing it. It is not, as the authors state, about shrines in hallways or calling employees to prayer.

SQ links to corporate social responsibility (CSR). When I read this I wondered how much public sector organisations monitored their CSR - being funded byt he taxpayer does not automatically create CSR.

The authors spend a few chapters unpicking various theories of motivation. Nothing new in here if you've covered this before, however, I liked the way they framed their discussion and the use of their motivation scale.

They suggest twelve principles of transformation. These alone are worth the read. So much of the change management and improvement work I am involved in is focused on transformation. These authors provide a thought-provoking, simple yet rich framework for conceiving of and applying transformation.

The book ends with a chapter on corporate spiritualism and asking the question "Is it still capitalism".

If you are trying to figure out your own meaning at work, leading others through change processes or concerned about your organisation's "soul", then this book will provide you with some language and structure to frame your thoughts.

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