• kathgigg

One of the best books we've read so far...

Spiritual Capital was written in 2004 and is considered, so I am told, to be a seminal work about what capitalism and business-as-usual had become and what capitalsim is meant to be.

Page 16 explores the very narrow definition of what it means to be human in the existing capitalist system.

'Human beings are measured by thirst for profit and by capacity to consume. Employees are measured by their capacity to produce and what others can consume. Viewed merely as consumers, customers and employees are not seen as people who value certain things, who harbor loyalties and passions, who strive and dream, who seek a particular quality of life.'

There is more and it is well worth a read.

At the end of the day making money for shareholders is not very meaningful.

The mix of 'what I think' (material capital/rational intelligence), 'what I feel' (social capital/emotional intelligence) and 'what I am' (spiritual capital/intelligence/) forms the essence of the work that follows.

The book is clearly structured and explores what spiritual capital is (p 43) in chapter 2:

'The spiritual in human beings makes us ask why we are doing what we are doing and makes us seek some fundamentally better way of doing it. it makes us want our lives and enterprises to make a difference.'

We are then introduced to the motivations that drive us and the motivational scale. Not everyone was totally on board with this but when we considered it to be a model which helps make sense of a complex reality it became easier to explore and work with.

The links to Maslow are thought provoking and I for one was fascinated by the mapping of the 'survival' needs with motivations -6,-7,-8 which are apathy, guilt and shame and depersonalisation. To see survival as a human being requiring more than physical things is a basic pre-requisite to understanding spiritual capital.

Certainly each motivation and application is explored well.

The twelve principals of transformation are seen as:

self awareness


being vision and value led



field independence

tendency to ask fundamental why? questions.

ability to reframe

positive use of adversity


sense of vocation

each is explored for what it is and then how to apply it to effect transformation.

Questions are posed which we all connected with and could see us using in a corporate environment. There are engaging examples of managers who have sought to work from a higher service motivation which helped to bring the words to life and to aid understanding.

None of us liked/understood the foray into the New Knights Templar at the end though.

The book is a thoroughly good read. It puts across its ideas clearly and with compassion.

It is quite short, easy to read, but long enough.

To summarise 'One of the best books we've read so far...'

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