m as

increasing pTessure to prove its strategic worth. the profession has been forced to devise metrics. leading experts demon­
strate how HR measures can be directly linked to bottom-line results


spiritual leaders

Businesses are turning increasingly to spiritual guidance, so you may feel it's time to gen up on some genuine philosophical gurus, Here are a few to start you off on the path to enlightenment

usiness has a habit of taking words and re­ engineering them to suit its own needs. So it is with "guru". Test this out by asking a co l­ league to name two gurus who have made an Impact on the business world. The odds are that they w ill come out w ith Peter Drucker, Charles Handy, Tom Peters or, if they are feeling patriotic, Sir John Harvey-Jones. You'll cast around in vain for a ment ion of the Baghwan. But recent developments suggest all that might be about to change. A growing number of unashamedly spiritual philosophers - real gurus, if you like - are making inroads into the business world . When an organ isation as traditionalist as the Chartered Institute Personne l and Deve lopmen t in Britain can make room at its conferences to discuss the impact of shamanic techniques on morale and performance, you know the issue has become a sig­ n ificant one. What is at the root of this growing quest for s pir­ ituality in the workplace?


No doubt it owes much of its momentum to Western society's wider adoption of Eastern med­ itation and self-improvement techniques . As the boundaries between home and working life blur, an overspill of some kind is inevitabl e. As many US organisa tions demonstrated in the 20th century. companies can often flourish on a com­ mon set of ethics frequently grounded on a shared system of spi·ritual belief Bu t the real problem with gurus w ill always lie in sorting the wheat from the chaff No-one needs reminding that this is an area in wh ich charlatans flourish . In recent years, some decidedly questionable organisations have speci fica lly targeted the cor­ porate wor ld in their recruitment campaigns. They have managed to cap itali se on the blurred ground bet ween management "self-improvement" techniques and something m ore sinister. Here. we offer a potted guide to some of the more obviously benevolent gurus that have emerged in recent years. Enjoy the karma.

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I spiritual leaders

Hailed by Tim e magazine in 1999 as one of the "top 100 icons and heroes of the century", Chopra has done more than an y o ther ind ividua l to familiarise the American people w ith the tenets of Eastern m ysticism. Born in India, he is a qualified doc t o r w ho combines his spi ritual message w it h practica l suggestions for ph ysical w ellbe ing and self-improvemen t. In 1996, he opened the Chopra Cen t er for Well-Being in LaJolla, California, offering every ­ thing from yoga , chant ing and meditation, to Ayurvedic and con ventional detox treatments.

Kenton hurtled on to the HR sphere when she told the CIPD that companie s should follow shamanic techniques to improve morale and performance. This former Harpers & Queen editor is clearly a renaissance woman, combining ad vice on achiev ing health . beauty, pe rsonal development an d spiritual pow er w ith an undoubted entrep reneurial streak. Kenton achieved sales of £2.3m within two years of launching her regenerati ve skin product on to the UK marke t . Daughter o f the late US jazz musician St an Ken t on, she is al so a social and en vironmen tal activ is t and TV cook. Everyone from Estee Lauder, through Unilever to the Euro­ pean Parliament. Kenton's insistence that good hea lth boosts creativ ity. pow er and autonomy - bot h personall y and in the bu sine ss environment - has foun d fertile ground In co rporate circles . Other clients have included Guinness, Boots an d LO real. "Rea l health , creati vity and pow er come from w ithin. The only t rue 'guru' is the huma n soul." She can provide tools an d techn iques to hel p you release your potential for energy, health and pers ona l freedom, and thus improve you r home an d ',' or kl ng life.

"The poet-p rophet of alternative medicine" is a prol if ic author and translator of mystic classics. His 25 books. translated into 35 languages, have won him a strong global following, but his heartland is still Californ ia.

"Everything we expe rience as material reality is born in an invisible realm beyond space and time - revealed by sCience to cons ist of energy and information ... We are now ready to un derstand di vine intelligen ce directly In many ways, th is new know ledge reinforces what spiritual traditions have already promised ... Un less some small pa rt of God touc hes t he ma t erial w orld. he w ill remain inaccessible forever "

Too many to name. His w ebsite is currentl y giv ing promi­ nence to "How to Kn ow God':

(noose f rom more than 30 best-selling books. Passage to Power so unds promising for busi ness types.

Easi ly ac cessible . Bridge s the gaps betw een spi ritua lity. sci ence and modern commercial imperatives . Prov ider of imaginati ve paCkage holidays.

Learn how to be beautifully effecti ve at t he same time as being effecti vely beautiful.

Can you cope with all that "primord ial sound meditation" (aka chanting) ?

Ma y not appeal t o unreconstructed ma les w ho don't use mois t uriser.

Energy. quantum soup, information, miracles. darshan (blessings) , pujas (r ituals), dormant potentialities, detox.

Natural heal ing, vibrant, passion, raw, origins , ageless ageing.

If you're seeking a more holistic approach to life, this is the guy for yo u. You coul d read his On the Shores of Eternity, new English versions of poems by Rabin dranath Tagore, w hile undergoing colonic irriga t ion at the Center for Well­ Being. Ei t her w ay, you're bound to emerge feeling positi ve.
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A breath offresh air on the management consulting circuit, Kenton's obvious ability to practice what she preache s attra cts admiration. Sign her up if you're serious about work­ life balan ce is sues and want advice about healing the planet.

This article originally appea red in globalhls sister title Personnel Today. To subscri be ca ll :
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