Spirituality & Creativity in Management World Congress

Spirituality is Synonymous with Freedom

Does it make sense to study the importance of spirituality from a management perspective? Is it worthwhile for business schools to highlight the importance of cultivating executives’ inner selves? At ESADE, we are convinced that it is. Our institution is dedicated to guiding the development and growth of committed people in the leadership of organisations. I am therefore delighted at the organisation of this international conference, and I invite you to participate in as many sessions as possible.

Through business schools, the management field must make a twofold contribution. We mustn’t concentrate exclusively on helping executives grow as professionals. It is a mistake to overlook a second essential component: the personal growth of leaders. Here at ESADE, we are committed to building a more just world. Our aim is not to train professionals concerned solely with their own success. Instead, we instil in our students the importance of cultivating their inner selves and staying connected to their basic values.

By focusing on spirituality, we are providing organisations with free individuals and helping executives understand that their purpose is greater than themselves. In short, spirituality makes people freer. Free to accept criticism, free to avoid idleness, free to innovate, free to find new opportunities, and – as the name of your conference suggests – free to be more creative.

I invite you to highlight your commitment to training leaders capable of integrating their professional careers with their personal inner lives. A growing number of organisations, companies and business schools have realised that this is a way to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, to improve society, and to build a more principled economy.


Peter Senge

Creativity, Deep Conversation and Questions that Matter

Bio info

Peter Senge is a Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Sustainability at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
The Journal of Business Strategy (September/October 1999) named Senge one of the 24 people who has had the greatest influence on business strategy over the last 100 years. The Financial Times(2000) named him one of the world’s top management gurus, and BusinessWeek (October 2001) rated Senge one of the top 10 management gurus. Senge has lectured extensively throughout the world, translating the abstract ideas of systems theory into tools for better understanding of economic and organizational change. He studies decentralizing the role of leadership in organizations so as to enhance the ability of employees to work productively toward common goals, and the managerial and institutional changes needed to build more sustainable enterprises—those businesses that foster social and natural as well as economic well-being. Senge’s work articulates a cornerstone position of human values in the workplace: namely, that vision, purpose, reflectiveness, and systems thinking are essential if organizations are to realize their potential. He has worked with leaders in business, education, civil society, healthcare, and government.
Senge is the founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), a global community of corporations, researchers, and consultants dedicated to the “interdependent development of people and their institutions.” He is the author of the widely acclaimed book, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization (1990). With colleagues Charlotte Roberts, Rick Ross, Bryan Smith, and Art Kleiner, he is the co-author of The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization(1994) and a second fieldbook The Dance of Change: The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations (March 1999), co-authored by George Roth. In September 2000, Senge co-authored a fieldbook on education, the award-winning Schools That Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education (2000). The Fifth Discipline hit a nerve within the business and education communities by introducing the theory of learning organizations. Since its publication, more than one million copies have been sold worldwide. In 1997, Harvard Business Review identified it as one of the seminal management books of the past 75 years. The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook was developed in response to questions from readers of The Fifth Discipline who wanted more help with tools, methods, and practical experiences in developing enhanced learning capabilities within their own companies. The Dance of Change is based on more recent experiences of companies developing learning capabilities over many years, and the strategies leaders develop to deal with the many challenges this work entails. He also has authored many articles published in both academic journals and the business press on systems thinking in management and has co-authored Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future.
Senge holds a BS in engineering from Stanford University as well as an SM in social systems modelling and a PhD in management from MIT.

Chris Lowney

The red tie, the ochre robe, and the million dollar inheritance: Why inner freedom is essential to creative choices and sound decisions

Abstract info

Chris Lowney’s talk will explore the spiritual underpinnings of creativity in our workplaces and organizations. Drawing on examples that range from 16th century to 21st, from corporate executives to Pope Francis, he will challenge us to think about spirituality and creativity in new ways. He will teach us a simple “spiritual technology” that can bring greater inner freedom as we face critical choices in work and life.

Bio info

Chris Lowney served as a Managing Director of JP Morgan & Co on three continents until leaving the firm in 2001. Since then, he has authored four books, including the bestselling Heroic Leadership, which has been translated into a dozen languages. His most recent book is Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads. Chris currently chairs the board of CHI, one of the largest healthcare systems in the United States, with more than 100 hospitals and $21 billion of assets. Chris, formerly a Jesuit seminarian, graduated from Fordham University, holds five honorary doctoral degrees, lives in the Bronx (NY), and roots for the NY Mets baseball team without feeling shame.

Naomi Tutu

The Gift of Ubuntu: A Contribution of African Spirituality to the Future of Management and Workplace Relations

Abstract info

The Gift of Ubuntu: A Contribution of African Spirituality to the Future of Management and Workplace Relations

The concept of Ubuntu is one that is found in the majority of African languages. At its most basic it speaks of humanness, and it is this very basic meaning that underlies the depth of the concept. From it comes that most famous of African proverbs, “A person is a person, through other people.” Ubuntu calls out to the characteristic that we all share, our basic humanity and calls us to recognize the humanity of all those with whom we come into contact. Ubuntu teaches that you cannot compartmentalize your life into “business” versus relationships, or emotional attachments. How you deal in business speaks to who you are in the whole of your life. How you interact with supervisors and subordinates reflects who you truly are in the world. How would our workplaces change if we approached them as places that called for our full humanity to be shown, and the humanity of those with whom we work to be recognized and respected?

Bio info

Tutu is the third child of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nomalizo Leah Tutu. She was born in South Africa and had the opportunity to live in many communities and countries. She was educated in Swaziland, the US, and England, and has divided her adult life between South Africa and the US. Growing up the “daughter of…” has offered Naomi Tutu many opportunities and challenges in her life. Most important of these has been the challenge to follow her own path and role in building a better world. She has taken up the challenge and channeled the opportunities she has been given to raise her voice as a champion for the dignity of all.
Her professional experience ranges from being a development consultant in West Africa to being program coordinator for programs on race & gender and gender-based violence in education at the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town. In addition Tutu has taught at the University of Hartford, University of Connecticut, and Brevard College in North Carolina. She served as program coordinator for the historic Race Relations Institute at Fisk University, and was a part of the Institute’s delegation to the World Conference Against Racism in Durban.
She started her public speaking as a college student at Berea College in Kentucky in the 1970s when she was invited to speak at churches, community groups, and colleges and universities about her experiences growing up in apartheid South Africa. Since that time she has become a much sought-after speaker to groups as varied as business associations, professional conferences, elected officials, and church and civic organizations.
As well as speaking and preaching, Naomi Tutu has established Nozizwe Consulting. Nozizwe means “Mother of Many Lands” in Xhosa and is the name she was given by her maternal grandmother. The guiding principle of Nozizwe Consulting is to bring different groups together to learn from and celebrate their differences and acknowledge their shared humanity. As part of this work she has led Truth and Reconciliation Workshops for groups dealing with different types of conflict. She also offers educational and partnership trips to South Africa for groups as varied as high schools, churches, hospices, K-12 teachers, and women’s associations. These trips emphasize the opportunities to share our stories and experiences.
Nontombi Naomi Tutu plans to pursue a Masters in Divinity and is the single mother of two daughters and a son.

Richard Barrett

The Spiritual/Psychological Dimensions of Creativity and Flow

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The Spiritual/Psychological Dimensions of Creativity and Flow

Creativity, like every other attribute of human vitality is closely linked to the alignment of the ego’s motivations with the soul’s motivations. When you are in alignment with your soul, you not only experience high levels of creativity, you also experience flow. Richard will explain, by referencing his model of the Seven Stages of Psychological Development, how to attain and maintain high levels of creativity and flow. He will also explain the factors that block creativity and flow.

Bio info

Founder and chairman of the Barrett Values Centre

Richard Barrett is an author, speaker and internationally recognized thought leader on the evolution of human values in business and society. He is the founder and chairman of the Barrett Values Centre, a Fellow of the World Business Academy, Member of the Wisdom Council of the Centre for Integral Wisdom, Honorary Board Member of the Spirit of Humanity Forum, and Former Values Coordinator at the World Bank. In 1992 he started and ran the World Bank Spiritual Unfoldment Society.

Richard has been a visiting lecturer at the Consulting and Coaching for Change, Leadership Course run by the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and HEC in Paris. He has also been an Adjunct Professor at Royal Roads University, Institute for Values-based Leadership, and a visiting lecturer at the One Planet MBA at Exeter University.

Richard Barrett is the author of The Metrics of Human Consciousness (2015), Evolutionary Coaching: A Values-based Approach to Unleashing Human Potential (2014), The Values-Driven Organization: Unleashing Human Potential for Performance and Profit (2013), What My Soul Told Me: A Practical Guide to Soul Activation (2012), Love, Fear and the Destiny of Nations: The Impact of the Evolution of Human Consciousness on World Affairs (2011), The New Leadership Paradigm (2010), Building a Values-Driven Organization: A Whole System Approach to Cultural Transformation (2006), Liberating the Corporate Soul: Building a Visionary Organization (1998), and he is a contributing author to Psychometrics in Coaching (2012).

Jaume Gurt

The impact of spiritual and altruistic management on employee’s happiness, creativity and productivity: The Infojobs story

Abstract info

Academic research has demonstrated the benefits of happiness at work. Happy employees are more productive, creative and innovative. (1) Happiness at work also increases the likelihood of business sales and profits, protects employees from stress and decreases absenteeism.

The importance of spirituality and altruism in management plays a key role in business success. Managers who succeed in integrating spirituality into their work, focusing on values such as compassion, altruism, respect, integrity, self-understanding and honesty achieve larger success in the work setting compared to those who don’t make spiritual practice an essential aspect of management.

InfoJobs firmly believes in the impact of spiritual practice in management by promoting a work culture based on happiness and spirituality, and providing employees with resources and mechanisms to assist them in their spiritual growth.

(1) Happiness and productivity. A J. Oswald, E Proto, D Sgroi. University of Warwick (2014); World Happiness Report. Sustainable Development Solutions Network, United Nations (2013)

Bio info

Jaume Gurt is CEO of InfoJobs, the leading online recruitment portal in Spain. A Telecommunications Engineer by training with a PDD of IESE, he was appointed CEO of InfoJobs in 2010, during Spain’s great recession.

With an unemployment rate exceeding 20% in Spain, he strove to face the crisis promoting a company culture based on Happiness, Joy and People Development as the three core keys to innovate new products and boost efficiency and productivity.

He practices meditation, coaching techniques and is a NLP Master Practitioner.

Prior to joining InfoJobs, Gurt was Sales Advisor in tech companies such as Canon Spain, Didisa, Payma and KPNQwest.

Richard Boyatzis & Anthony Jack

Why Do You believe in God? Opposing Relationship of Empathy and Analytic Thinking.

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Why Do You believe in God? Opposing Relationship of Empathy and Analytic Thinking

A number of recent studies have established a link between analytic reasoning and religious disbelief. These studies are concluding that people who have more religious or spiritual beliefs are not as smart as others, in that they do not score as well on measures of analytic reasoning or IQ tests. These findings have been taken to support a dual-process account of religious belief, according to which intuitive automatic processes encourage belief whereas reflective reasoning discourages belief. We propose an alternative interpretation based on neuroimaging findings which reveal two large-scale brain networks that suppress each other. According to opposing domains theory, religious belief reflects a tension between two types of reflective reason – analytic vs. empathetic thinking. Opposing domains theory predicts both the negative association between religious spiritual belief and measures of analytic thinking and a positive association with measures of empathetic concern. Seven studies are reported which bear out these predictions using different measures of analytic thinking and empathetic concern. We show the association cannot be accounted for by socially desirable responding or by social activities associated with religion. First, we find that belief relates specifically to empathetic concern for others, not the motivation to seek comfort generated by loneliness and/or depression. Second, we observe a stronger association with measures of empathetic concern than measures of mentalizing or magical thinking which are predicted by the hypothesis of hyperactive agency detection. Third, we find that belief is not just related to increased identification with in-group members but also to increased identification with out-group members. Finally, we show that once analytic thinking and empathetic concern are accounted for, intuitive thinking negatively predicts belief.

Bio info

Richard Boyatzis is Distinguished University Professor, professor in Departments of Organizational Behavior, Psychology, and Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University, Adjunct Professor at ESADE. Having authored more than 150 articles, his books include The Competent Manager, and two international best-sellers: Primal Leadership with Daniel Goleman & Annie McKee; and Resonant Leadership, with McKee. His MOOC, Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence has now enrolled over 260,000 worldwide. Working with Professor Tony Jack and their latest neuroscience research, he will discuss results from a seven study research project showing how spirituality and religious beliefs are not linked to the empathetic neural network (the Default Mode Network which is also the key to creativity) and not the analytic (the Task Positive Network) that suppresses it.

Anthony Jack is Director of Research at the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, Principle Investigator of the Brain, Mind and Consciousness laboratory, and associate professor of Cognitive Science, Psychology, Philosophy, Neurology and Neuroscience at Case Western Reserve University. His undergraduate degree was in Psychology and Philosophy from Balliol College, Oxford University. His PhD was in Experimental Psychology from University College London. He then trained in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL, London and the Dept. of Neurology, Washington University in St. Louis Medical School. He has been leading the Brain, Mind and Consciousness lab at Case Western Reserve University since 2007.

Professor Jack has an established track record of interdisciplinary work, having published in Neuroscience, Psychology, Management and Philosophy journals. His work synthesizes theory and data from different fields with the overarching goal of promoting human flourishing. Professor Jack is best known for developing opposing domains theory, which builds on insights from psychology and philosophy to explain the interaction of two wide-scale brain networks. According to opposing domains theory humans have evolved two neurally distinct and partially incompatible forms of reason: analytic reasoning, built on the evidence of the senses, and empathetic reasoning, built on internal information (emotional and visceral awareness). At the core of empathetic reasoning lies our capacity for intersubjectivity (understanding human experience) and moral concern. Professor Jack’s work tests this theory and applies it to variety of phenomena, including: ethics/moral reasoning, processes of attention, dual-process models of cognition, the philosophical problems of consciousness and free will, spirituality/religious belief, emotion regulation, psychological health and leadership/management.

Karen Kimsey-House & Henry Kimsey-House

The Co-Active Way: Context and Wholeness in Work and Life

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The Co-Active Way: Context and Wholeness in Work and Life

In order to generate wholeness and creativity in our workplace, we must have new models of leadership that foster connection and encourage diversity and inclusion. Traditional, hierarchical leadership models have a handful of people at the top managing and controlling a much larger number of people at the bottom. In this model, leaders are the ones at the top. At their best, these leaders guide and direct. At their worst, they dominate and control. This one-dimensional view of leadership divides us, creating a world of “us” and “them”, of winners and losers, of those who have power and those who do not.

In reality, leadership is multi-dimensional. In any project or community there are many different leaders, each leading in different ways with people changing roles fluidly. In any given day, each of us moves through a range of different leadership dimensions. We are all leaders in one way or another and when we choose to be responsible for what is happening in and around us, we are able to work together in ways that includes and utilize the unique talents of everyone. In this more accurate multi-dimensional view of leadership, everyone has the capacity to be a leader. New models of leadership are needed that more inclusive and provide for multiple expressions of leadership. Everyone has within them the capacity to lead and any organization or community is most dynamic, most alive and most productive when there is a commitment to leadership at every level.

In our presentation, attendees will experience a new model of multi-dimensional leadership called The Co-Active Leadership Model and learn how to us this model to generate collaboration, creativity and shared ownership with others in work and in life.

Bio info

Karen Kimsey-House, MFA, CPCC is the CEO and co-founder of CTI. A pioneer in the coaching and leadership development field, Karen is a sought-after speaker, Leadership Program workshop designer and leader, and co-author of the coaching industry best-seller, Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives, 3rd edition.

Karen has been a successful entrepreneur since the age of 13, when she formed her own cleaning company. Early on, she also developed a passion for theater, subsequently receiving her Master of Fine Arts in Communication and Theater. It was during her early days as a working actress that Karen discovered the importance of context, understanding the meaning behind actions and words, the diversity of human experience, and fostering emotional connection.

Those important discoveries, coupled with a growing hunger to serve the common good, led Karen on a quest to search for a way to work with people that was humanistic – that would not only draw upon everything that she had learned in the theater world but would also tap into her entrepreneurial and creative spirit.

In 1986, she founded The Learning Annex San Francisco adult education program, which quickly became one of the most successful programs in the company. Karen continued to look for structures that would serve to empower people and provide tools for them to engage with each other in a way that generated authentic connection and intimate relationship.

In 1988 she co-founded The Coaches Training Institute with Henry Kimsey-House and Laura Whitworth. Karen felt that coaching could give people the tools they needed to understand what mattered most to them, make quality-of-life choices, and be fully present with the experience of their life. As the coach training and certification program evolved, more and more people were entering the program to enhance their professional skills in business – to be better leaders and to be more coach-like in their interactions with colleagues and direct reports. The Co-Active Coaching Model evolved to a Co-Active Skills Model – an intercultural approach to human connection and relationships that could be applied in all walks of life.

CTI became the first organization to be accredited by the International Coach Federation and is now the largest in-person coach training school in the world. CTI continues to be recognized for the proprietary Co-Active model (an intercultural human relationship model) and are considered pioneers in positioning coaching and relationship management as core leadership competencies in organizations. Today, CTI is a global organization with 175+ faculty members, 40,000+ people trained, 7,000 certified Co-Active coaches, thousands of Leadership program graduates, and loyal organizational clients in diverse industry sectors that span the globe.

Karen continues to innovate, to grow a new generation of leaders, and is devoted to her mission of global, transformative change. She recently completed a new book mapping the Co-Active Model to neuroscience and is working with her husband, Henry, on the evolution of the Co-Active® Dimensional Leadership Model®, a powerful new model of leadership.

Henry Kimsey-House, co-founder of CTI, is the lead designer of CTI’s renowned coaching course curriculum, as well as CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program. Today, Henry continues to develop and refine CTI’s coaching and leadership programs, leveraging his creative insights, bold energy, and instinctual understanding of how adult learners learn best, to construct unique and powerful learning experiences. With deep conviction that education should be driven by immersive, contextually based learning,

Henry creates richly engaging and transformative learning environments, where retention approaches 80% rather than the traditional 20%. Henry is co-author of the best-seller Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives, considered to be a seminal work in the field, and is co-author of The Stake: The Making of Leaders, published in 2013.

An actor since age nine, Henry honed his insights into human emotion and the narrative process through classical theatrical training and years of stage, television and film experience.

Henry transitioned from acting and joined the Actors Information Project (AIP), a career counseling service for actors in New York. As vice president of curriculum development, he created a variety of successful workshops and programs to help new actors thrive in their chosen craft.

In the 1980s, Henry became one of the first professional coaches, with a specialty in coaching artists and actors. In 1992, he drew upon his creativity and coaching talents and turned his attention to a broader audience, co-founding The Coaches Training Institute (CTI). The rest is history.

CTI became the first organization to be accredited by the International Coach Federation and is now the largest in-person coach training school in the world. CTI continues to be recognized for the proprietary Co-Active model (an intercultural human relationship model) and are considered pioneers in positioning coaching and relationship management as core leadership competencies in organizations. Today, CTI is a global organization with 175+ faculty members, 40000+ people trained, 6500+ certified Co-Active coaches, thousands of Leadership program graduates, and loyal organizational clients in diverse industry sectors that span the globe.