Current Issue: Integral Business (Vol. 8, Nos. 1 & 2)

By: Lyn Lord

This special issue devoted to Integral Business contains 13 contributions. The issue features a wide range of content that includes case studies, field reports, original research, and innovative models of doing business. Natura, Brazil's leading cosmetics company, played an important role in supporting the issue's publication. 

We open the issue with Dean Anderson’s “An Integrated System for Organizational Transformation.” Anderson, more than any other business consultant, has developed a unique integral method for whole system change. He makes a solid case that to change an organizational system you need an integral approach that is multi-dimensional, long-term, and engages all members of the system in a powerful way.

Next we have Mariana Bozesan’s two-part article, “Demystifying the Future of Investing.” The first part of her article focuses on the perspective of an emerging kind of integral investor, and the second part introduces a new model of integral investing. Together these two articles serve as an exciting window into what an integral approach to investing consists of and who is already engaged in this kind of approach. What she accomplishes in these two articles is quite stunning—in many ways, she is aiming Integral Theory right at the heart of capitalism—with revolutionary implications.

In Marco Robledo’s “Integrating Management Theory: Using the AQAL Model for Multiparadigm Management Research,” the quadrants are used to frame an extensive review of 50 top management theories. He goes on to use Gareth Morgan’s eight metaphors of organization to further classify and understand these theories. Robledo models for us how we might combine an integral lens (i.e., the quadrants) with other lenses (Morgan’s metaphors) to integrate the best of many approaches in a given field.

Next we have Alex Howard and Karim Hirani’s “Transformational Change and Stages of Development in the Workplace: A Heuristic Inquiry.” Howard and Hirani employ the Diamond Approach method of heuristic inquiry to explore how leaders experience their own stage transformations. They identify five themes that shed light on a first-person view of one’s transformation through third-person structures.

In her article, “The Organizational Power Matrix: Toward a Metapraxis of Power,” Cecile Green explores the important issue of power, which is largely absent in Integral Theory. She makes use of a number of Mark Edwards’ integral lenses to provide insight into power and how an integral approach can better include it. An important part of her work is to create a power matrix by combining two lenses (an internal-external one and an individual-collective one).

Shifting from power to patterns, we move to Michiel Doorn, Sven Stimac, and Wouter Schik’s “Process Innovation in the Netherlands: Using Pattern Language for Complex Sustainable Development Projects.” This article spotlights 12 patterns that emerged from the authors’ original research conducted through interviews of people involved in the staging of a large horticulture world expo.

The next two articles showcase Natura. First we have Marcelo Cardoso and Ricardo Ferrer’s “The Integral Management Meta-model: A Management Model for Second-tier Organizations,” the second article in the issue devoted to integral management. The majority of the article is focused on describing the main components of a model that was developed by Integral Institute Brazil based in part on the management system used at Natura. Second, we have Andrea Vernacci’s case study: “Development of an Educational Architecture Based on the Integral Model.” The approach to corporate education described in this article is based on Robert Kegan’s developmental model. As such, it is an exciting example of how a company is using an AQAL approach to support education across an entire organization (so far, over 30 programs have been developed using this integral architecture).

The issue also includes two essays: Brian Whetten's “Integrating Money and Meaning: The Role of Purpose and Profit in Integral Business” and Brad Richardson’s “Holarchies and Technology Evolvability,” which explores the ways that technologies evolve in an analogous fashion to natural evolution.

The book review in the issue comes from Jordan Luftig and showcases "The Opposable Mind: Winning through Integrative Thinking, by Roger Martin."

Finally, we have a conference report from Natura, “The Integral Week at Natura Cosmetics,” by Helder Kamei and colleagues. This report does a great job describing a two-day integral fair and subsequent three-day incubator that focused on integral workshops.

For more information, click here.