Coherence is a wonderful word. It refers to a logical, orderly and harmonious connectedness between parts, implying order in relation to any system, and nowhere is coherence more innate than in the human body. We often experience coherence in our daily lives, and if it happens spontaneously — as when our dog, or four year old, arrives at the side of our bed and lets us know we are needed — we laugh with the sweet sensation of our heart “swelling” beyond its normal dimension.
In 1976, I began daily meditation and soon discovered the benefits and powers of this practice, but I did not become mindful of the importance of coherence until about ten years ago. Thanks to the science of HeartMath I recognize that the state of coherence is closely related to the generative state of meditation, with powerful applications to workplace culture.
The dictionary gives us two definitions for coherence:
1) The quality of being logical and consistent.
2) The quality of forming a unified whole.
This second definition informs real leadership, implying order and a pathway for unlimited achievement, emanating from the heart. The heart is the residence of consciousness and intelligence, and throughout the Ages, the ancient wisdom of sages, gurus, and teachers has echoed that it is the heart’s state that informs and inspires the mind.
In business organizations, the normal dimension of most peoples’ hearts is significantly contracted, operating in a non-coherent state. Let’s face it, fear inhibits and in most organizations there is plenty of fear and apprehension that subjugates individuals and the whole enterprise into a self-protecting, dumb-downed state. It’s the antithesis of brilliance, certainly not Conscious Capitalism. A real leader who recognizes this lack of coherence would do everything possible to design and nurture an expansive, generative workplace — a more unified whole, a coherent place that places people first.
The greatest competitive advantage for any business is the ability to get to insight every day — sometimes improvisationally, sometimes from facilitated analysis and planning – and that advantage is greatly enhanced through coherence. Each of us can experience the state of coherence that gets us to insight — and that exhilaration! It’s a heart feeling that happens when we, or our team, operate brilliantly and improve upon previous understanding. Everything meshes magically. Coherently. Suddenly, organically, genius resides! It’s thrilling.
At the root of Conscious Capitalism is a brilliant, collaborative and coherent organizational culture. We can get to insight naturally, and more often, through the powerful attractiveness of coherent endeavor, which opens up the pathways to unlimited achievement.