indigenous philosophies for team and leadership development
The Western corporate business model has been dominated by the ‘lets make as much money as we can, NOW’ - a very linear approach with a limited time perspective that focuses on the present. Other possible dimensions of wealth are not usually considered.
There is lots of reading and research when considering ‘wealth’ as a more hollistic concept. This includes developing physical wealth, spiritual wealth, environmental wealth, marital wealth and others. But I want to draw from the Maori experience and take the concept ‘multi-dimensional wealth’ even further to include two more aspects;
Cultures have different perspectives of time. The western corporate perspective has a very limited view on time, focusing on the development of the present and only a short time into the future, usually their lifetime. Maori have a much wider view of time, encompassing past, present and future into the decision-making process.
Maori believe that there where two worlds; Te Kauwae Raro – the seen world , where we live in and Te Kauwae Runga the unseen world, where our ancestors, and the gods live in. Society has put great emphasis on developing this seen world. But we also have a spiritual world and societies that do not create spiritual wealth, will see themselves in communities that have a poverty of spirit.
When we consider time and realms in our decision making process, we humble ourselves to that fact that we are not the only ones who are living in this world, there are others who have lived here and others who are yet to live here. We acknowledge that what lives in front of our eyes is not the only thing in existence. There is an unseen existence that also must be respected.
The Warriors Way starts to address this concept of multi-dimensional wealth, with the teambuilding activity ‘Papatuanuku’s Garden’. Using natural resources to create products, the exercise demonstrates that we have everything we need now to sustain ourselves. The world does not need more money, more development, more, more and more of everything. Everything we need to sustain us and the world has already been given to us. We are just not using it.