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HRINZ Conference 2004 Shifting the Thinking
HRINZ Conference 2004 Shifting the Thinking
next practice in people management

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concurrent workshops  (fringe)

F5 Bringing Spirit to Work

Leanne Holdsworth, Director, Holistic Business Solutions Ltd

How do organisations create and nurture positive cultures where humanistic values of honesty, empathy, love and care replace ego-driven behaviours of pettiness, back-stabbing, greed and an absence of ethics?

This workshop will explore themes of ego, spiritual and emotional intelligence and human needs, upon a backdrop of understanding levels of consciousness.

Spirit at work, by its nature means that there is no absolute on what it is and how it should play out in the workplace. Therefore during this workshop, participants will be invited to explore their own preferences as well as be exposed to current thinking on spirit at work.

Spirit at work is about creating work environments where people can safely take their humanity to work. When there is spirit at work, humanistic values are seen to be operating. And most importantly, when spirit at work exists, people often talk about these organisations as good places to work.

Session Indicator




All levels

Grunt Factor: 





Presentation 30%; Q&A 15%; group work 15%; forum 45%




Spirit at work is more likely to occur when:

The organisation has:

  • Clarity of purpose and vision
  • Successfully enrolled staff in its purpose and vision

The organisation’s leaders have:

  • High levels of spiritual and emotional intelligence
  • An understanding of levels of consciousness and how these impact on organisational performance

Staff have:

  • Support in growing levels of spiritual and emotional intelligence
  • An environment that truly nurtures humanistic values

The workshop outline (including learning methodologies employed) will include:

  • Open discussion of spirit at work
  • Presentation of models of levels of consciousness
  • Self assessment against a level of consciousness model
  • Facilitated discussion on using these to support organisational cohesion and buy in to organisational vision and purpose
  • Presentation on spiritual intelligence, strategies to improve it, and its relationship to the other intelligences including emotional intelligence

It is acknowledged that the quantity of material being covered in the workshop is substantial. To maximise learning opportunities, the presentations will be backed up with references for further post-conference research. The split between presentation, facilitated discussion and self-assessment is approximately 30%, 45% and 15% respectively. In order to balance quantity of material covered with depth of material covered, the facilitated group discussion will be managed in a way that supports internal reflection.

Learning objectives for the workshop include:

  • Having a working knowledge of levels of consciousness.
  • Understanding the resources to become more skilled in this area.
  • Being able to verbalise their own definition and preferences around spirit at work.
  • Being able to ‘language’ spirit at work to different audiences.
  • Understanding distinctions between spiritual and emotional intelligence and how they can be used to support spirit at work

Leanne Holdsworth is the author of the book, A New Generation of Business Leaders, which case studies Australian and New Zealand business leaders who have ‘done well by doing good’.

She has a consulting practice, Holistic Business Solutions Ltd, through which she supports organisations in their quest for improving their holistic people leadership skills and corporate social responsibility performance. She is also the sustainable development adviser to the Office of the Auditor General.

Leanne is a reformed chartered accountant (finalist in the Young Chartered Accountant of the Year award, 2001) who brings a pragmatic approach to the ideal of creating work environments that support people bringing their ‘whole selves to work’.


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