Transforming Fear to Joy

Designing the Adaptive Enterprise — Part III: Changing Values

This is a three-part blog, click here to read Part I and Part II.

The synergy of changing values and economic necessity is transforming
capitalism.     Patricia Aburdene, Megatrends 2010

When American futurist, Patricia Aburdene, wrote the above passage, she was forecasting the dawning of a new economic era.  Just as the Industrial Age gave way to the Information Age during the late 70s and early 80s, a new era of interaction and innovation is supplanting the information economy.  Although Aburdene calls this new era of social transformation the Economy of Consciousness, other names have also surfaced as identifiers—Collaboration, Innovation, Interaction.  Regardless of these different labels, what is held in common are this era’s characteristics:

• global social systems change (political and economic)
• economic necessity
• value-driven trends

Adapted from Megatrends 2010

In the cross-border business world, government deficits, escalating energy and healthcare costs, recessions and recent market crashes, and executive greed and indictments symbolize a crumbling social order predicated with insecurity, uncertainty and mistrust.  In the face of all this bad news, the good news is the search for new solutions has triggered a reinvention of capitalism and social democracy led by a shift in values.  When human society begins to shift its values, we are manifesting evolutionary growth or raising our consciousness.  In other words, our discovery that the old ways of being (i.e., capitalism, communism, social democracy) no longer serve us, opens us up for new possibilities.

Aburdene’s foremost new possibility or “megatrend”—the power of spirituality—necessitates at its core a changing value set.  These new values emerge from inquiry or looking within to understand and create added value.

The list of 30 values below will give you an opportunity to look within and discover what you hold as valuable.  Because your values drive your behaviour, you are in essence bringing awareness to your personal brand.

Once you have chosen 10, reduce your list to your top 5.  Then once more reduce it to 3.  These final three values are CORE TO WHO YOU ARE (your personal brand).

The next time you need to make a decision, ask yourself if your decision will bring you the three values you chose.   (Will this bring me peace? love? joy?) Only when you can answer ‘yes’ to all three, should you follow through on your decision.

How closely do your core values align with the Adaptive Enterprise’s draft list of values below?

1) Community (dialogue, inclusion)
2) Nurturance (meaning, growth-based participation)
3) Humanity (dignity, spirituality)
4) Beauty (collective creativity, participative democracy)

To read more on designing for adaptive systems, click here for Part I and Part II.


Aburdene, Patricia.  2005.  Megatrends 2010:  The Rise of Conscious Capitalism, Hampton Roads Publishing Co., Inc., VA.

STS-RT Discovery Sub-Team (Doug Austrom, Don De Guerre, Bob Laliberte, Helen Maupin, Bernard Mohr and Carolyn Ordowich).  2011.  “Designing the Adaptive Enterprise.”  Presentation at New Orleans Annual Meeting, September 28th to October 1st.

Picture of Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.


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