I had the opportunity and privilege of sharing my thoughts on Conscious Business with over 100 women entrepreneurs at the WCEI2011 event in Sydney last week. A good omen was that I discovered the endnote speaker of the day, Linda Dunkel of Interaction Associates, a very well established, international consulting firm, was also speaking about Conscious Leadership. We became good friends and made great “bookends”.

Interaction Associates invented the word facilitation and now specialise in “Facilitative Leadership” – a process of managing, navigating and capitalising on change through collaboration and sharing responsibility for success.   They have found that the best Facilitative Leaders are strategic thinkers; believe strongly in collaboration and are skilled at creating the right conditions for innovation, building agreement, structuring decision-making, and convening the appropriate stakeholders. These important skills ensure that collaboration occurs seamlessly and doesn’t get bogged down, lead to consensus paralysis, or fail entirely. Surely,  all skills and attributes that will be needed by a Conscious Host in a travel community that is is becoming ever more complex and volatile. For more information, read this excellent introduction to Facilitative Leadership here.

I retitled my presentation “Crossing the Chasm – Women Entrepreneurs as Agents of Change” and took the liberty of suggesting that it is business, especially grassroots, local small business that will make the greatest contribution to innovation and and our ability to breakthrough rather than breakdown under the converging forces of change.

An added bonus was that Linda Dunkel kindly made an introduction to Raj Sisodia, author of a book, Firms of Endearment,  that has really encouraged me to persist with the concept of Conscious Travel; and Jeff Klein who in addition to being a founding trustee of the  Conscious Capital Institute operates his own marketing firm, Working For Good . Jeff has produced a six week course on the Power of Conscious Capitalism and Working For Good that you can access here. It starts on September 22nd – so hurry!

The Conscious Capital Institute is holding its annual summit in Texas in October and, somehow, I will be there. Thus far, most of these innovative new ways of doing business have been undertaken by fairly large firms – or ones that through their success grew into large firms. I am hoping to show that their message is perhaps even more applicable and important to the diverse enterprises that comprise the global tourism economy and that tourism could play a major role in diffusing these improvements to the biggest change agent on the planet – private enterprise!!

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