Hosts: MSR Flamekeepers Committee
Date: January 16, 2019,
9:30 – 10:30am Pacific,
11:30am – 12:30pm Central
12:30 – 1:30pm Eastern
5:30 – 6:30pm London
The MSR Flamekeepers Committee invites you to join the founders and early leaders of MSR for the first "MSR Big Questions Webinar." The Flamekeepers Committee has been meeting for two years and we realize that the MSR leadership needs to focus their attention on the annual conference and on Academy of Management requirements such as the AOM Five Year Review. We believe we can serve an important function as founders and elders by posing big questions, questions without answers, for dialogue in our MSR community that get at the heart of the purpose of MSR. The world is changing rapidly and we face many challenges such as increasing polarization, violence, and authoritarianism. We see the rise of strong man leaders and challenges to democracy and the rule of law in several parts of the world. We see devastating effects of climate change in the face of climate deniers and leaders who denigrate science. These are big problems and we wonder what role the research, teaching and practice of the MSR field can play.
We believe MSR can have a bigger impact on AOM and the management field. Chris Laszlo, the newest member of the Flamekeeper Committee, suggests that the larger issue might be related to the rapid growth in Positive Organizational Scholarship and Appreciative Inquiry and strength-based approaches in the last 18-19 years, together with developments in the natural sciences that suggest ontologically that our world is much more connected than we ever thought it was. In fact, it's almost 180 degrees opposite the Enlightenment, Newtonian, Cartesian, neo-classical version of reality. There's a convergence between what the new sciences are saying and what Perennial spiritual insights have, not just about the nature of human beings and the nature of the world, but what it means to live a full life, and what it means to be a responsible citizen in the world. So we're bringing together science and ancient wisdom. In the last 15, 20, 40 years, advances in science – the natural sciences and the social sciences in particular – and the rapid growth of interest in mindfulness practices – are converging to create a new kind of reality in the management world. None of this is new, but it's the speed of convergence that's meaningful. The point is are we reaching a critical level now where we have an opportunity to move the needle in the theory and practice of management.
The goal of this webinar is not to provide definitive answers to the Big Questions but to provoke new ideas for MSR research, teaching, and practice. This is the first in a series of Big Questions Webinars and this dialogue will help us select topics for future calls.
Flamekeeper Big Questions:
Outline of Session:
The Purpose of the Flamekeeper Committee:
In 2016, at the invitation of Jim Stoner, the Chair of the Management, Spirituality and Religion (MSR) Interest Group, Judi Neal created the MSR Flamekeepers Committee. The purpose of the Flamekeepers Committee is to recognize and honor long-time members of the MSR Special Interest Group who have made significant contributions to the science and practice of management, spirituality and religion, and to the leadership of MSR. The Flamekeepers Committee also provides opportunities for deep relational connection among the MSR elders, in support of the founding vision of MSR. Members of the Flamekeepers Committee include the three founders – Lee Robbins, Jerry Biberman, and Judi Neal, as well as two early members – Richard Peregoy and Yochanan Altman. Chris Laszlo just joined the Flamekeepers Committee to serve as a bridge from the past to the future.
"In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions. When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence? Where we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence is where we have experienced the loss of soul. Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves." ~ Angeles Arrien in the forward to Gabrielle Roth. Maps to Ecstasy: The Healing Power of Movement. (New World Library, 1998.) pages xv-xvi