The importance of developing a workforce’s spiritual intelligence as well as its intellectual and emotional abilities is set out in three programmes recently uploaded to the PM Channel (www.thepmchannel.com), an online television channel specialising in project management. The programmes feature Alan Harpham, who, among other things is the Chairman of Workplace Matters, an ecumenical charity which takes Christian values into the workplace,
“For successful project management – as for success in other areas of organisational life – you need to create a caring environment that draws out underlying wisdom and releases energy,” said Alan. “Many people feel that their work isn’t valued and that work itself has lost its value – and, with this has come a growing desire to find work where people can be themselves in body, mind and spirit.
“Research – such as that by Gallup – shows that there’s a strong link between employee engagement, motivation and productivity. It suggests that financial results will be better, customers delighted and staff will thrive where the organisation can find the right balance between two management paradigms: the dominant economic – which is finance-based, rational and controlling – and the emerging social paradigm based around relationships, ethics and inspiration.”
In the programmes, Alan, who is also Chairman of the APM Group; a former teacher on the MSc in Project Management programme at Cranfield University, and – with Dr Judi Neal of the University of Arkansas, director of the Center for Faith and Spirit at Work – the co-author of a book, called ‘The Spirit of Project Management’, explains:
- Spirituality in Project Management – ‘spirituality’; exploring why this is important in projects, and outlining how it can be developed.
- The Church of Scotland and Programme Management – with special reference to a project involving the Church of Scotland, the key stage when an organisation recognises the need to change and stops doing ‘more of the same’.
- Tackling Impossible Programmes – why some of the most crucial development programmes struggle to get going.
The PM Channel has been created by the Newbury-based Provek Limited, a company wholly owned by HCS Group Charity Limited to which it gift aids its profits for the advancement of education.
Comment: Including spirituality within the spectrum of project management may sound a bit ‘New Age’, ‘eccentric’ and/or ‘left field’. Yet, in the last ten years we’ve seen the growth in credibility given to spiritual intelligence in a workplace context and we’ve seen the growth in internet-delivered television. These days, neither of these concepts should be seen as particularly unusual – and, consequently, both should be accorded a valuable place in both life and work.