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In 2015, I had a pivotal AHA moment!

It was when I visited the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan.

Now Bhutan is an incredible place, a tiny country sandwiched between India and China.  The first thing that hits you is the beautiful unspoilt natural environment that surrounds you, majestic mountains, winding rivers, trees and forests. You are, of course, on the east side of the Himalayas.

The second thing that hits you is the people, kind and calm. Culture is important.   It was a breathtaking background to the Business Transformation program I was there to attend.  Business, nature and happiness – now that sounds like my cup of tea!

Here’s what I learnt…

The program was 7 days and it brought together business leaders, community champions and changemakers from around the world.  It was an opportunity for mindfulness, reflection, learning and insights.

One of the biggest ideas I took away from the program was that our capacity to lead social and business transformation is fueled by our own personal inner transformation.

This meant aligning our attention with our intentions, using personal reflection, connecting into our inspiration sources from within and then igniting the collective interest.

This underlines how we approach leadership development at Alyceum. Our capacity to lead is fuelled by our ability to attend to our own personal inner transformation which includes our ability to know ourselves, understand ourselves and lead the change we want to see in the world.

Globally, we have important work to do to ensure a just and sustainable world. The social and business agenda must be focused on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations which are a global agenda for peace and prosperity for all people and the planet. It outlines the global goals and targets that are critically important for our people and planet as we look towards 2030.

And the question is…how do we achieve these goals?  To eradicate poverty, to seek human rights of all and achieve gender and racial equality, to achieve a healthy and sustainable planet for all living creatures.

One call to arms has alluded to the lesson I learnt in Bhutan, that our global goals can only be achieved through our own personal inner transformation.

And very excitingly, a number of global foundations have come together to identify the Inner Development Goals to highlight the inner development needed to support our global Sustainable Development Goals.

The Inner Development Goals covers 23 skills and qualities over 5 dimensions and they include the following.

1. Being — Relationship to Self

  • Inner compass
  • Integrity and Authenticity
  • Openness and Learning mindset
  • Self-awareness
  • Presence

2. Thinking — Cognitive Skills

  • Critical thinking
  • Complexity awareness
  • Perspective skills
  • Sense-making
  • Long-term orientation and Visioning

3. Relating — Caring for Others and the World

  • Appreciation
  • Connectedness
  • Humility
  • Empathy and Compassion

4. Collaborating — Social Skills

  • Communication skills
  • Co-creation skills
  • Inclusive mindset and intercultural competence
  • Trust
  • Mobilization skills

5. Acting — Driving change

  • Courage
  • Creativity
  • Optimism
  • Perseverance

If you want to lead positive change in the world, these Inner Development Goals are a great place to start. If you want to join with others to develop yourself then I invite you to join the Greater Good Collective, to share the learning journey with others as we improve ourselves to improve the world around us.

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