Our world is at a crossroads; we must choose between two alternatives. The first is capitalism as we know it today-an amoral culture of short-term self-interest, profit maximization, emphasis on shareholder value, isolationist thinking, and profligate disregard of long-term consequences. Based on narrow assumptions about human nature and motivation, this system is unsustainable, a monster set to consume itself. The second alternative is “spiritual capital”-a values-based business culture in which wealth is accumulated in order to generate a decent profit while acting to raise the common good. Rather than emphasizing shareholder value, spiritual capital emphasizes “stakeholder value,” where stakeholders include the whole human race, present and future, and the planet itself. Spiritual capital nourishes and sustains the human spirit. The crucial question is how we can move from one alternative to the other-how we can move from present-day business capitalism to Spiritual Capital.
Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall introduce the concept of spiritual intelligence (SQ), and describe how it can be used to shift individuals and our culture from a state of acting from lower motivations (fear, greed, anger, and self-assertion) to one of acting from higher motivations (exploration, cooperation, power-within, mastery, and higher service). Zohar and Marshall describe how this shift actually happens a given organizational culture. They look in depth at the issues that dominate corporate culture and how they are influenced by the processes of SQ transformation and discuss the leadership elite who must be the ones to bring about and embody this cultural shift. Finally, Zohar and Marshall argue that spiritual capital is still a valid and workable form of capitalism and detail what we, as individuals, can do to make it happen.