Excuse me for a few moments while I go all nerd on you guys. Remember Star Trek the Next Generation and some of the movies the series spawned? Remember the mega-enemy called the Borg? That unthinking collective life form fused with machine, mandated only to learn and assimilate. What evil lurked behind the questioning of individuality and free will? What if the Borg were characterized as a peaceful, benevolent, higher life form dedicated to educating and spreading harmony throughout the universe? Phasers on hold folks!
As science fiction like as this may sound, there is solid neuroscience today that supports the idea of using positive leadership, policies and actions to establish a culture of ethicality. The concept of Neuro-Darwinism supports the more a concept (positive or negative) is focused on in the brain the more it is reinforced and over time becomes dominant. Simply put, the more we think and emphasize something the more dominant it becomes. Over time the dominant idea becomes central to the organization driving its philosophy, its policy making and its overall culture including its HR decisions.
Getting back to the Star Trek analogy, it was discovered by the heroic Captain Picard that the Borg was in reality an appendage of its evil queen, whose motivation was power and domination of the universe. Again if we replace the evil queen with a benevolent child-like entity, wow how the story changes.
As organizational leaders, CEO’s presidents, owners and senior managers can very much model the Borg queen. The thoughts and ideas they put out to the organization as a whole will be reinforced by those around them. The more the thought becomes rooted, the stronger it becomes. People like Deepak Chopra have advanced the idea of a collective consciousness using sound scientific and philosophical arguments. The study of Neuro-plasticity has shown tangible proof through CT scans and MRI that brain physiology is changed by learning and repetition. If we can effect changes on our brains, then why can we not effect change on organizations?
Ethical leaders now that by providing supportive, positive spaces promotes increased success and profitability. Ethical educational leaders can effectively implement the same type of change that has the potential for systemic change within society. Imagine this mindset taking hold in five year olds and being allowed to grow and strengthen. Food for thought.
Maybe all the Borg queen needed was to as the song says “Put a little love in your heart”. What different story line!