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New book: The Enlightened Organization

Friday, May 2, 2014 - Catherine Berney

The book ‘The Enlightened Organization’ by Catherine Berney is a tool kit designed for executives to help them connect more meaningfully with their purpose and role. Its aim is to enable the reader to become the best that they can be and in the process create a more successful organisation.

The book is published by Kogan page and was released on 3 May 2014, with a launch at our London offices on 8 May.

Building a purposeful organization

Organizations form the lifeblood of our society and hold the power to shape and transform our world. They hold the potential through interconnectedness and creativity to build something altogether great. This is even truer now, as businesses grow in size and extend their reach. However, operating as they do within a complex and changing global environment they need increasingly to be purposeful if they are to achieve their desired impact in the world.

Hierarchy and known strategies are falling away, being replaced by values, relatedness and emergence. Organizations, and therefore their executive leaders, need increasingly to focus on winning hearts and minds, building radar and reach, maintaining strategic stakeholder relationships, and ultimately protecting fiercely their brand and reputation.

A framework

At Mannaz, we have been successfully working with our clients to resolve this dilemma, providing them with a framework to help:

  • define and embody their purpose in the world

  • understand and play to their strengths, while also being attentive to their weaknesses

  • retain an openness and spirit of inquiry about themselves, others and their operating environment, remaining always alert to what might be required of them

  • be discerning about the actions to be taken in facing their daily challenges with success.

This framework is described in The Enlightened Organization and comprises three distinct steps to wisdom.

Step one concerns purpose, step two insight, step 3 openness; landing finally at the last step, wisdom.

Figure 1 Three steps to wisdom 3-steps-to-wisdom

The implications for leadership

At Mannaz, we help our executive leaders to climb the three steps to wisdom for themselves. We show them how they can align theirs and others contributions with the needs of their organization and ultimately with the needs of the operating context. We use the analogy of a tuning fork to describe this process, a model that is again described more fully in The Enlightened Organization.

Figure 2 The tuning fork the-turning-fork

In the changing landscape in which leaders increasingly operate, new skills are undoubtedly required. Skills that include the ability to be able to embody and defend purpose, work with interconnectedness, build relationship capability, enable change, use conflict as a resource and let go of knowing. However, perhaps what is of the greatest significance is their ability to create parallel shifts in both prongs, thereby enabling real progress to occur. After that, the task of leadership becomes one of balancing and adjusting the elements comprised within each prong so that they resonate and stay attuned with one another.


Catherine Berney has already received a number of kind endorsements.

Matthew Taylor, the Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, writes on the book cover: “Catherine Berney’s wide-ranging and highly readable book rests on an invaluable insight – the way to understand and meet the needs of organizations is to understand and meet our own needs as human beings. This book can help you become a better leader and a more fulfilled person.”

Andrew Kakabadse, the Professor of Governance and Leadership at Henley Business School, writes in the foreword:

“This book offers the executive reader practical models and techniques that will help them to address their own unique dilemmas of leadership on behalf of their organization. Drawing on her background in law, finance and organisational psychology, Catherine Berney bridges multiple disciplines to offer wisdom and clarity into the heart of what matters in business today. She demonstrates how work is required at both the personal and systemic level if real success or enlightenment is ever to occur; and in this light, her model of the two-pronged tuning fork suggests resonance, and the ultimate fine tuning of both.”

The book is available on Amazon.


About the author

Catherine Berney is an organizational psychologist and thought leader in the field. Passionate about building and maintaining awareness, insight and capability, she works systemically to improve performance, interpersonal effectiveness and collaboration.