New Economy Journal

Integral Accounting: Reframing Human Engagement

Volume 2, Issue 2

May 6, 2020

By - Christine McDougall

Piece length: 674 words

Cover photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash
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Considering value in 6 domains – some non transferable – never giving any one domain dominion over another.

Look around you. Lift your head from the computer and notice your surroundings. We live in a world rich with diversity. Multi-sensory, multi-colour.

From where I sit I can see trees, the sunlight, birds, fruit, and modern livingry tools all without turning my head.

We have somehow managed to reduce all of these things to a single lens called money. And in our haste to reduce, we lose the richness of all of the experiences our Universe provides every moment.

Integral Accounting isn’t just another way of looking at value and reducing it to the single metric of money. Integral Accounting is a way to see value in all things in the way they are expressed. To value the shade of the tree, with no needed reflex to convert that value to money – or time, which is often money in disguise.

This can be hard to do in the beginning because we have been so conditioned to see value through the single lens of money.

To learn Integral Accounting therefore is to learn to see the world, people, and experiences with new eyes. To refuse the temptation of seeing through the lens of how much it will cost. How much will I get? How can we make money from this? Or how will we fund this? Don’t we need a balance sheet, and how do we include the shade of a tree in that?

At its core, Integral Accounting starts with valuing all in an agnostic way.

Buckminster Fuller used to say that pollution was simply stuff out of place. We make it out to be bad or wrong, but really it is neither. It is simply something that is in the wrong place.

Humans are generally neither bad nor wrong. They can be in the wrong place. A place that does not allow them to be more whole. You probably know that feeling.

If you have any recognition that the way we measure value in our world is part of a larger problem, then an exploration of Integral Accounting is worth considering. If you have ever felt personally that your own value has not been recognised at the table of our current world of business, then Integral Accounting may support your viable and whole expression of value.

If you see the world through the lens of scarcity, then Integral Accounting will support you to reframe that lens to one of abundance.

This will not happen immediately. It takes time to untangle the deep conditioning we have all experienced as part of living in our world.

While measuring the triple bottom line has been an improvement on measuring just profit, both these approaches still engage with measuring and reducing to a dollar figure.

How can we write a business plan, or send out a report to shareholders if we do not measure the bottom line? Great question. Integral Accounting is a whole way of being, and in its fullest expression makes many of our business tools no longer relevant. And in so doing, it brings back humanity, real work, respect for all, genuine connection to things that matter, real innovation – yes, the kind of world many of us yearn for.

The Integral Accounting Audit, where we look at value in six domains – Commodity, Culture and Relationships, Knowledge and Experience, Money and its various forms, Technology, and Wellbeing – has been used within legal frameworks of enterprises to enable people to work together, in a highly self managed way. They bring their whole selves to the enterprise, and do not need so strict  a job description, almost eliminating human upset in the process.

The deployment of Integral Accounting completely reframes human engagement.

It enables us to marry an unmet need with an unused resource, and, as such, to create a complimentary currency and a whole new way of provisioning.

Integral Accounting is a foundation tool of a Syntropic Enterprise – an enterprise that leaves everything it touches better than it was before.

Authors note: David Martin is the architect of Integral Accounting as a powerful tool to change our relationship with how we honour value.

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