Absolute Balance

The Magic of Being Quantum



Interview with Neil Crofts

By Colin Whitby

I first heard of Neil's Authentic Business ideas though an email he sent out at the launch of his venture. Since then I have been reading his web site and books with great interest.

When we were talking about how the web site might look the suggestion was that we have a mix of articles, reviews and interviews, and almost immediately the idea of asking Neil for an interview came to mind.

He was kind enough to come to our house and take part in the first interview for our new venture, and I'm sure you'll agree, his ideas and commitment to authenticity come shining through.

Our initial discussions were regarding qualifications – particularly in healing…where we cannot start trading even as a healer without having passed through some kind of ‘education’.

Neil Crofts I’m not qualified, I think I’ve got three O levels. What we have done in our society is we have created all sorts of exclusive clubs to keep people out – in order to work for us you need to pass these criteria.

If you take some of the most successful people in the world they dropped out of education: Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, none of them completed their education. The only subject the formal education in the UK teaches is conformity, the rest of it is just mechanisms to teach conformity: it is not about who are you, what are you here for, what are you brilliant at, what mark are you going to make on the world; it’s not even about how to manage your finances or how to eat healthy food or any of those practical things that would be useful.

There are teachers and schools that break out from this mould, but the vast majority fall into this category.

Colin Whitby – Our first connection came out of a group that had come together during a conference in Bristol where you had presented, and so I had received the very first email you sent out launching Authentic Business. How would you describe your journey since your original launch?

NC I think when I first launched I was focusing on continuing on doing what I had already done, which was consultancy for business, and then through that I started doing more coaching work. Through the coaching work, and doing my own learning and my own development, my focus now has turned almost entirely on people. Now this might be on people in business, but the focus is entirely on the people, then the next bit will be working with education.

In more spiritual terms my level of understanding of what’s going on and how things work has moved on enormously. In Seven Stages terms, when I wrote that original email that was me doing stage 4, really, then stage 5 is opening up to learning and then bouncing between stage 5 and stage 6, which is what I’ve been doing.

spiraldynamics1.gifWhen I had done my stage 4 coming out I was still “Green” in Spiral Dynamics terms, and since then that I have shifted to “Yellow” and to second tier consciousness. So I’m now thinking at a far broader level of responsibility, I’m now far more able to communicate with other levels. When I started all of this my best communication was with “Orange”, so it was a “Green” to “Orange” communication, whereas now I find I can communicate from “Yellow” to “Green” and “Orange” and to “Blue” to some extent, although this is more challenging.

CW – At the conference I remember someone describing how energy worked, and at the time I thought how advanced that was for that kind of audience.

NC Isn’t it amazing how thinking has evolved in just 4 or 5 years, it’s astonishing.

CW – One of my questions regarding authenticity was related to people who find they are thinking in new ways and discovering themselves, but then feel they have to leave their current jobs. Do you think this is changing now?

NC I can now communicate this message to someone in an “Orange” business such that they can now see the opportunity within the business, which is a breakthrough, because they can stay and change the business from within.

CW – Reading your book I found myself reflecting that I fit one of the profiles of someone who has a mortgage, had a car loan and so on, and in order to fund these I have a traditional job.

NC Part of the shift from “Green” to “Yellow” in Spiral Dynamics terms, one of the reasons we are able to think at this level, is because everything else is sorted out. We have enough food, we are comfortable, we are warm, we are not worried about being eaten by tigers, we have created an environment where we can think at this level. It’s important to have a comfortable environment without fear, so there is no problem with making yourself comfortable.

CW – Do you think your own spiritual journey has been an essential part of your life journey, does it go hand in hand?

NC There is no distinction, as soon as you stop going round in circles of emptiness, you can call it what you like, an Authentic journey or a spiritual journey – they are all about meaning and there is only one meaning of life and that is evolution. Anyone who steps off that circle is taking part in evolution. It’s very Darwinian, you are either contributing to evolution or you are contributing to demise, and the tension between the two is very important too, because it energises the evolution. So going to war in Iraq was actually a really positive and evolutionary step because it galvanised enormous resistance, so the next time a western politician attempts to usurp power and create an illegal war it will be a hell of a lot more difficult than it was last time.

So all these things contribute to evolution. Climate change is our big evolutional challenge.

CW – I subscribe to your Authentic Update Emails and wondered how difficult it was for you to come up with inspiring thoughts on a weekly basis.

NC Occasionally (probably one or two times) it’s felt like work, on the whole it’s either an insight that has come to me during the week, or it’s a direction I want to go in and want to explore. Recent messages have been around money and love, which is part of a new direction that I want to go in.

CW – Much of the personal work that is being done at the moment is around relationships, either dealing with them or letting them go. What is your approach in this area?

NC I believe our life purpose has like a gravitational pull, it will happen if we let it. The things that hold us back are what I call tensions, and those tensions are both physical and psychological or emotional – a tension might be a relationship, it might be a health issue, it might be about confidence and that sort of thing. So the coaching work I do is all about getting rid of those tensions, either by aligning them or letting them go. If you deal with all those tensions your purpose happens.

CW – What would be your advice to people who are “waking”, but they are in a business that is not “waking up”.

NC What I would say is that this kind of situation is a tension that is preventing you from achieving your purpose, so you have to find a way of relieving that tension. That means that you either have to align it or let it go, you have to lose the tension. This could mean changing the business, or the part of the business that you are in, which is doable. There is no question that authenticity releases great energy and motivation, but it does depend slightly on what the business is about.

neilcroftsandcolin.gifI find it inconceivable that tobacco companies or arms companies could find anything authentic, but for the most part there are opportunities for improving the business from within. It comes down to the issue of investment, is it worth investing, do you have the capacity to invest, the energy required to make the change?

There are only three purposes, they are Art, Environment and Community, and all of them are about Evolution. Art is about the communication of spirit, Community is about anything that supports and promotes community, and Environment is about anything that supports and promotes the environment.

The majority of people are community oriented. If you are a team leader in a call centre, and your purpose is about community, you can achieve it with the team you work with, and with the calls you take. For the environment, if your passion is saving penguins and you find yourself on the checkout at a supermarket, it’s unlikely you will realise that purpose.

If you are Art oriented, then the communication of spirit is a little different. If you work as a designer for an advertising agency and you design ads describing different ways of selling mashed potato, you are really not getting anywhere with that, so you may need to find a different way of doing that.

As we evolve, what we find is that those three purposes come together into the single purpose of evolution. Evolution is achieved through the communication of spirit, a spiritual evolution where we become sustainable beings who are part of sustainable communities.

CW – What are your plans for 2007 and beyond, how has that changed from your original ideas, and how does it feel when you are planning ahead?

NC 2007 is really about expanding the Authentic Transformation practice, getting more people involved and delivering more of that to individuals and to business.

2007 will also be about Authentic Education – this is a campaign whose objective is really making child centred education available to everyone. The strategy to achieve that is for all parents to win the right to determine how their child’s state education budget is spent. Instead of only being able to spend that state education budget with the monopoly provider, the opportunity would be that parents would have the choice of where to spend that money.

At the same time promoting child centred education as the most positive alternative at this time. The route to achieving this is to create a membership organisation with a million UK voters as members – then offering those million votes to whichever political party enshrines that choice, that right in law.

I feel that these things are inevitable, it will happen, for anything else to happen would be contrary to evolution. We are now at a time where we know enough and where we have a time constraint and we have to do it.

I would like kids to come out of education really knowing what they are worth, and find a way of attracting energy. Businesses would need to be inspiring to attract these new children. It’s interesting that in London Barclays is finding it hard to recruit cashiers primarily because of competition from Prêt à Manger, because Prêt à Manger offer such better (working) conditions and pay.

CW – You can actually feel the difference with the business and its products I think.

NC – There is no question that there is an energetic difference between a Yeo Valley yoghurt and a Muller yoghurt, for example. There is a difference in the energy of the design, in the taste, in the packaging – everything, it carries a happier energy.