Published on October 7th, 2012 | by Ashley Sheets

Building a Beautiful Human Operating System

Alan Moore, author of No Straight Lines recently gave a talk at ‘Besti-versity’ – the learning stage at the 50,000 strong ‘Bestival’ on the Isle of Wight.

Moore spoke about the ‘Human Operating System’, one where we move from the post industrialised organisation to beautifully designed companies. We are shifting away from the old paradigms of producer/consumer culture and into a world where we are all the craftsmen or women.

If we are all craftsmen capable of designing products, concepts, services to share then it is the heart that will drive it forward. What’s at the heart of your business? Or should we say, what is in your heart?

Moore began his journey 7 years ago after working the corporate world as a credit manager and in his own words was ‘fuelling the furnace that was driving the credit parasitic machine forward’. Through a process of helping his dyslexic children ‘fit’ into a linear society, where boxes weren’t being ticked, he became dedicated to finding a new way. He asked himself “How can I take the best possible journey in this world?”

He went on to help CEO’s develop their ethical strategies and these include The Coca Cola Company, Microsoft, H&M and Nokia. In his new book No Straight Lines, he demonstrates how businesses are using outdated methods and locked into many levels of bureaucracy. His case studies show that when they upgrade to a Human Operating System it positively affects the bottom line and creates meaningful connections for both internal and external business users.

What can we learn from Moore? How can we drive our growth forward in an ethical way? If our business was developed from the current business models, perhaps it’s time to shake it up.

The first step is to be clear what is at the heart of your business.

First of all, forget what you know. Use whatever tools you have to tune in and ask yourself ‘How is my business serving people?’ Many people like to tune in during meditation, that relaxation period after a bath, or during a morning walk. Essentially it needs to be when you are on your own, away from your phone, email and other distractions. An accountant may be able to recalibrate their vision statement to ‘helping people manage their money’ or a lawyer ‘helping people with their problems in a heart felt way. I promise to listen.’ These are your heart ethics and will be the driving force behind growth and the other practices within your business.

Being clear about your driving force will also help your digital marketing and blog. This goes back to the idea that we are all craftsmen/women. We all have something valuable to say, knowledge to share and advice to give from our unique life experience. This is why blogging became so popular in the first place. Creating and maintaining a blog needn’t be a tiresome task when you refer back to your heart based ethics. What are you trying to do? What can you share? How can you help people with your knowledge?

Non-Linear Changes – Forget Profit, Think People

If you have people working for you, take the simplest of Moore’s concepts and think of them as a Human Operating System both individually and as a collective. Talk to them about what makes them tick, could you suggest daily meditation, a dose of Qi-Gong or Free Talk Fridays where people share their passions and humour together.

Oprah Winfrey is a good example of how she’s changed the dynamic of her workforce by introducing Transcendental Meditation as a twice daily practice. Talking on Dr. Mehmet Oz’s chat show in January 2012 she says ‘you couldn’t imagine what’s happened in the company. People who used to have migraines don’t, people are sleeping better, people are having better relationships, people interact with other people better – it’s been fantastic. The one thing I want to continue is to centre myself every single day and I’m 1000% better when I do that’. (

Whatever your business model, could it do with some tweaking to bring out the best in people? How could you enhance your personal and business Human Operating System?

About the Author

Ashley is an American writer now making a life in the UK. She has a passion for exploring ethical actions and mindfulness in all things. Writing about her transcontinental observations and continually learning make her truly happy.

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