Archive for category Uranus in Pisces

Learning from the Behemoths

Cover Image, The Economist, August 29, 2009.

Cover Image, The Economist, August 29, 2009.

The August 29th issue of The Economist featured a cover story called “Big is Back:  The Return of the Corporate Giant”.  The magazine cover pictured a huge whale with a tiny person bouncing around on the jet issuing from the whale’s spout – I guess that’s you and me, small business owners.  I was in the airport when I saw it and I had to grab the magazine:  the whale is a key symbol of the sign Pisces. 

With Uranus in Pisces and moving into Aries soon, I’ve been thinking a lot about innovation (Uranus) in companies at the end of their life cycle (Pisces).  What did they do to embrace the energies of Uranus in Pisces?  And how will they transition themselves into the kind of entrepreneurial companies that will survive the transition to Aries?  What innovations are they bringing in now that will carry them over the cusp into the new part of the cycle?

The end or the beginning?

During the Pisces stage of the business life cycle, the business has gotten so big it has begun to come apart at the seams.  At this stage of the cycle, there are so many “hands in the pot” so to speak that the company runs the risk of dispersing in all directions.  The company needs to focus on how to transition from the dissolution stage (Pisces) into the next stage of the cycle, the entrepreneurial stage (Aries).

But The Economist is saying these businesses are not nearing their end but staging a comeback! 

With Uranus having been in Pisces the last seven years, there has been innovation in this part of the cycle that has allowed certain companies to thrive while others have collapsed.  So what innovations have these large companies made that earns them an “end of cycle” feature on the cover of The Economist and an exhaustive study in a major new business book, SuperCorp: How Vangaurd Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good ?  How have they been able to survive?  What will become of them as we move into Uranus in Aries?  And most important, are there lessons we can learn that will help us make the transition as well?

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Professor at Harvard Business School, sums it up this way in SuperCorp:

The best of this breed aspire to be big but human, efficient but innovative, global but concerned about local communities.

Sounds a lot like Pisces to me.

What can the behemoths teach us?

Uranus will be in Pisces only a few more months.  During 2010 it progresses into Aries for five months and in 2011 it leaves Pisces permanently (well, about 80 years) and enters Aries where it will stay for the next seven years.  If we can anticipate the movement into Aries and how it will differ from the last seven years in Pisces, we’ll have a leg-up on the changes and innovations we’ll need to bring to our business in order to stay in touch with the current times.

And since, as The Economist states, “the most successful economic ecosystems contain a variety of big and small companies”, let’s see if there is some synergy we can develop between our small businesses and the behemoths.

Happy whale.  (Source:Wikipedia)

Happy whale. (Source:Wikipedia)

In coming posts we’ll look at some of these behemoths and how they have managed to stay viable through innovation.   A thorough look at this phenomena will yield insight into the coming times, beginning next year.  And let’s keep in mind the innovations we have brought to our businesses in the last seven years and how we may need a paradigm shift as Uranus enters Aries.

We’ve all been through this phase, either in our businesses or in other areas of our lives.  The Pisces to Aries transition is marked by dissolution of something that has gotten large and unwieldy and eventually finding that spark of your own individual self that allows you to start over with only your own resources to guide you – your inner pioneer.

So what have we seen in the last seven years with Uranus in Pisces and what is coming when Uranus moves into Aries?

To be continued…

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Uranus – Change Agent

Unpredictable.  Erratic.  Unforeseeable.  Disruptive.

When you read these words, how do you feel?

How about these?

Innovative.  Original.  Ground-breaking.  Unconventional.

 

These are all Uranian words, and all attributes of change.  It’s been said many times that the one certain thing in this world is change.  Change is possibly the most fundamental attribute of our lives. 

How does a business person respond to the inevitability of change and the fact that some changes are utterly unforeseeable?  What does “built to last” really mean?  Does it mean that we build a structure, an unchanging edifice for our businesses, and depend on it to always remain? 

Since denying, resisting, or avoiding change is ultimately futile, how then do we plan for, even welcome, the unpredictability of Uranian energy in our business strategies?

Business Management 101

In Business Management 101, we learn that our business success depends on anticipating and responding to change effectively.  The forces of change can be external or internal.  Some examples of external forces we are currently experiencing are recession, unemployment, the dominance of the internet, technological advances, government regulation, high cost of fuel oil, the global economy, and the proliferation of mega-stores, from Wal-Mart to the Starbucks opening down the street from your café.

Internal changes can include changes in employee attitudes and behavior, the loss of a key employee, training and education, your changing personal situation, temporary or permanent lack of motivation and drive, and many other factors.

“Force-field” Theory

HST image of Uranus showing cloud bands, rings, and moons. (Source:Wikipedia)

HST image of Uranus showing cloud bands, rings, and moons. (Source:Wikipedia)

What is the most effective way to work with change in our business?  An interesting theory to explore according to astrological theory is the “force-field” theory of Kurt Lewin.  It says that there is a constant interchange of driving forces and restraining forces.    Driving forces may be new technologies, new materials, new competitors, while restraining forces may be group performance norms, fear of change, and complacency.  An interesting thing about this theory is that an increase in driving forces causes a corresponding increase in restraining forces.

In astrological symbolism, Saturn is the restraining force.  As the furthest planet visible to the naked eye, for millions of years it represented for humanity the outer boundary of the known, the controllable, the foreseeable.  It symbolizes the wall we erect between our current status and the outer forces of change.  It serves to protect and preserve that which we have so carefully created.  Uranus, on the other hand, was the first planet to be discovered after the telescope was developed and represents societal forces for innovation and progress. 

Saturn as seen on Cassini Mission (Source:Wikipedia)

Saturn as seen on Cassini Mission (Source:Wikipedia)

But what happens when these two titans are pitted against each other?  According to the Lewin theory above, as one gets stronger the other will get stronger too.  So the stronger the pressure to change, the stronger the resistance will be.

In astrological theory, the outer planets, societal forces for change, will always eventually overwhelm the inner planets, our personal goals, desires, and resistances.  The power of the outer planets is impersonal and has to do with the evolution of life on earth as a whole.  People will change, technologies will change, global distribution systems will change, industrial methods will change, and the market will demand different products.

The Lewin theory suggests that since driving forces activate their own restraining forces, the most effective way to handle change is to work to decrease restraining forces. But in astrological terms we never want to diminish the Saturn force of protection and preservation too much – it is the edifice we build to contain and actualize change.  We must find the way to consciously open to the power of Uranus by easing, not diminishing, the power of Saturn.   

Strategies to work with Uranus

So how do we decrease the resistance to change in ourselves and our employees?  Here is a list of strategies that allow us to open to Uranus but work with Saturn too:

  • First of all, by understanding the inevitability of change. 
  • Secondly, welcoming, setting a place at the table for innovation.  Building creative innovation into our business plans. 
  • Actively projecting the probable future during the business planning process. 
  • Staying aware of the trends and issues facing society and actively engaging with them.
  • Making the unfamiliar, familiar through training. 
  • Appointing a change agent in our business, either our self or another, who takes the leadership role in anticipating and managing change.   
  • Actively seeking the counsel of our employees, especially younger and newer employees.  Taking on a mentor from a younger generation. 
  • Adopting and maximizing new technologies.

 

How do you stay open to the forces of change?  What techniques do you use to welcome innovation?  How have you successfully decreased your resistance to the new?  Please share your tips in the comments below.

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Uranus – An Introduction

Uranus as seen by Voyager 2 (Source:Wikipedia)

Uranus as seen by Voyager 2 (Source:Wikipedia)

There are three planets in astrology that indicate long-term trends that affect the entire global community.  They are Pluto with an orbit of 248 years, Neptune with an orbit of 168 years, and Uranus with an orbit of 84 years.  In the past couple of months we’ve examined in depth the current position of Pluto in the sign of Capricorn, and Neptune in the sign of Aquarius (see sidebar under Categories), with an eye to how these energies may be affecting our business lives, and what we can do now to take advantage of these trends.

The last of these long-term influences to study is Uranus in Pisces.  Uranus entered the sign of Pisces in 2003 and will permanently enter the next sign, Aries, in 2011.  We’ve only got a few more months to take advantage of this trend and prepare for the next.  We will definitely want to include in our 2010 business plan some strategies to assimilate the Uranus in Pisces time and transition to the Uranus in Aries time.

Uranus

Uranus represents an incredibly powerful mental dimension that, when brought into our conscious awareness, can yield startling and useful insights.  In the personal mind, it appears as sudden flashes of insight and intuition that often lead to upheavals in our consciousness and are reflected in our outer lives.

I’ll never forget the first time I became aware of Uranus in my own mind.  I was meditating and a thought flashed across my mind, something so fast that when I repeated it with my normal thinking “voice” it seemed like I had taken an old record and played it on the slowest speed possible.  These kinds of flashes come quickly and unexpectedly.  They are subtle, usually original, and occasionally profound.  The key being original – they are usually insights or phrases that are completely new.  Where the Mercury kind of mental activity is a rehashing and possibly creative associating of information learned in the past, Uranus brings completely original content in phrases that lead to profound insight.  This can bring fundamental, revolutionary change to our lives as these insights broaden our perceptions.  Uranus has been called Universal Mind, the mind that always exists behind conscious awareness, which can spark knowledge completely unknown to us until then.

But one interesting thing about the Uranian energy is that the same insight can come through many different people at the same time.  Time and again scientific and artistic breakthroughs occur in different parts of the world through different people and situations, but the breakthrough is the same.  This propensity of Uranus to come through not just one but many minds at the same time gives Uranus its relationship to group life and the urges in society to rebel and revolt.  Mass changes in consciousness occur through this whispering into one mind and the next until a movement is ready to be born.  Uranus governs change, disruption, reversals, brilliance, acceleration, eccentricity, the unique individual and the wider community. The eminent astrologer Alan Oken describes Uranus in this way:

             [Uranus] serves to shake up the status quo and creates new social archetypes and paradigms. 

The planet’s meaning in astrology reflects its behavior in the solar system.  Uranus is known as the revolutionary planet because of its tilting, erratic orbital plane. Uranus’s axis of rotation lies on its side with respect to the plane of the Solar System. This gives it seasonal changes completely unlike those of the other major planets. Other planets can be visualized to rotate like tilted spinning tops relative to the plane of the solar system, while Uranus rotates more like a tilted rolling ball.  (Cite:Wikipedia)  It also spins in a direction that is the reverse of that of the other planets in our solar system.

In the next post we’ll continue looking at this fascinating planet and its role in our business lives.

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