Power of the Heart

Impact study and reflections on the transformation of corporate governance through heart intelligence

How can heart intelligence transform the governance practices of organisations? How can the governance framework encourage the expression of the intelligence of the heart within an organisation? These are the key issues at the heart of the “Power of the Heart” action-research programme that we have entrusted to Prophil.

Research objectives

Drawing in particular on the discussions of the leaders of the first intake of the “Straight from the Heart” program, Prophil’s aim was to :

    • shed light on the interrelationships between the intelligence of the heart and governance ;
    • study the impact of the Heart in Action programme on the governance of the companies represented, and on the governance practices of the participating managers;
    • to identify specific patterns of governance (recognisable structures, institutionalised or latent practices) and to understand how they might be more or less conducive to the expression of the intelligence of the heart in managers. 


Key results

They have become aware of their role and of the leverage provided by corporate governance. The tools provided by the course have strengthened their power to act. By teaching them to mobilise their heart’s intelligence more effectively, the participants gained in legitimacy and were able to deploy their courage, intuition and empathy to transform their company’s corporate governance.

The participants who were majority shareholders (and/or founders) of their company found the course an opportunity to reflect on the issues of transmission and dispossession, whether they concerned material and financial concerns or an intangible value system. These reflections may have led to changes in the company’s articles of association or to greater sharing of corporate governance through structural and/or informal transformations. Non-shareholder managers, for their part, have mobilised their heart intelligence to transform their corporate governance ‘from below’, by deploying various strategies analysed in the final report.

Corporate governance thus appears to be a factor which acts at best as a facilitating framework – at worst as a barrier – but which always gives way to individual initiatives, if they are sufficiently equipped. The structure usually evolves at a later stage, to validate and anchor the changes brought about by individuals’ breakthrough initiatives. This being the case, corporate governance may represent a significant support or hindrance to the expression of the intelligence of the heart of our participants.

The existence of legal provisions that anchor in the articles of association an ambition that is consistent with the intelligence of the heart (setting out a mission in the articles of association, transferring part of the shares to a shareholder foundation, etc.); the sharing of power that limits the excesses associated with the power of a single individual and gives greater legitimacy to non-shareholder directors; and the presence of a culture of the intelligence of the heart that encourages the emergence of a “collective heart” capable of supporting transformations in corporate governance.


research partner


Prophil is a consultancy and research company dedicated to helping businesses contribute to the common good. Its mission is to pave the way for accelerating companies’ contribution to the common good, and it supports entrepreneurs committed to implementing alternative strategies. Through its research activities, Prophil has contributed to the emergence in France of the shareholder foundation and mission-driven company models, and has applied the post-growth approach to businesses.

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This research is complementary to the “Heart intelligence in action – brakes and levers” program led by IPBC’s Stéphane La Branche. Find out more on the dedicated page.