A Mindful Business is one that looks, acts and feels different from the norm. Not because you will see people meditating in corners of the office, but because you will notice that the people and routines that make up an organisation never run on autopilot. Rather than operating on automatic, a Mindful Business proactively generates space to address problems before they turn into disasters; consciously engages in critical discussions without a hint of defensiveness or blame; and is comfortable with the inevitable reality that nothing in today’s business can be taken for granted.
Mindfulness has become increasingly popular in recent years with the focus being on helping individuals to take time out of their hectic and stressful lives to sit still, look inwards and practice meditative techniques. We believe that the same principles of individual mindfulness can be applied to organisational practices and routines to ultimately enable the business to perform in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment.
To this end we have created the 10 principles of a Mindful Business:
We therefore define mindfulness as an action, something organisations, as well as teams and individuals, should do in every part of the working day. It is a practice, but a very particular one: mindfulness generates space; space in the moment and in every situation; space to notice what is actually happening right in front of us; space to become aware of different choices; space to organise flexibly and with an open mind.
Space is helpful to organisations and to the people inside them. Over two decades of academic research has demonstrated that the mindful space generated in organisations enables these organisations to perform more reliably and sustainably. This is because when the organisation is generating the space to notice automatic, un-thinking, mindless routines and habits, then new possibilities for high-quality thinking and acting emerges. This then leads to a culture marked by flexibility, resilience and constant renewal.
So how can you turn your organisation into a Mindful Business? You need to engage the whole organisation. Mindfulness is all about respecting the ever-changing context – and culture – that the organisation and its people find themselves in. Generating mindfulness at the organisational level means working with, and impacting, culture both from bottom up and from the top down, simultaneously. This is where we can help. We work with you to: