Why Mindfulness is Becoming a Competitive Advantage
In a recent Deloitte MIT study of senior leaders 70% reported that they believe they do not have the right leadership, skills or operating model to adapt to the new digitally driven business environment.
Organisational and HR leaders across the world are challenged by an always-on digital environment that is forcing the re-evaluation of what it takes to be successful at both an individual and an organisational level. This reality of constant information overload is increasingly the single greatest challenge for organisations everywhere.
Welcome to The Era of Scaleable Learning
In another more recently published report, 2017 Bershin by Deloitte, a number of major trends that are reshaping organisations were identified. One of the key findings addresses the fact that organisational design is being challenged everywhere, due primarily to that same challenging digital environment, as well as the different needs and expectations of the current millennial generation of workers and leaders. Central to this is the realisation that the key to organisational success in the future will no longer be ´scaleable efficiency´but in fact ´scalable learning´.
Balancing High Performance and Well Being
At the same time, companies are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of finding proven, effective ways to support human performance. While physical well being has been an important driver of that over recent years, with the focus up to now primarily on exercise and nutrition, the next wave is seeing people, and leaders in particular , focus on the mental performance side, by providing training in focus, attention management, emotional intelligence and communication. These are the real drivers of performance in the 21st century, and mindfulness is at that centre of this.
The Game of Teams
As organizations become more agile, there is also a marked increase in the importance of teams and their effectiveness. Cisco studied its organizational structure and found that the company already has more than 20,000 teams, with people sitting on many teams at the same time. This increase in the number and composition of teams is a rapidly developing trend with important consequences for organizations. This requires better communication that involves developing listening skills, asking good questions and having more open, frequent and transparent communication across all levels. All areas that mindfulness training addresses and enhances.
Good Culture means Great Conversations
Culture has been for a long time, and will continue to be, hugely important in every company´s success. You can always tell the quality of a company´s culture simply by the quality of conversation across the organisation. The skills that need to be developed to develop a high quality culture are the ability to listen, the ability to be fully present, to be curious, and to ask good questions. Again all skills that mindfulness practice enhances. Given the complexity of the world we live and work in, leaders and managers are increasingly learning that it can no longer be about having all the answers, but instead its about how to work with and support others so that the best solutions and results come from and through the collective.
The Rise of Mindful Leadership
The net effect of all this is that an increasing number of leaders today are embracing the fact that the rules of leadership have definitively changed. Traditional business models built on operational efficiency and top down management driven by goal setting and management from behind the desk are literally of the last century. Leaders to be successful must focus on culture and engagement. Everyone is and should be learning. Work is now more and more done in cross functional teams, and that brings a different requirement for leadership. People want to work in an organisation they are proud of and that means it must be productive and a great place to work. This requires a more authentic, conscious leadership style where the focus is on culture, engagement and collaboration. Mindfulness is at the heart of that transformation as we move rapidly towards this new era of mindful leadership. In the hyper-competitive environment we now work in, ´soft skills´ like mindfulness and emotional intelligence are increasingly showing hard results.