There is no doubt that the world is on the cusp of economic, political, social and environmental change. The central cause and arena for such change is the world of business.
Currently, business as it is taught and lived is based on a mechanistic view where people and environment are resources to exploit in the relentless pursuit of growth, leading in many cases to increases in stress levels and mental health problems, not to mention environmental destruction. Efforts at introducing sustainable practices barely touch the surface of the problem and many commentators are arguing that a shift in worldview and consciousness is required.
Such a worldview is emerging from findings in new science. This evolutionary perspective shows that matter and energy are co-evolving phenomena; and that organisms and organisations thrive on feedback processes which can be called cognition. Evolution is not a matter of competition on which the current capitalist system is based, but of collaboration – of networked and relational feedback processes.
Some radical businesses have already overturned the mechanistic approach creating an open system, where feedback processes provide an opportunity for focused and creative growth. These companies focus on intention and relationships as creating wealth. Employees are not passive cogs in a tightly structured wheel: they are individuals working with themselves and others in relationship with the environment.
Mindfulness can be considered as a fundamental feedback process between the inner world of the individual and the outer world of activity and organisation. As such it is a potentially powerful tool for organisations wishing to make a transformation and is already used successfully in places such as Google, eBay and the health services.
- companies seeking sustainable transformation
- individuals in transition
- mindful training for leaders and change agents
- research and evaluation
- intellectual and emotional mentoring for Ph.D students
For a more detailed account of the developmental research undertaken by Dr Rees and her team, see the following article:
This appeared in the book Inner Peace–Global Impact: Tibetan Buddhism, Leadership and Work, edited by Kathryn Goldman Schulyer at http://innerpeace-globalimpact.com
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