It’s fair to say that the popularity of ‘Mindfulness’ has gathered considerable pace in the last couple of years. In fact it’s hard to move these days for Mindfulness articles, guides, books and discussions.
However, with this rise in popularity comes a danger that some of the fundamentally sound (and ancient) principles and practices of ‘being in the moment’ (either in traditional/formal meditation or by means of an approach/state of mind) become less clear, or diluted in their value. This is something that Oliver Burkeman tackles in a recent article in the Guardian - and is well worth a read.
Within organisations there is some great work being done to integrate Mindfulness in to wider employee well-being programmes, as well as in day-to-day practices to reduce stress, improve communication and ultimately improve productivity. There’s also plenty of evidence and articles to suggest that the proliferation of technology and communication places considerable challenges on our ability to ‘focus’ - and this is an issue that’s here to stay - hence why ‘mindful working’ is required..
Linked to this is some of the ground-breaking research that’s being done to understand Mindfulness in tangible business terms. Of note is the amazing work by Cranfield University, which recently hosted the sell-out ‘Mindfulness at Work Conference’ in 2014. Here’s hoping they run another one in 2016.
If you can find your way through all the bells and whistles, it’s still a subject and ‘approach’ that merits our time and energy either to explore for yourself or your organisation - just don’t believe all the hype!