Archive for February, 2013

Can Mindfulness Increase Productivity?

Having drawn us away from our blackberry-addicted inattentive selves we were asked to focus on the day ahead, to be mindful of what we intended and what was involved.  We were quietly led away from immediate distractions into a deeper reality where we focused first on the simple physical realities like our breathing and then into reflection on what was important and joyful in our lives. What I feel was special about Rohan’s approach was that it was balanced between the calming and the purposeful..” Mark Goyder, Founder, Tomorrow’s Company

Can mindfulness increase productivity?

Businesses are being asked to do more for less. Many organisations are reducing staff numbers, whilst expecting remaining staff to provide the same or a better level of service. The mindful workplace is gaining popularity in leadership development and executive coaching with forward-thinking public and private sector firms such as Transport for London, Google, Harvard Business School, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the Home Office and Toyota. It has even engendered discussions in the Daily Telegraph.

Mindfulness offers new ways of thinking and working to help meet the demands of the 21st century workplace. It can help people learn to manage their own minds, to improve workplace resilience, focus and concentration, leading to improved performance and productivity. It’s like training a muscle – training attention to where you want it to be.  A large volume of research and the new body of neuroscience support its use in finding space in a frantic world.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been shown to have significant effects in dealing with challenging situations through creating a specific mental and physical state. Increasingly it is being used in companies to improve communication, reduce stress and aid creativity.  A route to this outcome is through a continuous practice of carefully paying attention, in a particular way and on purpose. Practitioners may learn to slow down or stop brain chatter and automatic or habitual reactions.

The science

Mindfulness is at the heart of authoritative clinical approaches to stress reduction and the treatment of depression.  Known as  MBCT,  Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy is part of a UK national template set out by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE.)   Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) follows similar principles and practices.  Other scientific evidence shows proven impacts on the mind and body, following a range of mindfulness processes.

Read more about the neuroscience and how we can learn to regulate our actions by controlling the Pre-Frontal cortex (PFC).

 

What does the programme in business involve?

Find out how mindfulness training might work within your organisation incorporating:

  • Short mindfulness session as part of a coaching or workshop session to help focus and to leave unhelpful distractions behind.
  • A programme enabling individuals to identify their own preferred mindful practices and supporting development into a positive habit
  • Longer mindfulness sessions or workshops to help embed mindful practices in a department or organisation.

Contact LeaderShape to discuss the expertise we can bring to you in this area.

Developing Public Health with County and District Councils

“A simple methodology to unlock possibilities and energy, when people are struggling with budgetary doom and gloom’’

by Cllr Michael Bamford and Cllr Diana Kersley

A few months ago, we wrote about the pilot between Suffolk County Council, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils and the Suffolk Public Health team. We are delighted to provide an update on this very successful project, which offers a framework for other two tier areas.

Public Health in Suffolk made an early transfer to the County Council. Embedding Public Health in Local Government gave an opportunity to achieve greater collaboration and coordinate focus on health and wellbeing. It also allowed time to understand different contributions, including those of the District Councils.

We wanted to build a framework to make the most of what each organisation had to offer and reduce inequalities in health and wellbeing. Like all public services, the change came at a time when the service was also coping with significant reductions in capacity; finding a way to help communities do more for themselves

Continue reading ‘Developing Public Health with County and District Councils’