We need to stop managing human resources and start supporting humans with resources to reach their full potential.
The many challenges, we face today, especially with the COVID journey adding fuel to the fire. Workforce disengagement remains high and business models are being disrupted.
Recently, I wrote a blog stating that as the stress and pace of working life increase. People tend to shift into a survival state rather than a strategic and creative mode. Thus crippling everyone’s full potential. The qualities of a business leader – a strategic mind. Responsible and aware of its impact on society give way to a threatened mind that is likely to be less cognitively effective. And to act on the defensive, to form a rather short-term view.
After 30 years as a strategic planner and management consultant. I refocused my career on growing Mindspace to help organizations navigate these difficult times by facilitating the development of resilience. And psychological well-being both individually and organizationally.
In 2021, I was interviewed to discuss how mindfulness and other mind-body practices can help transform organizations. Earlier this year, I co-authored an article in which we discuss the evolution of mindfulness in the workplace.
Since then, many organizations such as Sodexo. IA Financial Group, Alayacare, CBC, Ubisoft, and many others. Have experimented with or adopted mindfulness practices to help them support the individual in difficult times to unlock human potential.
For the past decade, at Mindspace, we have offered introductory wellness and mindfulness sessions and learning journeys for organizations of varying sizes and fields.
During these workshops, we explain. Through neuroscience, the challenges of the functioning of our brains. And explain its limitations in this new environment which is constantly becoming more complex. In addition, we offer strategies to train our brain, as we have been doing for decades with our bodies.
Such mindfulness training is just the beginning as individuals and organizations are currently ill-equipped to deal with today’s increasingly complex world (VUCA). We are witnessing record levels of mental transformation health issues such as increased stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, depression, burnout, social disconnection as well as impairments in decision making.
The development of mindfulness in precursors is an excellent step forward. However, to truly adapt to our new environment, we need to push these initiatives even further. We now need to go beyond the development of individual skills. And develop an organizational culture that encourages, and supports. And models self-awareness, presence, self-regulation, the search for meaning, and compassion towards others. To move from intention to real transformation of culture.
The time has come to develop psychological well-being as a strategic skill, providing a sustainable competitive advantage, putting people back at the forefront of our organizations.
A structured approach must be deployed. This approach adapts to the level of maturity of the organization in terms of well-being. It also adapts to the desired end goal, employee needs, development programs, existing levers, and barriers.
Below is a typical process we use to move from an individual strategy from psychological all about wellness development to corporate culture transformation. With this process, we aim to create a culture in which people embody a higher level of mindfulness while being in action.
To survive and thrive in this VUCA world, we need to stop managing human resources and start supporting humans with resources to reach their full potential, while considering all of the stakeholders they interact with.
This forces us to rethink our systems, our practices, and our rituals, built over the past decades when humans were only at the service of productivity and the shareholder.
Today’s workforce is younger, busier, and looking for balance and meaning. We urgently need to start realigning our organizations to bring dignity, awareness, presence, and compassion back to the fore if we are to evolve into this new era, one filled with promise and challenges for those who will change.