Putting mindfulness into the boardroom

Extensive scientific research, supporting the personal and professional benefits of a more holistic approach to life and work, has led to a growing respect for mindfulness programmes and practices in the workplace.

The world’s top companies are increasingly introducing mindfulness practices into their organisations to help employees reduce stress and anxiety, increase focus and attention, and ultimately enhance productivity

“South African companies are starting to follow suit,” says Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, author, speaker and CEO of Jack Hammer. “Mindfulness is no longer an opaque concept reserved for yoga retreats and motivational memes. The concept and practice has found grateful and receptive audiences in many of the world’s leading companies, including here in South Africa.

“The idea that people who practice mindfulness principles might be on the fringes of society belongs to a past era and there is now enough data, research and scientific information supporting not only the personal, but also commercial benefits of a more in-tune, holistic approach to life and work.

“Mindfulness is a global movement, pioneered by PhD Professor of Medicine Emeritus, Jon Kabat-Zinn. It is increasingly becoming mainstream and a growing number of top leaders are starting to incorporate mindfulness-based practices and principles in their personal and professional lives.”

Locally, Goodman-Bhyat recently published ‘IntheFlow – Taking Mindfulness to Work’, the result of her years of research into the impact of implementing mindfulness practices in the workplace. It went into the business best-seller list, with business leaders enthusiastically backing the 6-prompt formula that forms the basis of the guide.

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