Aiming to Nourish the More Human Organisation

This article takes a deep dive into a fundamental question on the agenda of most organisations right now: how can we be more fully human in our work? Our own research and client work tells us that this question has become more pressing during the months of the COVID era as the challenges of moving to new ways of working have had their impact on us all. Our Team Mindfulness approach makes a powerful difference here.

Teams are almost universally reporting that the scale and pace of organisational challenges are unrelenting. Some teams, and some team members, are having a tougher time than others. Alongside the exuberance of reinvention and transformation, teams are having to recognise that their new ways of working can pose a challenge to well-being. We are seeing strain and distress, and where it exists, it is unevenly distributed.

At root what we are facing is a sharpening of the question of how organisations do, and do not, support the needs and well-being (in the broadest sense) of the humans involved.

There has been a definite shift towards a world even more intermediated by machines.

For many of us work has become physically distant, at least in part, conducted through digital interfaces. Much of the day-to-day social activity of organising travel, setting up meetings, and sharing informal conversations, have been replaced by incessant online activity. Many organisations have already announced an intention to retain many of these ways of working. But, in doing so, it is also essential to address the human consequences and to act wisely to gain the benefits of such ways of working, without doing harm in the process.

Most of the organisations we work with aspire to be good places to work, and very many genuinely want to provide nourishing places for humans to work with purpose, to develop and to grow, and to have jobs that support their needs on many levels.

But we all also know that it’s easy to lose sight of the humanity in service of the day-to-day pressures involved in running a business. It’s only by turning up fully and working with a clear focus on the intention of serving humanity well that this aspect really gets sufficient focus.

The structure and discipline of our Team Mindfulness approach provides a way to do this better.

To be clear – team mindfulness here is not about teams of people who practice individual mindfulness. Rather, it’s about team that are aware of themselves as teams. As we describe in the article, this calls on team members to develop three capacities: Allowing, Inquiry and Meta-awareness. In fact, in our experience, where any team is acting in ways that support human wellbeing well, they will inevitably be following the triple strands of allowing, inquiry and meta-awareness. The more we can bring these practices into our organisational life, the more able we will be to create a workplace in which human beings thrive and succeed together.

Read the full article at the European Business Review. And do get in touch if you’d like to know more about our Team Mindfulness approach and how we help teams, leaders, workplaces and whole organizations apply the AIM model in all aspects of organizational life.

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