February 7th, 2015
Business Skills and Buddhist Mindfulness: Some Executive-Education Professors Teach Ways Students Can Calm Their Minds, Increase Focus
By Beth Gardner, The Wall Street Journal
Business schools are beginning to embrace a practice that has grown popular in the corporate world—teaching and studying mindfulness, the originally Buddhist approach to increasing awareness of oneself and one’s surroundings.
In M.B.A. and executive-education courses, a handful of professors offer techniques to help students calm their minds and increase their focus. Such skills, they argue, are crucial for those hoping to succeed in an increasingly frenetic environment where distractions from an always-buzzing phone to pressure for strong quarterly profit reports constantly impinge on decisions.
While the idea of mindfulness originates in the serious practice of meditation, B-school faculty say it has many applications for executives who aren’t looking for a spiritual fix but simply want to clear their heads and become aware of reflexive, emotional reactions that can lead to bad decisions.
And it isn’t just individuals that can be mindful, they say. Donde Ashmos Plowman, dean of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration, has examined the mindfulness of organizations, a concept described previously by Karl Weick, at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Mindful organizations are those that pay close attention to what is happening within them, are ready to correct mistakes rather than punishing workers who report them and respond quickly to changes or problems, Ms. Plowman said. . . . Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal here!