How to transform organizations
PRASHANTH VASU explains the value of meditation in the corporate world, and outlines specific ways it can transform organizations by transforming individuals who work for them.
The need for a
On the one hand, corporate life is a redeeming force as it helps raise the standard of living of human beings by facilitating job creation at scale. Economic growth has become the yardstick for measuring progress and the corporate world is a vital vehicle to enable this. The second and third order benefits of economic progress are also well researched and understood.
However, the flip side is becoming more evident in what is now called the VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous. Long and late hours are now routine. With the rise in global trade, working and traveling across cultures and time zones have become the order of the day. Thanks to the forces of technology and urbanization, the need for organizations and employees to rapidly and continuously change has become permanent.
These are not ordinary disruptions and the sheer intensity of professional life places an acute strain on individuals. So, loss of balance is a threatening counterweight to the benefits we enjoy through our professional life. Associated lifestyle disorders and the growth in chronic diseases are natural corollaries, and the very benefits of wealth, health and education that economic progress brings are being eroded away. When individuals are thus de-centered, an organization’s performance suffers.
Can we stifle economic progress or slow down the pace of corporate life? It’s difficult to imagine. Instead we need to look at changing our ability to cope with increasing demands and in fact, drive peak performance in this VUCA setting. This requires implementing practices that restore balance in individuals and thereby enable organizational performance.
Meditation is an age-old tool that does restore this sense of balance. Its benefits on the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual levels are becoming increasingly evident through scientific research. Progressively, it is moving from a mystical practice that is to be undertaken in seclusion, with the aim of achieving a spiritual goal, to a practical tool that can be integrated into daily life, with the aim of helping us lead a productive, purposeful and joyful life.
Heartfulness Meditation is a unique method that helps us acquire and operate from a deep sense of centeredness. Practitioners of Heartfulness actually experience an inner balance even while being intensely active. We are able to perform closer to our real potential. We witness the continuous change in our own consciousness and are, therefore, able to better adapt to the demands of the world.
When individuals in an organization embrace meditation, the organization at large benefits – it is also able to perform and transform simultaneously. Here are some specific ways in which the benefits of Heartfulness Meditation can manifest individually and organizationally.
The first benefit is the clarity of thought of a mind that is well-regulated through meditation. This in turn positively affects our productivity and efficiency.
Uncluttered by the traffic of thoughts, through meditation the mind becomes focused and is able to attend to one topic or issue at a time, giving it full attention. Significant time is saved in avoiding distractions and we are able to accomplish a lot more with this clarified mind than we would otherwise. This capacity is a vital asset, especially for senior executives who often have diverse tasks to manage on a daily basis.
The second benefit is the intuitive capacity of an intellect that is fine-tuned by meditation. This in turn positively impacts the quality of decisionmaking.
Often times, sub-optimal decisions on important matters such as staffing key roles, and go or no-go decisions on key business choices, are taken in reaction to external pressures or on the basis of past prejudices. Such decisions by senior executives can have drastic effects on an organization.
With an intellect that is refined through meditation, the basis of decision-making shifts from reactive to intellectual (logical and databased) to intuitive (also perception and wisdombased). Imagine the benefits of this capacity in our VUCA world where the velocity of decision-making is very high – it can shape an organization’s destiny!
The third benefit is the capacity to feel and empathize that develops out of a heart-based meditation. This in turn makes a dramatic difference to collaboration and coordination in an organization.
Most business processes require multiple functions to work in a coordinated manner. Often, these processes are sub-optimal due to the strain in interpersonal relationships between people in different functions, such as manufacturing and sales, product development and manufacturing, etc. When our hearts’ intentions are purified through a heart-based meditation, we can progressively learn to see the connectedness in the world, to trust and to place the interest of the organization over that of our specific function and in turn over our personal benefit. A more empathetic and non-judgmental approach starts pervading our interactions and we become more proficient in wielding the magic instrument of feeling beyond only rational thinking. As a corollary, win-win solutions naturally emerge to challenges. Organizations with a good proportion of emotionally intelligent individuals lose minimum energy in internal friction and are, therefore, fully available to serve their clients and stakeholders.
The fourth benefit is a sense of lightness and joy that emerges when our consciousness itself evolves through meditation. This positive energy helps create a purposeful organization that is both given to continuous improvement and resilient to shocks in the external world.
A heart-based meditative practice creates unconditional joy and fills our lives with positive energy. As we learn to be meditatively active, even intense work starts energizing, rather than draining us. We are thus able to better balance professional and personal life. An organization with a healthy proportion of such joy-filled individuals is better positioned to continuously improve and renew. Such organizations are purposed for excellence.
An organization as a
Just as in individual has a physical and subtle existence, we can very well consider an organization to have a physical and a subtle existence too. The physical existence of the organization comprises its hard assets and infrastructure while the subtle existence is its collective mind, intellect, identity and consciousness created by its people. The hard assets are easily replicable. So, truly distinguished organizations differentiate themselves based on their subtle existence or soft assets, which is essentially their people.
When organizations have a healthy proportion of heartful professionals, they can simultaneously perform and, transform in this rapidly evolving world. Heartfulness Meditation is a simple practice that allows us to acquire and operate from a state of balance. Through the unique method of Yogic Transmission, the time and effort required to acquire such states is substantially reduced. Heartfulness regulates the mind, fine-tunes the intellect, purifies the heart and, as a result, our consciousness evolves. We can perform closer to our true potential and also transform to suit the needs of the hour.
There is an old saying that perfection of the whole happens through perfection of the parts. Given the time we all spend in our corporate life in this day and age, organizations will benefit by supporting employees through the personal process of realizing their inner potential.
Article by PRASHANTH VASU
August 31, 2018
August 31, 2018
August 31, 2018