Mindful Work: How Meditation Is Changing Business from the Inside Out (Eamon Dolan)

Mindful Work: How Meditation Is Changing Business from the Inside Out (Eamon Dolan)

David Gelles

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0544705254

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

“Intriguing, timely, and enjoyable . . . A fascinating account of the increasing adoption of these ancient disciplines by Western businesses.” — Financial Times

“[An] adroit exploration. [Gelles] deftly describes what mindfulness is and what it isn’t, presents the science behind it, and handily succeeds in convincing readers that the practice is worth exploring.” — Success

Business leaders around the country are discovering that meditation may be the key to fostering a happier, more productive workplace.

Many American companies, including some of our largest — such as General Mills, Ford, Target, and Google — have built extensive programs to foster mindful practices among their workers. Mindful Work is the first book to explain how all sorts of businesses and any kind of worker can benefit from meditation, yoga, and other mindful techniques. Mindfulness lowers stress, increases mental focus, and alleviates depression among workers. It has also benefited companies that have adopted it — from the millions of dollars Aetna has saved in health-care costs to the ways Patagonia has combined leadership in its market with a pervasively mindful outlook. Mindful Work offers an eye-opening tour through this new landscape, and goes beyond other books on the subject by providing evidence for the practical benefits of mindfulness and showing readers how to become more mindful themselves.

“Brimming with insights and backed up with solid research, Mindful Work takes us to the front lines of a revolution that is transforming the business world.” — Arianna Huffington











Fortunately, a growing trove of scientific literature is making plain the benefits of mindfulness practice. Though the research remains nascent, it seems to suggest that sitting still, focusing, and intentionally reducing our reactivity makes us healthier, happier, and kinder, too, as we’ll see in Chapter 3. The research tells only part of the story, however. At General Mills, you can sense the difference among those who have trained in mindfulness. Though the company is by no means perfect—still

Mind and Life dialogue and invited Kabat-Zinn to attend. With the Dalai Lama in attendance, Kabat-Zinn and others described their research, recounting how the cultivation of pro-social behavior—often through meditation—improved physical, emotional, and mental health. Though Kabat-Zinn and others had been teaching secular meditation in the form of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for years, the Dalai Lama had not yet endorsed the practice. After hearing from this group, however, he began to come

mindful moment. “There are a lot of data that show when I feel stressed out, mortified, or embarrassed by something happening on Facebook, that activates old parts of the brain, like the amygdala,” he explained to the engineers in attendance. “And the minute I put that into words, in precise terms, the prefrontal cortex takes over and quiets the stress-related physiology.” Once the company saw that the new reporting and messaging system was working with many of its users, Bejar turned his

started because one woman was trying to cope with her own stress. By the early 2000s Janice Marturano had reached the upper echelons of General Mills and was involved in some of the company’s highest-priority projects. She led policy work around trade regulation, serving as the company’s point person with the Food and Drug Administration. And she worked with the Federal Trade Commission, focusing on antitrust work as General Mills sought to grow through acquisitions. In 2000, General Mills made

employees weave it into the corporate culture, doing their part to establish a new norm when it comes to work-life balance. And it is being practiced by big companies like General Mills and even Goldman Sachs, which offers meditation sessions to employees at its $2.1 billion office building in downtown Manhattan. Viewed one way, the growth of mindfulness in the workplace is the logical next step in the movement toward greater corporate social responsibility. Many companies already strive for

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