Interview with Angelika von der Assen. Angelika is a self employed mindfulness consultant and also Head of Management Development at Switzerland’s largest energy supplier. She is one of the pioneers in Switzerland to bring Mindfulness to Swiss organizations. She is passionate to do so by focusing on secular practices that fit the corporate world and are backed by science.
Angelika, what does mindfulness have to do with digital transformation?
On the surface, not much. But there are good reasons why mindfulness has made deep inroads into the corporate world in recent years, especially in fast-paced sectors. Google, SAP, Accenture and others already introduced thousands of employees to mindfulness practices.
Agile Mindsets by agile skills training?
The technological disruptions resulting from digitization and Industry 4.0 are producing unprecedented rates of change. In response, companies have worked to increase organizational agility, hoping to foster innovation. Yet organizational experiences and culture often impede true agility. A training in agile skills or a Scrum Master title doesn’t per se create an agile mindset. As a result, many of these efforts fall short of their objective to manage the uncertainty generated by change. Mindfulness will help companies overcome these challenges.
More than just stress management - this is definitely a practicable, business-fit way to integrate mindfulness into everyday life at work. Mindfulness as a leadership skill strengthens our clarity, consideration, creativity and can-do mentality. The program helped us to understand that mindfulness and meditation in our occupational life are much more than mere instruments to manage stress: mindfulness is an inner attitude. We are very grateful to the highly professional teachers.
(Hans-Peter Keller,Leader Information Technology, Helsana Versicherungen AG)
We all have to prepare ourselves also mentally for what lies ahead and learn to approach new situations with an open, agile mind. That is where mindfulness comes in: It teaches people how to deal with change and to develop the thought-after agile mindset. It allows us to pause amid the constant inflow of stimuli and consciously decide how to act, rather than react reflexively with ingrained behaviour patterns. Mindfulness, therefore, is perfectly suited to counterbalance the digital-age challenges of information overload, and constant distraction. It facilitates navigation through uncertainty.
This is why SwissQ is offering a science-based mindfulness program, born and tested at Google some years ago, called ‘SEARCH INSIDE YOURSELF’. Today, Search Inside Yourself (SIY) is the most renowned training for mindfulness and emotional intelligence in organizations. The results-oriented program was developed together with leading neuro-scientists and was delivered more than 400 times in more than 35 countries.
It is a science-based, emotional intelligence workshop that introduces mindfulness practices in a strictly secular way. The benefits are both clear and proven. It helps leaders and employees to focus sharply on the task at hand, master peak levels of stress and recharge quickly. On an organizational level, mindfulness reduces sick days, increases trust in leadership and boosts employee engagement. It helps to sustainably unlock the full potential of digital and agile transformations, opening our minds and fostering our creativity and innovation.
Scientists generally agree that practicing mindfulness is good for our professional lives. In their recent book “Altered Traits”, Daniel Goleman, a Harvard psychologist, and Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist, state three proven benefits of mindfulness that allow people to act more effectively in unpredictable environments: staying calm and open-minded, improved cognitive ability, better focus and clarity of thinking.
So if you want to unlock the full potential of agility, besides skill training, don’t forget to train your mind – the most important tool we have in order to perform successfully, stay healthy and experience well being in times of change.