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How can mindfulness boost creativity and innovation?

There is a paradox between companies trying to be efficient whilst simultaneously generating innovative ideas. Most organisational cultures are focused on rewarding a cost effective and fast paced turn-around. But often, companies tend to be caught up in solving such issues using their business-as-usual approach instead of coming up with a creative solution. Instead of creating something innovative, employees may only amend an existing idea or process due to having limited time to think of novel ideas. 

So how can we develop a truly innovative and agile culture in the workplace? A great start would be to think with the right mindset and be open to new ways of thinking. This can be achieved by training the most creative parts of our brain, learning how to refocus and be present in the moment.

The science behind mindfulness: our brain power.

Current work environments are usually fast paced and as a result we focus on the need to be able to multitask. But being interrupted causes our mind to jump from one idea to another without thinking of what we are actually aiming to achieve. If stress is added to the equation then this will affect our ability to be creative and innovate. 

Neuro-plasticity has shown the possibility for the brain to rewire itself by forming new neuro connections. Therefore, we can train our brain to decrease stress centres while focusing on increasing our creative mind. Mindfulness is one way to train the most creative parts of our brain.

What does mindfulness mean?

Mindfulness is defined as being fully present in the moment by bringing our mind back to the present whenever it wanders. Mindfulness is accessible through simple exercises and training of the brain to improve on our ability to stay focused without getting distracted. 

Three ways organisations can create a mindful culture:

    1. Corporate mindfulness programs

Putting a mindfulness program in place is beneficial and will support your employees by looking after their personal wellbeing and productivity, but also help to retain talent. Financial incentives aren't motivating employees like they used to. Research from our Cultural Fit whitepaper found that of those surveyed, 70% chose their job due to non-financial ‘cultural’ indicators including a supportive and collaborative culture. Therefore, mindfulness offers a realistic approach to the modern day pressure of the work environment and provides employees with systems and support to build their resilience.

    2. Embed mindfulness within corporate values

The first step in creating a mindful culture is to connect mindfulness to an organisation’s corporate values. For example, if the concern of the organisation is to drive change; highlight how mindfulness practice facilitates a better understanding of a person’s perceptions and feelings. Being aware of this can help employees in realising their fear of the unknown; adopt a more objective approach while changing the way they usually do things to create greater opportunity for change.

Simple mindfulness practices can open your employees’ mind to a healthier, happier, more connected and innovative state of mind which will benefit the organisation as a whole. 

 

    3. Make resources available to your employees

Offer your staff the opportunity to develop their creativity through mindfulness practice by giving them access to resources they can utilise. This could be in the form of webinars, written content, guest speakers, workshops or retreats. Organisations have the opportunity to improve the wellbeing of their employees to ensure enhanced performance and greater retention.

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