Mindsets and Mindfulness

I took a transatlantic flight a week or two ago and in looking for something to read (being mindful!) I picked up a book called ‘Mindfulness’. It had a few very useful pieces in it by esteemed coaches like Ellen Langer.

I picked on two or three of her comments in particular:-

    1. ‘We all seek stability. We want to hold things still, thinking that if we do, we can control them. But since everything is always changing that doesn’t work. Actually it causes you to lose control’.

    2. ‘You can’t solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions

    3. ‘When you are mindful, rules, routines and goals guide you they don’t govern you’.

What is Ellen Langer saying here and how does it relate to business today? All three of the above statements are very relevant to business and the business owner.

Let’s take point 1 and as an example a business that has enjoyed market leadership with one of its products for years. Why change things? The product has always delivered. That’s logical isn’t it? It is provided your market isn’t changing and the reality is that your market WILL be changing. The business world has no room for complacency and the business leaders who will continue to lead are those who embrace change, get dissatisfied with business as usual and strive for something different. You could almost smell the complacency in the Blockbuster video chain Boardroom when it dismissed a bid for Netflix as unnecessary – they controlled the market then but somebody changed the game!! Don’t get ‘Blockbustered’ by new competition who think smarter than you in your market.

Point 2 simply says what we cover in many of our Workshops and discuss with clients every day. You need to think ‘out of the box’ and think creatively of better and more effective ways of doing things. If you don’t we guarantee a competitor will. Our Breakthrough Results programmes embraces the three areas you need to address – step change goal setting, harnessing know how and thinking creatively. It is only when the three are used together that real breakthroughs in business occur.

Point 3 is all about playing with boundaries and not always working within them. Working within boundaries and rules and regulations is necessary to a degree of course but without some people in business history testing those limits and the (then) current thinking and exploring the world beyond the current boundaries we would not have seen such revolutionary changes as the Internet, ‘Hole in the Wall’ Banking, the Motor Car Assembly Line, Cyclonic Vacuum Cleaners etc. The list is endless – somebody thought ‘it can be done’ and did it! It can’t be done by remaining within what we call the ‘Box of Incrementalism’ and if that is where you operate as a business leader may we suggest you think again!!

We are always happy to meet business people who are keen to grow their business in a mindful way and we do this free of charge – if you would like a chat with us about your business just get in touch or call us on: 0116 232 5231

David Turner

Managing Director

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