A Community for Workplace Mindfulness
26th February, 2020
On 10th February I was privileged
to be able to join a panel heralding the launch of the Mindful Workplace
Established by the Mindfulness Initiative, the
Charity that emerged from the work of the UK Parliament’s All Party
Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness, the MWC is a diverse collection of people
dedicated to exploring, developing and facilitating sustainable, high-quality
mindfulness training in all types of workplace.
Its aim is to connect professionals and
organisations who champion, commission and deliver workplace mindfulness
The founder and
Honorary President of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness Chris Ruane
set the tone for the event. He shared his experience of the impact mindfulness
has had in the UK Parliament and offered his ongoing support and that of the
APPG, to those who are trying to embed mindfulness in their organisations.
The Mindfulness Initiative Director, Jamie Bristow, set the big picture and made the compelling
case that mindfulness in society has a vital role as we face increasingly
complex and immediate challenges.
The event was compared by the Mindful
Workplace community lead, Andrew McNeill, who shared his own journey and challenges as he discovered
mindfulness and decided he wanted to implement mindfulness in the UKs Civil
His passion was contagious and his call that
no-one should feel isolated as they tried to implement workplace mindfulness,
was very well received.
I represent SAP, a global software company who have a well-established mindfulness programme (The SAP Global Mindfulness Practice) reaching across all continents, with 40+ in-house mindfulness
trainers and 11,000 employees who have participated in the ‘Search Inside
Yourself’ programme; comprising of Mindfulness, Emotional Intelligence and the
I was able to share a little of our journey
and some of the extraordinary findings we have gained from some of the data we
have gathered over a number of years. In particular I mentioned that we are
fortunate enough to have a Chief Mindfulness Officer in Peter Bostelmann, who has been on this journey
for eight years. He said about the launch of the MWC:
“The wellbeing of colleagues and their capacity
to relate well is increasingly crucial to the success of organisations
worldwide. There’s already so much progress and value to share in the world of
workplace mindfulness and I look forward to the increased connectivity that the
Mindful Workplace Community will facilitate.”
It was lovely to be alongside a very
inspirational speaker Mari Lewis who leads Mindfulness at HSBC. Mari has driven the delivery of
the HSBC programme and was able to describe the logical, methodical approach
HSBC have taken to building their in-house champions. HSBC were also our kind
hosts for the event at the heart of London’s Canary Wharf.
What the MWC has to offer
Jamie and Andrew explained that the MWC resources
are already available, such as questionnaires and templates that members can
use when evaluating or promoting their programmes. These will grow as members
share their insights. Case studies are also available and a programme of
in-person and on-line events has been planned for 2020 and beyond. Members were
invited to guide the development of the programme and the content. This will be
a shared endeavour, not a top down hierarchical effort.
The panel session was followed by a rich set
of questions from the floor. Covering everything from the future role of the
MWC to the value of economic evaluation and diversity. The questions would have
gone on for longer if time hadn’t beaten us.
But the last question proved the value of the
MWC starting to take form in front of our eyes. Paraphrasing, one member of the
audience asked how can we evaluate culture change? Immediately one of the
researchers who was in the audience raised their hand and offered their help in
achieving that goal.
The atmosphere was a combination of excitement
and commitment. Noteworthy and full of humour. I had the opportunity to talk to
amazing people on the day – their passion, enthusiasm and dedication for
helping others was awe inspiring.
One thing that struck me was the range of
sectors represented in the room. In addition to many highly skilled mindfulness
training suppliers, there were people representing transport, finance, law,
care, media as well as of course, banking and technology sectors.
Next steps for success
I look forward to this global community going
from strength to strength and encourage you to join - it’s so good to be
connecting the entire Mindfulness ecosystem in the workplace setting.
Mindfulness has positively changed my life and continues to, and I want others
to have the same opportunity.
For this enterprise to fulfil its potential we
– people in the workplace who want to embed mindfulness in our organisations –
need to step forward and shape the MWC into what we think will be of value.
We need to share our insights, encourage
discussion on the topics we think are relevant and demonstrate our commitment.
I have no doubt the team behind the MWC can facilitate its success, but it will
need all of us to take this opportunity.
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Innovation Director, Mindfulness Teacher & Ambassador, SAP Global Mindfulness Practice
Matt creatively inspires and helps people to live in the present moment in order to achieve full potential and create the best possible future. How? By infusing and combining Mindfulness, Emotional Intelligence, Coaching, Human Centred Design, Storytelling, Music, Neuroscience and a dash of humour…
SAP Website: www.sap.com/mindfulness
Personal Website: www.championofyou.com