Mind­ful­ness: Mul­ti­ply Your Pro­duc­tiv­ity Through Un­di­vided At­ten­tion

Rotman Management Magazine - - FEA­TURES - By Al­berto Rib­era and J.L. Guil­lén

Mind­ful­ness em­pow­ers you to re­place

knee-jerk re­ac­tions with more con­scious — and ul­ti­mately more

ef­fi­cient — be­hav­iour.

buy­ers are just ‘do­ing their job’ when they in­sist on rock-bot­tom prices from their sup­pli­ers. em­ploy­ees who sell un­needed ex­tras are do­ing some­thing that sales­peo­ple do reg­u­larly. And the ad­mis­sions of­fi­cers who give ex­tra con­sid­er­a­tion to the off­spring of wealthy alumni are fol­low­ing pro­ce­dures that have been in place for decades. Yet the in­di­rect ef­fects of th­ese be­hav­iours are highly prob­lem­atic.

The harms cre­ated by such in­di­rect ef­fects are an im­por­tant lead­er­ship chal­lenge: Lead­ers need to think beyond the mo­ment to an­tic­i­pate the prob­lems that their or­ga­ni­za­tion’s pro­ce­dures could cre­ate. When a com­pany sets up pro­cesses that lead peo­ple to un­in­ten­tion­ally dis­crim­i­nate against a par­tic­u­lar group, the or­ga­ni­za­tion it­self is en­gag­ing in dis­crim­i­na­tion. Its lead­ers are re­spon­si­ble for notic­ing this and for mak­ing the re­quired changes to pre­vent in­di­rect harms from oc­cur­ring.

There is no lack of abil­ity to solve th­ese prob­lems in our or­ga­ni­za­tions, but rather, a fail­ure of lead­er­ship imag­i­na­tion to an­tic­i­pate their log­i­cal con­se­quences.

—M. Baz­er­man in The Power of Notic­ing

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