Mindful Leadership for Innovation (Speaker: Tojo Thatchenkery)

Tojo Thatchenkery

If you were to analyze the top 50 of the over 1,000 leadership books published during the last five years you will find that there isn’t a single approach to leadership that will work in every situation. Ironically, many of them contradict one another. But, is there a mindset or attitude about being a leader that might work for us irrespective of our industry or specialty? I believe there is and I call it the mindful leadership. Mindful leadership does not ask us to locate ourselves in a quadrant, follow ten strategies, or practice seven steps.  It merely asks us to pay attention and notice what’s around us. The ancient Buddhist practice of paying full attention to the present moment intentionally and non-judgmentally holds significant promise for developing leadership and creating innovation without strife and stress. Mindfulness enables us to recognize simple, practical responses to difficult innovation challenges rather than reacting out of habit. However, being aware is not an easy mental state to be in for most of us. It takes practice to engage with openness and see new possibilities for innovation. Being open to experiences without judging is an act of appreciation. This talk will explore the rather paradoxical task of merely paying attention to accentuate our awareness of the socially constructed nature of organizational reality and to feel comfortable to act with simplicity, empathy, and conviction. Examples from companies such as Google, Target, and General Mills that have developed mindful leadership programs will be shared.

A/V requirements: LCD, Screen, Lavalier Microphone, Two Speakers