Can mindfulness stimulate sustainability-oriented innovation?

For most of us in the Western hemisphere the summer holiday season is coming to an end and I sincerely hope that everybody enjoyed  their summer holidays. This year I have, like previous years, the intention to keep the mindset of the summer holidays for a longer period of time. Apparently we have a different mindset when we are on a summer holiday, than when we are busy in our daily routines during the rest of the year. Thoughout the summer holidays we are mostly more mindful, where we value more aspects of life, often the little things, and we  have more observations without judgement or criticism. To keep the mindset of the summer holiday longer, I found inspiration in a study that was published last week in the Journal of Cleaner Production (by Siqueira & Pitassi, 2016), which is about the question if mindfulness can make a difference in sustainability-oriented innovations?

Summer End

The end of summer

Mindfulness is a growing topic in the academic literature and in business, where it is mainly related to the well being of people. Positive aspects of mindfulness are that people gain a better awareness of one’s inner and outer worlds without immediate categorizations, comparisons, self-reference, judgements or criticism. This can help to reduce stress, increases flexibility, improves memory, improves relationships and many other benefits.
In the field of sustainability-oriented innovation, mindfulness can help to improve our creative potential, ecological concern, ethical behavior and empathy for others.

Looking back at the summer holiday and what mindfulness can do to be more successful in sustainability-oriented innovation, there are perhaps a few simple adjustments in our daily working routines. that can make a difference. These adjustments are:

  • Take more time to be aware of situations without immediate judgements.
  • Be more aware of the ecological, social and ethical issues involved.
  • Be more creative to keep what is good and improve where possible or needed.

The coming Strategy Blogs shall be focused more on sustainability-oriented innovations. The future blogs and discussions on the social media shall be tagged as #sustainnovate. If you have any suggestions or best practices please leave a reply underneath this blog or send me an email (StrategyBlogs@outlook.com).

Have a great week!

Norbert Bol

Literature

Siqueira, R. P., & Pitassi, C. (2016). Sustainability-oriented innovations: Can mindfulness make a difference?. Journal of Cleaner Production.

Photo credit: Master Cheng Yen There is nothing we cannot achieve if we are willing to think, cultivate and take mindful action, symphony of love via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: The end of Summer, Great Beyond via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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