The Human Performance Factor
We are presently experiencing an unprecedented interest in pushing the boundaries of human performance.
This may have come about partly as a response to challenging economic conditions and facilitated by the increase in communication and information channels,
There is barely a day that goes by without a report from the fields of Neuroscience, Performance Psychology, technology or Bio-hacking (to name a few), that reveal new techniques, tools, apps or supplements that will significantly increase our performance and productivity.
These developments include Brain Entrainment, powerful mental conditioning processes previously only used by Special Forces operators and the very best athletes in the world, technologies that rapidly facilitate recovery and enhance focus, Mindfulness, next generation Smart Drugs (for mental function), seemingly endless productivity apps and much more. These advances are only the tip of the superhuman iceberg.
Zen and the Art of Corporate Productivity
While people have always been interested in personal development in its various forms, it’s the first time we are experiencing a deep and growing interest by corporates in the application of the latest research in human performance. This interest is entirely consistent with the pursuit of profit. Healthy and high performing executives will be able to work longer hours, have less sickness, effectively manage stress and have greater creativity.
Meditation, yoga, and mindfulness are already widely accepted by corporates as powerful tools for increasing executive resilience, productivity, creativity and clarity of thought. According to research, approximately one quarter of all major American employers now deliver some form of stress reducer. The companies include Apple, Nike, Google, McKinsey and Yahoo.
Executive Flow and the 5x Factor
Flow is without doubt, one of the most exciting developments in the field of human performance. First coined by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, “flow” is a state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed, intensely focused, full involvement, and enjoying the process of the activity. Flow has been researched across a variety of fields
A person experiencing a state of flow is able to achieve far more than they could when out of flow; sometimes, more than believed humanely possible. The significance of flow is such that business leaders and scientific researchers are taking serious notes of flow and its profound implications.
Steven Kotler, author of “The Rise of Superman,” and Jamie Wheal, are co-founders of the Flow Genome Project and are at the forefront of identifying the keys to unlocking and harnessing “flow” states. In “The Rise of Superman,” Kotler refers to a McKinsey study that found that top executives in “flow” are five times more productive than when out of it. The implications for individuals and companies are plainly significant.
The “Limitless” Executive
How far corporates are willing go to embrace the latest developments in human performance remains to be seen. What is clear is that those interested in attaining success at the highest levels of their organizations should give careful consideration to purchasing a yoga mat instead of a set of golf clubs.
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