A workshop that is designed to teach you to be more effective cognitively by managing your day-to-day, dealing with stress and harnessing new opportunities.
A fortnight ago, I attended a four-hour workshop led by Professor Yesha Y. Sivan – visiting Professor Digital, Innovation and Venture Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School and Mr. Nir Hermelin Digital Senior Advisor i8 Ventures.
The purpose workshop is to give the participants practical scientifically tested tools to train our brain to deal in more efficient way with the 24/7 challenges we all face.
The OBM which stands for ORANGE BIKE MIND. In the OBM workshop is follows among others, on the works of Professor Gregory M. Walton of Stanford University in the field of “Wise Psychological Interventions”.
A “wise intervention” is a relatively short “action” that can have lasting impact on individuals and groups.
The key concepts the workshop focuses on are:
- Mindfulness – a mental state that allows you to be focused and open
- Meditation – an exercise you do to train yourself to become mindful
- Meditation tool – a certain technique to meditate and to use your brain plasticity
- Orange Bike – a mental model to describe the nature of being mindful
Who are the organizations that use “Mindfulness” for their teams? Here are a few: Apple, Google, ebey, Twitter, Facebook, McKinsey & Company, Goldman Sachs, NIKE.
Who are the universities who have Mindfulness research centers?
- University of Virginia
- University of Massachusetts
You’re Probebly wondering why mindfulness is needed so much?
Because our world is Messy and some of us know the phrase: VUCA – Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.
The new world moves super- fast. “Time to Money”. Just watch companies we all know such as Airbnb which was established in 2009 and is estimated to be worth US $ 35 Billion, WeWork which was established in 2010 and is estimated to worth US $ 47 Billion and a more recent player in the hospitality industry: “OYO” which was founded back in 2013 in India and according to a recent report is already valued at US $ 10 billion.
Why mindfulness works - The mechanism is brain plasticity which is an umbrella term that describes lasting change to the brain throughout an individual’s life course. Plasticity & Meditation: scientific researches show that long term and short -term practice of meditation results in different levels of activity in regions associated with such qualities as attention, anxiety, depression, fear, anger, the ability of the body to heal itself and so on.
Mindfulness should help in 3 states:
- Day to Day
The Orange Bike Mindfulness workshop suggests six different kinds of meditation that you can choose from.
- The Coffee/Water/Tea Meditation
- Breathing Meditation
- Walking Meditation
- Thinking Meditation
- Body Scan Meditation
- Communication Meditation
These are only a handful of meditation techniques that you are encouraged to use individually. You are welcome to “MIX & Match” as long as you do them twice a day every morning and evening, 10 minutes each time.
It is as simple as to ride a bike. Once you learn, you never forget. Essentially, meditation, is “sport for your grey cells”.
I wouldn’t go into the meditation techniques now, for that you can google the “Orange Bike” workshop web site: https://orangebike.net
I prefer to share with you some of Professor Yesha Sivan’s insights on the lodging and hospitality industry and how Mindfulness could be harnessed to assist us on our day-to-day tasks and keeping an open mind for new opportunities.
JF: “Openness” is the attitude to look for and try new business opportunities which is very needed for modern hotel executive. How dose meditation can help us to develop and further enhance openness?
YS: from my own experience staying in hotels thousands of nights throughout my career I notice that a key issue for hotel top executives is job fatigue. A hotel manager needs to deal with their team and with the guests. He needs to face guests in a welcoming way and not as an automatic procedure which is part of a “Blue or Grey” book of how to deal with problems.
Automatic response doesn’t provide the guests with the personal attention and the focus the guests are looking for. Meditation would help the manager to look at situations a-new. Be a better listener and focus on the team members and guests needs.
Regarding senior executives: General Managers, Regional Managers, CEO’s, they need to allocate time, lots of time, what I call
“Orange-Time” for new things. How much time? As much as 50% of their daily work time. They should delegate most of their operational work and give themselves time to think. Even small hotel at an everchanging super-speed 21st century, we all need to be more focused, open and less stressed, looking for new opportunities that come in our way hundreds if not thousands of daily small and big decisions managers need “Time for Focus”.
JF: In the Orange Bike workshop you offer six different types of meditation that you can choose from. From your own experience with senior executives, is there a particular type of meditation that is more popular than the others?
YS: It is depended on the person and his/her personality and what they want to strengthen. If it is for example a person is looking for more openness then Journaling meditation may prove to be a useful practice.
If you are too unfocused with your thoughts due to too many distractions. Your WhatsApp or WeChat keeps buzzing maybe you should simply give your smart phone to your secretary or PA and just look at them twice or 3 times a day. This will allow you to focus on the task at hand.
JF: One of the biggest challenges of the lodging and hospitality industry in the 21st century is the change of the old “world-order”. Hospitality and lodging haven’t changed much from the 19th Century and throughout the 20th century. In the 21st. century we see changes happening almost on a daily basis. We call them un-fondly the “Disruptors” Companies like Airbnb, OTA’s, WeWork and most recently the newest player in town OYO Hotels & Rooms. What are the tools that senior executives take from the likes of the Orange Bike workshop?
YS: Yes, you are absolutely right. The hospitality industry and in particular the lodging industry are “Traditional Industries” and as such they attracted what you name as the “Disruptors”. One of the ways of dealing with these companies is not to stay “locked” by your old ideas. You need to increase your “Openness” and creativity.
For example, the Hotel stay itself is only one third of the whole process. You have the choosing and booking process which takes the first third. The actual hotel stays which is fully in your hands and the last third which is the follow-up after the guest’s departure which is could and should also be in your hands. What hoteliers should do is move away from their daily work in order to try increasing their focus and work on new idea.
A practical piece of advice: Try using your routine morning briefings with your department heads for a 10 minutes meditation.
Let me share with you one example which comes from the airline industry. I am a frequent guest at the Kathy Pacific business lounge at the Hong-Kong airport. Last year the airline converted a large computer room in the Cathay pacific the-sanctuary by pure yoga which futures A Mind sanctuary and a Body sanctuary.
I believe that we need to take care and nourish our minds. Having the tools will allow us to do so anywhere and almost anytime.
So, if it’s good for your guests, let’s give it a try, join the new “meditation generation”.
Joseph - Yossi - Fischer the CEO of Vision Hospitality & Travel - international lodging & Travel Solutions and a regular contributor to 4Hoteliers.com with exclusive writing and views.
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