Ellen Langer, a pioneer in mindfulness research says that companies can promote innovation and their own rejuvenation by setting the right context.
Suppose you’re confined to a nursing home. You’re elderly, you’ve lost much of your mobility, and your faculties are deteriorating. Along comes a Harvard University social psychology professor named Ellen Langer who takes you away on a retreat, where everything is transformed into the way it looked and felt when you were 25. Radios with vacuum tubes play rockabilly and Perry Como, a hardcover copy of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger sits on a Danish modern coffee table (the movie won’t be released for several years yet), the clothing is au courant for 1959, and the conversation covers recent events like Fidel Castro’s invasion of Havana. The staff treat you like you’re in the prime of physical health, making you carry your own suitcases upstairs even if you haven’t recently lifted anything nearly that heavy. You know, at some level, that this is all a fictional recreation. But as it comes alive around you, you find yourself paying attention to your environment in ways you haven’t done in years.
You wouldn’t expect five days in a retreat like this to have much effect. But in the a counterclockwise study, which Langer conducted in 1981 and named after the way it seemed to reverse the effects of time, the results were remarkable. At the end of the retreat, members of the group showed demonstrable improvement, on average, in objective tests of memory, height, weight gain, posture, vision, and hearing. They even looked noticeably younger.
To continue reading, go to the source: Ellen Langer on the Value of Mindfulness in Business