Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 27th 2015 Contents productive staff.
The trick to not burning out is to
dictate the way that technology com-
plements your business and your work-
ing style, rather than allowing your
devices and software to call the shots.
One idea that s making a difference is
the concept of "fast failure" (perhaps
we should call it "smart failure").
Let me explain: There have been
some famous examples from across
history in which a would-be inventor s
persistence has paid off. It took James
Dyson thousands of attempts before
he perfected his prototype for a vacuum
cleaner, for example, while Thomas
Edison went through about 10,000
failed prototypes before successfully
creating the electric light bulb. You can
imagine how they both could have ben-
efited from a shorter failure process.
At Virgin we now have "fast failure"
processes and technology that save
time. At Virgin Australia, for instance,
we rely on technology that gathers data
on everything we do; an open dialogue
with our customers via social media
that allows us to respond to feedback
in real time; and Ideas Lab, our internal
innovation platform, which encourages
"innovation champions" to step forward
with potential solutions to problems
the business might be facing. This
means that we aren t afraid of making
a mistake, since it can be rectified
quickly, and lessons can be learned and
implemented soon as well.
This relentless pursuit of the best
products and services for our customers
across Virgin s companies is essential,
as we would never want to stand still.
This pursuit of innovation, of course,
requires a talented and dedicated work-
force and it requires speed, which can
also cause strain. This is where mind-
fulness training comes in, and it should
be as important as any major techno-
When I went on holiday with my
family recently, I wasn t afraid to switch
on my out-of-office email message.
When was the last time you did the
same? If you can t recall, then maybe
it s time to slow down, switch off your
phone and focus on the present.
Your business will benefit as a result.
(Richard Branson is the founder of the
Virgin Group and companies such as Virgin
Atlantic, Virgin America, Virgin Mobile and
Virgin Active. He maintains a blog at www.vir-
gin.com/richard-branson/blog. You can follow
him on Twitter at twitter.com/richardbranson.
To learn more about the Virgin Group:
(Questions from readers will be answered
in future columns. Please send them to
RichardBranson@nytimes.com. Please include
your name, country, e-mail address and the
name of the website or publication where
you read the column.)
The clamour for
tickets from peo-
ple hoping to see
batch play Hamlet
at London s Bar-
bican Centre this summer has
made headlines across the world.
Some fans have travelled thousands
of miles to watch this admired
actor take on one of Shakespeare s
While I wouldn t dare argue
about the brilliance of either
"Hamlet" or its lead, there is
another intriguing event on the
Barbican s summer roster: "Lost
in Thought: A Mindfulness Opera."
This interactive four-hour expe-
rience features music inspired by
Buddhist teachings and encourages
audience participation in yoga,
meditation and even communal
eating. Its inclusion on a lineup
with "Hamlet" is a fascinating sign
of the times.
The notion of mindfulness, a
mental state achieved by slowing
down and focusing one s awareness
on the present moment, is making
a big impact on the field of busi-
ness these days. The life of an
entrepreneur has always been hec-
tic and stressful, but in the past
few years increased connectivity
has turned things up a notch.
Mindfulness is one way that many
entrepreneurs choose to combat
to the toll wrought by round-the-
clock emails, long working hours
and other aspects of our acceler-
ated business culture.
The business leader Arianna
Huffington says that mindfulness
gives her a competitive edge; Steve
Jobs did too.
New technologies have trans-
formed our workdays at Virgin.
Smartphones, especially, seemed
to bring only positives, giving peo-
ple more opportunities to meet
with others while remaining in
touch with the office. After all,
real-life experiences and face-to-
face encounters---with fellow
employees, customers or the pub-
lic---are where the majority of our
best ideas have come from.
But soon everybody began to
notice that while work and one s
private life used to be strictly seg-
regated, the line had blurred.
Increased connectivity also means
that you are always at your desk.
Burnout is now a very real threat
for many workers around the
world, which is why we ve taken
the step of introducing unlimited
holiday time and flexible working
options at our head offices at Vir-
gin. Other companies have inten-
sified their focus on employee
health as well.
Arianna told me last year that
at the Huffington Post, the intro-
duction of healthy snacks, a well-
ness program and mindfulness
training has led to a fitter and more
AUGUST 27 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COMMENTARY | BG15
SOUTHERN UNITED AGENCIES COMPANY LTD.
Wishes to advise that we have relocated our
business operations to the following address:
49 Sutton Street, San Fernando,
Trinidad, West Indies.
• Tel: 868-657-8147; 868-225-8903 • Fax: 868-652-5550
• E-mail: email@example.com • Website: www.suac.co.tt
Major product lines:
Rupture Discs, Tank Venting Pressure/Vacuum Relief Valves,
Emergency Vent Valves, Flame and Detonation Arrestors,
Gas Blanket Regulators, Gauge Hatch, Bio-Gas Digesters
A complete range of pumps to support core markets which
are Oil & Gas, Chemical, Power, Industrial Applications, Water
and Mining. Our broad product line complies with the most
demanding quality standards and industry specifications
such as API, ANSI and Hydraulic Institute Standards.
Industrial Pumps, Industrial Centrifugal Pumps, Commercial Pump
Products, Air Operated Diaphragm Pumps, Industrial Submersible
Pumps, Rotary Gear Pump Products, Positive Displacement Pumps,
Self Priming Pump Products, Mixing Equipment, Side Entry Mixer
Products, Top Entry Mixers, Industrial Gear Boxes, Industrial Electric
Motors, Pump Strainers, Packaged Systems, Industrial Pump Repair,
Service & Repairs
High performance coatings
systems for rebuilding of
damaged, worn or corroded
parts and equipment
Gyrolok Compression Tube
Valves & Manifolds.
Value of modern-day mindfulness
Links Archive August 26th 2015 August 28th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page