Followers will know that I have been a consultant for around five years. It has been a creative and fruitful time; I have worked with many interesting and talented people, supported many tremendous projects and teams, and been stunned by the commitment of the students I have taught.
In our professional lives, we are surrounded by and endlessly use and manipulate information and systems that are based on formal logic. The worlds we occupy are structured by theories, models and systems that are more or less logically coherent. If our aim is to make the world a better place, then starting with an understanding of logic beyond the simple analysis of arguments is a necessity.
A recent article in the Economist’s Schumpeter column has prompted me back to the keyboard. The piece in question is Philosopher Kings. The author argues that many business leaders would benefit from “inward-bound” short courses where participants explore ideas in great literature and the uses of philosophical concepts. Going beyond the moment-by-moment experiences that mindfulness practices cultivate (although I question this characterisation of mindfulness), an “inward-bound” session would enrich the thinking and inner life of business leaders, providing inspiration for thought and decision-making with refreshed frameworks drawn from the works of philosophers and thinkers whose ideas have had significant impact on how we understand ourselves, each other and the world, and how we act in that world.
In a recent edition of The Economist the Schumpeter column, The Mindfulness Business (16/11/13), discusses the uses of meditation in business contexts particularly in high-tech settings, as a way of helping employees find a moment of peace in a hectic working environment.