As organizations continue to struggle to find their footing in this new work culture, we must begin to rethink the paradigmatic models themselves and find alternatives to navigate these new professional waters. In this digital era where the lines between work and home life have become so blurry, where the voices of social media are echoing throughout our daily lives new pressures have arisen causing a drastic increase in anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues that are impacting productivity and strike at the very heart of business culture. It is time to look for change, but more importantly, an obligation to discover an effective blueprint that companies can use to respond in such a way that meets the psychic needs of their employees while engaging the challenges of business life.
While C-Suite Executives and other high-level management begin to search out these solutions, it is important to recognize the magnitude that balance plays in the future of one’s personal and professional life. In this new open-sourced society where the differentiation between work and home life is quite porous along with the advancement in technological devices allowing us to always remain available can take its toll. Attaining balance is a fundamental tool for business success in this 21st-century high-tech world.
So, organizations must ask themselves, as they face this evolving business culture, what are some of the techniques needed to master these challenges, and how can they implement them into their day-to-day business practice? One of those techniques can be found in the work of Harvard psychologist, Susan David where she describes how the power of emotional agility can offer greater success in navigating the circuitous route of life. In her book Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life she writes that “Emotional agility is about loosening up, calming down, and living with more intention. It’s about choosing how you’ll respond to your emotional warning system.” It is this fundamental concept that can be a game-changer in characterizing the future of management practice. By understanding the internal motivations that drive our external experiences from the spectrum of one’s profession to personal relationships. Building a capacity to pivot and have an awareness to embrace agility will be a factor in the future of business growth.
Looking towards the new parlance of business culture, mental health is no longer framed in the context of one’s inner life, but rather the ongoing dialogue between the external and internal mechanisms that drive our daily experiences. Organizations need to see mental health as a valued instrument in their toolbox, and the goal now is to recognize how to implement it. Having a level of emotional agility is the first step to embracing change and providing a greater system for growth in nonlinear ways which in this new fast-paced environment offers a much-needed competitive advantage.
When organizations begin to understand that mental health should not be relegated under the auspices of human resources but must be considered an essential element of business practice, only then can we engage in the power of change. It is this process of transformation that will allow both individuals and organizations the latitude to make mistakes, iterate, and find the balance that works best for both the individual and the organization to thrive.
Building the bond between work life and mental health strategies is the prerequisite for creating a sense of meaning in this new business culture. Finding this type of meaning signifies that companies must not only be nimble but can expand that definition to incorporate emotional agility by creating a more comprehensive plan for growth in this digital economy.
Emotional agility in large part provides a new foundational approach to grappling with change. The next phase of this progression is to go deeper and explore even further to see where this new thinking dovetails with other ideas to engage in areas such as workplace toxicity, industry volatility, and how employees can cope with the radical shifts that are defining this new normal within business life.