Organizations Need To Breathe


What do I mean when I say “Organizations Need To Breathe”?

Before I concentrate in on the prevailing thought I should first define what I mean by “breathe”.  Over the course of many of life’s ups and downs I have found solace is such wonderful works as “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer and let us not forget the practice of yoga.  Although rich in the philosophies they espouse, one of the common themes is the power of breathing.  In my yoga class when I feel ready to pass out from the heat they will tell me to go into “dead pose” and focus on my breath.  When thoughts and emotions react negatively to external stimuli you become “aware”, or “conscious” by listening to your breath.  Breathing is one of the most important functions for us to exist.  It allows us to enrich our blood with oxygen and release the stale air into the atmosphere (air containing carbon dioxide that plants require so it is a win-win).

Not only is it required for us to live it is fundamental to everything that we do.  When I was younger my mother put me in the choir.  We were taught that we should fill our lungs with air and release that breath as we are singing.  This same efficiency with breathing helped to increase my karate skills and allowed me to maximize my bottom time during a SCUBA dive.  As you can see, three apparently disparate activities made more effective by being efficient at breathing.

Focusing on your breathing calms you, makes you more effective and efficient.  In organizations that have so much complexity, I equate breathing to focusing on purpose.  Bring it back to the fundamental…why do you exist as an enterprise?  As a going concern you have made promises to many groups of people: clients or customers, shareholders, suppliers, vendors, and employees.  Breathing means cutting through the political and individual priorities that sometimes plague organizations and focusing on seamlessly integrating operations that deliver value to the stakeholders to whom promises were made.

About the Author: Hazel

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