Mindfulness in action

Mindfulness in action

U.S. navy seals build capacity for mindfulness

We know mindfulness is at play in high reliability organisations such as public safety organisations but we know little about how this is achieved by individuals. Amy Graher, Layla Jane Branicki and AIPM 2018 Professor in Residence Keith Grint took a look into how “U.S. navy seals build capacity for mindfulness”.


“This study of US Navy Sea Air and Land (SEALs) commandos contributes to the research investigating mindfulness in High-Reliability Organizations (HROs) by identifying micro- and macro-level influences that allow SEALs to build capacity for mindful behaviors and flexible responses despite the complexity of their missions, unpredictability of their operating environments, and inherent danger of their work. Although HRO literature defines five hallmarks of mindfulness, how frontline people working in HROs create a state of collective mindfulness is not often investigated. This study addresses this gap through an empirical exploration of ‘mindfulness in action’ as a way to link individual mindfulness traits and organizational mindfulness influences, providing a more nuanced conceptualization of one hallmark of mindfulness—a preoccupation with failure—and offering a new sixth factor that allows HROs to perform in a near error-free manner: comfort with uncertainty and chaos. These discoveries open up new avenues of HRO research for a wide range of reliability-seeking organizations.”

Their research can be found here.

Academy of Management Discoveries 2017, Vol. 3, No. 3, 239–261. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5465/amd.2014.0146

AIPM 2018 Professor in Residence Keith Grint is in Sydney next month and is presenting the Workshop, “Wicked Problems and Leadership”. Get more information on the workshop here.

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