Would you like to do something for your soul this summer?


I’ve been putting together a week of mindfulness teaching set in the beautiful French Alps this summer. Would you like to join us for one or a few days?

There are still cheap flights available and it’s just one hour from Geneva. We also have flexible price options to make it as affordable as possible.

Here are the details. You can also check out the event on Facebook.

::::: WHAT’S HAPPENING? :::::
This August, Dr Joel & Michelle Levey, two of the world’s most experienced and respected teachers in the contemplative arts, sciences and wisdom traditions will be in Dream Valley in the French Alps, one hour from Geneva.

We invite you to an inspiring adventure to explore mindfulness, meditation, mind-fitness, wisdom teachings, and extraordinary human potential. It’s open to everyone: From young adults, to families with children, entrepreneurs & change-makers, and those from the local community.

You are welcome to participate on the dates of most interest to you during the week.

Register your interest here: http://goo.gl/forms/SRlwHbbtYICBqpUK2

::::: WHAT DOES IT COST? :::::
You can select the financial contribution that is right for you. Here is some guidance.

Adults with higher incomes, suggested contribution £150 per day of participation.
Middle income: £100 per day.
Lower income: £50 per day.
Unwaged: £20 per day to cover food costs.
Under 21’s: FREE.
Additional offerings to the teachers are also welcome if you are so moved.

You will need to pay for your own travel and accommodation. If you register your interest using this link we will help you find the right options:http://goo.gl/forms/SRlwHbbtYICBqpUK2

If you would like to come to more days than you can afford, please pay what you can and come anyway – we don’t want you to miss out.

All sessions are FREE for under 21’s, and we can also cover airfare, travel and accommodation free of charge for a limited number of young people. Thank you to our generous sponsors Anderson Acoustics, Neil Witten and Propellernet for making this possible.

::::: WHO IS IT FOR? :::::
You don’t need to have any special skills or experience to join this retreat. Just a genuine curiosity and wish to fully commit yourself to learning. All teaching will be in English.

This is for you, your partners, friends and families if you would like to:

– Develop your capacity to live with greater mindfulness, mind-fitness, resilience and self-mastery.
– Learn how to live a more healthy, balanced, and conscious life.
– Foster healthy and meaningful relationships.
– Learn profoundly practical ways to thrive in these complex times.
– Spend time in the stunningly beautiful outdoors in the French Alps with meditations and conversations along the way.
– Be part of a multigenerational vibrant learning community reflecting deeply on how these practices and perspectives weave deeply into our daily lives, work and relationships.

The teaching is spiritual but not religious, yet compatible with all major faiths.

You are welcome to participate on the dates of most interest to you during the week.

The schedule will be tailored to those wishing to participate. So far, the plan looks like this:

Mon 22 Aug: Evening conversation and meditation with Joel & Michelle. Open to all.

Tues 23 Aug: A one day retreat for 16-20 year olds with teachings from Joel & Michelle, conversations, meditations, and explorations of the beautiful mountains.

Weds 24 Aug: Teaching, meditation and walking. Tailored to those who would like to participate this day.

Thurs 25 Aug: A one-day mind-fitness retreat open to all. Families and others with children of all ages are especially encouraged to come. It will include teaching, conversations, walking and time outdoors.

Friday 26 Aug: Teaching, meditation and walking. Tailored to those who would like to participate this day.

Saturday 27 Aug: Teaching, conversation and walking focussed on entrepreneurs, leaders and other change-makers.

Sunday 28 Aug: Teaching, meditation and walking. Tailored to those who would like to participate this day.

Monday 29 Aug Morning. Closing sessions open to all.

Register your interest here: http://goo.gl/forms/SRlwHbbtYICBqpUK2

Samoens is one hour from Geneva.
From overseas there are cheap flights to Geneva on EasyJet, BA and more.
From Geneva you can hire a car, or catch a train to Cluses and take a 20 minute taxi ride.
Car sharing and ground transport for groups can also be arranged – please contact us.
There are multiple accommodation options in Samoens. We recommend: La Vieille Ferme, which will also be used as a base for the teaching during the week. http://www.lvfalps.com/

Dr. Joel and Michelle Levey offer a rich multidisciplinary blend of insights, inspiration, and experience distilled from 47 years of intensive study and practice in the contemplative sciences and wisdom traditions, and the seamless integration of their work through multiple roles as: clinicians in medical centers; corporate trainers/consultants working with leaders and executive teams around the globe; mindfulness and meditation teachers (in numerous contemplative traditions – including study with very respected teachers from many different “mindfulness lineages” and authorization to teach); mentors to leaders in government, business, medical, and military arenas; faculty at leading universities around the world; mind-fitness coaches for world-class and Olympic-gold athletes; and contemplative science researchers.
Michelle and Joel also have the unique distinction of having done this work together as a couple for 33 years. They were among the first people to introduce the “inner sciences” into mainstream business, medicine, higher education, sports, and government arenas beginning in the 70s.

Michelle and Joel’s clients include: NASA, Google, World Bank, British Parliament, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, National Institute of Health, Institute for Health & Productivity Management, and hundreds of leading organizations around the globe. They have served as faculty at University of Minnesota Medical School, Antioch University; Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad); Mahidol University (Thailand); The World Business Academy, and International Center of Organization Design. Their books are available in 14 languages and include: Living in Balance: A Mindful Guide for Thriving in a Complex World; Mindfulness, Meditation, and Mind Fitness; Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation: Ancient Skills for Modern Minds, and many other books.

To learn more about Joel & Michelle: http://www.wisdomatwork.com/mindfulnesspioneers/

Register your interest here: http://goo.gl/forms/SRlwHbbtYICBqpUK2

Five links: the brain; dystopia/utopia; empowerment; cartoon Rumi; creativity and staying true

  1. The brain: Dispensing with the metaphor that the brain is like a computer.
  2. Economics & democracy (video): Yanis Varoufakis on the choice between Matrix style dystopia and Star Trek utopia.
  3. Management: 6 myths about empowering employees.
  4. Poetry: Totally awesome cartoon version of Rumi’s The Guest House.
  5. Creativity: A story about the creative process and the art of staying true.

Five links: Google team success; getting men writing; Medium is off Holacracy; falling behind; impact lifestyle business

  1. Research: What Google found from a study into successful teams
  2. Kickstarter: Beautifully designed journal to get men writing about their thoughts and feelings
  3. Org structure: Holacracy ‘gets in the way of work’ at Medium, so they’re moving off it
  4. Motivation: To anyone who feels like they’re falling behind in life (lovely counterpoint to throwaway motivational messages)
  5. Article by me: Supercharging a lifestyle business with IMPACT.

Unfucking the world, Reinventing Organisations and transforming NixonMcInnes

In recent months I’ve been publishing articles elsewhere on the web rather than this blog. I thought it would be a good idea to keep everything joined up, so here are a few things I’ve been writing about.

First up, some thoughts about how we perceive the world, and the notion of needing to change it: I’m giving up trying to unfuck the world and so should you.

I’ve also been exploring the importance of individuals (not groups) holding a vision for their initiatives: Resolving the paradox in Frederic Laloux’s wonderful book Reinventing Organisations; and on a similar theme, another article on breaking the taboo of authority in organisations.

Here’s the backstory about my company NixonMcInnes being radically transformed. The consulting business has been decentralised into an ecosystem of independent initiatives. The Meaning Conference which grew out of NM is happening for the 4th year on 12 November 2015 where 350 people will gather in Brighton to explore the future of business. Earlybird tickets are on sale.

Power and love

“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anaemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” – Martin Luther King

6 inspiring business audio books

A friend who’s not into reading asked me recently if I could recommend some great business audiobooks. Here’s a little list of some books I’ve enjoyed over the last year or two which are available as audio. Some famous ones and a few you might not have come across before. They’re all available as normal books too. Enjoy.

  1. Peak by Chip Conley. Really fun and inspiring book about creating amazing experiences for customers, employees and investors – this got me really buzzing with ideas for my own company: My review.
  2. The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin. How everyone is an artist, and can lift off their lid and be true to themselves.
  3. I Have a Dream by Rashmi Bansel. Brilliant stories about creating businesses that deliver real social good.
  4. The Go-giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann. Lovely little story about the power of giving as a way to success and happiness.
  5. Betterness by Umair Haque. Brilliant short book about the purpose of business. My review.
  6. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. The inspiring story of Zappos – building a business based on happiness.

A simple, powerful way to create a collaborative workplace

Last week I visited the awesome Studiomates collaborative workspace in Brooklyn, New York. When you visit the space, you immediately notice the collaborative, friendly atmosphere so I asked how they go about cultivating that. Naturally they are selective about who they accept as studiomates, but once people are in, how do they get people collaborating?

A big part of the answer over there is simply eating lunch together every day. You don’t have to have a Google-style free gourmet canteen to do this. Just have a set time every day and encourage everyone to eat their lunch together. It’s as simple as that, but don’t under-estimate the power. Humans have been talking while they eat together for thousands of years. It’s a very natural way to find out what’s going on and who needs help as well as creating and strengthening relationships and having fun.

We’re starting this practice at The FuseBox today. How about doing this at your workplace?