Can we succeed without the body?
It seems like a ridiculous question, but when we listen to conventional business conversation, we might be inclined to wonder. After all, most discussions of management, strategy and tactics take place in the abstract world of the mind. In this process, the body is considered a minor player at best; health is a concern only in its absence. Skyrocketing medical costs and presenteeism attract our attention to be sure, but the body itself is rarely granted a voice.
This perspective is about to change dramatically. A new era of biological sophistication is beginning to unfold, with a flood of new discoveries demonstrating without question the powerful, cascading interconnections between our physical state and our work-life performance. Increasingly, organizational visionaries are coming to realize that the body is not merely important, but absolutely crucial to personal and organizational success.
In fact, the body is the primary source of human performance. What happens in the individual body and brain inevitably ripples throughout social organizations. This is especially the case in high-intensity knowledge industries where demands on the human nervous system are acute and stress is epidemic. In this kind of environment, small changes in brain and nervous system function can have enormous consequences in judgment, decision-making and effectiveness.
In coming decades, progressive organizations will devote increasing attention and resources to preserving and extending their “neurological assets,” patterns of neural connectivity that record vital experience, memories and learning. Integrated physical training and stress education will enhance the function of this precious biological circuitry.
The writing is on the wall: What’s good for the body is good for the brain, cognition, memory, creativity, decision-making, emotional intelligence, pro-social behavior, team cohesion, prosperity and growth. In other words, health is not just a luxury in the modern organization, it's a business necessity.
About Exuberant Animal: | Frank Forencich is an internationally-recognized leader in health education and performance training. He earned his B.A. at Stanford University in human biology and neuroscience and has over 30 years teaching experience.
Frank has presented at Google, General Electric, Stanford Design School and major medical conferences. He is the author of "Play as if Your Life Depends on It," "Exuberant Animal," "Change Your Body, Change the World" and "Stresscraft: A Whole-Life Approach to Health and Performance."
Web site: http://www.biology-of-the-bottom-line.com/index.html