A parallel between PLM consultancy and mindfulness training

Gepubliceerd op 28 maart 2023 om 19:03

I recently decided to become self-employed. From my own company, I offer consultancy in technical (PLM) processes and Mindfulness training. Quite a special combination. And maybe not logical to some. I offer it as two very separate services. Yet I do see similarities and common ground between them. In this blog, I will go into that a bit more.

One parallel that I see is between learning to meditate and successfully rolling out a new or changed business process. In my training to become a meditation trainer at Bridgeman, I once learned the 5 steps for learning mindfulness meditation.

  1. Confidence
  2. Commitment
  3. Experience
  4. Focus
  5. Wisdom

It is important that the beginning meditation practitioner has confidence in the method and effects of meditation. That is why we share theory and knowledge from brain science in our training and let participants experience it directly. With confidence comes the motivation to commit. Meditation is a process. You will only really notice its effects if you meditate structurally. That requires commitment, it does not happen automatically. To become committed, you need to know what meditation is and why and how to do it. The commitment ensures that the process gets going and experience arises. When the process is underway through commitment, the trainee will experience the effects of meditation for themselves. Because the trainee himself experiences that meditation works, focus and intrinsic motivation are developed. This helps the trainee to go for it. From the structural practice, that becomes ingrained in the daily routine, comes insight and wisdom. The trainee can then stand on his own two feet and continue on his path by himself.

The right level of guidance and support is important at every step. While these steps above are about learning the meditation process, the same goes for rolling out a technical business process such as processes in PLM. I've seen this go wrong so many times. We can devise a nice and theoretically efficient process, and implement a sophisticated (and very expensive) tool to facilitate it; but this is useless if we don't also ensure that employees/users understand, follow and properly execute that process. And this, in my opinion, often gets far too little attention.

Here too, it starts with trust. Involve users in the change in time, and share knowledge about why it is necessary, and what it brings for the company and them. Involve the users and make them aware. Invite them to workshops and interviews to gain a proper understanding of their needs and ideas, involve them in testing and take them through process scenarios to let them experience possible improvements early on. Events to raise awareness, like for example the CM game will also help. If the users gain awareness and start to experience possible benefits, then openness and the will for change will come. This will result in a focus on the change, instead of on the resistance that leads to endless discussions. The users will support the change, are open to training, and want to get started. At first, there is a need for close support, but with practice the user will become more and more independent and wisdom will come. The new process is embraced and picked up. And even better, the users will see possible improvements, which they want to share to improve together. That is a much nicer situation than the resistance, frustration, and negativity we see so often.

Ultimately, it comes down to providing the right guidance toward awareness. And there is a parallel between the two 'different' things that I do. This is where I like to be involved. Either as a PLM consultant or Mindfulness and meditation trainer. 

Let's make your process a success!

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