Monday, June 01, 2015

MINDFUL MANAGEMENT - Yoga for Employees?

"For this CEO, mindful management means yoga for employees" PBS NewsHour 5/28/2015


SUMMARY:  For Mark Bertolini, CEO of health insurer Aetna, a near-death experience led him to make big changes in his personal life and at the company.  Living with pain from a skiing accident inspired him to take up yoga and meditation, which made him wonder if it could also help his employees.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports.

PAUL SOLMAN (NewsHour):  Aetna insurance, number 57 on the Fortune 500, surprised corporate America recently when it hiked its minimum wage to $16/hour.  It was a quirky move by a quirky CEO, Mark Bertolini, motorcycle enthusiast, former hippie, and two-time college dropout, who aced the GMAT exam on a lark, which led to a Cornell MBA, and a career in health insurance.

This CEO manages by walking around, slowly and mindfully, actually practicing walking meditation, and attentively listening to his employees.

MARK BERTOLINI, CEO, Aetna:  This income inequality issue was rattling around in my head.  I mean, I came from a family that wasn’t — you know, we, sometimes didn’t have insurance.  My dad worked half-time.  My — you know, my mother was a part-time nurse.

And so I had been pushing the team on it, but I was getting this sort of — you know, we’re running a company, you know?


MARK BERTOLINI:  This is a — we’re, you know, a capitalist enterprise.  We’re a commercial enterprise.

PAUL SOLMAN:  Did they know that you were a hippie in the…


PAUL SOLMAN:  … ’70s?

MARK BERTOLINI:  Well, kind of.  We’re not the first company to really make this kind of investment.  I mean, Patagonia, there’s a book out about it, right?  “Let My People Go Surfing,” right?

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