Mindfulness at Work

Date:  Tuesday, April 22, 2014April 22, 2014
Time:  6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. [5:30 registration/check-in]
Location:  University of St. Thomas, Opus Hall; 1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Map and driving directions.

Event Contact: 
Liz Knight
No cost, but registration is required.

Online registration for the Mindfulness at Work event is now closed. Please register for the event onsite by visiting the registration/check table‌ in Opus Hall.


Learn more about Mindfulness at Work from guest speakers: Mariann Johnson, senior trainer at the Institute for Mindful Leadership, will lead participants through a meditation exercise and facilitate discussion on the role and impact of mindfulness as a leadership practice. Matthew Sanford, founder of Mind Body Solutions, will facilitate a different form of mindfulness practice and follow up with a discussion on improving wellness and health through greater mind-body awareness at work.

Photos of Mariann Johnson and Matthew Sanford, keynote speakers at OL&D spring 2014 Mindfulness at Work event.


A Shift in Our Field of Awareness

Peter Senge, Edgar Schein, and Daniel Goleman are just a few of the key figures in our field who have recently infused core principles of mindfulness practice with their approach to organizational learning. These principles include: being in the present moment, suspending judgment, approaching problems with a beginner’s mind, and intentionally shifting attention to and beyond oneself. Senge and his colleagues at MIT have developed a practice for strategic innovation called Presencing, which involves being in the moment and suspending judgment in order to clearly see the future as it emerges (Senge et al., 2004). Schein (2013) introduces a similar process known as Humble Inquiry, akin to the Buddhist attitude of beginner’s mind, in which leaders learn to open their minds as non-experts in order to expand their creative reach.

Similarly, Daniel Goleman (2013) suggests leveraging the primal leadership capacity of Focus, which involves directing attention to and beyond ourselves to appreciate the interplay of larger systems within organizations. It’s no wonder that organizations as futuristic as Google are actively incorporating and enjoying the benefits of mindfulness practice (Chade-Meng, 2012). Mindfulness @ Google.

Science backs up these new orientations to organizational learning as regular meditation practice is shown to increase brain matter (Hölzel et al., 2011) associated with: improved decision making, enhanced learning and memory, optimized emotional regulation, and an increased ability to take on new perspectives. Join us at this special event to learn more about how these principles and practices are emerging in the field.


  • Chade-Meng, T. (2012). Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace). Harper One.
  • Goleman, D. (2013). Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence. HarperCollins.
  • Hölzel, B., Carmody, J., Vangel, M., Congleton, C., Yerramsetti, S., Gard, T., Lazar, S. (2011). Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density, Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. 191: 36-43.
  • Senge, P., Scharmer, C., Jaworski, J., Flowers, B. (2004). Presence: Exploring Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society. Doubleday
  • Schein, E. (2013). Humble Inquiry: the Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.


Program Schedule

5:30-6:00 p.m.
Registration/Check-in (Heavy appetizers will be served.)

6:00-7:30 p.m.
Welcome and Introduction
William Brendel, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Organization Learning and Development

Speaker Presentations
Mariann Johnson, Institute for Mindful Leadership
Matthew Sanford, Mind Body Solutions

Q and A moderated by Dr. Brendel

7:30-8:00 p.m.
Information session for programs within the Department of Organization Learning and Development

Related Content

Star Tribune article "Mindfulness arrives in the workplace."

Mariann Johnson interview by the Huffington Post about mindfulness leadership. View the interview here.

Read more about Matthew Sanford's work.

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