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Can meditation lead to innovation?
Mandar Apte, part of Shell’s GameChanger team, has won the inaugural “League of Intrapreneurs” competition, launched by the Ashoka Changemakers, the Inter-American Investment Corporation and Accenture. His unique approach to boosting innovation in the workplace draws on ancient meditation techniques.
Mandar Apte receives League of Intrapreneurs award
The Ashoka Changemakers network has been searching for individuals in companies able to transform business and society: so-called “social intrapreneurs”. In April 2013 it named Mandar Apte, who works with Shell GameChanger, among four competition winners. Top business minds around the world, such as Virgin’s Richard Branson , have shown their support.
Chemical engineer Mandar believes change comes from within. “Nowadays every visionary CEO is inspiring their organisation to be more innovative,” he says “But barriers to innovative thinking are often a lack of mental and social skills.”
Meditation encourages innovation
Mandar’s EMPOWER programme uses meditation techniques to help participants across Shell unleash their creativity. To date, around 2,000 Shell staff have taken part in EMPOWER sessions in our offices in the UK, Brazil, USA, Brazil, the Netherlands, Malaysia, India and the UAE.
Trained Shell staff volunteer their time to deliver a two-hour introductory session followed by two full days of training for those who are interested. They consist of modules designed together with the International Association for Human Values .
The techniques taught in the workshop help participants develop an open, clear and positive state of mind, improve teamwork, boost interpersonal skills and take tangible steps towards their vision.
Mandar Apte, a chemical engineer, has worked at Shell for 12 years. He is part of the GameChanger programme, which encourages inventors outside and inside the company to come up with creative ideas to challenges in energy production.
The winners are profiled on Fast Company’s blog , Co.EXIST, and will receive consulting support from Accenture Development Partnerships to further develop their work.