Core Protocols and Mindfulness — Part I

Autonomy, Core Protocols, and Mindfulness

Mindfulness Meditation at Nulogy

I work at Nulogy, where Autonomy is one of our core values. Consequently, there is a strong drive towards growing both self-managed and self-organized (also known as “self-governing”) teams. (If you’re wondering what the differences between these two types of teams are, this article delves into details.)

For a company to sincerely embrace the effort of building such teams, many activities must be done differently — sometimes unconventionally. One of these activities are meetings.

Meetings: An Incompatible Approach

Before I started at Nulogy, I had a certain expectation of how meetings should happen.

To illustrate: 
- The meeting organizer brings an agenda. 
- Runs through it. 
- Concludes the meeting by distributing action items to attendees.

With this structure there is little room for decisions to happen during the meeting. The meeting organizer is typically a manager or a representative of management in some way.

For a team to truly self-manage, decisions must me made when the team members communicate with each other. Consequently, decision-making emerges as the primary goal of team meetings.

You’ve probably realized that the meeting format I described earlier is almost completely incompatible with this goal.

A Solution: The Core Protocols

What’s the alternative? Facilitating autonomy within organizations turns out to be a well-known problem that has been thoroughly explored by groups of people who have devoted a good part of their careers to solving.

One such group is actually a couple — Jim and Michele McCarthy — who have created a set of specific guidelines as to how teams can communicate and thus collaborate effectively. These guidelines are known as the Core Protocols.

The Mindfulness Connection

At this point, you may be wondering: what does this have to do with mindfulness? From my perspective, the Core Protocols enable and optimize mindful interactions amongst co-workers.

While mindfulness is not a prerequisite for the Core Protocols, you will inevitably find yourself practicing mindfulness once you wholeheartedly and consistently adopt them.

Over the next few blog posts, I will explore the Core Protocols in detail. I will examine their value from practical, first-hand accounts of how we’ve used them at Nulogy. I will also demonstrate their connection to the concept of mindfulness. Finally I will offer ways in which our usage of the Core Protocols can be enhanced by weaving in mindfulness techniques.

In the meantime, I highly recommend and encourage you to further explore Jim and Michele McCarthy’s Core Protocols.

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