The ability to maintain high energy level in the individual and the organisation is an important factor behind productivity. This requires a clear understanding and application of the laws and principles of human energy management. This is a vast subject which cannot be discussed fully in a brief article. In this essay we can only give some brief pointers and indicators which can provide some useful hints.
The core principle of effective energy management lies in arriving at the right balance between reception, holding, assimilation, expenditure and recuperation of human energies at various levels – physical, vital, mental and spiritual. All creative effort towards growth, progress or building something new makes the human organism receptive to universal energies of Nature. So effort for progress brings vitality and vigour to the human organism. Conversely laziness, inertia and stagnation blocks the flow of energy. On the other hand if people are driven relentlessly to spend their energy in unbridled growth without giving them time and rest for recuperation of energies then it leads to burn out. As Heike Bruch and John J. Menges state in their concluding part of their article in Harvard Business Review:
“Ideally, a company is powered by what we call sustaining energy – a joyful urgency among employees that never burns out. Many CEOs catch glimpses of this ideal, especially in energy – intense phases such as high-speed growth and innovation or in crisis situations, when the entire workforce is highly motivated to achieve critical goals. But if the leader gets greedy, demanding the same level of urgency every day, the energy will fizzle and performance will sink, despite employees’ heroics. So here’s the best advice we can give CEOs: Don’t drive your company constantly to its limits. Relentless acceleration leads to loss of focus, an uncontrolled flood of activities, organizational fatigue, and burnout. Be aware of the exertion that underlies every burst of effort, and work toward making sure the firm’s energy level is sustainable.”
For sustaining the energy level in the organisation, Bruch and Menges provide many useful suggestions which are based on two core ideas: first is to focus the energies of people and organisation in strategically important activities instead of scattering them on too many projects and initiatives. The second idea is to provide employees with sufficient time out for regeneration after a burst of activity, by deliberately alternating periods of high energy with regenerating rest.
At the individual level, each employee has to be educated on how to enhance his or her energy potential. In this task the Indian science of Yoga, can provide some very useful methods. According to Yoga, the energies locked within our individual human organism – physical, vital and mental are only a limited and partial expression of corresponding universal energies of Nature. We can considerably enhance our energy potential by linking our individual energies consciously with the virtually inexhaustible energies of Universal Nature.
The author is a student and practitioner in the path of integral yoga.