18 APRIL 2016




72% of working Australians are currently experiencing a level of pressure
which is negatively impacting their health [i]. While there are many variables
that account for this, one factor that we consistently see with CFOs is
information overload.


As a measure, it is said that we
now process the equivalent of 180
newspapers worth of data each day.
In fact, we are now being asked
to produce the same amount of
information in 1 day that our 1986
counterparts produced in over 6 months.
This is impacting the quality of both
our input and output.
Unfortunately, most
CFOs are not at their
best in or out of the
office because they lack
core coping skills to
manage this high paced
and fluid environment.
Back in 2009, ALCHEMY studied
those executives who were able to
navigate these challenges with poise
and confidence and specifically, what
separated these individuals from
the norm.
This analysis, supported by a body of
empirical research, highlighted that
there are 6 areas of our life where we
need to be making good decisions if
we are to be at our best.
We call these the 6
cylinders of wellness
and they are Nutrition,
Activity, Sleep, Social
Connections, Time Out
and Outlets.
The evidence supporting these elements
along with a guide and personal
scorecard can be found at
These are the behavioural elements
which we can control and when
combined with cognitive tools, we have
found significant improvements to
executive wellness outcomes. Our 2014
research paper showed that by making
small changes to the 6 cylinder profile,
stress reduced by 8% and workload
pressure reduced by 16% in only
6 weeks. Memory also increased by
5%, as did focus and concentration.
Further, a senior leadership team of a
financial services company experiencing
significant change chose to support
the executive group with a Wellness@
Work program. Even though this was
a challenging time for the firm, overall
wellness outcomes were boosted by
10% in only 8 weeks including a 16%
increase in focus, 12% greater work
fulfilment, 11% increase in happiness
and 8% boost to energy.
It’s clear that the external factors
causing workplace pressure are not
going to provide relief, in fact the
pressure is getting more acute. As
such, executives need to respond in
more advanced ways to survive and to
perform at their best. Improving your
wellness profile by following these
6 Cylinders is an excellent start.