Human Centricity is a fundamental and foundational concept that can positively change the culture of an organisation [we highlighted the importance of organisational Human Centricity in a previous article]. As part of becoming Human Centric, a recommendation was to focus on the wellness of ourselves and our people (our employees, families, etc.). The latter is an important goal but is difficult to achieve given the state of the world around us. On a daily basis, we are impacted by many negative inputs which create anxiety and uncertainty and test our resolve. In this article, we explore the concept of Change Resilience and the positive wellness impact it can have on teams and individuals.
Our ever changing and challenging world
Over the past three years, our world has been irreversibly changed and humans have been subjected to this continuous torrent of change. These changes have resulted in many challenges that continue to impact our businesses:
- Hybrid work environments are creating people disconnects;
- The pressure to rapidly deliver consistently high quality and value outcomes is immense;
- There is a constant churn of people resources;
- Constantly and rapidly changing business strategies and requirements;
- High work demand on individuals and teams;
- Negative economic indicators and the overall gloomy global situation; and
- The need to monitor our people for signs that show they are ill or unhealthy.
- As a result of the above, cracks are forming and human beings are stretched to the point that they cannot cope, which in turn leads to mistakes, inconsistent quality, late delivery, poor customer service, etc. Over and above this, our people and teams must deal with “burnout” at a personal and team level, and have to retain the capacity to effectively lead.
In summary, the key challenges facing enterprises are multi-faceted. At a strategic level it is of course about making the business “future fit” to deliver on its strategy effectively and efficiently. At a tactical level it is also about the optimisation of resources, including our people and teams. At the core of these challenges lies the simple fact that we must rely on the capacity and ability of all our people to be the best possible versions of themselves every day.
The positive is that we recognise this and that by acting quickly there is an opportunity to help our people and teams build resilience to cope with their ever-changing environment.
Instilling Change Resilience
The ability of our people to be and do their best every day is a more complex challenge than may be thought initially. As is shown in the diagram, the capacity to be and do our best is not only the “absence of illness”, but also being in a space of “health”.
- In the red block, we typically have formal wellness programmes and policies on how to support these people;
- In the orange block, if resilience (health) is not developed people will eventually move to the red block; and
- In the yellow block, is why we encourage people to have regular medical check-ups and take care of their bodies.
At the foundation of improved personal and team resilience is a shift in mindset. How we think about the matters affecting us has a direct impact on how we feel and therefore also how we choose to behave. Change Resilience can thus be defined as the:
- Adoption of constructive thinking patterns;
- Development of the skills to translate the constructive thinking patterns into effective behaviours; and
- Regular “maintenance” to ensure that these thinking patterns and skills are reinforced.
To achieve the above, enterprises and individuals need to focus on two distinct but interrelated elements. The process begins with a focus on the individual so as to build the mindset and skills associated with psychological “immunity”. Secondly, the mindset and skills are developed to be more effective within a team context. The logic of this approach is that our ability and capacity to function in teams relies heavily on our ability to also be the best versions of ourselves.
The learning journey
An experiential learning process is recommended to prevent the intervention becoming an academic or theoretical “training programme”. The high-level learning journey is described in the following diagram.
Our world has been irreversibly changes and people are impacted by many negative inputs which create anxiety and uncertainty. As a result, cracks are forming, and human beings are stretched to the point that they cannot cope.
By acting quickly there is an opportunity to help our people and teams build resilience. At the foundation of improved resilience is a shift in mindset. How we think about the matters affecting us has a direct impact on how we feel and therefore also how we choose to behave.
The process to achieve this shift begins with a focus on the individual so as to develop the mindset and skills associated with psychological “immunity”. Secondly, the mindset and skills are developed to be more effective within a team context.
An experiential learning process is recommended to prevent the intervention becoming an academic or theoretical “training programme”.