Following the chaos of last week’s referendum on EU membership, I have been horrified by the apparent lack of contingency planning. It is staggering to realise that neither the government, not the Brexiters seem to have done anything to produce a coherent programme for implementing a “leave” outcome. It appeared to be the same with the Scottish referendum. The Prime Minister only got away with that deficiency because the result happened to go his way – but then like now, it was too close to call. This time, his luck ran out – he gambled again, and lost.
There is nothing party-political in this view. This is a scenario that any business person would understand – that where the result of taking a risk could have enormous consequences, such as a divided country, it is wise to hedge if possible; and always to draw up contingency plans for the outcome you were not hoping for. To do neither is not calculated risk-taking – it is recklessness.
The result was followed immediately by the start of a disintegration of the political establishment that comprises both major parties, not to mention the structure of the entire United Kingdom. Having plunged the country into turmoil, our leaders seem to be throwing up their hands and running around in circles like headless chickens.
The people in this country, like the people in any company, need decisive leadership during uncertain times, and very clear and consistent messages about the direction of travel. Who is communicating a clear vision for the future, and the pathway to take us there? Where are the statesman-like speeches needed to rally the nation around the new reality? What’s the Plan? Even Baldrick understood the need for a plan!!
In a previous article http://www.capstickssaxton.com/…/197-3-more-ways-to-build-resilience I pointed out that optimistic people tend to be more resilient than pessimistic types. However the good news for pessimists is that optimism can be learned.
Martin Seligman, author of “Learned Optimism: How to change your mind and your life” reaches the conclusion that the tendency towards optimism is learned (rather than dispositional) and can therefore be trained. He has arrived at this conclusion following his studies of learned helplessness.
The ability to learn to be optimistic is important because it means that people can learn to be more resilient and to develop ways of looking at their life that facilitate rather than inhibit their performance under stress. Remembering that our emotions flow from our thoughts, the methods that have to be mastered involve taking control of our thoughts and developing our positive thinking patterns. This is how you move your mind from the shade into the sunshine.
Seligman has designed training which helps people to learn and develop the positive thinking skills of learned optimism. The ABC model developed by Albert Ellis and used by Cognitive Behavioural Therapists is the starting point for Seligman’s training method. The ABC model works like this: Continue reading
Ian McDermott is a leading expert on the subject of “Innovation.” According to Ian we are all capable of innovation, and when we make change we are in fact innovating. Triggers to making change include:
- A vision of what might be, and
- Sheer Bloody Mindedness!!
This put me in mind of an old TV advert that some of you might recall, for Honda’s much improved diesel engine. The catchy tune is entitled Hate something, change something…it does make sense!!
Reframing is a useful technique for unsticking black and white thinking. Colour brings a fresh dimension.
Use a simple question to encourage exploration of the grey area in between two stuck positions: eg “How would it be if the grey area was shot through with bright colours?”
Visualisation of colours can bring fresh energy, enabling a stuck thinker to find new perspectives and innovative solutions. Why not give it a try.