Paul Adam Mudd, Director of the Mudd Partnership

“So – What Next?” Shaken not Stirred

Is it too early to think post-virus?

Pandemics are certainly not the exception in human history, they are in fact the rule.

Afterall modern humans have existed for about 200,000 years, whilst the oldest bacteria have been around for billions of years and viruses for at least 300 million years.

Things are never the same after a pandemic as they were before, and Covid-19 has certainly shaken the world.

Where will we be though when all that shaking stops?

Recent events only confirm our world is nothing but change and a network of events which never form an orderly queue.

But when the fog of crisis cedes and we’re back in stride – back commuting – congregating with colleagues – participating in meetings – what are we going to do?

Apart from readjusting, reprioritising, starting to crank through the gears again, and raising our individual and collective games.

I believe though there is something much bigger at stake.

Wellbeing or Well becoming

Things will be different, a new normal will evolve and settle, and if we learn lessons from this crisis-event hugely beneficial political, intellectual and social changes could and should emerge – And we will have many opportunities!

There is one that I’m particularly keen to explore, and that is an opportunity to start to pay real attention not just to our own wellbeing, but also the wellbeing of others – Our colleagues, our neighbours, our family, our friends.

La realisation ultime in pro-social behaviour, perhaps?

I think not!

If we stopped there, we would be missing a much greater prize, because it is not so much wellbeing that we should be focusing on and striving for, but well becoming.

Time for a Fresh Start

We have received a wake-up call, not a nudge.

We have been hit by a tidal wave not rinsed by a gentle Spring swell.

As the new normal begins to take shape and define itself there may be a lag in behavioural change and ways of being, but this is a tide that demands to be taken on the flood.

Before the crisis it was said that 80% of the workforce go to work with their arms and legs, 15% go to work with their arms, legs and head, and 5% come to work every day with the arms, legs, head and heart.

Put another way imagine you get a large consignment of printer paper delivered and the boxes are left partially obstructing ingress to the workplace – 80% will find a way around the pile of boxes to gain access, 15% will move the boxes out of the way, and 5% will not only move the boxes, but find a place to store them and tell whoever needs to know where they’ve put them.

Before this pandemic what did you do to you engage that 80%?

To reach out, understand what makes them tick and identify what you could do as a manager and a leader to make them tock, because research suggests that an engaged & committed employee is likely to be on average 20% more effective and productive than their unengaged/uncommitted colleague. They’re also more likely to be a passionate advocate for your business too.

Whilst in a team setting, if everyone is fully engaged and committed the team can outperform expectations by as much as 50%.

A Suggestion

You need to be thinking about what can be done in the new normal to engage and support your staff’s mental well-being, develop their emotional intelligence and capacity for self-leadership, nurture their agility and adaptability, curiosity and decision-making skills, and build their resilience.

Tellingly perhaps, these skills and behaviours, along with collaboration, initiative, effective communication and accessing and analysing information have been identified in recent work by Harvard, the OCED and Fullan & Leithwood, as key skills for the 21st Century workplace.

So, it’s not rocket science and we don’t have to look over our shoulder to know that the case for doing this has never been more pressing!

Specific and Wider Challenges

Even before the Coronavirus, the shifting demands in leadership across the FE sector, funding pressures and the challenges facing governing bodies, the number of people in the UK workforce working excessive hours had risen by over 15% in the past five years.

Whilst in April 2019 an EU study confirmed that in the UK we work the longest hours in Europe – On average 42.5 hours per week and although this has shortened by around 18 minutes over the past decade, it would still take another 63 years for UK workers to enjoy the same amount of free time as their European counterparts!

The shared reality is that workforces in all sectors have been under siege for quite a while, and the vagaries of modern living have only piled the pressure on, whilst offering no respite

The Age of Great Acceleration

As well as everything else that has been happening recently, we have for some time been living in the ‘Age of Great Acceleration’, or the Anthropocene as it’s also known.

An age that started with the steam-powered pump and led to the iPad, but after 300 years it is coming to an end.

In the age of the machine, evolution has moved fast. The seabird took more than 50 million years to evolve from its lizard ancestor. Today’s airliners emerged from string-bag biplanes in a mere 100 years.

The next age, the Novacene, is now imminent and poised to turbo-charge The Anthropocene and all that’s gone before.

In the next few years if all that someone describes to you does not sound like science fiction, they will most likely not be giving you the whole story, but for some time now we have all seen how things have got smarter, as the evolution and reach of technology has got quicker and quicker.

For instance, the telephone took 50 years to reach 50 million users – The iPad took 4 years to achieve the same – Whilst Pokémon Go took just 19 days!!

And now starkly reminded of our mortality, the true nature of some people exposed by how they act in a time of crisis, the irrelevance of much we thought so relevant before, and with a changed outlook of how we perceive ourselves as an individual part of a larger whole, we have the opportunity to redefine and reengage with ourselves and our workforces.

Not just in new ways of working, but also in new ways of being well and well becoming.

What Next?

In a short series of linked pieces for FE News I will be looking at both the future workplace and the current reality of working from home – The case for corporate mental health and well becoming strategies & what steps to take to make them a reality, as well as how to thrive and survive working from the home space.

And I’ll also be looking at what it will look and feel like to be a leader in the new normal.

Paul Adam Mudd is a Trusted Adviser, Leadership Provocateur, Savvy Thinker, International Keynote Speaker, Best Selling Mindfulness Author, Global Well Being & Well Doing Influencer, & Director of the Mudd Partnership

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 11 hours 15 minutes ago

RT @FENews: Connected Classroom and 1:1 Learning for Harrogate Grammar School: Based in North Yorkshire, Harrogate Grammar School (@Harroga…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page