Paul Adam Mudd, Director of the Mudd Partnership

Not The Time For Quick Fixes & Short-Termism

During a conversation with a senior education manager about the current crisis, there was a pause and then they said, “One thing I am very clear about is if we don’t look after our staff when we come out of this, we will pay the price”

Another thing is also very clear, we mustn’t allow short-termism to prevail and quick fixes are not certain to be the right fixes when nothing is certain.

Economically and socially we are likely to face on Accordion Like dynamic until a vaccine is widely available – A partial relaxation of lockdowns, an easing off in some areas with a corresponding retightening in others, social distancing measures remaining in place and the continuing shielding of the elderly and vulnerable.

An Egalitarian Crisis

A reality of the current pandemic is it doesn’t fear or favour anyone.

This has fuelled widespread anxiety and fear of the unknown, compounded by worry for family members and financial security, and we just don’t know what the long-term effects will be.

The use of catastrophising language impacts on mental health and the aftershocks from the resulting trauma may be felt for some months, if not years to come.

In normal times traumatic events can leave a broad and lasting mark and not just on those directly affected by events. After 9/11, people who were not directly exposed to trauma, but spent many hours in front of a television or looking at their smartphones were at high risk for psychopathology, including PTSD, depression and anxiety.

COVID_19 is directly and indirectly touching the lives of many more people.

Over one third of the world’s population is experiencing some form of lockdown restrictions and we are all at different stages in navigating our personal journey to process and try to make sense of what the new different will mean.

Some Sort Of Normality

Some will be more able to do this than others, but there will be those who try to get through without thinking too much about what will be different. For them that will be something to tackle after the dust settles.

The common denominator, and unifier, is that we are all on some kind of journey moving through a range of feelings such as surprise, disbelief, frustration and depression, to behaviours that include re-engaging and letting go, learning to work in the new situation, acceptance and growth.

If we do experience an Accordion Like dynamic in the coming months there needs to be ways to help colleagues, family and friends to un-stick once more, moving forward again from the frustration and depression zone, and onto the learning, acceptance and growth zones.

And if we believe it is important to keep our workforce connected through this crisis, then it is our responsibility as leaders to focus, frame and provide the support they need to maintain their mental and emotional health, and be resilient, agile, adaptable, purposeful and present.

A New Architecture

As we have made drastic changes to our lives to stop the spread of the virus, we need to take urgent action to safeguard our future mental health too.

Even before this crisis the modern workplace was riven with chronic stress and endemic absenteeism directly related to mental health issues.

In my book ‘Uncovering Mindfulness’, I wrote in some detail about the impact of this in the workplace.

For instance, annually:

I argued that if we were to approach this with the right mindset, it could lead to a very different set of outcomes and ways of organising and doing things. With a move away from bureaucratic and shareholder fuelled supersized organisations, towards a heterarchy of flexible communities for living and working where people have empathy, compassion and care for each other.

Of course, this would require a catalyst, but the Coronavirus could very well be just that – cancelling out inertia, the tendency to revert to a ‘business as usual’ attitude, and the network effect – and providing the acceleration that changes the future in regard to what work looks like and how organisations will become.

The word crisis comes from the Greek word krisis, which can be interpreted as “a vitally important or decisive state of things… a point at which change must come”

Whilst President Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel famously said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste… it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do”

An Opportunity

In my first article in this short series I wrote that hugely beneficial political, intellectual and social changes and opportunities could emerge from this crisis, and one of those was 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.

We shouldn’t just be content with that though.

We should also be focusing on well becoming. Being well and doing well in all senses of the word and in the employment setting this should be supported by:

  • A vision
  • A strategy that provides a forward-looking roadmap, & the
  • Infrastructure

to ensure that no one pays the price!

As we work together to redefine what normal is, let us collaborate, innovate and value the use of technology to support wellbeing and well becoming outcomes.

We should never forget though that people do business with people and the human dimension – providing the space for listening, connection, empathy, reflection and compassion – must inform and be central to what’s put in place.

There is also a need to think total but act local – ensuring that what is available is wherever and whenever it is needed and that everyone knows what that is and where and how they can access it.

And What Else Should We Consider?

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said, “The outcome decides the title” – So, be clear at the start what outcomes you must have.

And here are 3 Key Steps and 3 Key Questions that will help inform thinking and shape the planning and action you take:

3 Key Steps:

  • Create a courageous vision – Start with Why? Then lead the How and the What of the strategy
  • Consult your staff – What are they looking for? What do they need and what would they value? And what is possible?
  • Cohere around your champions – Let the 20% build the critical mass you need to achieve a tipping point to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be and drive things forward; &

3 Key Questions:

  • How are we going to be well together?
  • How shall we organise our work in order to do well together?
  • How will we turn a crisis into an opportunity to reimagine the future together?

These wise words of the English historian and Lawyer, Frederick William Maitland may give some comfort, “We should always be aware that what now lies in the past, once lay in the future”

For every employer resilience is now suddenly the priority, rather than the relentless quest for ever-greater efficiency.

Let’s learn from this and take the opportunity to do and be different, and in the final piece in this short series I will be looking at what leadership will look and feel like 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

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 14 hours 4 minutes ago

South West Institute of Technology centre (SWIoT)

Petroc Principal Sean Mackney is supporting Love Our Colleges week by showing off the build of our South West Institute of Technology centre...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 14 hours 6 minutes ago

RT @FrancisAlun: We talked a little bit about Oldham and social mobility with @TomBewick and guests. It was fun to do and #skillsworldlive…
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