Innovation 500 – Change

To kick things off for August we want to encourage everyone to think about the topic of Change and either send us a blog post from you or your team via email to [kevin.gillick@devon.gov.uk] for inclusion or simply add your comments below.  If you don’t think this is for you at the moment but are interested then sign up so we can keep you informed as we develop.

To give you a flavour we have included 3 posts from different people providing 3 different perspectives.

Post by Linda

I was asked if I would like to write a blog for Innovation 500, after sharing Tiffany Kelly’s TED talk which was included in the last bulletin. Tiffany is my best friend’s sister, so I have known her since childhood. I feel fortunate to know such an inspiring person and wanted to share with people the amazing work she is doing, not because I know her, because it inspires me it helps me to think about the world in a different way and I think, helps me to grow and develop.

I am one of those weird people who like change. I think it wakes me up, challenges me and keeps life interesting. I know I am in a minority; my job is to support people through change, I find that a lot of the time change results in anger, negativity and fear, why are we so fearful of it?

Change doesn’t have to be big, you can start slow, it could be something as simple as if you have always drank a brand of coffee, change to another… what if the new one is the best coffee you have ever had? Brilliant!  What if it isn’t? Well try another or return to the old one. Nothing bad has happened, except an unenjoyable coffee, therefore there isn’t any need to be anxious or fearful.

I try not to have routines when I can, I even change my morning system, shower then teeth, teeth then shower, shower dress then teeth, this one often ends up with me running back to clean my teeth when I remember on the way out of the door that I haven’t done them! But it keeps the morning different, there are a finite amount of variations but it’s just one of the little things I do.

In the first bulletin Carl talked about his Son and mismatched socks and how he felt that it doesn’t matter what people think and it’s fun. I too wear odd socks, but sometimes if I find two matching then I wear those, why not? Nothing bad happens, in fact most times good things happen, you make people smile with your odd sock combinations, or if no-one sees them you always feel that little bit rebellious.

Maybe because I make myself change all the time even in little ways, I am not fearful of change, even the big ones, I embrace it. I see change as an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve. We all change without even knowing it all the time; we change behaviours, opinions, thoughts, feelings etc. We are influenced by the people around us, by people’s actions and by the world in general, sure some of these things are negative, and no doubt they are the ones we focus our energy on. However there are also so may positives influences, think about something, no matter how small, that made you smile today and focus on that for a few seconds, I bet you feel good, I bet your mood lifted a little, maybe you smiled again. You can do the same with a negative thought and completely change how you feel, I won’t suggest that, and bring the mood down. So you can see it’s how we react to these influences and what we allow ourselves to focus on that determine if change is positive of negative, and that is down to us as individuals to decide.

I have gained real confidence from the Bold talks Women 2015 that were held in Dubai, sure is called ‘Women’, but it’s not just about women, it’s about people. I encourage everyone to watch the video  by Denis Liam Murphy called ‘Fearless Living’. Denis is inspiring, I know I have over used this word in this short blog, but he really is. He talks about how we create our own reality, how we are used to a blame culture and how we use this to make us feel better about the world we live in. He then goes onto show how we create situations and the why we do this. I have watched this video 3 times now, because it resonates with me, it has empowered me to change the way I think I am trying to not use the three word he mentions, I am becoming more aware of how I influence people, and I hope that I can become a better person, the person I want to be, by constantly changing.

Post by Dominic

What will happen? What is the worse case scenario? What are my options? How do I survive? Some questions we can ask when dealing with change both in our personal and our professional lives. Some of these challenges we choose others we do not.

I try and use my experiences in life to learn how to cope with challenges. Each situation can be different.

As some of you may know if you have read my recent blog I like being active. I run for the enjoyment and I have found I like to combine my love of travelling with running. Just pop on the trainers and run, taking in the sights. Other times I have chosen to run in half marathons across Europe as I find the experience and destination exciting (called destination running). The last was the largest half marathon in the world which is in Gothenburg, Sweden with 64K people. It was awesome! So how to top that! A week later I took part in my first triathlon in London which was part of the World Series and an Olympic legacy event. (The next day the elite athletes raced the same course). Everything was awesome!

These are challenges that I have put myself through and yes they can test you but I always think that if you do not test yourself you will never learn from the experience and in some cases worst of all never have experienced it. As the saying goes “Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”

I have always swum and had ridden a road bike when I was younger (called racers in those days!) and running is now a frequent occurrence however combining the 3! Questions arise about new experiences such as swimming in a mass of people in open water and then running after the bike not to mention the rules! Dismounting from your bike before the line to transition (the point where you change from one discipline to another) and not getting on your bike until after transition the list goes on.

Can you prepare? Yes you train. Physically and mentally you can get prepared but not everything can be controlled. That’s life!  So what have I learnt which I can apply in a work setting?

It is natural to ask yourself these questions but only so much is in our control. If it is not in our control there is not a thing I can do about it so why worry about it. However if I detach totally I may miss the experience and the opportunity to make things better. In my job I want to do my best, I have pride in what I do. I may not be the best but I add value and at least I give it a go. At times there may not be the rewards not even a thank you but I think sometimes you need to reflect and think why you do your job? Do you do it for the recognition or the satisfaction that you know you have made a difference?  We are all part of the same race to achieve one goal at serving the public the best we can. We all have different experiences in the race, we finish at different times but we are all part of the same experience and all get the same medal and the satisfaction of being involved. So I would say own change. See how you can make a difference and do not worry where you can’t but look to yourself to know that you have done all you can to make a change.

Post by Kevin

When thinking about change I thought of Adaptive Capacity – but what has adaptive capacity got to do with change? And when we talk about change are we focusing on the right things? I suggest there are three components, to change – one of which is sadly overlooked.

Think about a planning a journey  – perhaps a nice holiday! – assume we know where we want to go – have a map or Satnav to get to our goal and we have a car to drive, what else do we need? So we have a goal and a plan, but what about fuel in the tank to get there? This is where Adaptive Capacity comes in – it is the energy to get us to where we want to go. Research by Jenny Campbell suggests that this is made up of three things: supporting oneself, perspective and pacing.

  • Supporting oneself is refreshing activity with family/friends, reading, holidays, running etc.
  • Perspective is about getting other opinions, to be able to stand back from the situation and gain context. Lots of people rely on  ‘Secure Bases’ people who’s opinion we can trust as termed by George Kholrieser,  adult to adult conversations are also important here too.
  • Pacing is all about anticipation, sensing, prioritising and allowing time for  refreshing activity and perspective. Resilient people allow operate at around 65% capacity to allow time to do this, this is the longer game resilient people want to win

As you may have gathered I see Adaptive Capacity as an important component in change! What are the conditions that allow you to change? How do you refresh yourself? Do you have enough Adaptive Capacity? Who are your ‘Secure Bases’?

Carl Haggerty

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