The Whole You
Today’s organisations are complex and increasingly demanding. The notion of change being ‘the norm’ is old news. Organisations today, particularly ones that will be successful tomorrow, need to look closely at how staff can cope with complexity, be comfortable with ambiguity, remain resilient and keep focus whilst staying healthy. This isn’t easy. Many organisations are now on the quest to find the Holy Grail; what is it that makes us survive and thrive? How can we measure and enhance it?
The concept of resilience originated from social science and clinical psychology, but the field has grown significantly beyond these arenas. This positive shift forces us to look at ourselves as humans, how we respond to our increasingly demanding environments, and most importantly, how we recover. Resilience is the new power phrase, and it is here to stay.
Organisations need to move swiftly in creating development strategies that embrace this phenomenon, and doing so on a practically level, which is the challenge. Resilience needs to be at board level, not merely conceptually, but practically. It needs a strategic voice and the right tactics deployed so that it generates a sustainable culture, one that drives performance in a healthy way, both psychologically and physiologically. Traditional leadership development that looks through the lenses of management theory and skill is no longer enough to ensure people are optimised and remain resilient, giving organisations long-lasting results.
Our research and experience in developing leaders over the past 20 years has shown that two key traditionally separate disciplines actually fuse together with total perfection. Professional development aligned with fitness and wellbeing creates synergy, because mental and physical fitness leads to better results. Most leadership and executive development methods hold the premise that if you know yourself first then you can take control, thus influencing others and your environment. It tells us that our ability to respond in a positive way brings benefits. The fitness world educates us to know our strengths, measure our health, monitor consumption, be aware of our body and to listen to it. It is clear how these two disciplines fit together. Today we recognise resilience - our ability to recover both physically and psychologically - as one of the utmost crucial ingredients for organisational success. Health and fitness experts have told us for years that if we stay healthy, eat right and exercise we will feel energised, have more stamina and recover efficiently from setbacks. Recovery being the keyword. Imagine how powerful this is when applied to the workplace.
Enhancing the Physical Self
We live in a world where temptation is rife. Cheap and fast food is notoriously bad for us, but a less known danger is the common foods that hide poor nutritional ingredients and slap us with high fats and sugars. Typical ‘low fat’ foods are riddled with unnatural ingredients such as stabilisers and sweeteners that are questionably carcinogenic. The first generation sweetener Saccharin was banned by the FDA due to links with bladder cancer. A third generation sweetener Aspartame is now being challenged as having links to brain tumours. In many ways we are simple creatures - offer us an easy meal and we will take it, despite any health concerns. Our bodies have been developed over thousands of years to sophistically store fat and energy, because we have to.
We are built to move. Our bodies are complex systems, primarily made for survival and reproduction. We are gifted with a huge range of movement yet for many of us our sedentary lifestyle and profession makes it difficult to move frequently. As demand increases, we work longer hours. Even basic luxuries have been developed to make us move less - the remote control, online shopping, the food to our seat. Yet we are designed to move, chase, hunt, and many would say, to earn our food.
We work longer, demands have increased and many of us sit all day. We need to manage ourselves better in order to avoid the negative impacts of this. Organisations today have a responsibility here. During our employment lifetime, we are in work for one third of our time and asleep for another third. If we can create a work space that presents the right nutritious food and encourages movement, we have a good start. This needs to be taken seriously at a strategic level. One off health and wellbeing programmes are not enough. How we develop our leaders and how we create the right culture and climate is the key. It is time to create a new definition of success factors in organisations. Blending leadership psychology and with health, fitness and wellbeing is essential. This pioneering new approach creates a path for enhancing both physical and mental wellbeing in organisations from a practical and habitual level, rather than a theoretical bubble. Our research and passion for this subject has born an exciting fresh ethos for today’s organisations; 'The Whole You - Creating and Sustaining Peak Performance for People and Organisations'.
The Essential Ingredient for Organisational Excellence
From years of working with specialists in both the health and fitness sector and in business psychology, we know that psychological resilience enhances physical resilience, and yet research shows that the two have not been combined as successfully as they could. We have now addressed this. Whilst maintaining the more traditional and previously successful methods of enhancing workforce performance, such as environmental and operational assessment, the Whole You integrates all the fundamental elements that make us optimised as humans. You cannot enhance physical and mental performance without establishing the business and environmental needs. We have combined this with how to influence and motivate others to enhance performance, incorporating the social and psychological factors, and the skills necessary for leaders to equip others to be more optimised. The name gives it away. The Whole You integrates, harmonises and optimises all of these factors for outstanding results.