Chinese philosopher Confucius once said “If you are positive, you’ll see opportunities, instead of obstacles.” Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there’s no doubting the magnatude of the impact the pandemic has had on our lives.

According to the Office for National Statistics, around 1 in 5 (21%) adults have experienced some form of depression in early 2021 (27 January to 7 March). These stats represent an increase since November 2020 (19%) and more than double that observed before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (10%).

Similarly, the changes in how we’re living our lives have seemingly had an impact on people’s working lives, with a study from Deloitte revealing 38% of workers have said lockdown has hurt their wellbeing.

Recent events have demonstrated there are times when change is unavoidable – it’s how we react to it that matters. We must make changes where necessary, or struggle when we encounter the aforementioned obstacles Confucius alluded to many years ago.

How are some change systems flawed?

There are some systems in place promoting the notion that we don’t embrace change due to a reluctance to compromise the things in our lives we’re familiar with.

Such models are based on the notion that fear of the unknown leads us to continue living with a fixed mindset, in which we inhibit change, and are often based on the assumption that change is a project with a beginning, middle, and end.

It’s important to acknowledge these models are flawed, as they instil a negative mindset and can lead people to follow the path of limitation, characterized by negative emotions, narrowing choices, disengagement, self-doubt, each of which can impede the establishment of a positive mindset, and subsequent embracement of change.

Your mindset influences your behaviour, therefore, you need to pivot from the path of limitation to the path of possibility and hone your sights on strengths, opportunities, hope, and so forth. In doing so, this generates positive emotions and opens up the avenue for change.

Why is a strengths model important for change management?

A strength model is critical for change management because:

  • Positive psychology assumes we want to be our best i.e. change brings growth and opportunity to our lives
  • The pace in technology, communications, and how we work means change is constant; not linear
  • Change is incremental, ongoing, working towards a Vision and Purpose, but never at an end, and is part of our day-to-day

We’ve taken these factors into account and created our own strengths model, FHOCAL to boost positivity and prompt change, with the system designed to be used as part of a 3-level approach:

  • Individual
  • Team
  • Organisation

What is the FHOCAL strength model?

Our strengths base model is based on six principles:

F – Focus on purpose and meaning

H – Be human-centric when you act

O – Measure by outcomes and impact

C – Work collectively and inclusively

A – Build your adaptability and resilience

L – Emphasise learning and growth mindset

Focus on purpose and meaning

If you’re aspiring to establish a positive mindset, you and your team need to be purpose-led and create a vision of a positive future in which goals are collective.

Adopt a philosophy centered around what you desire, as opposed to what you’re looking to move away from, and ensure your purpose is applicable at all levels: individual, team, and organisational.

Simon Sinek, British-American author, and inspirational speaker reinforced the importance of purpose and meaning in his talk: Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action.

In Sinek’s ‘golden circle, there are three layers:

  1. Why – the purpose of why you get up in the morning, and what drives you.
  2. How – unique talents that make you special.
  3. What – actions you take to achieve the ‘why’.

Self-reflection Question: How are you helping yourself and your team discover their why?

Be human-centric

Lead with a human-centric approach and place your attention and focus on your people.

When communicating with your team, do so with honesty, authenticity, and clarity, at regular intervals. Also, remember that not everyone communicates in the same way; you need to adapt your communication style to meet the requirements of different people within your team.

The best leaders are those who go above and beyond to collaborate and involve every key stakeholder involved in decision-making and action planning – bear this in mind when creating your mindset.

Benefits of a human-centric approach

A variety of benefits can be attributed to adopting a human-centric approach.

For one, it optimizes the strengths of people within your workforce, improving productivity by as much as 73%.

Similarly, this approach can increase workforce engagement by almost double (44%), prompting improved performance and customer satisfaction.

Self-reflection Question: How are you ensuring your decisions are centred more about the people impacted?

Measure by outcomes and impact

A clear link needs to be made between purpose and outcomes; not only do you need to measure and reinforce, but you need to hold members of your team accountable for their actions.

To do so, be open to diverse approaches to delivering outcomes and communicate positively with your team. Not only does positive communication breed desired outcomes, but it can also boost teamwork and lead to better project collaboration.

Sometimes, judgement can become clouded when measuring outcomes; there are instances where we can focus on the wrong thing, and this distorts whether we’ve been successful or not.

American educator Steven Covey, said we need to focus on the right things and ask ourselves:

  1. What can we influence?
  2. What can we control?
  3. Why are we transfixed on the things we cannot control?

Self-reflection Question: How are you helping your team understand the outcomes and impact needed and how they link to their purpose?

Adopt a collective approach

A great team is at the cornerstone of every company’s success; you need to build diverse teams to deliver better outcomes.

As part of our strengths model, we’ve put together a six-step process to help you introduce a collective approach amongst your team:

  • Value diverse thinking and challenge our unconscious biases
  • Proactively build diverse teams
  • Create processes to establish equality
  • Champion inclusive approaches
  • Develop conscious knowledge of energisers, motivations, and strengths in ourselves and our colleagues
  • Build vulnerability-based trust in our relationships & engage in healthy conflict

Self-reflection Question: How are you helping your team get to know each other’s’ strengths to be able to operate resourcefully around those?

Be adaptable

We don’t apply a one-size-fits-all approach when applying our change model; after all, every company is different and requirements vary.

Instead, we set a pace and momentum that’s appropriate to each circumstance, organizational culture, and context, applying our decisions with a large degree of flexibility.

The organisational shape and structure are fluid, connected, and right for the context, and people, resources, processes, and budgets are adaptive.

Self-reflection Question: How are you helping your team identify and operate around principles and values so they can respond flexibly to constant change?

Emphasise a learning and growth mindset

Whether it’s at work, or in our personal lives, change is continual, and the evolution of circumstances can be somewhat chaotic.

However, this does not mean that it can’t be managed; we need to be organic, agile and manage a mindset guided by the path of possibility.

Our thoughts have an overwhelming impact on how we behave; if we tell ourselves we can’t do something, then the chances are we’ll fail.

Similarly, if we’re positive and approach a challenge, in this case, change, by telling ourselves we can accomplish our end goal, then we greatly improve our chances of success.

Self-reflection Question: How are you helping your team develop a growth mindset?

In summary, we invite you to think about change from this new perspective. To forget being linear, to stop focusing on what we are losing, to take a more inclusive, positive mindset around change.

Contact the Co-Creation team and discover how our team of consultants can help your company take the first steps toward a positive mindset with the introduction of our change management model.