20th Sep 2016

Life is Now. Press Play … but first hit delete.

I have a confession. I feel flat, uninspired, unmotivated. There, I said it. I dared to say it even whilst sitting here at an airport on my way to speak at a conference to inspire and rock people’s world. I’m busy. So Damn busy. When I’m not speaking at conferences, inspiring, motivating, influencing, facilitating, I’m on a plane. When Im not on a plane, I’m in the office managing people and stuff. When I’m not in the office I’m at home cleaning, making lunches and smooching my kids and husband. When I’m not doing that, I’m on the beach walking, swimming, feeling the sand between my toes, watching whales and our local tribe of wallabies eating, scratching and jumping. The reality is that currently I spend 30% of time doing what truly lights me, working with people I love. I used to feel largely energised, expanded and on the edge of growth, life, learning.

I was sharing this with a friend today and he said to me ‘How can you be unhappy living where you do, doing what you do, having what you have?’

You see I live in Byron Bay ten steps away from the sand. I am a behavioral change expert, applying neuropsychology to transform safety and wellbeing in the workplace. I get paid to travel, speak and strategise. I have an internationally successful company, two wildly fabulous kids and a loving partner who makes me feel like I’m the center of his world. So what gives?

Not sure. Still figuring it out. This inquiry is a work in progress. I think I’ve lost sense of my personal true north – I think it’s been a gradual erosion, an unconscious one the result of making choices that I ‘should’, ‘have to’, ‘must’ rather than freedom and sense of purpose. How I’ve been spending my time has been a reaction to external events, people, opportunity and ‘shoulds’.

I’m so damn full. My inbox is full. My hard drive is full. My car boot is full. My garage is full. My contacts are full. My diary is full. No wonder I’m feeling heavy. Time to Empty. Time to slim down, and hit delete and make some space to reconnect with my true north – being happy, feeling free to get it wrong, connect, create, re-shape, challenge, be wild in thought and spirit. Time to re-calibrate and make choices that bring me back to my true north. Time to delete those relationships, friendships and clients that de-energise. I believe in being wildly happy, connected and passionate. I believe in playing all out, making a difference, living joyful, compassionate and wildly connected zone. If I don’t feel it, it’s time to hit delete. Let’s see what shows up. For someone so results focused like me, I’m going to play a different game.

Today, my flight was delayed by three hours. I decided to spend the time on cleaning up 15 years of contacts. I looked at each contact and checked in with myself ‘does this person energies/ de-energise?’ Does being with them, working with them and hanging out with them energise or de-energise? Is there something unsaid that needs to be said? I contacted those I needed to and deleted those I needed to. Damn. It felt good. Life is now. Press play – but before you do, consider where might you need to hit delete on so that the play is powerful.

18th Sep 2016

Great Minds Think Alike

Interview with Dr. Craig Hassed on Mindfulness and Wellbeing

Last week we received a visit from Craig Hassed, Associate Professor at Monash University, and internationally acclaimed expert in Mindfulness. During this visit, Craig delivered an incredible three hour presentation on Mindfulness and Wellbeing to our team. Robert also hosted a short recorded interview with Craig, which we plan to release exclusively to our subscribers. This interview touches on:

  • The top reasons causing workers to feel overwhelmed and stressed in the workplace, and the consequences on health, productivity and business income.
  • Strategies that we can apply to bring more mindfulness to our work, and our personal lives.
  • How Mindfulness can battle complacency, and improve safety in the workplace.
15th Sep 2016

The $6 Billion Cost of Culture

Australians take their coffee very seriously. Over the last decade the coffee culture in Australia has thrived. In 2016, studies have shown that we will spend around $6 billion on our obsession. That’s a lot of dollars spent on a lot of beans!

So, I’m sure you will find it strange to be asked to “Wake up and smell the coffee!”.

What if a decision was made that all businesses in Australia would pay for the coffee from now on? Regardless of how much more it costs year on year! I’m sure it would cause a stir (pardon the pun) wouldn’t it? “We couldn’t possibly pay that.” “That’s unfair.” “Our bottom line could not handle that.”

Yet, most businesses won’t know that, collectively, they are already funding a $6 billion cost every year!

Have you heard of presenteeism? Presenteeism is where workers show up when they are unwell, are unproductive and have a tendency, consciously or unconsciously, to disrupt other workers around them. Did you know that the cost of presenteeism to Australian businesses is estimated at $6 billion? I’ll say that again. Six billion dollars. Yet we still don’t know much about it and the mental health issues that cause it.

Other effects of a mentally unhealthy workplace include poor morale and staff engagement, high staff turnover and potential penalties for breaches of work health and safety legislation. The business’s reputation is also at risk among potential clients, customers and employees. This $6 billion cost is a silent enemy to Australian businesses. When you add absenteeism into this the cost soars by a further $4.7 billion.

Whilst that is alarming in itself, it’s not the most critical issue we face. Of more importance, and urgency, is the need to support people who are affected by mental health issues.

In recent years we have seen great strides forward in response to mental health through amazing initiatives such as Beyond Blue, R U OK?, Livin, and Black Dog Institute amongst others. The raised awareness of mental health issues in organisations and in society has helped countless individuals and their loved ones to cope better.

Surely this means that Australian businesses don’t have to do anything then? Well that is always an option, especially if you want to continue paying the ever increasing financial costs off your bottom line every year.

Imagine this for a moment. You have the most generous coffee loyalty card in Australia. One that pays you back $2.30 for every $1 you spend. That sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, it may not be possible for your coffee needs but that’s the return on investment in mental health based on calculations in a recently published PwC report. It is clear that investing in mental health in your business will pay itself back over and over, and in many industries, over and over again.

In businesses that invest in mental health, employees show consistently higher engagement levels.

Research from the Australian Public Service Commission, published on 8th September 2016, shows that where engagement levels are higher, employees:

  • Rate their own performance more positively
  • Take fewer days of unscheduled absence
  • Are less likely to intend to leave in the next 12 months
  • Are more likely to display citizenship behaviours such as making suggestions to improve the work environment and how work is carried out
  • Are more willing to invest extra time and effort into ensuring work tasks are completed

So, the question becomes whether Australian businesses can really afford not to do anything?

It’s time for us all to wake up and smell the coffee.