Do you know how much The Elephant in the Room Costs?

The Elephant in the Room – Do you know how much it costs?

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The ‘Elephant in the Room’ is a metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is going unaddressed. These ‘Elephants’ are commonly something we know about but choose to ignore and it often applies to an obvious problem or risk that no one wants to discuss – they are a taboo subject. However, the one thing these ‘Elephants’ have in common is that while they exist and remain untreated, they interfere and often will completely stop progress.

  • How aware are you of the ‘Elephant in the Room’ in your organization?
  • What does it cost to ignore it?
  • Have you got one or more?
  • And how much time, effort and money are spent feeding them?

Simply by acknowledging that the ‘Elephant in the room’ exists is a good first step. Now valuing it becomes easy as it is mostly about time that’s lost. So in terms of time lost an ‘Elephant’ can easily take one hour a day away from the productive time for each employee. Let’s put a nominal amount of £50 per hour as a cost of employee time. The average employee works 210 days a year. If they waste one hour per day that equates to 210 hours wasted giving a cost of £10,500 per year lost. For 10 employees that amounts to £105,000 and 100 employees a staggering £1,050,000.

Don’t we really need to take the ‘Elephant in the Room’ seriously and not bury our heads in the sand?

What would you do if you had an extra hour a day to apply focused effort on what is important to your business?

A Challenge for You

As you read this article keep an open mind as to what is really happening in your organisation and your own thought process.

  • First, do not believe what you are about to read – but think about what is said and ask questions of yourself and your organisation
  • Next, try and answer some of the questions that you are presented with – truthfully
  • Now investigate what you have read and compare with your answers to prove or disprove your beliefs
  • At any time did you change your beliefs or have you chosen to ignore what you have read or discovered?
  • If the latter – what is your reason? What will you do now?

What is really going on in the brain?

One Universal Human Trait is based on what we believe is ‘the’ truth. We ignore or reject reality and defiantly refuse to check out the reality. We accept what we believe as a fact.

This however results in a lot of wasted time, effort and money.Behavioural-Waste

  • Our beliefs shape the facts as we want them to be
    • Our beliefs form our attitude.
    • Our attitude drives our behaviours.
    • Negative behaviours are non-productive.
  • The result – Behavioural Waste™ is generated.

What is Behavioural Waste™?

Behavioural Waste™ involves forms of behaviour that can be usefully removed or reduced, which prevent us from achieving our purpose and which reduce our effectiveness or the effectiveness of other people.

Beliefs lead to Behavioural Waste™

  • Behavioural Waste™ can be Personal, Cultural and Systemic
  • Behavioural Waste™ costs significant time, effort and money
  • Behavioural Waste™ impacts negatively on performance and productivity

How much Behavioural Waste™ does your organisation create?

How much does it cost?

Examples of Behavioural Waste™

Personal Cultural Systemic
Work on own agenda that conflicts with organisational purpose Meeting agendas poorly drafted, late starting and lack control Consistently produce data that is not needed or wanted
Looking for ways to sabotage people or the organisation Leaders use aggressive telling tactics and make all the decisions Focus on keeping cost down regardless of purpose or business imperatives
Talking too much often loudly to prevent others intervening Emails sent out in a poorly structured way to everyone to protect sender Driven by Lean Management without considering impact
Constantly use language of management speak (MBA’s/MA’s) Tell stories which are believed to be true but are myths and damaging Focus on systems that ‘do things right’ and not ‘do the right thing’

Which ones do you recognise?

What others have you identified?

Beliefs increase complexityEinstein definition of Madness or Insanity

Organisations are complex enough in our high demanding and fast moving environments so why would we want to make it worse?  Why do we make it worse by ignoring reality and putting solutions to perceived problems into the mix that fail to deliver the purpose of why we exists in our work context? People simply keep doing what they have always done with a belief that one-day it will deliver.


One of the effects of ignoring the ‘Elephant in the Room’ is that we put more energy into systems and processes that over time lose pace with the real world and become more and more rigid demanding more feeding.


Here are some examples of how to waste time by not checking out reality. None of the examples really work yet we keep doing them:

  • Engaged – Disengaged workers. Disengagement is a major issue. For years specialists have tried to solve the problem and they measure it year in year out to see how bad it really is. Gallup in 2013 found disengagement to be 83% in the UK. Professionals keep delivering exciting development programmes to address the problem yet disengagement remains high. The confusion is that organisational interventions are based on keeping people, to keep them happy with gimmicks to engage them, whilst engagement is nothing but a state of mind.
  • Lean management. Lean programmes has a failure rate of between 50% and 95% and the reasons are well known but there’s a commitment and a ‘let’s do it anyway’ approach. Lean makes sense and it is a logical approach and what’s more is generally needed, however if the workforce does not engage then it is ultimately doomed.
  • Change management. Regularly quoted as having a 70% failure rate so you are not alone if you are one of those. Once again you will often find ‘people’s’ beliefs and attitudes behind the failures.
  • Absenteeism. About 140 million working days or more are lost every year in the UK through sickness with many more in the public sector than the private sector. Despite many initiatives, sickness persists at an unacceptable high level. Yet we keep doing the same things to tackle the problem.
  • Systems Thinking. It has been around since the 1960’s and although new words are used to describe what it is, nothing has really changed. It has a high level of failure rate sometimes caused by the focus on efficiencies that tend to dominate and ignores effectiveness relating to people. In addition, systems thinking tends to tell you more about the provider’s preferences than the problem itself. So you end up admiring the method but alienated by the poor results.
  • Knowing – Doing. This is a big one. In fact it’s huge! For decades it has been assumed that knowledge leads to learning; learning changes attitudes and behaviours that in turn lead to improved results. Unfortunately, except in hard skills, this belief ignores the reality. Research shows a poor connection between learning and doing, so poor that the CIPD described it in 2007 as ‘no better than random chance’ and Donald Kirkpatrick of ‘evaluation of training fame’ said in 2005 that ‘There is a devastating disconnect between learning and behaviour’. It is actually very simple to link behaviors with performance and learning however, that is another story.

 What initiatives has your organisation tried?

Did they work?

How do you know?

If something is not working why waste time, effort and money on repeating the measures or on applying interventions that mainly fail except in a small number of cases? It is as though we want to change just as long as it doesn’t involve having to think in depth where we might discover what is really going on. Our approach and solutions to the issues are handled in a cosmetic way. Is it time to do something else?

Why do we buy solutions, which may have little effect?

What is that something else?

What’s needed is a role that closes the gap between what we believe is working and reality. These people will identify the ‘Elephant in the Room’ that needs to be removed and no longer ignore it but start the process to remove it. We call them Mind Fit Investigators.

The Mind Fit Investigator

Description – A person who carries out an inquiry or investigation to establish the facts and truth about something. They are often experts in their field, although some can operate in different context. They may not be a specialist in a narrow area such as a remedial farrier, vehicle examiner, a biochemist or in Forensic IT. What they are is highly aware, able to access and translate information and data, and act accordingly. In the world of organisations their actions are focused on delivering benefit to that organisation.

The Investigator asks those tough questions

There is a very essential reason that tough questions must be asked to evidence reality and that relates to another Universal Human Trait, that of pattern recognition. Humans are designed to pick up cues in our world, originally for survival, to find food or avoid danger. Today, those cues are used in a whole variety of situations such as risk assessments in Health & Safety, gaps in player formation on a rugby field, a fire investigator searching for the cause of a fire, or airport baggage screeners looking for suspect articles.

However, there is a danger as we sometimes see patterns when they do not exist and this can lead to a lot of wasted time and cost when there is no need. False patterns are one of the areas that the Investigator seeks to discover. The wrong pattern linked to false beliefs can generate more wasted effort.

The ‘Investigator’ operates, often at a senior or departmental level on behalf of the directors of an organisation, by exploring those activities at the point of convergence between:

  1. The vision, purpose and key strategies at the top of an organisation
  2. The systems and processes that operate to deliver the purpose, directly or indirectly
  3. The attitude and behaviour of people
  4. Individuals personal reason for being in the organisation
  5. The culture and its impact across the organisation
  6. The link with the customer/client

The ‘Investigator’ asks tough questions of people, leaders and teams, which may start like this:

  • Are you doing the right thing?
  • How do you know?
  • Does it work?
  • Where is the evidence?
  • How much of your time is actually spent on work that ultimately delivers, directly or indirectly, the organisational purpose and meets the needs of your clients?
  • How much time do you waste locked into non-productive activities such as routine meetings or running demanding systems and processes?
  • If we could improve your role what would you do and what part would need to be done by others to give you the time to improve?

From this initiating point ‘Investigators’ enquire and probe to discover those small input variables that lead to the current performance and productivity or cause time consuming and expensive Behavioural Waste™. They seek opportunities for the organisation to improve and grow simply by exploring ways that result in performance improvement rather than management of performance. Their focus is the Purpose of the organisation to ensure that it is being delivered and moving towards its Vision.

Put simply the ‘Investigator’s’ role is crucial. Without them the ‘Elephant in the Room’ will keep growing and need constant feeding. Here is a summary of the ‘Investigator’s’ role:

  • Identify the ‘Elephant(s) in the Room’ – evidence it
  • Identify, evidence and remove Behavioural Waste™ – personal, cultural and systemic
  • Explore Convergent Points for effectiveness and efficiencies to ensure that they deliver what is needed – evidence it
  • Identify Growth opportunities to increase performance improvement – evidence it

Elephant in the room


However, if you choose to ignore or resist reality the results will be as they have always been. Is that good enough?

The choice as always is yours.

What’s your choice?

Do you want to know how you can develop Mind Fit Investigators? Click Here



Are you ready for Coaching?

Ready for Coaching?

Not everyone is by the way – in fact most aren’t. If that surprises you, what follows may be a challenge.

The following is a common response from the more informed groups in the market :stagecoach

“At least for executive/ business (rather than sports) coaching there is a sense that it is maturing as a field, but elements of the Wild West remain”

There are regular reviews and research performed about the effectiveness of training and personal development, and on occasion that steps into the effectiveness of coaching.

A recent study on coaching was made by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). Without putting any spin or bias I suggest if you’re interested you read it here.

I’d be pleased to have your comment on it below.

We at Mind Fit believe coaching is an excellent way of “unlocking potential” in your organisation.

However, few are really ready and if you’d like to know whether you or your organisation is ready, and the way you can be better placed to take advantage of coaching then download this document.

There’s a place for coaching – but are you ready for coaching?

What Stops Us Acting and Engaging with Renewable Energy?

What do we know about Renewable Energy?

Oil & Gas - nor renewable energyAsk anyone today and they will have an understanding of the impact on society and our reliance on fossil fuels for our energy needs.

We also know the carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels is having an effect on the climate and is leading to global warming. And we’ll know it has consequences now, and for future generations.

Or maybe you think this is hype to get everybody to buy into renewables because government with business is using big stick techniques to bully us. Why would they do that? Because that’s what they always do. And because even if they thought about it, they don’t know how to engage with their own managers, leaders or implementers.

But then the question is so what? Is it all about fossil fuels? Do we really believe what we’re told? What can Mr and Mrs Public do about it?

In reality, apart from lobbying, driving the car less and recycling or moving to ‘green ‘ energy providers we can do very little. Like all things Global, it’s down to Governments to act.

Without going into the failures of the past, the UK government now has a legally binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.


Meeting the Targets – does money talk?

To meet this target it has introduced various financial incentives for homes and businesses to switch to renewable energy technologies, thereby reducing carbon emissions. These incentives take the form of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the Feed in Tariff (FIT).

Sun power

Solar power is a clear winner in the switch to renewables because the price of installation has fallen substantially over the last decade.  More and more households in the UK are installing solar panels and enjoying the benefits of lower energy bills. In fact it is believed that 10 million homes in the UK will have solar panels by 2020.

The added financial motivator to switch is the fear generated as we’re open to the big energy companies raising prices as recent history has clearly shown.

By switching to these new energy sources, consumers are given more control over their future, less exposed to cost fluctuations and save money on today’s ‘lower’ prices. What more can you want?

Of course at the moment we’re also living in a dream world of 50% lower oil prices than a year ago and we’ve seen about a 33% reduction in petrol and diesel prices. And today that affects us immediately with more money left in our pocket. So we know the value of money. But if it were money as the only drive, wouldn’t we have all switched to renewables by now?

What’s the reality?Awareness

In the last few years £millions has been spent on an awareness campaign focused on consumer choice and the opportunity we all have to switch energy provider and reduce household energy costs.  How many households have switched to a cheaper provider? In reality very few.

What does Google Say?

Why Google? Because it’s where we seem to think the authority is on everything. It’s on a website, in print so it must be true – really? Many people ‘google it’ and find 1 article on the first page of 200 million hits and believe what we read – perhaps because we don’t have enough time to do much else – we’re all  too busy.

The two scientists responsible for Google’s failed attempt to launch a renewable energy revolution have written an article explaining what, according to them, went wrong with their project. They have come to the conclusion that fighting climate change with today’s renewable energy technologies won’t work – but they present no evidence for it, writes Energy Post editor Karel Beckman.

Critics of renewable energy are having a field day in the blogosphere. It has now been proven beyond doubt, they cry, that “renewables simply won’t work”. Why not? Well, because Google says so. Read the full article here – Why Google gave up on renewables (hint, they don’t understand energy)


Breaking the myths… reality check again!

People need to understand how renewable energy can be beneficial to their wallet, and to the environment. By teaching and sharing knowledge about the current developments on this area people will start learning the truth behind these technologies, and will stop using myths like “solar energy doesn’t work during winter” or “Wind turbines kill birds”.


Facts from the Bigger Picture – Sustainability  

In the recent Accenture and UN Global Compact survey 93% of CEOs view sustainability as important for the future success of their business.

Although many organisations have built their strategic approach to sustainability, they are struggling to achieve full management and employee engagement in the agenda. They are therefore yet to see the results – if they ever will.

Research proves that the successful organisations are those who engage the hearts and minds of their people, and who demonstrate positive beliefs, attitudes and behaviours to drive business results. These organisations are also more innovative and take advantage of opportunities – in effect they are the early adopters, winning all the way!

They also acknowledged early on, that implementing a successful sustainability strategy requires achieving a mind shift – maybe a paradigm shift – at an executive and operational level within the organisation. Developing positive leadership and ‘Can do’ attitudes helps organisations achieve outstanding results and outperform their competitors.


Engaging Hearts and Minds

There’s lots written and known about the value of an engaged workforce. But if it were common place the results would be much better – Gallup’s 2013 survey shows similar engagement levels to previous years and at 17% of the workforce it’s nothing to be proud of. Imagine what a 1% increase would mean?  That’s 1/17th increase or 6% improvement overall – is that worth looking at?

With our experience and results we’d agree with Accenture’s findings – because it’s great leaders that get great results as they find the solution to engage each individual in their team.

Great leaders have the right mindset, and as Warren Bennis said

Balance “Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing. Both roles are crucial, and they differ profoundly.”

But today we seem to have too many managers and too few leaders. So the balance is way out! We need both and effectively applied to every context so we get the best answer.

Who are your great leaders? History proves that developing great leaders is not easy.

But leaders aren’t just born, as many still believe, leaders are made. So how do you make them? Again all the evidence and research shows training and coaching, the traditional approaches don’t work – only 10% might be converted into workplace improvement.

What about an alternative?

The recent “Good to Great” by McKinsey report referred to case studies and rigorous academic research that shows if you want to create and spread excellence, eliminating the negative is the first order of business. How you do that? The McKinsey study leaves it to you to fathom out.

Behavioural Waste TM



At Mind Fit we identify negative activities through the term Behavioural WasteTM and the experience of being trapped or ignoring gaps between beliefs and reality generates much of that. Our process further raises your awareness and that of your business about how your attitudes and behaviours and that of your people, impact on everyone’s ability to perform to their optimum, lead and engage, work in teams, and ultimately improve performance.

We do not assume that we know your issues and thatwe have the solutions that you need before we start to work with your organization. We work in partnership with our clients’ so that the input activities that you choose to change are relevant to you and your business.

So what next?

The choices are all yours:Business Change - are you fit for the 21st Century

  • You can continue on your own path and engage in renewables
  • Use traditional training and coaching methods to improve your engagement
  • Free yourself, your people and your business from those blocking behaviours and outperform your expectations enhance and expand renewables

If you choose to reduce the negative attitudes and behaviours blocking your success, then we’d be pleased to have a discussion to see how we can help.

But whatever you do to take advantage of renewable energy, make it your conscious choice.


Mind Fit people take action, achieve higher performance, are more productive and where relevant, more profitable

Mindfulness v Mind Fitness – Same, Similar or Different

Mindfulness v Mind Fitness

We’re often asked the question

What’s the real difference between Mindfulness and Mind Fitness?

so we thought it would be best to make things clear.


“Mindfulness and Mind Fitness  – Same, Similar or Different – by Graham Williams”




Mindfulness is a form of meditation that was little known in the West until recently. According to Buddhist thought, individuals have a tendency to ruminate about the past and/or rush towards an ungraspable future, which never materialises. It is a 2500-year-old Buddhist meditation practice that according to the Dalai Lama asserts that this behavioural tendency of ‘not being fully present’ can distort an individual’s perception of reality and lessen their ability to consciously participate in the moment.

In the West Mindfulness has been taken out of its traditional Buddhist setting and is now linked with many negative personal conditions including anxiety, depression, behavioural addictions, attention deficit hyperactivity and coronary heart disease. It is also seen as an essential element of human well-being.


What is Mindfulness and its methods?

Definitions – Mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside our selves, moment by moment. Prof. Mark Williams

Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally. Kabat-Zinn

The primary focus in Mindfulness is meditation which involves breathing control. Its primary goal is a calm, non-judging awareness, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without getting caught up in them. This creates calmness and acceptance, and a sense of well-being.

In the West, Mindfulness is the process of engaging full, direct and active awareness of our immediate experiences and to maintain them in a sense of calm. Its use as a cognitive based therapy is growing and is now advocated by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for the treatment of recurrent depression.

Methods of developing personal Mindfulness are varied and include 8 weekly sessions each of 90 – 180 minute duration where participants are taken through guided Mindfulness exercises, as well as one-to-one discussion based therapy. Mindfulness:

  • Is fundamentally concerned with becoming more aware of the present
  • Can be practices during everyday activities
  • Is generated more easily by a ‘meditative anchor’
  • Is a practice that requires deliberate effort to sustain meditative concentration
  • Is concerned with observing sensory and cognitive affective processes
  • Generates a sense of well-being


Mind Fitness



It originated out of concern for the poor transfer of management and other training into behavioural change and tangible results in organisations. Although there is a significant evidence to show that learning rarely leads to people taking action over a sustained period of time, knowledge training remains at the forefront of people development in areas that include leadership, team working, personal development and change. Even Donald Kirkpatrick, whose evaluation of training methods that have been around since 1959, acknowledged in a book he wrote in 2005 “there is a devastating disconnect between learning and behavioural change”.


A new approach was needed that focused attention on developing the right attitude and behaviours, linked to performance to deliver organisational imperatives, rather than knowledge and learning. This new method adopted a holistic approach including some that are used by Olympic athletes today that produce people with a winning mind who persistently put in focused effort to succeed despite the odds, even after repeated knockbacks.


What is Mind Fitness and its methods?

Definition – Mind Fitness is choosing to use our natural abilities to perform to our optimum in different situations; through a ‘Can Do’ attitude and a ‘winning mind’. Graham Williams

The purpose of Mind Fitness is to develop active ‘Can Do’ people who deliver results for their organisation as well as themself. It uses a whole brain approach and includes the:

Mind Fit Ltd - Developing 'can do' people.

  • Thinking brain – the ability think pragmatically, flexibly, innovatively and focus appropriately
  • Feeling brain – having positive energy, being emotionally competent and mentally tough
  • Driving brain – committed with a clear sense of purpose
  • Social brain – able to connect, build and maintain meaningful relationships with others


The process, the core of which takes place in one day, is designed to raise a persons awareness of them selves enabling them to assess their own attitudes and behaviours and the impact they have in different context. Today, this self-assessment is aided by the use of a mobile APP. It is an inside-out process rather than knowledge in and is driven by the participants and not the Mind Fit coach.  We use a variety of methods to achieve attitude and behavioural change that include use of the Mind Fit Map®, stories, thought provoking activities, low level physical activities and exploring behaviours and their source. Once the behaviours have changed a second day is added about a month later, that is aimed at providing practical tools, which a person can use at work, linked to organisational needs, or as a life skill.


Can Do people consistently operate effectively in a highly demanding and unpredictable work environment, to perform to their optimum and deliver results. They also know how to manage their energy levels so that they can relax when necessary or peak in different areas when required which is why our Mind Fit team includes people from both business and sport.


Same, Similar or Different

Are Mindfulness and Mind Fitness the same?

As you have discovered from above the answer is definitely ‘no’. Are they similar? Yes when it comes to focused attention and being in the moment however, that is where the similarity ends.


They are in fact very different. Mindfulness is very much about the individual and is used to develop well-being as well as treating some physical and emotional issues. Mind Fitness is about people having the right attitudes and behaviours to perform to their optimum in their context. This requires focus attention and energy. Today, we are not only using it to improve organisational performance but also in the world of education.


Both approaches have their place in today’s complex and highly demanding world and both are essential however, they mainly operate in different environments

  • Mindfulness being driven by the need for calm
  • Mind Fitness providing the energy to deliver organisational results.


As always, the choice is yours.


Want to know how Mind Fit can help your organisation?

Call us on +44 (0)2071 486187 or email 



  • Buddhism – Dalai Lama – 2001
  • Mindfulness: Finding peace in a frantic world – Danny Penman, Mark Williams & Vidyamal Burch – 2011
  • Mindfulness for well being – NHS choices – 2014
  • Mindfulness in psychology – a breadth of fresh air – Edo Shonin, William Van Gordon & Mark D Griffith – 2014 (The Psychologist – vol. 28 no 1, 2015)
  • Mind Fit for Success – Graham Williams 2012
  • Personal Power – Graham Williams 2010
  • Transferring learning to behaviour – Donald L Kirkpatrick & James D Kirkpatrick – 2005

Graham Williams – The Mind Fit Journey

Graham Williams – The Mind Fit Journey – where it all started

Graham Williams is “The architect of Mind Fit” and although the Mind Fit Process was born in the late 1990’s its origins lie in a lifetime of doing things through trial and error with a belief that it could be done better. Graham says “like a child when first starting to walk, the challenge is massive, but we all break through the barriers and walk… when we get older we allow our experiences and beliefs to create our own barriers… Mind Fit helps you break through those barriers”

So here is Graham’s journey…


Before Mind Fit was born

In the 1980’s I was head of various technical skills, including driver training, search training with a UK police force, when one morning several furious instructors approached me over an article in a national paper that was highly critical on the technical aspect of police driver training, not the safety aspect. It transpired that Sir John Whitmore, a former racing driver, had written the article. I read it and thought it contained a lot of truths and he made several valid points. I wanted to know more so I contacted him.

The outcome was that I met Sir John at Bisham Abbey, a National Sports Centre, where I was introduced to a team of performance coaches including David Hemery, a gold medal Olympic Hurdler and David Whitaker, an Olympic coach who had worked with the GB team which won a gold medal for hockey in the Seoul Olympics. Later I was also lucky to be involved with Tim Gallwey of “inner game” fame.

I participated in their approach to coaching, which was extremely enlightening.

I took their approach back into my police job, which later led to police services not only offering a more flexible approach to driving, but also to leadership in the police force.


Joining John Whitmore’s Coaching Team

I retired from the police in the mid 1990’s, and entered the world of consultancy. I was developed as a performance coach and in due course worked with Sir John and the team delivering coaching mostly to blue chip companies. The team held regular meetings and during one of these Sir John expressed concern that coaching was not having the impact it should. I’m a curious individual so I volunteered with one other coach to explore what was going on. Because we had access to a wide database, we were able to interview a large number of people who had undergone coaching. We initially looked into three major private companies from manufacturing, a high street bank and an airline.


Why did Coaching fall short?

The result found that the majority of participants:

  1. thought coaching was far better than training
  2. it made sense
  3. they had learnt how to deliver what was required and had a plan

All of this initially sounded promising until it transpired that most felt they were too busy to do anything different and they did not have time to implement their agreed actions.

So although the coaching had been successful to a point it was failing to translate into:

  • behavioural change
  • tangible and measureable results
  • return-on-investment for the organisation

Not surprising then that Sir John questioned the very core purpose of coaching – unlocking people’s potential to increase performance. Later, I was able to confirm the same findings when we performed similar reviews in the public sector. Most people learnt but few took action and hence didn’t deliver improved results.

This discovery was the very start of a 16-year journey of research and application that is still ongoing today.


Mind Fit – the birth

It was apparent that although we are all complex individuals, a majority of people at work follow set patterns of behaviours:

  • two negative
  • one positive

These patterns fall broadly into line with later research by many but particularly by Gallup on “engagement at work”. Their latest survey in 2013 put 83% of people in the UK in the disengaged category, which is where underperformance, poor leadership, conflict, and large amounts of wasted time, effort and money takes place. Some of the disengaged were passive and would do the job but with little enthusiasm, whilst some were actively disengaged and avoided or blocked any initiative to improve behaviours and performance.

Today, these three patterns of attitudes and behaviours can be found on the Mind Fit Map®. One negative state represents ‘Can’t do’ or helpless people who are easily overwhelmed and ignore or avoid, consciously or unconsciously, doing tasks where they can. Dr Martin Seligman, who today is one of the leading lights in the world of positive psychology term this groups behaviour as stemming from “Learned Helplessness®”. The interesting part of that term is that his research, carried out over several years deemed it “Learned” behaviour and he suggested at the time it could be “Un-Learned”. Today our programmes demonstrate that is indeed the case. The other negative state is “Learned Defensiveness®“ or ‘Won’t do’ defensive people who tend to over control and block anything, which is new or does not benefit them.

Both negative attitudes and behaviours lead to a lot of wasted time, effort Mind Fit For Success - Developing 'can do' People.and money. Collectively we call this ‘Behavioural Waste’ and have found that up to 50% of people-time at work does not focus on what is business essential and instead are involved in activities, that are unproductive and lead nowhere, many of which have become engrained in the culture and stubbornly resistant to change. Some activities consume a large amount of time and energy and can often be found in systems or processes.

The one positive group are ‘Can do’ people (Learned Powerfulness®) who have a sense of who they are, have a clear purpose and are driven to be successful in whatever they do. Such people demonstrate growth behaviours and consistently seek to improve performance whatever their context – business, education, sport or life. However, because they are a minority group they are continually thwarted by negative people. Many of these negative people may well believe that they are doing a good job but never check if it works.

I tried a variety of approaches to move ‘Can’t and Won’t do’ people to become ‘Can do’ and discovered that the key for success for people and organisations is to work with attitudes and behaviours first. This may sound a major task because it is about people changing. However, over time the key components of the Mind Fit Process has evolved, been simplified and although we have a wide range of programmes the core and first step is now put into place in one day – Mind Fit Foundation Programme – followed by support as people take action. This greatly improves the return on investment and creates a solid foundation to build upon with more advanced and client specific programmes.

It’s why we call the Mind Fit Foundation Programme as the prequel to training.


Mind Fit Today


We anticipate over 80% positive change in behaviours following our Mind Fit Mind Fit Ltd - Developing 'can do' people.Foundation Programme. Compare this with an acknowledged “less than 20% transfer from knowledge training”, which mainly focuses on learning and not behavioural change or tangible results. One of the major problems is that trainers, including many coaches are locked into learning and as Donald Kirkpatrick of ‘evaluation of training’ fame said, “There is a devastating disconnect between learning and behaviours”, which is why soft skills training and a lot of coaching does not have the impact it should.


Of course, once someone is on the Mind Fit Journey, we would also expect them to be hungry and absorb any new learning and knowledge they need to fulfil their potential. It’s why we call Mind Fit the ‘prequel to training’ and an organisation can then see a real return on investment.

The Mind Fit Process is at the cutting edge of people development and performance, which is why we have attracted some of the best people around. Our growing team includes a university professor to senior policeman and recruitment specialist through to, oil company boss, triple jump Olympian, golf professional, social and digital media specialist and advertising agency owner and many other specialists. They have two key things in common: they get on famously and they all have winning minds!


Want to take the Mind Fit Challenge?

See the website or email us at for more details.

What Two Words To Avoid?

What Two Words to Avoid … when you play golf, business…?

A golfing legend, the great Sam Snead could not resist using the longest word in golf  – ‘IF’.

When presenting, Tony Westwood our Mind Fit Golf director is known to often ask

“How many times do we hear the word ‘IF’ being used by golfers about a shot or a putt?”

And he asks it because using or even thinking about the word ‘IF’ in any negative way will become a habit and an excuse for golfers to fail. And who wants to fail?

Use of the word ‘IF’ is not restricted or monopolised by golfers – we hear the ‘IF’ word a lot in all sports and business and mostly as in golf in a very negative way. “If only I’d listened…”, “If you did your job we wouldn’t be in this mess…”, “If only the bank would listen…”, “if we had more time or more people we could…”  and many more with the same flavour.

Tony also says

“another word we hear a lot on the golf course is ‘always’. If you always say you do something then you are giving yourself an instruction to gather evidence to prove you always do something.

Be careful what you say as you are always there and always listening.”

Again golf doesn’t have the monopoly on ‘always’ – the well trodden business adage used to be “if you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got”  –  but as those who survived the recent recession will know that has all changed! But how many have noticed? Now things are improving maybe some have fallen into old habits?

Even though you may not know it, complexity theory is always at work in your world, as the theory states that it’s the smallest of things that can have a big impact. But it doesn’t tell you what the smallest things are. However, what you say, small words like ‘If’ and ‘always’ will determine your attitude and behaviour and that will affect your performance whether positive or negative, it is your choice!

Of course there is a different interpretation of ‘IF’ that’s character building and inspirational, but how many people think that way? It’s not perfect but it’s a step in the right direction, so why not take the choice to do so… and read the following or further down you can listen to it.



If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943)

If you prefer to listen here’s a Youtube version with some interesting images.


As ever – it is your choice.


(If you were Mind Fit then you wouldn’t be concerned about using any words …. but most people are Mind UnFit most of the time)

Have you noticed the Holes in Your Cheese?

We believe we’re great at judging and assessing other people’s personality and attitude as we know them and know how they operate, which buttons to press and which one’s not to press.

Current research suggests we only have to look at someone to make up our mind if we’re going to like them. We probably know that already as we have all met someone new when networking and sized them up before the first word is uttered.

For those that manage a team, we know who’s good under pressure, the best performers, the ones with the safe pair of hands, the better team players and those that are OK but just functioning, or present but not setting the world alight.

After all, this is your world, your experience, your judgement and all this is filed somewhere in the space in the 5 inches between your ears – commonly referred to as your brain. You’ll have formed a picture or a map of each one. Because you have created it and you’re right of course that picture will probably look like the outside of the cheese above. Smooth with no holes, graining or cracks.  A smooth and colourful veneer.

However, when you slice through it, suddenly the picture changes. There are lots of holes, some large, some small, a few cracks and some graining that all remain hidden. If you were to take time and carefully ask each person you will find some frailties and insecurities, the holes, and they’ll probably know they exist, as they are after all only human. But this is your world and your judgement and you know these people so it’s still a smooth, unblemished shiny surface.


Now what about you?

How well do you know yourself? Are you the smooth shiny, unblemished surface – calm under pressure, confident, a team player, good thinker and leader, or have you any holes or gaps you’re patching up, maybe ignoring or don’t even know they exist? All of these will be impacting negatively on your performance and that of your team causing behaviours that are wasteful in terms of time, effort and money – collectively this “behavioural waste” you have actually chosen to ignore. Yes, it’s a choice, your choice.


How about filling the holes in your cheese?

None of us are perfect and we all have holes. They’ve matured over time through your beliefs and experiences and some not worth worrying about but others will stop you performing at your best. Filling your holes may take time, but it’s easier than you might think.

Take the story of Penny

Penny was a middle manager in her company and very vocal during the first day of the workshop programme. She was highly intelligent and had a very broad base of knowledge in a variety of areas. She was always happy to speak out and give her opinion, and was keen to emphasise her intellectual abilities. She had a slight air of ‘knowing it all’ about her.

During the day, we noticed that some of her colleagues didn’t seem to be enjoying her interjections. By the end of the day, people were rolling their eyes whenever she spoke and one even let out a heavy sigh. We tried to start a dialogue within the group and the man admitted that he found Penny’s persistent need to expound on every theory she had read about frustrating and controlling. Penny was visibly upset and came to see us after the day had ended.

Penny told us that she had had a troubled personal life for many years, and had undergone many different types of counselling and therapy in the hope of finding some inner peace. She said that these endeavours hadn’t particularly helped, and in fact had left her more confused than ever, with a head full of facts, figures and theories about personal development. She resented the amount of money she had spent over the years, and wanted to feel that she had some knowledge to contribute. She also told us that academic achievement was highly prized in her family, whereas a more emotional, spontaneous attitude was frowned upon.

We thanked Penny for being so frank, and suggested that perhaps, on the second day, she should be a little freer to just take in what was happening around her, and not be so concerned with playing the ‘expert’ in the group. Part of natural learning is intuitive and we can learn much from simply observing and listening to those around us. Penny took our advice, and the next day she was a much quieter presence. Over the next few weeks, with our support, Penny learned a greater sense of self-awareness and through personal effort succeeded in controlling her urge to intellectually dominate the people around her all the time. We cannot claim to have solved her personal issues, but she was certainly a more popular and trusted figure in the office, which had a direct impact on her happiness and productivity at work.


Penny’s story is not that uncommon, and even though she was trying to file the holes in her cheese, her focus wasn’t on the right issue – her behavioural waste hadn’t been clarified, found or acknowledged and acted upon.


So, how holey is your cheese?

Small holes or large holes don’t matter as both can limit or reduce your performance. Sometimes the small ones can be more damaging. But whatever your answer to the question, we know you can fill the holes permanently, but only if you want to.

It’s always a choice – but only if you believe it. If you don’t believe you have a choice maybe it’s you that needs to start to change your mindset?


If you want to find out how you can fill the holes in your cheese, just contact us.

Board Announcement – New Mind Fit Coach

Michelle Robinson Mind Fit Coach Mind Fit Ltd announces the appointment of Michelle Griffith Robinson as Mind Fit Coach with effect of July 1st 2014. Neville Gaunt, CEO of Mind Fit Ltd said

As we gear up to launch our new Coaching Division we’re delighted that Michelle has agreed to be a key member of the Mind Fit Team. She has a passion to help people excel and brings an energetic and highly motivated style to help young adults, business people and others outperform their expectations. Michelle will help us to expand into new markets and the global marketplace so we can further demonstrate and our proposition that everyone is talented.

The Mind Fit process evolved in the late 1990s when Graham Williams, the architect of Mind Fit was working with Sir John Whitmore, David Hemery the Olympian and their team. Graham said “Although what we now offer is very different, in other respects by Michelle’s addition to the team, Mind Fit is going back to grass roots!” Michelle said

Throughout my career and as an Olympian a winning mindset has been a pre-requisite to success. Since retiring from athletics in 2006, I have used numerous coaching skills learnt along the way, establishing myself as a well recognised Personal trainer, Motivational speaker and Mentor; presently working as a mentor for The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, and playing an integral part of getting peoples lives ‘back on track’. With Mind Fit I have found an organisation that can quickly develop and sustain a can do attitude in anyone. I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to play a key part in Mind Fit’s development.

Mind Fit – developing can do people with winning minds.


Editors Notes

Michelle Griffith Robinson – is a former Olympic Triple Jumper who competed for over two decades retiring after the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006. During her illustrious career she competed in Olympic Games, World and European Championships and was the first woman in the Commonwealth to jump more than 14 metres. Michelle invites everyone to share her motto of “Dream big and don’t be scared to give anything a go.” She is a personal trainer, public speaker, mentor and Mind Fit Coach and Developer.

Mind Fit – developing ‘can do’ attitudes with ‘winning minds’. Mind Fit programmes focus on people and performance, so they can be the best they can be wherever they operate – school, business, sports, social or life.


Contact: – Neville Gaunt 02071 486 187,

Michelle Griffith Robinson,

Board Announcement – New Joint Venture Agreement Mind Fit and SSI – NeuroTracker

New Joint Venture Agreement

Mind Fit and SSI – NeuroTracker

Mind Fit Ltd announces a Joint Venture agreement with Sports Science Innovations Ltd (SSI) to promote NeuroTracker into the UK market.

The integration of these two technologies provides a very powerful solution to present day training demands in business, sports and education.

What is NeuroTracker?

Put simply it trains your brain to improve on quicker response, focus, attention and awareness.
It is an innovative perceptual cognitive enhancement training system developed by world renowned Neurophysicist Professor Jocelyn Faubert at the University of Montreal. Originally designed to improve those suffering from ADHD and Alzheimers, it now has a wide range of clients from business, professional sports, medical rehab (injuries, concussion, healthy aging), schools, learning centres, universities, hospitals and even the US Armed Forces.
Mind Fit and SSI –- NeuroTrackerThe brain is very malleable and this is known as “Neuroplasticity” (the ability of the brain to adapt to new demands). Neuroplasticity exists throughout the general population and is present in the young and old. NeuroTracker uses unique Neuro-physics methodology to train perceptual-cognitive processes in order to;
• Enhance Focus
• Enhance Attention and Awareness
• Boost decision-making under pressure

Through instant-feedback training and induced Neuroplasticity that NeuroTracker creates within its programs, individuals will be aware of and improve their sustained attention, avoiding lapses and distractions. This will have a direct effect on everyday function, driving business, sports or any other performance.

Graham Williams, Architect and Development Director of Mind Fit said “NeuroTracker is a simple to use product that raises people’s awareness. As any good coach will tell you, raising awareness is a key factor to improving performance and is the basis of Mind Fit’s feedback loop – awareness, control, focus and feedback. The evidence, research and the versatility of NeuroTracker means people anywhere in business, sports and education can all benefit through regular use. It is a great product and provides a compelling combined offer for our customers with a meaningful ROI.”

What the Sports Experts say:
“I think NeuroTracker is a genuine breakthrough. It’s a proven science technology that trains fundamental mental skills with rapid gains, and the results unlock a wealth of new performance data.” Leonard Zaichkowsky, Ph.D. Director of Sports Science, Vancouver Canucks, Canada
“The players felt the impact of training NeuroTracker on their overall performance…an improvement in their concentration, their sensitivity to information in their peripheral vision, and for increased reactivity.” French Federation of Rugby / Stade Toulousain, France
“NeuroTracker led to an improvement in most visual skills, as well as some transference to sports performance, we believe that the training of perceptual-cognitive skills can enhance athletic performance.” The Car Olympic Training Centre Barcelona, Spain
“I have observed elite performers embrace NeuroTracker and experience incomparable improvement in their situational awareness during competition. I believe it provides a training stimulus akin to players being ‘in the zone’. A programme capable of improving any individual’s awareness, cognition, focus, concentration and performance is immediately worthy of anyone’s attention” Peter Friar MSc MCSP, BSc (Hons), HPC, Sports Performance Specialist. UK

Who is using it?

Used by the likes of Manchester United FC, Southampton FC, West Ham FC, Leicester Tigers RUFC in the Sports arena, Anna Freud Centre dealing with ADHD and Anti Social Behaviour, Golden Care in community care projects. Other organisations will soon find out how NeuroTracker can benefit their operation by helping people improve performance.

Tony Tracey MD of SSI said “We’re delighted to be working with Mind Fit as they have a process that is unique. Until now, our focus has been on professionals in all sports however recently we have ventured into ADHD/Anti Social/Community Care and Military areas of interest. Working with Mind Fit will widen our audience and give organisations the opportunity to experience the power of this combined approach. ”

Do you want to know what we can do for your business?

Contact us on the numbers below if you would like more info or book a demonstration – and quote this article to take advantage of the launch offer.

Mind Fit – making common sense, common practice.


Editors Notes

Watch it in action here!

How NeuroTracker works
Awareness in 3D.On a 3D screen you will see 8 stationary yellow balls. 4 change to orange for a few seconds and then change back to yellow. Your task is to track the 4 (that were orange) as they then move and circulate in the 3D immersion for approx 15 seconds and then stop and are then numbered from 1 to 8. At the end you choose the 4 numbered balls you believe were orange and the result is then revealed. If correct the next test speeds up and if incorrect the speed slows down. This is repeated 20 times within one session and 15-20 sessions will establish a base line for the subject being tested.

At first you sit down to start the tests and as you move up the ranking you then perform the tests standing up and then, later on, introduce other skill variables to increase the rate of Neuroplasticity being created . At every level the balls can speed up or slow down so you find your optimum performance level.

Awareness in 3D.In its common form NeuroTracker comes with either a large (or medium sized) plasma 3D TV or head mounted display, dedicated PC plus software programmes, a “Kinect” motion detection system.

It’s aimed at organizations who will buy it as a training package. But if it comes to your organization, whatever your business sector, you will know that it will improve your performance in whatever you are doing.


Company Information
Sports Science Innovations Ltd is a leading distributor and installer of the latest, most technologically advanced sports training PageLines- Brain.jpgdevices. It is the UK and Ireland licensed distributor of NeuroTracker.

Mind Fit – develop ‘can do’ attitudes with ‘winning minds’. Mind Fit programmes focus on people and performance, so they can be the best they can be wherever they operate – school, business, sports, social or life.
Graham Williams, joint founder of Mind Fit, was part of a skydiving team and through that worked with performance coaches including David Hemery and Sir John Whitmore in the 1990’s.


Contact: –
Neville Gaunt CEO Mind Fit, 0207 148 6187
Tony Tracey MD SSI, 0800 599 9054

What Stops our Success? Behavioural Waste

What stops our success?

It may not be the obvious place to start to answer the question, but how blind are you to your own beliefs, attitudes and behaviours and the impact they have?

Whether positive or negative, your beliefs about the situation you are in and the people you work with will make a tremendous difference to how you and they perform. In this article we will offer you two means of opening your eyes to the problem – if you are willing to look. They are the ‘Gaps’ and ‘Traps’ that we all fall prey to without even realising it.

  • ‘Gaps’ are external. They are the unacknowledged or ignored difference between what the system and process at work is supposed to deliver compared to what we actually get.
  • ‘Traps’ are internal. They are embedded and unexamined beliefs, attitudes and behaviours that combine like viral bugs to deliver poor performance and distraction from noticing the ‘gaps’.

It is our blindness to the ‘gaps’ combined with the ‘traps’ of negative ritual behaviours within work situations that keep us locked into ways of working that are wasteful (behavioural waste) and costly. They prevent us from identifying and taking those small, considered steps that all businesses need to take, in order to grow and move forward. This blindness leads to ‘Behavioural Waste’, those activities that cost time, effort and money and can make the difference between the success and failure of a business. Challenging behavioural waste exposes activities that keep people busy but unproductive.

What difference would it make if you reduced behavioural wastes in your business by one hour a day for each employee? Where could you focus that additional time?

Behavioural Wastes

What has been ignored - Behavioural Waste Behavioural wastes are all forms of behaviour that divert energy, focus, talent and resources away from personal or organisational purpose. They stop us thinking, leave us in a frustrated state and we lose the drive to do anything different. Behavioural Waste results in unproductive ‘games’ that people persist in playing that lead to and may include:

  • Unchallenged low performance and weak leadership
  • Setting unrealistic targets
  • Unnecessary ritual meetings or consistent lateness at meetings
  • Supporting internal competition that benefits the minority and not the business
  • Training that consistently fails to deliver results, whose ineffectiveness is accepted or ignored
  • Failure to tackle bullies or resolve conflicts
  • Persistent, cynical attitudes that reduce commitment
  • Maintaining obsolete working practices and processes
  • Unfair loading of key individuals

Such behaviours are caused by ‘can’t-do’ or ‘won’t-do’ beliefs and attitudes where people ignore or make excuses for failure or simply do not put the effort in to face them, name them and taking action to eliminate them. Sometimes people lose sight of what is needed and spend their time stabilising unproductive activities because the fear of doing something different may be too scary and they find themselves locked into hygiene or tidying routines under pressure. When we hear a new idea, we become programmed to look for weaknesses or flaws instead of trying to identify the positive, useful elements. If offered an alternative approach we often decide not to take the risk by applying a routine ‘won’t-do’ defensive excuse and block a new thought or initiative to transform a difficult situation.

When you find yourself instinctively blocking a suggestion, take a moment to reflect on how much thinking you put into exploring the new possibility or did you immediately find yourself ‘trapped’ into instinctively looking for reasons to justify not taking action? What ‘game’ are you playing?

Here is a recent example where the excuse for failure to address a real problem is already available. A medium-size professional organisation has a serious problem with some of its customer-facing people. They have the wrong attitude and behaviours and give such a poor quality of service that it needs to change for business success.

However, rather than working with a company that has experience in dealing with negative attitudes and poor-performing teams they opted for a training organisation to provide additional inputs on customer care, instead of attempting to understand why previous indoctrination had such little effect.

The senior person in the company who made this decision knows that the training is unlikely to impact on current behaviours or improve performance. However when invited to explain his choice pointed out that you can always blame the training provider for the failure.

Most people are completely oblivious to ‘gaps’ and ‘traps’ at work and continue to do what they have always done, because they either believe it works or they are resistant to checking the reality. Yet by simply asking some basic questions and thinking through what we are doing we can identify where we are wasting time, effort and money.

Behavioural Waste.

Common ‘gaps’ and ‘traps’ found in many businesses include:

    • Knowledge – Doing Gap
    • Predictability Trap
    • Change Management Gap
    • Engaged vs Disengaged Gap
    • Perception vs Reality Gap
    • Performance Trap

Knowledge – Doing Gap This relates to a well-known problem relating to the transfer of knowledge following training, into attitude and behavioural change, and tangible results. People attend training programmes particularly relating to non-technical subjects that include leadership, customer services, communication, personal performance, sales and conflict, yet fail to use that knowledge back in the work place.

If knowledge training in its current form does not work, why do we continue to invest in it?

What if we addressed the wrong attitudes and behaviours first before providing knowledge? Or is it too much of a risk to focus on attitudes?

Are you focused on ‘learning’ or ‘doing’? Are you stuck on the wrong side of the gap?

Predictability Trap Predictive models abound these days and in truth some work well however, there is a flaw within these models or algorithms that many people ignore – most models fail to consider factors that we cannot control or influence, or depend on accurate data. In predicting results people get trapped into thinking that their estimates will be more accurate than they really are and this thought-pattern may drive rigid and unrealistic expectations and create a style of leadership that is overly controlling. Businesses should avoid being driven by predictions on aspects of plans that they cannot control or influence to a necessary degree of certainty. Logical prediction or decision taking models, many of which are linear, fail to accept that the world and people in it are more complex, dynamic and unpredictable than we like to think. Complexity theory informs us that we should identify patterns and trends and learn from the past as the future is unpredictable, and the only thing we can control or influence is what we do in the moment.

What are your predictions and where do you focus? Are you in a predictability trap?

Change Management Gap Change management programmes offer a range of solutions that will allegedly transform your organisation, all providing information about what you need to do and where resistance is likely to come from. Years of evidence has enabled change providers to be confident in what they offer and how it will unfold. What they ignore is the gap between success and failure of change programmes. A regularly quoted failure rate is 70% and if you search it on the web you will discover over 3 million results on change failure. Recently IBM carried out a study on ‘Making Change Work’ with 1500 change practitioners and the results from the people who offer change solutions to businesses of all sizes is a 59% failure rate. Not good.

How much time, effort and money would be saved if people started out positively engaged instead of resisting? How much quicker would a change programme be implemented?

Engaged vs Disengaged Gap Survey after survey informs us that most workers are increasingly disengaged. Kenexa published a report in 2012 that stated the UK worker is 20% less productive than workers in the rest of the G7 industrialised nations and represents the biggest gap since 1995. Yet how many businesses really commit to closing the productivity gap by focusing on building engagement? Today, there is substantial evidence that engaged employees are more productive across all sectors of the economy. Closing the engagement gap can be beneficial.

If you could increase the number of engaged staff; those willing to put in focused effort by 10%, what impact would that have on the bottom line?

Perception vs Reality Gap Our beliefs and perceptions influence the way we think, feel and behave. Unfortunately, our perceptions are not always based on reality. Sara Rynes in 2007 published a paper relating to evidence-based management in which she states, “The gap between science and practice is so persistent and pervasive that some have despaired of it ever being narrowed”. A recently published survey by the ILM titled, “Beyond the bonus: Driving employee performance” disclosed more gaps between perception and reality. For example 82% of managers said that their staff know exactly what is expected of them; they are always giving feedback and also coached their staff. A majority of employees disagreed with those statements by managers whose level of awareness about what they believe they are doing and what they are seen to be doing by others, are poles apart.

What do you believe you are doing and what do you really do? Have your employees a clear line-of-sight to the impact they have on the business?

Performance Trap Many organisations senior people and managers focus on the performance output of different activities and that is understandable and necessary. A lot of time and effort is put into measuring results like KPIs and analysing them. If the results are not as predicted then sometimes the wrath of senior staff is brought down on to the heads of departments. Being trapped in performance ‘output’ often means that you lose sight of those small necessary ‘input’ activities that lead to those output results. Small changes in input activities, namely those things you can control and actually do, can lead to big improvements at the output end. There are many examples if you check out complexity theory.

Ask yourself, “Do I know what the small inputs are that lead to the desired outputs?” “How do I do each input activity?” Can you answer these questions simply and with clarity?

People often know the words but not the actions.

Closing the gaps and escaping the traps

You may have noticed that in all of these gaps and traps there is a consistent message. Our blindness or negative beliefs, attitudes and behaviours are at the heart of gaps and traps. Simply ask a series of reality check questions and not assume you know what is actually going on.

Such basic questions may include:

  • What is our purpose?
  • What are we doing that lead to our purpose?
  • What are we doing that take us away from our purpose?
  • What do I/we believe is happening?
  • Are we in a ‘gap’ or ‘trap’?
  • What are the consequences?
  • How much are behavioural waste activities costing?
  • What will it take to escape our flawed reality?
  • What do we need to stop doing?
  • What do we need to start doing?

Eliminate Negatives

The recent “Good to Great” by McKinsey report referred to case studies and rigorous academic research that shows if you want to create and spread excellence, eliminating the negative is the first order of business. How you do that, they leave to you.

At Mind Fit we identify negative activities through the term ‘Behavioural Waste’ and the experience of being trapped or ignoring gaps between beliefs and reality generates much of that. The Mind Fit process further raises your awareness and that of your business about how your attitudes and behaviours and that of your people, impact on everyone’s ability to perform to their optimum, lead and engage, work in teams, and ultimately improve performance.

We do not assume that we know your issues and have the solutions that you need before we start to work with your organization. We work in partnership with our clients’ so that the input activities that you choose to change are relevant to you and your business.

As ever now the choice is yours. Whether to continue with the behavioural waste inherent in the business, or free yourself, your people and your business from those blocking ‘Gaps’ and ‘Traps’ and outperform your expectations.

Contact us today for a free consultation

Behavioural Waste.


Growth comes from Engaged Employees


Behavioural Waste is from Disengaged Employees