177: Adaptability: The Inside Track on Changing Your Mindset

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Contact info:

Robert Overweg

Email: robert@adaptablemindset.com

Website: http://www.adaptablemindset.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theadaptablemindset/

LinkedIn Page:https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertoverweg/

Bio:

Robert Overweg is the founder of the Adaptable Mindset program. He and his team empower people to develop their own Adaptable Mindset, to develop mental flexibility. Learn how to create mental space and to find new possibilities. In our rapidly changing world we keep feeling the impact of unpredictable events to which we have to adapt. Robert teaches how adaptability is about empowerment and finding new perspectives. The Adaptable Mindset program has been applied at several Fortune 500 companies (Chanel, Heineken), multiple SMEs and innovative schools. They have also supported over a thousand students and solopreneurs with their online program.

This is profit from the inside, with Joel Block insights to give your business the inside track. And now here's your host, Joel Block. How often you wake up in the morning and wonder why your people aren't buying into the changes that the management team is putting on the table? And you know that these changes are going to be transformative, they're gonna put the company on the right track, but the team's just not working together and you're not getting the creativity and the transformation from them that you know they are capable of. To answer that question and more, Robert Overvech Robert. You know what, I was kind of practicing on that the last name part. That's not natural for for English speakers, so hopefully I didn't botch it up too much. You did a great job. Well, where, first of all, where are you today? In answer them? Looking at an Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Yeah, I don't think we've had a guest from Amsterdam. I don't I don't real anyhow. Yeah, okay, wow, yeah, very nice. Well, that's uh, that's awesome. Well, listen. So, uh, what's what's the secret to UH getting, you know, creativity, transformation and all these things out of your team? Uh, you know what I mean. I mean, let's let's just put the first secret on the table and then we'll go from there. Yeah, sure, of course it's. Um. It's not like a one trick thing or or like one solution which fits everywhere. Right. I think the problem is very dynamic and you can approach it from very different and multiple, multiple ways and multiple perspectives actually. So what we see often with people and organizations when change is desired or innovation is desired is that, Um, it gives people a sense of fear and ascertainty. So we would serve as US and everyone if we train people to...

...be better able to deal with the change and the uncertainty, because that is a skill that you can drain. So what? So, what are people afraid of? I mean, if I mean why, why is? Why is changing fear related? I mean that they were there and lose their job. I mean, what are they worried going to happen to them? Um, indeed, it can be. It can be afraid to lose their job. It can be, um, that they are afraid that they might not be able to deal with the new skills that are required because maybe they haven't been learning for the entirety of their life and suddenly, after like five years in a job, you're asked, hey, now you need to work data driven. WHOA data driven? What is that? I'm going to be replaced by a robot or you know, all of these things materialize and we see actually from global data, on a survey on ten thousand skilled workers, that of the people they deal with Post Syndrome. So, you know, if you're dealing with such a crowd, imagine that almost all of your people feel like I might not be able to do even the job that I'm currently doing. Imagine inviting them to, you know, participate in innovation or in this change that we're going through. People find this difficult and, like in our education upbringing, you know, work, we aren't really trained in to learn on our own. We aren't really trained in resilience and self reliance. Um, so I think it you would do good to spend more time on that. You know, is this a cultural thing that differs by country, or do you think that this is an international thing? Because I mean, I'm you know, I'm in the United States and I'm thinking, boy, we sure have a lot of these problems and you are in Europe. Are dealing with the same thing. I mean. So do you think this is something that's just like a human thing? I think it is. It is a human thing. I do we do seem that differ, and cultures and different...

...countries react to it differently. Like you guys in the in the US, failure for you is a bit different. You know, if you fail, it's okay, anybody, good job. At least you tried and and and carry on. In in Europe it's not like that at all. You can really feel like a pariah people, at least people think that right. Um, so we try out less stuff and we take less risk over here. Um, but but these issues of yeah, just being afraid to to try things and step into the unknown. That is that is just how your your body reacts. You know, the people get into a flight or fight mode, which is totally unnecessary. And that's not the only thing that people deal with. Also, UM, they're so busy with work, busy with consuming content. You know, people spend four hours and twenty minutes on their phone average. You know, so they have little mental space to let in new ideas, let alone come up with their own ideas, and then they're influenced by a lot of negativity in the world or social media news. You know, everything is always constantly on fire. So what you put in your mind is also what you project outwards. So if you think that the world is always on fire, that's also what you will see. And then again makes it difficult to be innovative. And if your brain is under stress, your your capacity can be shrunk to like. So that's for objective evaluation, creativity and those kinds of things. So now, if you're in a high stress environment where you don't feel safe, where you know you're dealing with your post them, stack up all of those things and and no wonder. Change is difficult and innovation is difficult for organizations and people aren't often also not included in the journey. So it's often um decided from top down. Right then you get like a command to do some thing, but you don't feel the autonomy...

...or the supports to explore on your own. You know, I'm just thinking about, you know, all the things that are necessary in the business environment. The Bar keeps going higher. I mean that one of the things about our world is that it's changing constantly. A company like Amazon comes along, raises the bar on all of retail and you know, and a lot of companies can't compete. They go to business. Some companies are saying, Hey, we have to learn how to compete. Computers and certain kinds of technology are forcing people to raise the bar in their careers, raised the bar in their education. Um this that that has to be stressful to people. I mean some people deal better with it than others, but the bar is going higher and it's effect of life. So what can people do to just say, you know what, I got to continuously get better. I can't sit on my laurels. And you know I mean is that? Is that kind of the right direction, that you've got to constantly be improved? The percent I think one of the keys is to make it very fun and playful, to find what intrinsically motivates you. You know, what drives you, what really what would you get out of bed for, and start investigating that and start pulling on that threat. And that can be human nature, that can be communities, that can be data, that can be art, it can be philosophy, whatever, or even games, and see what you can learn from those things and try to bring that knowledge back into your organization and your life and your work. In that way you may continuous learning not a burden but actually fun, you know. and Um, yeah, we see actually that a lot of large organizations, like their founders, for an example, higher or Elon, mask with Tesla and of SPACEX, they all are still in tune with what has driven them and what continues to drive them. Those are those are entrepreneurial people, those are educated people. I mean we have, you know, in the United States at least, you know, we have two different kinds of workforces. We have laborers, people who work hard,...

...factory workers and uh, you know, people that are busy working, you know, maybe less intellectual but, you know, very important work. They're doing with their hands, are building things whatever. And then we have these intellectual people, and which has become kind of technology. It's become a lot of these data people, and a lot of people can't relate to those people either. I mean, so they're kind of you know, they find there's there's two groups. You know. Is One group more likely to keep keep in touch with their their roots more than others, or or is this is this like it cuts across all categories? M Hmm, good question. Interesting questions as well, because indeed there are Um, multiple different groups. Um. But you know, even in and Um, in the world of technology, even if you are in a row of data or I T um, there is the ability that your job will be replaced by technology. So even those people have that had a possible burden or fear, fear in their life. But generally speaking it's just a good idea to take care of proper inspiration. So Um, just scrolling through the news or or watching Netflix or you know your your social feed. Um, there's probably better things out there that can help you expand your frame of mind, that can teach you new knowledge in a very fun way. And then also it's very crucial to take care of your yourself through movement, through exercise, through walking, running, meditation, Yoga, boxing, whatever you want to do. Now you need to also make that like a structural part of your life to create that space. And we see also from scientific research that if you have a strong body, you also have a stronger mind, which is more resilient. So there's actually all the things that you know from within that help you. Actually, I think most people already know what could help them forward. Is often more...

...um at a matter of integrating it in a more structural way in your life and doing less of the things, of course, which aren't supportive. It's that sounds a bit cheesy maybe, but it's almost that easy. So what what can what can leaders do to help their their teams to be more successful, to be more innovative, to be more comfortable with change that's on the horizon? What are steps that they can be taking? What are programs that could be putting in place? What are you saying? Maybe you're seeing them in Europe. What can we adapt in the United States? Is Working in Europe? Yeah, yeah, so, Um, what we do is we get together with teams. We've got a specific exercise for this as well, which we always give away for free, which we can also share in this show. First we look at what intrinsically motivated people, what gives them energy. So, for first we talk about the positive stuff, you know, the stuff that you really want to do in your life, and then we speak about a but what are the things that block you? Know, what are the things that challenge you? What are the things holding you back from doing that in your work and in your life? And then we together try to solve these things. It's Um almost like group work, right and then doing that on a very um iterative basis, that you create a continuous learning tribes within your organization which keep on inspiring each other. Um. That is an important thing. So bring more of the humanity back into work, humanity, poetry, art, whatever, Um. And then other things. What we see from data is that some organizations could do with like six less meetings and increase the productivity, increase happiness or, call me self, reliance and even the feeling of belonging. So even people feel more connected while having less meetings. So we've got all of these Um things that we've been doing all along, which we which a lot of us know that maybe we should stop,...

...but we keep on doing. How are people feeling like? I don't know if you guys have as much work from home as we do, and we're, you know, a lot of companies having trouble getting their employees to come back, although as we kind of move into a different economic situation with with more hardship economically, it's going to give companies more power to do what they need to do to bring people back or whatever it needs to happen. But do you think that people who are working from home feel the sense of belonging that makes them comfortable. I mean that seems kind of diconomists in a certain way, that being away from everybody are are they lacking connection or like, what are you noticing? Yeah, the data doesn't really show that, but we see the same trends actually in Europe with with Phillips or with the other large organization that even when people decided on having a meeting in any office, like all of them don't show up. It's it is such a new world. And to your point, I do think like when the economy changes, which is which already is doing, Um could change in the shift of power, but still, if you work in tech, the demolt is very high for your role. So I'm not sure how impactful that will be. And also even during the Corona Pademic, we saw people quitting their jobs because they felt that they wanted to have a change in the changing their life. Um. But you also ask about belonging and the data shows that people do feel a sense of belonging Um also because they've got more more autonomy. I think maybe that's worth more for them, and being with the family and being able to have a more more modern work life balance. Maybe because, like it's pretty archaic, right, going to the office from nine to five and then just work, work, work, while you can be like creative for like three hours Max. So if you're creative for three hours Max, you...

...no go for go for a walk, do some exercise or read a book or whatever, and then maybe continue with another creative stint. That's way more productive and it's more feasible to do to their own. Where do? Where do? So is it management's job to provide, you know, this new stimulation that you're talking about people needing? Or do people need to be self starters and they're going to be doing this on their own? or where? Where does it come from? I mean where, where does the management fit into all of this, and where the leaders lead? What's what? Because you're kind of talking about a new kind of leadership. I mean, with people are spread all over the place, how do leaders kind of gather the troops? M M yeah, good question. I think it starts everywhere actually. So for individuals who work in the organization or work on a team, I would never wait for permission, I would just start. I would start working on my own. And we're working with people are open to it. So with your team, members or maybe even people from outside your team. But most of the time C D O, CEO s has of innovation, has a product. Um, they tap on our door and they're like a well, we would like to our organization to be more agile, to be more flexible, to be more open, to be, you know, to experiment more. Um. So it actually happens on multiple layers. Do you find that the employees are open to to like a new style? Is it? Is it what they want? Are there? Are there? Are Employees Getting what they want? Are they feeling fulfilled? I mean, what is the data to say about fulfillment? I mean, are they feeling the fact that they're not running the work? I mean, are they feeling fulfilled and they're just going through the motions and Joe Have you? Have you heard about the data of the global average engagement with work is only it's side. It's...

Super Low. I think in the US it's a bit better. I think in the US it was like three or thirty five, but still, you know, it's insane. It's insane. So yeah, I think if people to be fair, though, our economy is a little different than your economy. Are Our world is a little bit more harsh, a little more rootless. You know, you have a more socialistic system. Yeah, that your spit more cutthroat, right, and more of a winner's mentality, and organizations as well. So people have to perform in order to uh, in order to survive. I mean they so we kind of have something. It's a little bit different. Um, there, there is no. We don't have a great social safety net here like you guys have, and so if people don't show up, so their engagement is probably a little higher, just because it has to be. MM HMM. Yeah, yeah, I was having a conversation today with a few colleagues about that. We have more of a consent, says culture. Now everyone is just always talking, and then somewhere we find the middle road, which is, yeah, not where you want to end up, and that's sort of how we do business. And then we've got often these marginal or these small, incremental steps. Well, your competition isn't doing the incremental steps, but it's taken the radical, large steps. So that's Um, um. Yeah, it creates an interesting paradigm. So you talk about adaptability. WHO NEEDS TO BE ADAPTABLE? Is the managers? Is it leaders? Is it the employees? I mean where does who is largely responsible for creating this adaptation that you're talking about? Where does it come from? So the funny thing is like executive leadership points to the people that the people aren't open to change and aren't adaptive, and it also works the other way around. So the people point to leadership that there aren't open and adapted. So what if we would just get together, you know,...

...and see how we can solve that? I think so it should be. Sometimes I say like I think like everyone should work in HR. I think everything is a is a is a human, human challenge. We often see that innovation, new technological developments there aren't being adapted because people aren't engaged or they have a problem in their personal life or those kind of things like and if you if you don't solve that, then you should look at the complete picture more from a holistic perspective and try to empower people and give them the tools to deal with their own challenges and the challenges of the group. And there are challenges of the organization. Yeah, what you know, you're you're sort of pointing to, you know, what I would call Plame culture. You know, people blame each other for everything. I mean human resources in the United States. I sort agree with you that everybody, everybody, works in the human part of the business because even though businesses seem like they're about money, they aren't really about money. They're about people and then people make money. So everybody has something with people. But human resources in particular is about compliance with the law, you know, making sure that this side is treated fair and that side is treated fair. And you know, so they're they're just different and that's something that's different, I imagine with with our two countries too. It's they're different things. But we live in a world where people blame each other for everything. I mean they point the finger, they they're you know, it's it's your fault and nothing is ever my fault. It's always your fault and there needs to be some compromise to how that works. You everny any solution and any thoughts about where that's going? Yeah, we see that a lot of people are in victim mindset. Like the situation that I mean it's due to the economic crisis, it's due to upbringing, it's due to my boss is not listening, or there's always something that you...

...can't control. And if you think about it, rationally, it's very unproductive. Now, once you take on the blame yourself, not that it's all your fault, because indeed it can be your boss who is holding you back. You know, it can be your upbringing that wasn't the best. But what can you do now? That's always the question, right. What is in your control and how can you take those steps forward and what do you need to do? I think holding up the mirror to yourself. It can be confronting Um, but from there on it's more easy to to find a way forward and it's it's so more productive, it's so more energizing as well. Yeah, but it takes it takes a little bit of reprogramming the mind. So if you've always guide people through this process, is that part of what? So tell tell us how you do that. Yeah, so, for one is we flood people with positive perspectives, with so all of the things which are um not not so necessarily going well in the world, but the most beautiful art, the best scientific discoveries, the best philosophy, how organizations have transformed, how people have transformed, and the stuff your head full with all of the possibilities in the world, and that will just create a larger lettice work of ideas, of possibilities. You know, it will open up new doorways in the mind. That is what we see. We almost put people like in a in a flow state, and from the flow state they're able to float towards possibilities and there's a little bit rewiring the brain in that way. Uh. And then we also look at how people speak to themselves, like are they speaking to themselves in a in a very negative way, or how these people speak within the culture, in the in the organization? So we often see, for an example, that people say, Um, let me challenge you on that. So everyone is always challenging each other on whatever they say, which, yeah, create it's slightly hostile. You...

...could also say, Um, Hey, could we also take a different perspective? That's already sounds way more free, way, more way, more open, less hostile. So Um, look into that. Um. Then we also look into the rhythm and Um, like the protocols that the organizations have. So how much freedom is there? Um, you can say, for example, that's often what leadership does. Not that I am blaming anyone here, of course, but they say you are free to experiment. A fail here. At the same time, you need to adhere to your kpis for this quarter, which is like a little bit difficult if you're just being told that you're free to experiment. The fail because how much room for failure is there then, especially if the KPI said you need to adhere too, are very heavy and very high. Right. So, yeah, sometimes, how do you how do you deal with that kind of conflict? I mean, so, in other words, we want you to experiment and try different techniques, but we also need you accomplish the following. So are you talking about experimenting with the outcome? Are Experimenting with the process? That? Yeah, both. So we speak to leadership and we hold up the mirror like hey, guys, this is what you want, this is what you're saying and this is what it creates. So it's backfiring Um to the people on the floor. We tell them about new technology which makes it easier to prototype, easier to design, faster, more efficient. So over ten percent of the costs and ten ask faster you can get your ideas in the market. so that also creates space for failure on trying out more stuff. So it's a bit of a technological angle, but it's also, yeah, human and and and reflection and just talking with each other, because we're all grown ups. Oh, most people can put themselves in the shoes of some one else,...

...as long as you take a little bit of time for that. and Um, and then it's about showing, creating like quick wins, that this new way of working, this new methodology, actually works, and that just opens the floodgates for change. And then things start to change and we actually successfully apply this within Um, really large organizations in the Netherlands through this methodology. How are these how are these results showing up, like over, over a longer period of time? Are The people getting along better? They're coming up better ideas? And what do you notice? Is Happening over over time? So we see higher creative and in ovative outcome, of course, because when people are intrinsically motivated, that is what you get from global data. We also see that people who have high employee experience and high customer experience, they have doubled the revenue um in comparison to organizations who don't have both of these on high. So when your people are happy and when your product experience is good, you'll have double the revenue. That's sort of that's sort of the idea. It's very logical. If you take people, if they're happy, it's rather intuitive. Right. But why aren't we all optimizing for this? Often we step into organizations and we're like, why isn't everyone just doing what they like intrinsically reside towards where they radiate towards? Right? Why? Why? Why is Pete sitting on possession x just because he went through the motions in the corporate or in the smme and now he is in that role? But maybe someone else should be there. And interestingly enough, we now see large organizations like Unily, for HSBC, Pepsico, they're all moving more into more agile organizations where it's more skills based. So people who will will not be sitting anymore in fixed positions, but teams will materialize overnight two tackle challenges. So product teams will be way more fluid. Oh yeah, we see that. Or stations are going to change dramatically. Tell us more about that.

The concept of agile organizations. How does it? How does it work? How how do companies transition from what's been fixed in the past to something that's more flexible in the future? Yeah, so, to be honest, with you. Often what happens is that male management is being asked to either transform and take a more flexible role, which would Um yeah, in reality that would mean that they would lose their position, or sometimes they are asked to to go to a different organization or take it somewhere else, and sometimes it can be up to of of those roles. Um Yeah, they're just gone. Um. Speaking of the skills based on more agile so we look at what kind of skills you have, and then maybe you're familiary with a t shaped player, where you have a certain broad skill set, so you are applicable in many different domages. You've got the deep expertise, like a t deep expertise in specific domain. Then you're going to look at how you can cross skill Um. They can almost make like an age with with the bar in the middle of what skills are also applicable in in other topics. Um. And then often we create like a skills marketplace, so we see what skills are out there, what passions, what intrinsic motivations, and then it's more easy to build teams just based on what people want to do and what skills they have, and it's also easier to see what they need to learn and, Um, what is coming up. But preferably we like to leave the learning. Of course we want to motivate it, but we like to leave the learning at the individual level because you want to have autonomy and self reliance. You don't want leadership to point towards something that people should learn, because what if leadership is wrong and it also creates it's a sense of...

Oh yeah, lack of autony. You know, I can imagine if you worked hard to become a manager for a long time and all of a sudden, you know, the manager jobs kind of dissolving and it's turning into this flexible thing. You know, you'd have a little hidden agenda about wanting to be flexible. You'd kind of like to keep that job the way that it was, because you're you have a self interest and I kind of find that a lot of things that are broken in our society. I think our education systems are broken, our government systems are broken and many, many systems are broken. And it's not so much that they're that they're broken in a in a in a really deliberate way, but a lot of things that we do are hundreds of years old and we've just been doing in the same way for a long time and they haven't involved, like you're talking about a real evolution here. And and one of the things that I noticed is that, let's say the schools. I mean there are enormous administrations that run these schools that have a vested interest and hey, listen, you know like fifty, I gotta get to sixty, I just want to retire, get my money and then you can change the place all around all you want. And so they kind of have this legacy interest and they prevent the changes that we need. What's IT gonna take? You know, I thought the pandemic was going to be a big, big when the bomb went off and everything kind of changed around. A lot of things did change, but a lot of things did not. What's going to kind of take to change some of these big institutions, to really reorganize? Yeah, Um, I'm not sure if the big institutions can change. It's probably going to be new institutions with which will be built, because I think fixing the old thing Um might be a bit too hard because there's so much resistance. For an example, if we look at universities here in the Netherlands, like their iteration cycle is every five years. There's a new curriculum every five years. The entire world has changed in five years, Um, and now recently they're going to work mark summer centric.

It's like, like, guys, customers entristy is but what we've been doing already for for decades. How how come you're only now starting to ask your students what they want to learn? You know, and Um, also, interestingly, the students in the Netherlands at least, is depressed, like you're not teaching kids to write skills. Kids don't have room for their own entrepreneurial spirits. You know, the school takes over almost all of their time and when they leave they have a burnout and they don't have skills to uh, you know, take care of themselves or have the right job skills. So so how does they how does that adaptation work? That? That's what the question, you know, and again maybe it's a rhetorical question. There's no good answer, but I mean, you know, granted, there are new institutions that are coming up and eventually, uh, something's gonna blow up and disappear, and that's what happens. And over time things get replaced, to get acquired, they get merged, whatever happens. But I'm just curious about what your thoughts were. Yeah, so we are actually, Um, creating supplements for schools and we are eventually also going to develop our own, our own educational system. Um. For this reason, Um, working with multiple schools in Europe, but also also in the US. But I think everyone should look at their own situation and look at what they can do themselves to develop this adaptability. And it can be through Um, yeah, can be through your education, it can be through mind training, it can be through like on our website. You know, it's it's such a large topic. It's difficult to pick out like one or two things or what is a silver bullet? Bullet, it's like it's all of the things combined, like like mindset, like movement, education, how you speak to yourself, Um. But the great news is all the knowledges out there, it's just not even...

...distributed. Yeah, it's it's it's a complicated problem and I appreciate you contributing, uh, some insight to, you know, to some of these things, whether it's corporate, institutional, government, you know whatever. But you know, listen, the promise of the show is to deliver the inside track on, uh, some interesting topic. The best, smartest are fascinating to get things done. We're talking about adaptability, change and mindset and uh and I appreciate you sharing the inside track. And whenever somebody uh delivers on the promise of the show, that makes them, in our in our book, an advantaged player and we want to thank you for being an advantaged player and being part of our show. So, Robert, thanks for being a guest and we'll look forward to continue to have you as a friend of the show. Good stuff. Thank you. You've been listening to profit from the inside with Joe Block. For more insights and to learn more, is it Joel Look Dot Com. How about a shout out and a huge thanks to our podcast show producer David Wolf and the team at Auto Vita Studios. Profit from the inside wouldn't be possible without these wonderful professionals. To learn more or to find out how you can launch and produce your own podcast show, reach out to www dot auto vita dot com. That's a U D I v I T A DOT COM.

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