Preparing For Uncertainty

When I tell people where my children go to school, I quite often get the response “the hippy school?” The fact is, the way they teach is very unconventional. There is no school uniform, no fixed timetable, no homework, few desks, all teachers and staff are called by their first name and even yoga is thrown into the curriculum.  Their focus is on mindset and problem-solving.  

Everything is taught via an imaginary setting. This means one term they could be running a Safari Park, the next they are creating and running their own investigation agency looking into unsolved mysteries or creating the infrastructure for the Olympic Park. The children get engrossed in the projects to the point where my son cried when his company folded at the end of term. 

Driven by role-play, they can receive official letters sent to them which they need to analyse, debate and respond to. They had to communicate with a non English speaking tribe to ascertain each other’s motive (my son couldnt get over the fact that they don’t have a Tesco and have to kill for food). Another time pickets outside of the school gates stated they are wasting tax payer’s money, teaching them the social impact involved in the decisions they are making building an Olympic village. The children truly immerse themselves in the experience and you never know what to expect at the school gates each day.

“It’s impossible to predict exactly the skills that will be needed even 5 years from now, so workers and organisations need to be ready to adapt in each of the worlds we envisage”

PWC workforce of the future report

The reason I love this school is their philosophy. They recognise that the jobs our children will perform are yet to be defined, so instead, they prepare each child for an unknown, ambiguous future world. Their approach focusses on mindset, developing a desire to problem solve, collaborate and debate. They build children who are strong communicators, empathetic and influential, flexible and resilient. We were recently told about a former pupil, who was the underdog at an interview, didn’t know the answer but explained how he would approach the problem to resolve it.  They were so impressed he got the role.

At the recent CIPD Festival of Work there was a lot of talk about with the rise of the ‘4th industrial revolution’. There was inevitably a lot of discussion around the importance of wellbeing and resilience. What also came through loud and clear is that agility and curiosity are the two most important skills needed in these changing times.

There have been an estimated 255m jobs lost globally due to the pandemic. Yet when we look at the bottom-line, unemployment rates in the UK and the US have not seen a substantial change.  We are seeing new roles emerging as old ones become redundant. Organisations such as Unilever are running reskilling and redeployment programmes to resource emerging roles addressing the skills gap before it happens. 

93% of HR professionals agree that workforce resilience is a top priority for the HR leadership team

MHR Business Report

With wellbeing declining by 89% in 2020, developing a team’s mindset to one of growth and entrepreneurial thinking will equip teams to not fear change but expect it. We need to build teams that are confident and resourceful enough to navigate through change.  By being innovative and curious about what could be, collaborative in their approach, resilient and motivated they will seize the opportunities and possibilities around them.

We cannot predict the changes we will face in the future but much like my son’s school, we can prepare our teams for uncertainty. Let’s invest in creating mindsets that are agile, creative and resilient. And lets do this is a purposeful way, engaging and motivating those we develop to see their role in the organisation and globally.

I Have Got This! offers a range of mindset growth programmes to help individuals and teams navigate change and uncertainty. Through our boot camps and workshops using our 6 cognitive habits, we will help you change your mindset and develop the self-confidence, agility and resilience to embrace change and thrive. Click here to find out more.

Cathy Lawson

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