I just wish I had done it earlier!

Old news now, but you know I ‘opened up’ about my life with OCD in August, and that I eventually took the fight to it and seized a healthy control over it (most of the time).

I wanted to share what ‘opening up’ has done to, and for me, because doing so was something I feared so much, for all the usual stigma associated reasons, but quite honestly shouldn’t have with the benefit of hindsight.

I hope the following might help others in their thinking as to whether or not to ‘open up’ themselves.

First of all I can categorically confirm that I am not alone! Since ‘opening up’ so many known and unknown people have spoken to me privately about their experience of mental difference and challenge.

As a consequence a tremendous amount of two-way good feeling, intention and compassion has been shared, which in itself has made us all feel good, supported and a little bit free’er (if the word exists)!

It has also motivated me to speak more and more about my personal experience, which seems to be encouraging more to do the same. What a brilliant outcome and a great step towards increased acceptance, understanding, support and most importantly, people and businesses recognising that mental difference can be harnessed to support doing even better business!

Secondly, I have been asked by some to help them tackle their personal challenges by intimately sharing how I took the fight to my illness, what my coping and containment strategies are and how I have developed a pragmatism about my OCD.

I cannot begin to describe how rewarding it is to help others combat the symptoms of their illnesses and support them to feel better about life. This again is a joint learning exercise because combating OCD is different to combating, for example, depression, however, there are some demonstrable similarities and cross overs. By sharing how we approach our own situations and challenges it enables us to grow and tweak our weaponry, which is tremendously powerful for all.

Finally speaking about my USP, AKA my mental difference, which has given me a different and sometimes enhanced skill set and capability, has surprisingly opened a new world of professional opportunities for me.

I happily and freely speak to customers and potential customers about why I am a good problem solver. It’s because I have been solving irrational catastrophic situations in my head for 30+ years, which has subsequently trained and continually exercised my brain to solve rational problems, such as creating optimum resourcing strategies and methodologies, and automating global HR functions, including; innovating new HR technologies.

I have had new event speaking opportunities on a completely different subject; mental difference in business, which include; Roffey Park Institute’s 70th anniversary wellbeing seminar, DRIVE at the House of Lords with the amazing and inspirational Raj Tulsiani and chairing regular Corporate Wellness Innovation Forum meetings.

I have also developed the HERO Mental Health Readiness Model, which supports employers to increase their entire workforce’s productivity, and have a rapidly growing list of companies that are engaging with me to present to, and consult with, them!

So here was something I thought would potentially label me, hold me back and inhibit my career. On the contrary, it has taken my career to a whole new level and forged stronger relationships with most I know, new relationships with people I didn’t and given me the opportunity to help others individually or en masse via supporting their employers.

So I’m not going to beat myself up about why I took so long to ‘open up’ (that’s me being pragmatic again), I’m going to continue to embrace and celebrate my difference, use it to support others and hopefully encourage them to ‘open up’ as well, and maybe, just maybe, we will remove the stigma associated with mental difference, and all diverse differences to that matter, together.

Let’s make 2017 the year when difference becomes the driving force for better living, relationships and business outcomes.

All the best.

Colin.

CareerCore Launches in 24 Hours – World’s Most Powerful Career Centre and Employee Experience Engine

In just 24 hours Big Idea Talent launches the world’s most powerful career centre and employee experience solution, where digital marketing meets HR, and those that want to lead the field in best people attraction and engagement will finally be able to do so!

Some of the world’s most innovative corporate employers are joining Mark, Chris and me to debate attraction in the digital world and witness the big reveal.

It’s going to be a great event and will change the way employers think about jobs, candidates, resourcing and engagement strategies.

The event is ready to go and all seats are full, but I’m sure we could squeeze one or two more in that want their organisation to be one of the first to energise its attraction and engagement strategies, and the communications it has with its employees throughout the employee lifecycle.

Email me on colin.minto@bigideatalent.com as soon as possible if you want to know more.

Colin.

Just realised again that I’ve come a very, very long way!

Just had a realisation moment (again) that I’ve come a very, very long way!

I was given an emergency aisle seat for my flight today, 15A, by the window. When we were up it crossed my mind that if I pulled the emergency exit handle I could create a catastrophic event.

I’ve panicked about this many times before, especially as a kid! Psychiatrists would confirm that most people would have the same thought but it wouldn’t even register! I however got a pang of anxiety as my brain tried to convince me it was a very real and probable situation; an obsession.

Then the compulsion tried to set in! The need to prove to myself I didn’t actually want to do this and to demonstrate I am not a bad person. The urge to play over scenarios in my head to give me some comfort and proof. A symptom of my mental difference and something historically I have spent hours, if not days, ruminating about.

This all happened in a matter of micro seconds and Guess what? I just laughed it off, I recognised it was just my human difference kicking in and it wasn’t something I needed to engage in. I kicked it into touch and just carried on with what I was doing, which was proof reading a business plan. I didn’t need to move from my seat as a ‘just in case’, which I would have wanted to do many years ago.

I thought to myself (again); blimey I’ve come along way! So here it is, real-time proof that you can control mental challenges and play the cause at its own game. In my case targeting my rational brain to combat my irrational brain and win.

I personally believe this is a very powerful skill I have developed, which is why I am great in a business related crisis situation. A technology hack or contract going south is a walk in the park compared to the things an OCD brain gets one thinking about and trying to solve.

My mental difference is my USP! Thank you OCD!

Pah, ‘normal’ is so last week!

The definition of ‘normal’ in the Oxford English Dictionary is – Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected:

In the Cambridge English Dictionary it’s – Ordinary or usual; the same as would be expected:

So what are we really saying here; ‘samey’ perhaps!

And come on, there really is no such thing as normal! We are all have human, and everyone has human issues and challenges…..

And I don’t know if you agree (perhaps you will comment later) but don’t we get taught the importance of being different at various stages in our lives? In fact aren’t we encouraged to be different from a young age?

For example, when I started my career in sales I was exposed to the phrase ‘unique selling proposition’ (USP). The Wikipedia definition of USP is – A factor that a business has that makes it different and or better than others out there:

Another example would be the advice we give to people writing or updating their CV! You know nougats of insight like; what makes you stand out from the rest, what difference do you bring to the party, how do you do things differently to achieve better outcomes?

For all the X Factor fans out there, the judges, and money makers behind the scenes, are looking for the next big thing or things, different or better than what’s already out there.

Finally, in sports, there is a continued drive to improve performance and outcomes by doing things differently! Different fitness and eating regimes, different innovations in equipment, different mental approaches!

I’m sorry, but surely this shows that being different is critical, and difference, is the difference between achieving improved outcomes, or the same old same old, the usual, the ‘to be expected’!

I was on the panel session at the brilliant @RoffeyPark Institute’s 70th anniversary forum on wellbeing event last week, chaired by the exceptional @SimonFanshawe OBE, and I spoke openly about achieving as a consequence of my mental difference. As the discussion progressed I talked about businesses needing to focus on skills and capability alone, and that there is no need for labelling based on difference if viewed through the right lens!

Companies have business plans designed to achieve their purpose and satisfy their stakeholders. HR then has the people plan to achieve the people element of the business plan. Finally, resourcing has the resourcing plan, to support the achievement of the people plan.

This resourcing plan and the people plan invariably hold the blueprint of the skills and capabilities needed throughout the end to end workforce to achieve the business plan. It will not and should not go into any granularity about what that workforce should look and sound like, nor include anything personal.

So breaking it down to this level of simplicity, businesses should easily be able to articulate what skills and capabilities are needed and then do the harder bit which is to go out and get these. Race, gender, sexuality, age, health etc. just don’t come into it.

Right, we need a skill and/or capability! Do you possess it to the level we need? Yes, then you make the shortlist. Simple simple stuff.

And going back to my opening, surely the people you ideally want to acquire these skills and capabilities from are predominantly those that can provide it differently and better than others, e.g. leveraging their difference!

I think I might be part of the problem in due course by championing a diversity label, namely mental health, or hidden disability. I don’t think it will be too long, at least I hope it won’t be too long, until I simply talk about having a human difference, instead of a mental one.

My mental; oops sorry, human difference has helped me bring innovation and value to all of my previous employers, and more recently clients, who have all been delighted. I’m therefore happy that I’m not normal because it’s so last week and my difference is my competitive advantage, my USP.

What’s yours?

Resilience – That’s twice now!!!

My wonderful recent meeting with Charles Walker OBE MP at Parliament, has just converged with my speaking and chairing engagement at Roffey Park Institute’s 70th anniversary event tomorrow, where I will give the HERO Mental Health Readiness Model a great airing.

Charles said he loved the model and that it should evolve further and incorporate resilience as a follow up! Roffey Park Institute, one of the world’s renowned leadership institutes, has produced the Resilience Capability Index (RCI) – http://www.roffeypark.com/resilience-capability-index. That’s twice now!

The world is changing faster than ever and I personally think we have crossed the rubicon where change in general happens faster than our ability to adapt. Think about the political changes in the world lately. Relatively overnight, we have seen demonstrable change in the UK and USA political landscape, with what looks like more examples to follow (eek).

Then look at our reaction to it. It’s one of 50% resistance and a lack of desire to accept it and adapt. It’s also one of 50% anger and demonstration. You still see examples of this every day across traditional and social media. The debate rages on!

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing or wrong, but I predict before mainstream acceptance has happened to these seismic events (whatever that looks like) something massive and related would have changed again. The pace of change in life is just too fast. Look at tech as well! No sooner have you bought something, version (OMG my version is now old) 2 comes along! We just gotta accept more and more change because you blink and you miss the next one.

The continued and seemingly elevating outcry following change, and compulsion to get involved in the debate (quietly points the finger at social media here) by many is a huge source of distraction and potentially stress. That’s not good for personal or professional lives or human and business productivity!

So my point is this. If events like ‘Brump’, that’s Brexit and Trump combined, were accepted quicker by those/us that voted against them, would they/we be less distracted, less compelled to argue against it and less stressed.

In my own world I say yes. My immediate reaction to my initial reaction to these things, to keep my stress levels in check, is to try to accept things as quickly as possible and move on. Not easy but it’s something I am now conditioned to do because the alternative feeds my illness. Does that then make me more resilient than others? If so another positive for having OCD!

Finally, resilience must therefore be a state of mind; well for me it is. I consciously practice resilience as one of my remedies, along with exercise, distraction, CBT, not drinking alcohol (that’s a lie sorry) and by living as healthily as possible. You can apply a reaction to a reaction, and if its a positive to counter a negative, e.g. being resilient, eventually it becomes habitual. Arguably a good habit to acquire! I have a few.

All the best.

Colin – +44 (0)7887 480142 – colin.minto@bigideatalent.com – Join the Mental Health in Business Group

But What About Me???

I think I owe a few people an apology!

So there’s me talking about mental health awareness in business, separately to my day job of advising major corporates regarding their resourcing, HR and HR technology change aspirations, with multiple Group HRD’s and Wellness Heads on the subject of how they support the tens, and hundreds, of thousands of employees they have responsibility over.

Then it struck me after a wellness professional, and separately an HRD, got in touch to invite me in to discuss mental health in their business, and during the business discussion they opened up to me about their own personal experiences.

It dawned on me (err hello Colin) that those ultimately responsible for ensuring the wellness and happiness of everyone working in their organisation, can also have challenges themselves. Obvious I know but not something I immediately considered. I suppose it’s like not knowing your parents have any worries or cares in the world until you witness something!

So taking a step back, this is also going to be true for business leaders. Obvious again, but it just goes to show the extent of how hidden this subject still is. It also brings up an interesting dynamic, that those charged with making a difference for many, might also need support themselves.

So who do they get to turn to? Is it harder for them to open up because of their leadership position? Could they be putting in initiatives for others but not leveraging them themselves? If so does this increase any difficulties they are experiencing?

I can’t answer for them/you, but until I opened up, because I chose to go independent and was no longer employed, I can almost guarantee that in my capacity as a Group Head of Resourcing and HR Systems, I would not have gone mainstream internally about my personal challenges, even if I was putting in support solutions for others.

Sad to say this, but it’s how I would have thought at the time because I have feared for being stigmatised my entire life, something that compounded my particular issues.

So back to the leaders above. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for immediately thinking of those you support over and above you personally. I’m sorry that you might experience a complete set of additional pressures and challenges because of the leadership situation you are in. I’m sorry you might not have someone available in the business to open up to.

But I/we can do something about this. We can open up! We are at the start of a time where this subject is both topical in our personal and business lives. I encourage you to open up if you can find the strength and right opportunity to do so. It was the biggest release for me, and from my own personal perspective it has only been positive.

I have met new people due to a common passion. I have found out new things about close friends, colleagues and customers, because they now have someone they can talk to about things they have buried deep. I have opportunities to talk about something other than end to end resourcing strategy, HR change and HR technology transformation, which is timely because the HR market is a little deflated at present. I have learned things and I have got a huge weight off my shoulders forever!

I am introducing my HERO Mental Health Readiness Model at three events in the next three weeks. It’s going to be extremely hard hitting and liberating. It’s going to be emotional because I know others in the room will either open up publicly, or privately to me afterwards. I know this from experience of delivering smaller, more intimate, workshops on the subject recently. It’s going to be enlightening for all.

hero-mental-health-readiness-model

This all constitutes me doing my bit to support knocking the stigma associated with mental health in the workplace out of sight. Join me, contact me, speak with me, let me speak to your teams, let me run diagnostics in your business.

Let’s all open up, so discussions about mental health become mainstream and comfortable for all, and conditions and availability of support improve.

Let’s Hide No More!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Colin.

Thrilled to become a KidsOut Ambassador

Since setting up Big Idea Talent I have supported KidsOut.

I’m working in partnership with some of my Associates and Wave Recruitment Marketing (all pro bono) to build out a career centre esq solution for them to attract and recruit committee members to run KidsOut Question of Sport events and fundraising evenings.

I was absolutely thrilled and delighted to be invited to become a KidsOut Ambassador this week. One of my greatest personal achievements given the cause it represents.

It’s an amazing organisation and is run expertly by Gordon, his team and the amazing volunteers. The passion everyone puts in to keeping costs to an absolute minimum so the kids it supports get the maximum benefit is incredible.

If you want to do good and have some capacity, please contact me to discuss. KidsOut changes lives for kids and it will change yours too, believe me.

All the best.

Colin.

Have you got nice and shiny but sub-optimal? I’ll tell you for £3.10

formula-one-car-lawnmower

On Thursday I reviewed 24 major employer corporate website, career centre and ATS environments to build an invite list for a product launch I’m doing in late November.

Most of them looked quite good aesthetically, but 22 were unfortunately sub-optimal in terms of basic architecture to enable good search engine accessibility. Two were maybe average. This of course means less ‘effectively free’ job seeker traffic and the requirement for greater investment in acquiring job seeker traffic from search engines, job channels and job boards, and everything that goes alongside this, such as; multi-posting technology, resource burden etc!

I’m still struggling to understand why in 2016, this is the case? Why are corporates settling for ‘nice and shiny’ and ‘looks good’, but not realising what they have is not structured to perform one of the main functions which is to attract visitors!

It’s the equivalent of having a Formula One racing car with a lawnmower engine, a fully digitally connected house with a dial up connection, brogues in a 10K race!

There genuinely are some fundamental basics missing here, which you don’t tend to see within the comparable commercial websites of the world’s leading brands. We can do better than this, which will lead to better outcomes for employers and job seekers.

I have talked openly about HR working closer with Marketing for years and the need for digital marketing talent and expertise to sit within HR as well as Marketing / Comms, but is it happening?

I have also put a stake in the ground with customers to encourage them to think about jobs as products and candidates as consumers – Jobs are Products and Candidates are Consumers

These two logical advancements will make a demonstrable difference!

So here’s an offer. A one hour diagnostic for £3.10. That’s the cost of a large Decaffeinated Mocha in Costa, or equivalent reputable coffee house. Let’s meet up somewhere with good Wi-Fi and/or 4G and quickly run through your digital ecosystem. That’s all it will take to highlight a series of potential evolutions, oh and by the way, the coffee is actually on me!

colin.minto@bigideatalent.com / +44 (0)7887 480142

All the best.

Colin.

Where’s all the mental wellbeing?

mental-health-scrabble

Since ‘opening up’ about my own mental health challenges I have had some amazing meetings and conversations about mental health, diversity and wellbeing in the workplace.

Interestingly, I naively thought that not a lot was being done to raise the subject of mental health in the workplace specifically, so I set about wanting to change that.

It turns out however, it is one of the hottest topics out there at the moment. I kid you not, everyone is talking about it, and there are quite literally hundreds, if not thousands of initiatives running simultaneously!

So why didn’t I know this? Why did an HR professional who has 30+ years experience of mental health, 25+ years business experience, spoken at countless HR and Resourcing conferences and got a pretty cool sized network, not know there was a tonne of initiatives and stuff out there already?

I found out about it all because I got interested in the space (for obvious reasons) and started asking questions about it! I went on the look-out for it, it didn’t find me; someone these initiatives are designed to target and reach out to!

I suppose I also spent my whole career hiding my mental health experience for fear of potential discrimination, so maybe I was just naturally blind to it all.

Anyhoooo, if mental health awareness raising hasn’t been tremendously overt in recent years, due to it, and the conversation, existing internally and within closed groups, that my friends is a changing!

I will be running a conference, it’s my calling, but there are many others already in my diary plus all kinds of meetings and events. So this is getting sorted, but what about other ways of getting the mental health and wellbeing message out there.

Are companies using their approach to wellbeing in their employer brand, EVP, job descriptions and job adverts? I hope so, because when you advertise a product to consumers you market/sell the characteristics, features, benefits and overall experience that ownership of that product brings. Jobs are products and candidates are consumers in my opinion, (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/jobs-products-candidates-consumers-colin-minto?trk=mp-author-card) and consumers are people in this instance.

People want to feel safe, comfortable, valued, excited, rewarded, happy and many other things in the workplace, and I can’t see or think of any other messaging that speaks to this more than a company’s commitment to the wellbeing of its employees.

So take a look at your latest job adverts, job descriptions, content on your career site etc. and see just how much wellbeing confirmation and celebration you can find! Maybe there’s room for more, given it’s what people want to see……

As always, happy to chat about mental health awareness and end to end digital attraction and resourcing strategy on +44 (0)7887 480142 and colin.minto@bigideatalent.com.

All the best.

Colin.

People are the jigsaw pieces of productivity in business!

people-jigsaw-2

Assume everyone in your business is equal in terms of the overall contribution they make, regardless of the role they perform!

Assume 100% productivity in business equals 100% business objectives achievement and 100% shareholder/stakeholder expectations met!

Divide 100% by the number of employees you should have working for your business, e.g. what you would confirm as full establishment. Effectively the completed jigsaw puzzle!

The answer is the percentage contribution that each individual employee makes in a given time period! For example 100% divided by 1,000 employees equals 0.1%.

Now you can do some interesting things and make some equally interesting assumptions.

Delete the individual % contribution for each person you are short from full establishment! This immediately shows how important it is to run as close to full establishment as possible at all times. Also visualise that incomplete jigsaw puzzle! Recruitment freeze anyone? Taking too long to hire by being reactive rather than strategic and proactive anyone? Without the right people in the right places your business could already be sub-optimal!

Imagine that the individual % contribution per employee is linked to them being the very best person for the role they are performing. Now imagine a sub-optimal resourcing strategy, EVP, remuneration policy or poor learning and development programme, or having great people but in the wrong roles…….. whatever essentially could affect the quality, motivation, commitment or output of your workers.

A subject that many of you know is close to my heart is diversity. We all know that difference is great for an organisation, so as we are visualising jigsaws, how much difference is in yours? Does a lack of diversity and too much of the same impact on individual % contribution?

It stands to reason that the individual % contribution of each worker could be reduced by a fraction, or worse, if you haven’t got some or any of the above right! Breaking down each person into a target % contribution is now a real eye opener.

How close are you then away from 100% productivity in business? How incomplete, or samey, is your jigsaw puzzle? What do you need to do to put things right?

Let’s take the resourcing strategy and function as an example. Surely ones resourcing strategy and service delivery model should be designed to fully support the achievement of the business plan, which in turn is designed to achieve 100% productivity in business.

But we hear and see so many examples of businesses not investing in workforce planning, or simply racing ahead with a career centre, digital media, employer brand, organisation design or technology project (for example), without potentially establishing what the ongoing resourcing needs and objectives are. Without a robust strategy aligned to the people and business plan!

We hear and see examples of businesses not having standard job descriptions, processes, attraction messaging, EVP, interview formats, onboarding……..… the list is endless.

Why is this? Is it because resourcing is talked about as being the most important thing in business because people are the most important asset, but in reality other things are prioritised and resourcing is under invested in?

Maybe. So let’s go back to people being the jigsaw pieces of productivity. If you want to achieve 100% productivity in business, consistently year on year, as a consequence of being truly strategic and inclusive, the solution is as clear as day and quite straightforward!

Invest in an optimum end to end resourcing strategy and function to ensure you have the right people, in the right places, in the right volumes, at the right time, for the right price!

Anything else is sub-optimal and puts pressure on achieving 100% productivity in business and your stakeholders/shareholders won’t like that!

Big Idea Talent - Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle

Oh and you won’t ever finish that jigsaw!

If you would like to spend a bit of time running through the six pillar talent lifecycle model, which is one way of achieving resourcing excellence, I’m on +44 (0)7887 480142 and colin.minto@bigideatalent.com

All the best.

Colin.