Many Dancers in Black

21ST CENTURY ORGANISATIONS NEED PEOPLE WHO CAN OPERATE IN AGILE TEAMS

An agile self directing team is where team members reflect and adapt to what each other is doing in a specific situation to find a way forward with only a rough idea of what will happen... without breaking themselves or the team trying to follow one "right" way because they know there are always other ways

Agile team members try different adaptations, combinations, and variations to co-ordinate moments of spontaneity, self expressions and collective improvisation as everyone adapts as they go to see where it takes them, confident that if required they can do the extraordinary


Team members need good judgement on when to do as instructed and when to try different ways to find a better way. To reflect and spot when something is not working and stop doing it. To perfect what works for as long as it works.


Team members need to be good at learning through trial and error. Good at experimenting, and testing new approaches. Good at knowing when to copy what others do and, know their own strengths


​As David Bowie said... "I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring." These are the life skills for the 21st century

 
Starry Sky

To develop agile 21st century life skills we have created a “school of life” where the “right” way is that there are always other ways

Student's learn that they don't have to break themselves trying to follow one "right" way because they can develop life skills to always find other ways

The dreams of the mentally agile don't die because they adapt to find ways to keep going forward

 
In the Classroom

We believe the performance management of schools, colleges and universities has driven teachers to focus on making sure students "get it right"

This is not preparing young people to operate in the agile cultures of the 21st century

It is time for many systems of education to reduce their emphasis on perfectly teaching technical skills to give students time to develop the life skills of the mentally agile

 
Super Hero Kids

As part of our “giving back” programme we run events alongside schools, colleges, universities and communities for students to do creative activities in agile teams supported by a mental agility coach. We call this our "School of life"

 
Monitoring Room

We feel the technologies of the late 20th century helped to expand the ability to monitor performance of many more people at a finer level of detail than ever before


This made the culture of "get it right" very popular

These rigid "get it right" cultures prevent us from developing the life skills to operate in the agile cultures

 
Casual Work Meeting



WE HELP 21ST CENTURY ORGANISATIONS FIND, TRAIN AND RECRUIT PEOPLE WHO KNOW HOW TO OPERATE IN AN AGILE CULTURE


PEOPLE WHO ARE MENTALLY AGILE ENOUGH TO SUCCEED IN AGILE TEAMS

 
Casual Work Meeting

WE BELIEVE THAT "GET IT RIGHT" CULTURES ARE PREVENTING US FROM DEVELOPING LIFE SKILLS TO OPERATE IN THE AGILE CULTURES WE NEED FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

 

We are built on the legacy of Paul Thorne

We use culture tools designed by Paul Thorne to see if someone is comfortable operating in an agile culture


Our culture tools have been used in some of the biggest cultural surveys in Europe and built on the worlds biggest ever empirical research into culture by Professor Geert Hofstede.

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OUR CULTURAL PROFILES ARE GENERATED FROM 36 CARDS THAT ARE A BIT LIKE PLAYING CARDS



On each side of the cards there are 3 statements. A candidate selects a side and then how many of the three statements on the selected side apply to them. We ask them why they made these choices.

Paul's cultures tools are designed to stay neutral. They are based on the understanding that culture is not good or bad, it's whether it fits with what a particular group is doing. 


There are many different types of culture each operating at many different levels at the same time. These cultures provide the often hidden rules that govern how we interact in a group. 


When Paul was conducting his cultural survey work he would measure the current culture and the required culture. This would make it possible to create an informed evidence based plan to move from one to the other. 


Paul always found interesting, the different sub-cultures in, different groups in all the large organisations he studied. These differences often explained why departments often clash. He saw them as clashes of culture. His biggest frustration was that whenever he asked what cultures, these groups desired for the future, he would get very similar answers across all groups and all organisations. That was the cultural profile that we now called agile.  


The culture tools have not been used for 15 years, as Paul retired from work and his son Jon gave up work to home educate his children. 


During the last 15 years, Jon believes that the use of technology to implement performance management techniques designed to remove errors has normalised many of today's current cultures on to what Paul called a perfectionist culture. Which Jon calls the "get it right" culture. 


Today, as we move into what many believe is going to be a very turbulent 21st century a culture clash is being played out between the established "get it right" cultures and the adapting agile cultures. 


The incumbent "get it right" cultures are stopping us from developing the life skills of adapting that we need to operate in the agile cultures we need for the 21st century. 


It is on this basis that Jon returns to the world of work on the shoulders of his father

 
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"GET IT RIGHT" CULTURES TEND TO MAKE EVERYONE FOLLOW ONE RIGHT WAY

 
Image by Josh Hild


Jon has spent his lifetime maintaining his ability to adapt in "get it right" cultures where everyone wants everyone to follow one right way

 
Futuristic Cyborg


He has spent his entire life bumping into people who are so committed to "getting it right" for their organisation they stop everyone trying different ways, no matter what the cost is to themselves, others and their organisation

 

WHY WE NEED AGILE CULTURES

 
Social network concept

Many predict that technology, especially Artificial Intelligence and climate change make our 21st century unpredictable, volatile, and unplannable

 
Trees From Above

Agile 21st century organisations adapt to find ways forward with only a rough idea of where they are going and what may happen


They move beyond 20th century resilience and robustness to resist shocks to stay the same

 
Top View of Modern Workspace

21ST CENTURY ORGANISATIONS INCREASINGLY RELY ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND ROBOTS TO DO INSTRUCTION BASED WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE CORRECTLY DONE BY FOLLOWING "ONE RIGHT WAY"

THE FUTURE IS LESS ABOUT WHAT TECHNICAL SKILLS WE HAVE AND MORE ABOUT OUR ABILITY TO ADAPT

 
Image by Cristina Gottardi


When we try a different way in a "get it right" culture we will be told we are wrong


If we defend our freedom to try different ways by saying it is wrong to have one “right” way ... we trap ourselves in a binary “right” or “wrong” conversation where there is a winner and a loser. We tend to lose in cultures that only care about getting things right

An effective way to avoid this outcome is to remind ourselves there are always other ways and listen to why someone says we are wrong, without defending or deflection, and use what we learn to come up with new ways to adapt to go forward. We use being wrong to adapt to find another way

As long as we keep adapting, keep going forward, any sense of being “wrong” is temporary. Any sense of rejection is temporary. And we keep drawing hope from knowing there are other ways

We keep going forward until we find a better way to the so called one "right" way... and then we try another way

We can also spend time in agile cultures with the mentally agile doing creative activities in agile teams

 

We provide opportunities to step away from any obsession with getting everything right. To develop the mental agility to adapt to find ways to perform beyond executing plans. To find mental health beyond just coping

 

A way to become more agile explained in 50 seconds

 
Volunteers-Garden

Those who attend our events develop the life skills to operate in adapting agile cultures


They learn how to stay mentally agile even when the pressure to "get it right” is at its highest

They learn how to lift their performance beyond executing plans... they learn to lift their mental health beyond just coping

 

Jon Thorne

Founder of LifeSkills21.club and head mental agility coach

Jon was enjoying a challenging career developing new ways for leaders to manage large, complex global networks of people when it became apparent his primary school children were full of doubt and anxiety from failing at school.


After a period of time trying to help his children become more resilient and more able to bounce back and succeed at school it became clear that Jon's absence at work was making the situation worse.


Jon gave up work and with support from Debbie, Josh and Arran, found a way to coach his 2 boys not just to be robust and resilient in resisting the constant barrage of misplaced criticism, but to enhance their ability to adapt and thrive when things didn't go their way, to recognise the opportunity for growth offered by volatility, disorder, and randomness and to relish adventure, risk and uncertainty.


Jon often uses a modified quote from Nassim Nicholas Taleb...


  • "If wind blows out a candle and energises fire... my kids are now the fire and wish for the wind"


Jon, with his two children now 21 and 18 have created "School of Life" to respond to planned systems of education teaching young people to do as planned and be as planned in a 21st century where little will go to plan.


To provide some funding for the "School of life" Jon created LifeSkills21.club that helps 21st century organisations recruit the mentally agile to work in their agile teams. The "school of life" is run by LifeSkills21.club

Jon is always happy to chat jon.thorne@LifeSkills21.club

 

OUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY CENTERS

For anyone who wants to learn how to operate in an agile culture by learning a new creative skill

Employers... contact us to explore the idea of us running training events for your staff

 
Volunteers-Garden

We help you lift your potential beyond your qualifications

Your mental health beyond just coping with the pressure of being a perfect, task focused, individual

Get exciting, meaningful work in an adapting agile culture

 
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Adult learning center at bubbleHUB, St Albans

If we where going to design a local building that supported agile cultures... this would be it.


Its called bubbleHub is an amazing new co-working building for creatives in St Albans where we run monthly events doing creative activities in agile teams.

The address is Stonecross, St Albans AL1 4AA, UK

Projects being planned are to create and tell a story. That's using the written word, art, film, or even by designing a game

 
Image by Randalyn Hill

Mental agility coaches implement our one rule... "be kind"

“Be kind” means everyone gives themselves and others space to try different ways. It means everyone try's to avoid blaming themselves and others if different ways don’t work.


A lack of blame makes it easier for everyone to quickly accept they have made a mistake... making it quicker for everyone to adapt to avoid the mistake happening again. It means all group members adapt to find ways that work to varying degrees for everyone involved. A “be kind” rule means all group members talk, listen and adapt without blame


It means it is an act of unkindness for any group member to make others feel wrong if they incorrectly follow their instructions. It means leaders avoid telling others off for not doing as they say. Instead, leaders help others reflect to see that what they are doing is not working, and suggest different ways to try

A “be kind” rule means it is wrong to say there is only one right way. Anyone who joins the group and tries to establish one right way, will eventually be asked to leave. Our "be kind" rule means there are always other ways... we just need to adapt to find them and then select a better way

 
Image by Randalyn Hill

Task 1: Implement a "be kind" rule

“Be kind” means all members of an adapting agile culture give themselves and others space to try different ways. It means all group members try to avoid blaming themselves and others if different ways don’t work. A lack of blame makes it easier for everyone to quickly accept they have made a mistake... making it quicker for everyone to adapt to avoid the mistake happening again. It means all group members adapt to find ways that work to varying degrees for everyone involved. A “be kind” rule means all group members talk, listen and adapt without blame


It means it is an act of unkindness for any group member to make others feel wrong if they incorrectly follow their instructions. It means leaders avoid telling others off for not doing as they say. Instead, leaders help others reflect to see that what they are doing is not working, and suggest different ways to try

A “be kind” rule means it is wrong to say there is only one right way. Anyone who joins the group and tries to establish one right way, will eventually be asked to leave. Our "be kind" rule means there are always other ways... we just need to adapt to find them and then select a better way

 

In a "Get it right" culture everyone tends to agree to be monitored, measured and ranked on their ability to follow the groups right way. To function in a "Get it right" culture we need life skills to manage the pressure of being error free while following the right way. To be perfected, task focused, individuals. If we limit our life skills to those we need to function in a "Get it right" culture we carry 3 consequences...

1. Marginal gains from small changes to an established "right" way are not going to give the performance gains we need in the 21st century


2. The increasing use of Artificial Intelligent machines to do tasks that need to be done in the right way, can mean that being good at functioning in a “Get it right” culture leads us to competing for jobs that machines will be better at

3. If we spend too long in a "get it right" culture we can learn to believe there is a right way and stop trying different ways to find a better way. We can learn to fear not being right. To fear adapting. To fear change. To stick to what we know. In a 21st century where the levels of change and uncertainty are going to be huge... this is not going to be good for our mental health


These consequences can be avoided by developing the lift skills to operate in an adapting agile culture

 

Upcoming "one off" Events

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We do things that we don’t know will work. We act without having all the solutions. We adapt when things don’t go our way to find a better way
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Our ability to successfully navigate through the disruption of the 21st century is lifted

 
Startup Room

We help leaders implement an adapting agile culture

 
People Clapping

In a disruptive 21st century where no one knows what is going to happen... the worse response is to narrow our options by implementing a fixed plan

We need leaders who lead by trying things that they don't know will work


Leaders who act without having all the solutions


Leaders who adapt when things don't go their way to find a better way


Leaders of an adapting and agile culture

 

A “get it right” culture gives us comfort that being a good leader is about removing the possibility of there being other ways so that our people pull in one direction and standards are high. But, it also makes our organisation shortsighted, fragile and naive as it limits our options to succeed

 

Getting a qualification tends to require learning the right answers in a “get it right” culture. If our only goal is to learn the right way we remove the possibility of there being other ways. This makes us shortsighted, fragile and naive as we limit our own potential to being a perfected, task focussed individual who fears, mistakes and always sticks to what we know

 
People Clapping

We help leaders implement an adapting agile culture that can navigate the disruptive 21st century


We teach leaders how to lift their leadership potential beyond telling off those who make mistakes ...to helping others adapt when things don't go their way to find a better way

To lead by lifting the potential of their followers beyond what they do now

 
Image by Zach Vessels

If we remove the possibility of there being other ways... we create a fragile “get it right” culture not suited for navigating the disruptive 21st century

 

3 *TASKS TO IMPLEMENT AN ADAPTING AGILE CULTURE

*The tasks below represent our outline plan that we adapt


Contact us to start a conversation on how we can help you set up an adapting agile culture

 
Giving a Speech

Task 1: Take ownership of an adapting agile culture

Task 1 is for leaders to establish their adapting agile culture by making sure everyone understands that they are not joining a “get it right” culture where everyone only acts when they have all the solutions and they know it will work. They are joining an adapting agile culture where leaders will help everyone to spend less time thinking about when to act and more time acting without knowing if it will work and then adapting to find a better way. Leaders will help everyone to follow the groups one rule “be kind” 

The "be kind" rule ensures everyone is given space to improve themselves with only a rough idea of where they are going and what will happen. It means nobody blames themselves or others when things don’t go their way... Everyone adapts to find a better way. Adapts to find different adaptations, combinations, and variations in co-ordinate moments of spontaneity, self expression and collective improvisation, and do something extraordinary


The "Be kind" rule means that leaders will ensure everyone has space to develop the good judgement on when to reflect and spot when something is not working and stop doing it. Space to try different ways to find a better way. Space to perfect what works for as long as it work

 
Brainstorming

Task 2: Train people to lift their mental agility to operate in an adapting agile culture

Our courses help people learn a new skill in an adapting agile culture supported by a mental agility coach

 
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Task 3: Recruit people who are mentally agile enough to operate in an adapting agile culture

Our ability to measure when someone can operate in an adapting agile culture means we can help with recruitment. Our community work helps us to find the mentally agile

 
Image by Hanson Lu

A "festival of dreams" is a place to break free from the echo chambers that surround us all ... to lift our potential beyond doing things in a "right" way to believing there are always other ways


A place to spend less time thinking about when to act and more time acting without knowing if it will work. And when things don't go our way... we adapt to find a better way


When we can find other ways, we have the potential to be more than we are now. Even the very best of us


A "festival of dreams" gives everyone opportunities to try things that they don’t know will work


Opportunities to act without having all the solutions


Opportunities to adapt when things don’t go our way to find a better way

Festival goers are encouraged to start their own projects in whatever they want ... and see where it takes them

A festival of dreams lifts the potential of an organisation and community beyond doing more of what is done now... to adapting to find sustainable ways to live together on our amazing planet

 
Image by Alexander Krivitskiy

Our courses provide an escape from the comfort a “get it right” culture provides by making us feel like we are going the right way


Everyone develops new skills in an adapting agile culture where the right way is that there are always other ways


Our mental agility coaches coach everyone to spend less time thinking about when to act and more time acting without knowing if it will work and then adapting to find a better way


What will emerge?


We don’t know


But everyone will lift their potential beyond telling each other off for mistakes ... to being able to adapt to find sustainable ways to live together on our amazing planet

 
Image by Elijah Hiett

We give everyone opportunities to break free from the echo chambers that surround us all ... telling us we are right to do what we do

Culture emerges from the comfort we gain from being surrounded by people who mirror our values. The pleasure we get from others reflecting our thoughts back to us. Our sense of community, family and love we get from being with those who make us feel we are doing the right things in the right way

Culture creates an echo chamber that reflects back that we are right to do what we do. We become committed to there being no other way than our right way. Culture creates collective blindness. It makes us see all those who are not like ourselves as rebels who want to create chaos and confusion. We don't want to be rebels who got it right about it being wrong

 
Image by Arthur Ogleznev

We provide opportunities for everyone to lift their potential beyond their qualifications

To lift potential beyond doing things in a "right" way to believing there are always other ways. To spend less time thinking about when to act and more time acting without knowing if it will work. And when things don't go our way... adapt to find a better way. When we can find other ways, we have the potential to be more than we are now. Even the very best of us

 
Image by NRKbeta

Opportunities to find better ways by acting when we don’t know what will happen

 
Image by Jeremy Bishop

Opportunities to act when you don't know if it will work

Act when you don't have all the solutions

And when things don't go your way... adapt to find a better way

 
Modern Office

OUR COURSES GIVE EVERYONE AN OPPORTUNITY TO STEP AWAY FROM "GET IT RIGHT" CULTURES AND DEVELOP THE MENTAL AGILITY TO BE IN ADAPTING AGILE CULTURES

Our courses are designed to lead you beyond any need to control, so that you can develop the mental agility to go forward with only a rough idea of where you are going and what will happen


To do things that we don’t know will work. To act without having all the solutions. Because we can adapt when things don't go our way to find a better way

Our courses give you the excitement of going with the flow. In the beginning, it may not feel like the safe thing to do. As time passes, you self learn how to adapt to find other ways. Your belief that there are always other ways makes you feel safer in the unknown. You become more able to move forward when you don't know what to do. More able to be in the agile cultures, we all need for the 21st century

 
Image by Adam Skalecki

We help everyone develop the life skills to find other ways


Life skills to act without knowing if it will work, and when it doesn’t work, to adapt to find a better way

When we can find other ways, we have the potential to be more than we are now. Even the very best of us



 
Image by Arthur Ogleznev

We help everyone develop the life skills to act without knowing if it will work, and when it doesn’t work, to adapt to find a better way

When we can find other ways, we have the potential to be more than we are now. Even the very best of us

There is hope is knowing there are always other ways

 
Image by Sharon McCutcheon

Social media creates an echo chamber that reflects back that we are "right" to do what we do and we don't need to try other ways. Our “Get it right” culture stops us trying different ways to the "right" way. We see all those who are not "right" like ourselves as rebels who want to create chaos and confusion

This is wrong. There is no perfect "right" way that works for everyone in all situations. There are always other ways... when we can adapt to find them

 
Image by Matthieu Comoy


Our courses help everyone learn in an adapting agile culture supported by mental agility coaches

 
People on a Boat

All our courses have at least one mental agility coach to set up and maintain the adapting agile culture


They help people to try different ways without blaming themselves and others if things don't go their way


They reduce any fear of making a mistake that can often lead people to over think


And they introduce a way to re-set the agile team if all the adapting becomes too chaotic and nobody knows what to do next

 
Super Hero Kids

Each course starts with a mental agility coach providing team members with constraints, risks and resources and asks the team to quickly develop a rough plan to go forward, knowing that this plan will adapt as they go

Our mental agility coaches help team members to keep doing lots of planning while avoiding agreeing a fixed plan, a fixed "right" way. They show team members how to adapt to find their own ways. To add to what they can do by trying new ways

Team members are free to learn any technical skills they feel they need by accessing the internet. 

If we fall 10 meters, we hurt ourselves. If we fall 1 meter, 10 times we learn through trial and error. In the case of the more dangerous and remote events, we have technical teachers who are responsible for safety. Technical teachers are not centre stage... unless they have a safety reason to take control.

 
Behind the Scenes

Gorilla film production

A Gorilla film is a rough and ready film that focuses more on being real than creating a perfect production. The course starts with this initial rough plan, that a mental agility coach encourages participants to adapt based on time, resources, and what is not working... to find better ways. We provide some basic film kit.

Task 1
Come up with a story idea/s. do storyboard/shot list and script (or decide to improvise it all, up to them). Decide on roles who is going to be actors and who is going to be crew out of everyone taking part in the four day course.
Decide/buy costumes and find location/s.

Task 2
Teach how to use the equipment.
Rehearsals and if we have time, film a few shots and scenes.

Task 3
Go out and film.
Teach basic editing skills if we have time.

Task 4
Go over editing skills again if we need to.
Edit the whole film/s.
Watch the film/s.

Please note this can be modified to become creating a play, or a book, or event a musical.

School Girls During Workout

Basketball & Netball

Players of all abilities learn new sports skills without having a coach instructing them to play a fixed way.


Our mental agility coaches break the game into a series of habits for playing the game and a series of habits to coordinate movement in offense and defensce. These habits provide a framework to adapt when things don’t go our way to find better ways. Our mental agility coaches encourage players to adapt to find ways that work best for themselves and their team. We typically build up to mini competition adapting the teams and the scoring to ensuring things don't always go the way the better players want them to

Image by Robert Coelho

Game design

A mental agility coach encourages people to go round the cycle below as fast and as many times as we can. Dropping, adding and modifying ideas as we go

Task 1: Create game components (These could be a map and characters).


Task 2: Create ways the components interact


Task 3: Create ways players can modify components


Task 4: Find a way to play the game using bits of paper and pens

Image by Elizabeth French

Create a popup eating outlet

A mental agility coach encourages people to go round the cycle below as fast and as many times as we can. Dropping, adding and modifying ideas as we go

Task 1: Find meals we like to cook


Task 2: Cook them


Task 3: Do we like them, do we drop them, do we add them to our menu


Task 4: Find and create a space for friends and family to come to eat

Camping Site in Mountains

Have an adventure

We partner with adventure companies to provide trips like climbing a mountain, tall ship sailing, caving etc. Each trip starts with a mental agility coach providing a list of resources and risks and helps everyone develop a rough plan to go forward with. This plan is adapted as we go through our adventure. We have what we call technical teachers who teach us the technical skills and who are responsible for our safety. If they say the word "safety" we must all follow their instructions without question

 
Modern Office

In the beginning, going with the flow may not feel like the safe thing to do. As time passes, as our coaches encourage you to try things that you don't know will work and when they don't work, adapt to find a better way ... your belief that there are always other ways makes you feel safer in the unknown. You become more able to move forward when you don't know what to do. More able to be in the adapting agile cultures, we all need for the 21st century

 

OUR COURSES

Subscribe and we will tell you when one of our public courses comes on-line

 

What is the difference between a traditional coach and your mental agility coaching?

A traditional coach gets players to do as instructed in an error free way. A mental agility coach coaches players to adapt by finding another way

 

How does a mental agility coach lift performance?

By helping the team move beyond their ability to execute a plan error free

 

How does a mental agility coach impact the mental health of players?

By helping players see there are always other ways helps them to see they can do more than just cope

 

How do you stop "get it right" cultures from taking over your agile cultures?

We have one rule... "be kind". This means we don't blame ourselves or others if things we try don't work. It means everyone gives themselves and other's space to adapt when things don't work to find different ways. It means everyone keeps adapting until they find something that works to varying degrees for everyone involved. Our "be kind" rule means it is unkind to instruct others to follow one "right" way. It is unkind to blame ourselves or others if we fail to follow instructions

 

What's the hardest part of being a mental agility coach?

It's when I meet someone who's ego is connected to their ability to be right

 
Volunteers-Garden

FAQ

Always happy to chat, the questions asked below are easier and quicker to answer with the written word

 

do you dislike "get it right " cultures?

I think “get it right” cultures have driven up standards in many organisations. But, if we look to the future many agree that Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven machines will increasingly do the work that can be standardised and completed in a "right" way. And in an uncertain 21st century where no one really knows what is going happen the time for being mentally agile, able to adapt when things don't go our way to find better ways... is the future

how can we perform beyond our ability to execute a plan?

We never have control of all the variables to create a perfect fixed plan. This means no plan, no matter how good, can be perfectly executed. There will always be times when things don't go our way. When this happens we can stress about getting things back on plan or we can adapt to find a better way. The better ways lift our performance beyond what we planned.


how do you lift mental health?

When we can adapt when things don't go our way to find a better way ... we lift our mental health beyond coping with the fear of failure, of being subnormal, of being rejected because we can't get things back onto our fixed plan

is a mindset the same as a culture?

No. A mindset tends to be about how an individual thinks. We are talking about how people interact in groups

but doesn't a culture impact our mindset?

It makes sense that if we spend all our time in "get it right" cultures we tend to develop fixed mindsets required to avoid failure. We then take our fixed mindsets into all the groups we belong.


Equally, spending time in adapting agile cultures tends to mean we adapt to find ways that work better. We find what works for ourselves, in that moment in time. Meaning we can all develop our own mindsets that suit ourselves

is mental agility the growth mindset?

"get it right" cultures tend to see variations to the standard as substandard. They need people with fixed mindsets. In an adapting agile culture there are always other ways. All sub cultures and all mindsets are welcome provided everyone is mentally agile enough to adapt when things don't go their way to find better ways

why have you linked mental agility to operating in an adapting edge and culture?

It is hard to measure someone's mental agility. We do know that the mentally agile seek to be in an adapting agile culture. It is possible to measure if someone would like to work in an adapting agile culture

can an adapting agile culture fail to perform?

Yes. This tends to be through to much adapting, too quickly, without thinking. It quickly becomes too chaotic for anyone to see how different ways are making things worse

what does a mental agility coach do?

They maintain the adapting agile culture. Specifically, they help players spot when something is not going their way, and suggest ways to adapt to find different ways forward. They often introduce a framework that players can use as a reset button if the all the adapting gets too chaotic and the team lose their way. They make it safe to fail. Safe to try different ways. And, in the end remove those we keep breaking our "be kind" rule

can you help agile teams to stay agile?

Yes. We run away days for them. As the Rugby World Cup is on, we could say run events where the players design a game, create their own storybook, even set up a pop up restaurant. All based on learning through experimenting, trying new things, and adapting

can you help me find the mentally agile in my organisation?

Yes. We can use our culture tools to assess if people can operate in an agile culture and then help you setup your own internal agile teams. We can also help you recruit the mentally agile to work in your agile teams

can you help our new recruits develop their mental agility?

Yes. We can run training programmes to help new recruits lift their mental agility


For students to get high grades they tend to have to meet their courses required standards in an error free way. It means systems of education are naturally "get it right" cultures. Which is why young people often leave systems of education with lots of qualifications, but with few life skills to adapt to find ways forward in the 21st century


We are hoping to partner with schools, colleges and universities so that young people develop their life skills for the 21st century alongside their system of education

do you help the mentally agile get work in agile teams?

Yes. We use our culture tools to assess someone's ability to operate in an agile culture on behalf of employers

are your mental agility coaches qualified?

All our mental agility coaches have years of experience working in agile cultures and have been shadowed and assessed using our culture tools

what is your inclusion policy?

Our coaches will never ask anyone to leave because they make too many mistakes. A player, coach or admin person will be asked to leave if they consistently and repeatedly blame other others by telling others what they are doing wrong

what is your health and safety policy?

Our mental agility coaches are trained to do what is called "rolling risk assessments" to give players space to safely learn how to manage their own risk. This is where our mental agility coach helps players spot when a choice is carrying consequences that are too high. Too high being the benefit is not worth the risk. If consequences are too high, they coach a player to choose to not act on the choice or adapt the choice to lower the consequences to the point where the benefits outweigh the consequence to enough of a degree it makes sense to act. 


If one of our mental agility coaches needs to get control in a high risk situation they will say “stop”. Everyone must stop what they are doing. Once stopped the mental agility will help the relevant player see the consequences they have often missed, and suggests ways to adapt their choice or not act on their choice. If a player refuses to stop when asked to stop, they are often told to leave

In the case of the more dangerous and remote events, we have technical teachers who are responsible for safety. Technical teachers are not centre stage... unless they have a safety reason to take control

what is your safeguarding policy?

Our mental agility coaches and technical teachers all have a current DBS, a first aid certificate and has completed Sport Englands safeguarding course. Our focus on mental agility also means our coach encourages players, of all ages, to always say “no” to their coach without any consequences, unless it impacts our health and safety policy and our inclusion policy

Horse

When we think and act in the same way for a long period of time ... we can become conditioned to not try anything different unless we know it is the right thing to do. We become domesticated

 
Crowd Gathering

We feel we need to free ourselves from our “get it right” culture where we tend to only act when we are convinced we are doing the right thing

Our biggest challenge in the 21st century is not climate change, failing systems of education, democracy, and economy ... it’s breaking free from our “get it right” culture that restricts our ability to find a way forward when we don't know what is going to happen

We need to stop limiting what we do to fixing what is going wrong to get back to where we were before things went wrong. We need to stop doing endless rounds of “what if” analysis on what might happen when a new right way goes wrong. We need to stop seeking absolute certainty that a new right way will work... before we do anything


The blinkers are on, the vision narrowing as the pressure to change grows. We know how it goes when times are changing - those who get hurt are those who have stalled. We need to move to an adapting agile culture where we try things that we don’t know will work and when they don’t work we adapt to find a better way... and see where it takes us


We at LifeSkills21.club help everyone learn to be in an adapting agile culture by playing games. We don’t coach players to play a right way. We coach players to play smart using our be kind rule

 

Our play smart, play kind programme is based on playing sports, outdoor adventure, creating and telling stories, playing and creating games, cooking and baking, building things ... where everyone plays smart using our “be kind” rule

 

Create a story in a wild way in St Albans

One way we could try is for some of us to create characters, some of us to create a world, others to create a journey, and every now and again we change rolls. We regularly reflect to see where this is going. We keep improving our story by trying things we don't know will work and when they don't work we adapt to find a better way. And we see where the story takes us. Maybe it turns into a game? Contact us for more info

 
Playing Foosball

Play safe


We coach players to stay safe as they try ways that they don't know will work by showing them how to assess the risks for each of their choices before they act on it

If the risks are too high, players are shown how to adapt their choices to lower the risk while maintaining the benefits of the choice


Players are coached to Play Smart, Play Kind, Play Safe

 

Jon Thorne

Founder of LifeSkills21.club

Social media creates an echo chamber around us that reflects back that we are right to do what we do. Our “get it right culture” stops us from trying different ways to the “right” way. When we create a “right” way we limit our ability to adapt to find a better way. We create closed circuits that are hard to escape. This is a stupid thing to do.


None of us know everything.
None of us know what will happen in the future.
None of us can create the perfect right way that always works for everyone, in all situations, both now and in the future

Don’t create a right way

Develop the life skills to try things that you don’t know will work and when they don’t work adapt to find a better way. There are always other ways when you have the life skills to find them. There is hope in knowing there are always other ways

Live a good enough life. Not a right life

 
Image by Duane Storey

Leaders create a culture

Leaders tend to become our leaders by convincing us that they have a right way that will work for us. We follow their right way


But we are living in very uncertain and disruptive times. Our leaders are like us. They don’t really have a clue what is going to happen. If a leader comes up with a right way, they are guessing at a level they have never done before


21st century leaders demonstrate they are smart enough to act when they don’t know if it will work and when it doesn’t work adapt to find a better way. They are leaders who know how to create an adapting agile culture based on the idea that the right way is that there are always other ways

 
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