It is not often that the author of Mindset Matters interjects his personal experiences into the column, however, we are not living in normal times. As a trained psychotherapist and executive coach, he is witnessing the impact of the coronavirus on the personal and professional lives of individuals and organizations in profound ways. In this moment of ambiguity, it is time to introduce a new recurring segment to the column called Sessions that will draw from the experiences of the authors practice with founders, entrepreneurs, and millennials learning to develop new mental health strategies and creating new tools to cope with these changing times and deal with the profound fluctuations happening across the business milieu.
In structuring a path to effective business intelligence in the wake of a pandemic, it is vital to utilize the Disability Narrative as an actionable tool to sustain business viability throughout this period. To begin this process, we must initiate two key instruments that will foster individual and organizational growth. As a practitioner one of the critical elements that both individuals and organizations grapple with is one, the ability to handle a crisis, and secondly how to manage diversification to create a multitude of pathways toward a greater solution. The Disability Narrative affords a blueprint for senior leadership and employees to find a healthy position in this moment of difficulty.
In any coaching or psychotherapy session crisis is often at the top of the list of issues. Whether it is strictly a mental health concern from anxiety to stress management to the impact of work/life balance to relational issues at work to closing the ‘big deal’, the unease of crisis looms large. One of the key goals throughout the session process is to mitigate those fears and find more effective solutions to crisis management. One of the key reasons why actualizing the Disability Narrative in times of crisis can serve to be so effective is because the lived experience of disability is often predicated on crisis. Whether it be physical, mental, or environmental limitations, the need to solve problems and find solutions is paramount. Many times, we look at this process as re-authoring the narrative to help redefine and restructure the problem. It is this bridge that provides a channel for corporate leadership and organizations to move beyond the crisis and find meaningful solutions
Using crisis management as a foundation, diversification becomes the building block that allows entrepreneurs, founders, and senior leadership to be mindful of crises and uncover meaningful solutions through a multitude of ways by problem-solving and offering creative decisions that enhance workplace culture. For corporate leaders to arrive at that moment of clarity, sessions often rely on the Disability Narrative which has significant parallels to the ideas of Lateral Thinking espoused by Maltese psychologist and philosopher Edward de Bono. Not unlike the Disability Narrative methodology, Lateral Thinking is built on the notion of refining one’s mindset to direct attention on what is known as “movement value” of statements and ideas to refocus from a known idea to a new one. This process creates a direct link towards what de Bono has described as four types of thinking tools:
1. The first is focused on an idea-generating tool designed to disrupt current thinking patterns, change routine models, and avoid the status quo.
2. The second thinking tool is designed to focus on broadening where to search for new ideas
3. The third thinking tool is focused on ensuring more value is received from idea generating output
4. The fourth and final tool is geared toward treatment that promotes consideration of real-world constraints, resources, and support
Discovering a diversification of thought is critical in a post-pandemic world where individuals and organizations must rediscover new ways of doing business and begin to ask new questions about how to optimize performance, generate new products and services, and be prepared for a future that at times may seem daunting, but manageable. As we continue on this journey to create new strategies for practical tools for business intelligence, we must be driven by the value that the most important management we need is the ability to think through what we are doing, and why we are doing it, and what must we do. And so, in offering Sessions as a recurring segment we will dig deeper into the psyche of the global business community that has been shattered by this pandemic and through the power of the Disability Narrative rediscover the potential for a new day ahead.