Recently, Wendy and I finished our Book Club on “Tomorrowmind” by Gabriella Rosen Kellerman and Martin Seligman, discussing the complexity of change. We chose this book because we saw the value in examining the balance between the science of how change impacts us physically and psychologically in the work environment. The book outlines the five psychological powers we need to thrive at work: resilience and cognitive agility, meaning and mattering, rapid rapport to build social support, prospection, and creativity and innovation.
Resilience and Cognitive Agility
Let’s start with resilience. We all agree that we have had to learn how to be resilient over the last three years. Resilience means to bounce back; it is how we respond to events as they happen in real-time and after. We can build resilience as individuals, teams, and organizations. Wendy and I built the concept of resilience into our consulting and coaching engagement. How can we help identify what resilience looks like within each organization and lead to cognitive agility when faced with making quick decisions?
Meaning and Mattering
The social sector is tied deeply to work with purpose or meaning and mattering. We are all in the sector because we want to make a difference in our communities. Creating “meaning” starts with leadership. Leading the vision and mission can be challenging, and it takes strong and consistent communication, coaching, and modeling for employees, tying them to the organization’s purpose. “Mattering” is when employees know that what they do matters. They understand their impact on the greater good. Nonprofit Sidekick builds these concepts into our Leadership Accelerator and our new NPSK IMPACT Nonprofit Leadership Program, discussing how to do this effectively within their organization.
Rapid Rapport To Build Social Support
Nonprofit Sidekick was built because “Nonprofit leadership can be lonely, and everyone needs a sidekick.” Nonprofit leaders need a social network to support them in leadership. Tomorrowmind calls this concept “rapid rapport to build social support.” Our online community is our space to create rapport with other nonprofit leaders, connecting with purpose and building a social network of peers about ideas, strategy, problem-solving, and sometimes just venting (who doesn’t need to vent once in a while?). We believe that the more we connect to others motivated to make this world better, the more we can do good together.
Prospection is the ability to imagine and plan for the future by metabolizing the past and present to project the future. Prospection allows us to emotionally and logistically prepare for change before it arrives. Leaders who model prospection and coach to it create a culture with greater optimism, self-efficacy, resilience, and less anxiety. We discuss this concept with our clients and ask questions to help build the prospective “muscle,” so to speak. It’s how we coach, help organizations prepare for the future, build sustainability, anticipate obstacles and challenges, and be agile and flexible as things present themselves. It is an inclusive approach to leading, involving all talent levels to provide insight, feedback, and ideas on how to be better and stronger.
Creativity And Innovation
How many of us had to lean into developing creative ideas to overcome significant challenges within our programs and organizations? The more we tap into the talent at all levels of the organization, encouraging feedback and ideas to be shared, the more creativity and innovation happens. Sounds easy. It takes leadership to create a culture for creativity and innovation to occur. The book discusses the engagement factors leading to creativity and innovative culture.
The key elements are allowing back and forth of suggestion, exploration, critique, and refinement. We must have trust and an open mindset to build a culture of creativity. The process shared in the book is first to identify the skills and resources needed, discuss and identify the obstacles and mitigation plans, then build the framework for plans B and C and define what success looks like. Wendy and I work with organizations using The Design Thinking model to help leaders and teams develop these skills, and it is incredible what we create in one workshop or conversation!
Tomorrowmind was a great read, inspiring Nonprofit SideKick to integrate these concepts into how we consult, coach, and facilitate our signature workshops. We recommend this book to every leader looking for insight into how to lead when change happens all the time and we have to navigate it regularly. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and leading our book club discussion!