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Changing mindsets

The opening presentation of the 2019 HEFMA Leadership Forum was a fascinating exploration of the brain, aimed at understanding the different mindsets that people go through when experiencing change.


Mark Bawden got everyone thinking from the outset with a puzzle to connect five seemingly unrelated images followed by a visual demonstration of how individuals can see the same thing very differently. There is no right or wrong - it's a different perception. 


He went on to explain how the emotional brain is a combination of different systems with four characteristics summed up as COPE - contained, optimistic, prudent, engaged - which are sensitive to reward or threat in various degrees and respond accordingly.  In everyone the balance of these characteristics is different, but recognising which are the strongest influencers in an individual determines their natural mindset.


In any project or task, a balance of each is needed, especially when leading change. Recognising the validity and strength of all four mindsets and having the ability and flexibility to shift your own mindset to achieve results are vital.


Mark has worked with many elite sports teams, including Team GB at the London Olympics.


Other sessions throughout the day focused on issues surrounding the workforce, including recruiting and retaining staff, apprenticeships, culture change and the importance of the estate in its broadest terms.