- Increasingly, personal belief is not matching behavioural choice. Cognitive dissonance has become more apparent. From women supporting the #MeToo movement whilst objectifying themselves on Instagram to climate crisis campaigners not walking their own talk alongside equality activists who see nothing wrong in diminishing another social group whilst in pursuit of their own elevation. It is akin to societal gaslighting and a culture that is breeding hostility, confusion and lack of trust. This dissonance is the opposite of alignment. As long as it exists it is challenging, if not impossible, to build stability and and a solid foundation to grow from. “In these challenging moments of dissonance we need to stay curious and resist choosing comfort over courage” Brene Brown, Atlas of the Heart. In short, pause before acting against your values.
- One of the worst health impacts of the pandemic in the UK has been the rise in alcohol consumption. According to Public Health England (PHE) In 2020, there was a 20.0% increase in total alcohol specific deaths compared to 2019. Deaths from mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol increased by 10.8% (compared to a 1.1% increase between 2018 and 2019), and deaths from alcohol poisoning increased by 15.4% (compared to a decrease of 4.5% between 2018 and 2019). Most people think they are healthier than they actually are. It isn’t until we are faced with a more noticeable health decline that action is taken. This state of alcohol normalcy doesn’t only impact the individual, but effects work performance, relationships and society at large. Be pro-active, track your own health then truth becomes more difficult to deny!
- The vaccine mandates and freedom limiting narratives are divisive and undermining trust in authorities and government. This is fuelling vaccine resistance and exacerbating polarisation. The Omnicron ‘limbo’ will continue until we know how dangerous, or not, the new variant is. Tragically, the most exposed industries (hospitality, leisure, aviation) face another damaging setback to recovery. For some, this is viewed as disproportionate to risk and the lack of clarity is continuing to undermine the ability of citizens and industries alike to feel heard. The loss of liberty not only impacts those choosing not to be vaccinated but also people who respect those making a choice. The idea of a ‘free world’ being lost has an impact on human consciousness that will ripple for years to come.
- When COP closed on November 12th the news was a mixed bag. Positively, the zeitgeist has shifted irrevocably. There is a globally shared recognition that urgent action is required but it still needs to happen. More remarkably the GFANZ (Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero) – this global coalition of leading financial institutions has now committed US$130trn – up from US$5trn in April 2021 to be used to transform the global economy to net zero. This is intentioned at scale for; 1) international carbon pricing 2) elimination of fossil fuel subsidies and 3) mandatory climate-related financial disclosure. It tangibly captures the newly defined spirit and mood of shift, also the speed at which change can happen. There are still many questions and also doubt but the speed of the GFANZ fund growth is a notable positive, here’s to a #oneearth balance sheet!
- It was International Men’s Day last week. A report by the all-party parliamentary group on issues affecting men and boys showed UK statistics described as a “cultural low point”; 13% of men are not in employment or education (compared to 10% of women), suicide rates for men are three times higher than they are for women, life expectancy for a man today is four years lower than for a woman, 83% of rough sleepers are men and 96% of the prison population is male. Anyone who follows my work will know that I share concern about how equality is being won – I stand by my belief that men are having a harder time on the planet right now. How do we reach more parity? How do we raise societal groups without diminishing others?
- The great Resignation/Realignment/Shake-up is still very much at large – insightful stats from Linked IN give a sobering reality of the difficulties businesses are facing in being able to retain staff ( Linked IN has 800 million members, 50 million companies and hosts 5 million interactions every minute). Pre pandemic 0-5% members had changed their jobs in the previous 12 months – in September 2021 that figure was 54% and 41% (of the 800 million) are considering leaving their job in the next 12 months. According to The Predictive Index 91% of CEOs say they need help with business and talent management strategies and remote work is their #1 challenge. The disparate culture of new employees working remotely, feeling isolated and without the usual work and social support networks will fuel psychological issues. Although this shift is being reported on and discussed, radical action that matches the change spike we’re seeing is still lacking.
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