Monthly Insight – October 2021


  1. To be specific is to mitigate the risk of being misunderstood. When talking about wellness practice or describing a perspective of wellbeing, remove the ambiguity by being explicit. Do you mean stress and recovery? Emotional safety? Physical fitness? Life satisfaction? Social impact? Be aware of the initiatives and causes that may not be overtly labelled wellbeing but still drive an elevated state of health, greater happiness, or improved life enjoyment. Examples may include greater equality, safety (physical, emotional, mental) or improved financial security. These examples and others form the ‘cultural cup’ that holds space for services, products, programmes, processes and practices that people engage with to improve their state of wellbeing. The cup or vessel is the cultural and social infrastructure where we live, work, and socialise – the (r)evolution in these areas is already happening, by being clearer means greater understanding and increased resonance.
  2. One of the sectors providing a ‘cut through’ on the macro subject of human and planetary wellbeing is ESG (environmental, social, governance) investment and delivery. Why? Because it is a measured process that ties the metrics of ESG directives into outcomes. Social pursuit is by nature, human wellbeing related and similarly, environment to the climate crisis. Another example is DEI (diversity, equality, inclusion) departments in corporations and SMEs.  Since the murder of George Floyd last year followed by months of BLM protests many more organisations are seeking to change the way they operate. Feeling included, valued and worthy are all vital components of wellbeing – this too is seeing laser focus on metrics and measurable progress. A word of caution; this must be done (in all cases) in a way that is fair and equitable to all. Raising the equity of gender, disability, sexuality and ethnicity is a vital part of raising the state of wellbeing in society, for all. The changes are happening at a blistering pace, difficult for some demographics to process. For some organisations, this is still a ‘tick box’ exercise but the needle is moving, equality will be won on a cultural elevation of unity.
  3. Dubbed by economists as the ‘Great Resignation’, millions of people working for companies where they feel their concerns are neither addressed nor heard have left their employer or plan to leave. Some industries are suffering more than others, hospitality is one of them. In a recent article in the FT – Marriott CEO Tony Capuano described a ‘fight for talent’ as the group try to recruit 10,000 staff for US. In the UK, the new CEO of the Institute of Hospitality, Robert Richardson, commented in a conversation we had a few months ago, that “…the gap between how the hospitality industry values guests and employees should not exist.” He is the first hospitality organisation leader (whom I have spoken to recently) who has led a discussion on the value of wellbeing culture and service provision in hospitality being on par with rooms and food and beverage. Expect a more tangible shift toward whole person health and a greater duty of care – for guests AND staff.
  4. What is the response to financial insecurity? In the UK now, 38% of people are worried about the state (or potential state) of their finances. That issue alone, means increased risk of mental ill health. Tech entrepreneur Dan Price, founder and CEO of Gravity was well ahead of curve in 2015 when he announced a minimum wage in his company of $70k for all workers  – 5 years on, reports shows company growth, financial success and countless examples of how the impact of financial security, feeling valued and freedom from worry has impacted team performance and a cultural state of wellbeing. Expect to see more radical moves in private sector companies at a cross-industry level – the pandemic has lifted the veil on the fundamentals of what matters. The ability to recruit and maintain talent relies on the ability to work AND live. The change comes down to leadership and the courage to make radical change in almost every example we discuss.
  5. Emotional angst, money problems, physical ill health, mental stress and change happening at ferocious speed, means many people are finding it difficult to cope. It is imperative to find your own anchor. The sea will get choppier, shift will continue at a blistering pace. Helping yourself doesn’t have to cost a penny but may involve some difficult choices and disruption to long established habits. The following are supported by science and clinical trials – they are my personal share, give them a try and let me know how you feel. 1) Sobriety – even one unit of alcohol will make a difference to how well you sleep and the clarity of your thoughts and feelings – it’s Sober October, what better time to explore! 2) Walk in nature for a minimum of 20 mins a day without a device 3) Hydration – drink 2-3 litres of pure water, just a 1% drop in hydration means our cognitive ability and mood is negatively impacted. 4) Bed early and sleep for 8 hrs – read ‘Why We Sleep’ by Matthew Walker – you will never go to bed late again! 5) Practice positive affirmations to train your brain – I am confident, I am valued, I am worthy, I am enough – create your own list and say it out loud three times at the beginning of your day.
  6. COP26 is fast approaching. It is happening from October 31- November 12 in Glasgow. 200 countries are being asked for their plans to cut emissions by 2030. In 2015 they all agreed to keep global warming ‘well below 2C’ (Paris Agreement) but the recent IPCC report shows that we are already hurtling toward 1.5C. To give some perspective 1C increase is bad but manageable, 2C is very bad but adaption can mitigate the worst, 3C will be untenable for many geographical areas, people and species. Current warming is approximately 1.1C. What would be the marks of success? 1) A recalibrated, stronger statement on net zero emissions by 2050 and bigger than current predictions show, by 2030 2) Immediate and specific commitments to ending coal, petrol cars and protecting nature 3) Agreed financial packages to support developing countries to adapt – in a recent BBC piece, everyday impact flagged petrol cars, gas boilers and number of flights being taken as targets for change. NB Anything that falls short will be viewed as inadequate. Some scientists already believe world leaders have been asleep at the wheel and that staying beneath 1.5C will not be achieved.
  7. Safety and security has taken on a magnified perspective within the context of wellbeing. From physical to emotional, financial, mental and spiritual. As a collective, people are feeling unsafe. Insecurity breeds fear and what we’re seeing are a lot of pendulum swings that disrupt, polarise and divide. Last Thursday, the day that Wayne Cousens was sentenced for the murder of Sarah Everard, I attended a large travel industry awards dinner for 800 people. One of the people attending, a male, wore a dress. He raised issue the following day on social media to share that he had been “…groped several times by ‘drunk white men’ …and had to shout at a man making unwanted sexual advances”. He said he felt unsafe to simply be himself. What is apparent in many current cultures, is a domino effect of insecurity for anyone not understanding or able to relate to the different ways that people want to show up in the world. In a sister group of Impetus Hub entitled ‘Lets Talk About Men’, we ask: How do you raise one gender without diminishing the other? Perhaps the question should be: How do you accept the choices of others without feeling threatened yourself?



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