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Not everything can go in the dishwasher

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Busy lives mean endless choices and the subsequent working out, in which order to tackle them? To do lists, should do lists, must do lists; whatever you decide, somethings will naturally be at the top of the pile by default. And other issues will linger and cause prolonged consideration and even angst. Whatever difficult decision challenges we face today, such as family, health, finances, business, career, we can be overburdened as they stack up like the dirty dishes. Not everything can go in the dishwasher, out of sight, out of mind (for the time being at least).

Decisions are no different; we can delay them, put them off until the morning so to speak and before we know it, there they are!
I wish I’d done them last night!   Evolve rather than revolve It is easy today to follow our pattern and routine. We feel comfortable at that speed. In control.When we are pushed ‘out of the comfort zone’ or hassled for a decision, it feels a bit pressured and we lose the time we really wanted to go through the options at our own pace. We start with a holding line, usually starting with ‘erm…….’ as we play for a few more magical seconds to make the call.
It could even by such a challenging choice of tea or coffee?
Everyday we take on more experience and knowledge and we evolve rather than just revolving around the same old doors of life. We push the boundaries and take some risks. We feel more empowered for a few moments.
That’s good. Positivity helps. A step in the right direction.   I’ll wash, you dry Not everyone has a dishwasher at their disposal. Some ‘dishwashers’ have human names, because, they are humans, sharing the domestic or work responsibilities. And yes of course, not all items are dishwasher safe so they have to be hand washed even if you have the machine available. Bugger! Who bought this? Lets not forget also, that some dishes come out of the machine with a stubborn stain that needs a bit more attention. Decisions we thought we made are also like that sometimes. They come back for more!   Resilient priorities When we have tough decisions to make, in limited time, we need and seek as much information and inteligence available to us at the time. We want to make the right choice and in the right order. We weigh up the options and we use a number of factors to ‘prioritize’ and we go for it. We can review the actions as we go along and we can evaluate to see if it is effective or not. We do this in everyday life and it is something that the emergency services, incident commanders and multi-agency teams have got far better at working together with. Joint decisions in a good cause. But it is something we do independently or at ‘team home’. We are resilient.   Hands that do dishes…..
A famous TV commercial for a certain brand of washing up liquid, used a catchphrase to ‘sell’ the qualities of their product. It made the public feel that tackling such a domestic chore could still have benefits to the softness of your hands.
Decisions, challenges, tasks, options, dilemma’s, whatever issues you have stacked up right in front of you now, can be tackled efficiently. Either working with others or by yourself if you have to. We find a way of getting through the list of things to do and our ‘hands’ become softer, or at least a bit smoother once more. The trouble is, those decision dishes of life will be back again before you know it. But you can face them again, when you’re ready!  

The Generation Game: Where resilience matters

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Born in the sixies, I grew up a child of the seventies, when there were only three UK television channels available to watch (if you were fortunate enough to have a TV!)

I was raised on a council estate in a working class family and money was tight. Our TV even had a money meter fixed to it, as did the electric meter too! It was a norm back then. It was a way of surviving and living and we were happy. We were resilient.
A ‘family treat’ happened on Saturday evenings when we would watch the BBC programme ‘The Generation Game’. A TV ‘game show’, then presented by the late Sir Bruce Forsyth who passed away in 2017. The format of the show involved family members, usually two adults, one older, one younger (hence generation link); with the aim to take on tasks and skills and compete against another ‘family team’.
Light entertainment as it’s called
The family who scored the most points along the way, eventually had the chance to witness a conveyor belt, loaded with prizes for a short a time, before having to recall the items one by one a short while later. Only one of the family members did this task.
Whatever items they could remember, they took away with them. The audience shouted to help the person remember what had passed by on the belt. It was indeed..‘a good game, good game’ (as Brucie would say!)
  Family Matters: Business Matters: Life Matters I am aware that the BBC is bringing the programme back with new presenters in 2018. There have been a number of different presenters over the years and an absence of the programme from the screens altogether. But the concept of a ‘Generation Game’ should not just be restricted to a TV programme of ‘light entertainment’. In resilience terms, we share what we see, know and do, with family, friends and work colleagues. Our experiences and our joint working together to take on challenges and tasks; not only to win ‘prizes or rewards’, but often simply to get through life and the business jobs at hand. It matters to us all. We share stories and experiences and we pass the information on.
We work together
  Conveyor Belt Principle In our daily family and working lives, it is a pretty good assumption that somewhere along the journey, you will have been trained by someone more experienced. You may have even trained others who had less experience than you. A generation thing perhaps? There will be ‘family’ love and protective advice passed down through generations to help you along the way. ‘Don’t go off with strangers’ and ‘don’t play with matches’ are just some examples. All kinds of relevant useful tips and information, sat on a ‘conveyor belt’ we see, receive and pass on, with the aim of being resilient; winning or getting through the ‘game of life’.
If you can think of as a many useful and relevant resilient items and tips today, what would you expect to see on the ‘conveyor belt’ and how many would the next generation be able to understand and recall? Cyber security, emergency plans, business continuity management, flood water protection, emergency grab bag, mobile phone, pen, paper, stay safe leaflet, fire extinguisher, water, clothing, blankets, personal protective equipment, emergency shelter..cuddly toy?   The Price is Right if you Play Your Cards Right
Ok, so I’m a bit of a ‘saddo’ and I can recall other Bruce Forsyth TV programmes of ‘light entertainment’ over the years. The Price is Right and Play Your Cards Right are pretty universal concepts involving ‘games’ that participants play to ‘win’.
Modern shows such as The Chase, Pointless, Tipping Point and I suspect, a whole lot more from around the globe, could easily be linked, with the concept of resilience. The taking part that counts or playing to survive, get through to the next heats, playing to win? That is what life and business is about.
We will take on challenges and tasks, share some knowledge and work together and be resilient
  Everyone’s a Winner? No, of course there are winners and losers. That is life and business again. For whatever reason, it happens. But resilience is an immensely essential role in the everyday lives of leaders and players. Both in life and in business. The subject should never be totally confined to being compartmentalized into personal and business (organizational) resilience. Resilience transcends and crosses all walks of life and business, because there is a human, family value to it. Resilience is not ‘light entertainment’ of course not, but it starts within the family and generations first and then grows with maturity and experience, in the wider business and working life. We will always be involved in The Generation (Resilience) Game, because we need it.  

Personal Trainer:- Resilience Required

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Let me start by wishing you an amazing 2018! Hope you have a spectacular adventure. Over the last year, I took on a major new challenge and qualified as a Personal Trainer. Yes indeed, a fairly average, fat boy (34 regular), took on a different capability and I found that my previous skills and experiences, of coaching and mentoring; business and personal resilience, and even anatomy and physiology, all helped me pass my Level 3 qualification.

I am now at an age and period of my life, where I swore I would never take on another exam! There comes a point in your life, when you would rather live ‘your life‘ than sit in front of the computer and manuals, all alone and away from everyone, ‘revising’. Besides, it becomes so, so much harder to concentrate, when you just want to listen to music, go shopping or even do the ironing!
  Intuition, Listening and Leadership Something inside me, my intuition and interests, along with some great words of encouragement from people who believed in me, made me decide to take on more study and become a Personal Trainer (PT). Why not I thought? I can do that. I am exceptional (I’m confident with it) at helping others to develop. I have done this all my life. I am a motivator. A ‘leader’. I see the great potential in others and enjoy helping them become better at being themselves. I am a resilient person first and a resilient professional second.
A good coach can change you, but a great coach can change your life
Health and Wellbeing: Resilience Required We hear so many resolutions at this time of year; the desire to ‘be healthier’, ‘be good’, ‘achieve this and don’t do that’. The peer pressure often collides with our own personal needs and desires to make a new start; begin as we mean to go on. But in reality, it is generally a temporary thing. There is nothing wrong with this, in my opinion as everyone is perfectly entitled to want a bit of improvement. It is good for both mind and the body. But in health and fitness, there remains a key element in that the ‘client’ needs to own their own goals if they really are to adhere to them. There is the essential element that goals and objectives need to be SMART of course.
However the ‘client’ fundamentally must own the direction they want to travel in. Understand the journey; resonate with the language.
  See the support but also accept it is they who really need to do the hard, painful, tiring stuff. It must be something they see and can do.
They must be resilient to see and feel the change for good
Feel the Burn We are all personal trainers of some sort; we support and motivate ourselves (and others) to go and do things. We can even visualise how we see things in the future and we try to work towards it. We do that without a ‘text’ book open as we progress through the ‘exams of life’. We feel the heat and the burning sensations from time to time, but we hopefully feel the euphoria of success and contentment. We are resilient. Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) If you are a member of a gym, you will be familiar with (well, hopefully anyway) the PAR-Q process you must fill out prior to any exercise activity. It is a small, simple health screening format to determine if you have any illness or injury to prevent you from safely taking part in your exercise programme. At the end of the day, exercise programmes must be safe and effective if they are to work. Business Resilience and the Personal Trainer Similarities My experiences of both business resilience and the newly acquired skills of being a PT, made me realise that like a great deal of completely different topics, there will always be some familiar faces. Before we make a conscious decision to want to change our lifestyle, we need to feel the need, see it and believe we can do it. The client/PT relationship of course, will remain a critical part of the success and should never be seen as just a transaction. Unfortunately I think this does happen (my opinion) from time to time. But if the client is happy, the training safe and effective and results can be seen, then who are we to question?
Business leaders, of all shapes and sizes; the fit ones and those that need a ‘bit more’ additional support to become fitter and healthier, will require the essential ingredient of resilience to make it happen.
Not everyone is perfectly shaped, fit, healthy and capable, but importantly, everyone deserves a chance to be better. We just need to see the potential and help ourselves to achieve it with the right coaching, guidance, empathy and ‘push’ in the right direction. I believe you can do it!  

The mighty power of love

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

As we head towards the end of 2017, it is a natural human instinct to reflect on the year. The trials, tribulations, ups, downs, if’s buts and maybe’s. The good, the bad and the ugly. And as Christmas approaches, tradition says it’s the season of goodwill to all. But this isn’t and shouldn’t be the exception; a ‘season’ of goodwill? Although we live in an adult world of hazards, risk, threat and harm, we also share the instinct of survival. The need and desire to be resilient. It is in our genes; our makeup, our DNA. 2017 will be another obvious year in the history of the world. That isn’t rocket science but as humans we have made it another year in which we have faced and battled the challenges of adversity. Some have sadly lost, and some have won. That is how history goes. My intuition tells me that it is not just a period of reflection but one of recognition for just how far we have come with our ability to want to be resilient. To protect our families and loved ones and even strangers that have been helped in difficult emergency situations. Throughout the year there will always be great respect for the emergency services and responders for the difficult jobs they do. And rightly so. But equally, the ‘heroes’ of everyday life are the average people who go about their routine and help us when we need it, all without the want and desire for publicity. I wrote at the end of 2016 of How 2017 will be an amazing year for business resilience and I believe, hand on heart, it has been but not just for businesses alone. Giant steps taken not just by those paid to do it, but by those who take risks to innovate and those that just learn through experience. And in life, that really is each and every one of us. Resilience is very much like a Generation Game. We pass on and share the experiences and the knowledge to survive. We cry sometimes and we also laugh too. Life is for living but it is also for sharing. And that means we care. So, for everything you have done this year to care for anyone, Thank You.  

Smart Casual: a resilient nightmare?

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Dress Code: smart casual, no jeans (unless your name is Jean of course)

I’m sure you have been there; the resilient nightmare that stops us in our tracks before we attend the ‘Team Away Day’ or ‘Staff Training’ session. Wtf shall I wear? “Hey Joe, what are you wearing tomorrow?” No mate, you can’t wear jeans, it says so on the email. Smart casual, but no jeans”. Regardless of what the email said, you just know someone will turn up in their jeans! Perhaps even the trendy ripped ones. And of course, there will be loads of middle aged men with their shirts worn outside of their trousers; looking like they are going for a night on the town or at the very least, for a few beers and curry night at the local Wetherspoons! You can’t hurry love
Team away days can be great events! A ‘love in’. They give the opportunity to feel different and be different at work. A bit more of a relaxed atmosphere and of course, the hope of something exotic on the lunchtime buffet!
The agenda has been set, the boss and the trusty lieutenants all have their respective ‘key note messages’ to give to the rest of the team. Targets have been set; lessons to be learned (they actually mean lessons to be identified). There will be flip charts and marker pens scattered around the room. Hopefully biscuits too! Jammy dodgers? Sparkling water and mints. Perhaps even the boss and the senior managers have forked out and purchased some Haribo’s to help enable the safe passage of the difficult change management session. Can’t wait? Well, it’s the chance to go somewhere different; be out of the office and the workplace. See the colleagues and work mates in their ‘non-work’ clothes. A change is as good as a rest. But sit back, relax, brace yourself, for the twilight zone awaits of the inevitable death by power point challenge at monotone speed. “OMG, someone pass me a needle please”. You can’t come in here with those on
But what does smart casual really mean these days? I’m always smart and casual? And no jeans? Does that mean I have to go and buy some chino’s? Shit! This is stressing me out man! I might not go to the away day for fear of failing the dress code requirements. It’s all a bit too much for me to take! Are dark jeans ok?
“Do you think this looks ok for the team away day tomorrow love? I think we are going to talk about cost improvements. Where is it being held? It’s at that 4-star hotel just off the motorway and they are laying on a buffet”. “Yeah that’s right love, cost improvements.. with a buffet!” These boots are made for walking
So, after some careful consideration and going through the options available, you pick your ‘outfit’ for the day.
Perhaps you even got something new to wear and you can then swear blind to colleagues ’what this, new? this isn’t new, I’ve had it for ages’. You arrive and you start to notice the variance in the other attendees ‘interpretation’ of smart casual. Yes.. someone has got their jeans on! Some are still wearing their usual work clothes (there is always at least one). And mmm, she/he looks nice. Go on, tell them! Then the boss walks in and is wearing a short sleeve white shirt with a red tie and light grey trousers. He looks like he has just parked his bus up the road. Someone looks as though they shouldn’t be wearing ‘that outfit’. How old is she?
And as for the fellas (usually those who operate in the 40 – 58 year old group) are wearing their shirts outside of their trousers. This is partly in response to ‘smart casual’ and partly, to hide the waistline.
Shake a tail feather In the end, the smart casual challenge came and went. What was all the fuss about? We all wore our ‘tail feathers’ and hopefully had a brilliant day! Some contributed more than others. The usual loud ones and the quiet ones. A loud voice alone does not make a great leader though. Some got their money’s worth at the buffet and some may have brought the their own because they didn’t know there was a buffet (there is normally at least one of those too!).
We set the scene of where we came from; where we are now and where we are going. After all, the boss has brought his own bus along today and we are the ‘right people’ to help them get to the ‘right’ destination. It’s a love town atmosphere.
And there are always the extra ‘private meetings’ for those ‘who are in the know and need to know’. But overall, we can do this. We need to do this. Meet the expectations and challenge the perceptions. Project managed deadlines and manage the risks. I believe I can fly. On the wings of a dove. The wind beneath my wings. We, are the champions, my friend. And we’ll keep on fighting, til the end… Team bonding over a hot and cold buffet can be an amazing experience, as long as you didn’t get any sweet chilli sauce over your new (erm, I mean old) top! It will wash out I’m sure. You are resilient.  

Risk it for a biscuit

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Risk management isn’t a risky business. Managing risks is a staple diet of any business, regardless of their size or complexity. But some businesses have teams of highly skilled, highly educated and qualified professionals to manage the organizational risk assurance process. Risks are project managed. Some businesses on the other hand, have just one person in charge of everything. Billy no mates. Keep on reading!

Take one for the team

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

We all need to do it at some point! There are good jobs and bad jobs. You know the kind of shitty jobs, that no one else wants to do or just can’t be arsed to do; and they land at your feet with the immortal words ‘go on, take one for the team’. And before you know it…you’re doing ‘it’… (whatever ‘it’ maybe!) It could be dealing with the difficult person or attending the boring, ‘that’s another two hours of your life you’ll never get back’ meeting or the ‘it’, could be, a physical task causing a spontaneous grimace to breakout on your face. It might even be just getting rid of the spider from the house. Keep on reading!

No More Excuses

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

On holiday recently, I had time to reflect a bit, as we do; take stock and look at what I was doing and where I was going. What was influencing me in certain ways with my professional and personal life and just what was, my own contribution to ‘getting to where I wanted to be’? Who I want to be and who I am? With my headphones on by the pool and covered in a high factor lotion to protect my hairless head and pale skin, I put the playlist on shuffle mode and lay back for some excellent people watching; a brilliantly free pastime of course! Everyone else around the pool seemed to be, on face value at least, content with where they were, what they were doing and perhaps, they knew their destinations in life. Or possibly not? Only they know their own answer.

Keep on reading!

Conventionality belongs to yesterday

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

The Past During my previous career, I managed emergencies and crisis, in one form or another; and over the last two and half years or so, I’ve helped to coach and develop others, to help enable emergency and business continuity management to be enhanced and achieved. I like to think I have broken down a few barriers with my style of writing and approach but I guess the old guard might still think otherwise. Traditional and formal old boys network approaches remain in the dominance in places. But I still believe we have a great opportunity in front of us, to take resilience forward and onto another level. We can do it!

Keep on reading!

Naked Resilience

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

“Our resilience starts as an emotion, not a process” ‘Beautiful girl (stay with me)’ Our personal resilience does not start with a negative emotion; it is not driven first and foremost by the scars, anger and sadness of failing. Those tears that come during and after a crisis, when people have to pick up the pieces of their lives or businesses. Personal resilience, enables the feeling of being more free to fly into the world; face whatever adversity or negativity will charge towards us.

Keep on reading!

Paul M Kudray


International leader in business resilience consultancy, training and coaching; Paul is an ex-emergency services commander who finished an exemplary 32 year career in the UK healthcare sector, working for the NHS – culminating in 7½ years as the Director of Resilience for one of the world’s largest ambulance services, NWAS NHS Trust. He now works with private and public sector clients around the world, training, advising, coaching and mentoring them at the highest levels about emergency and business continuity management. He is a business resilience innovator.

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