Even before the current crisis, we have been navigating a period of unprecedented change. Leaders have been and will continue to be at the forefront of that effort. It is anticipated that responding to crises, rather than being something that happens once a decade or less, will become more commonplace. What does this mean for how we prepare tomorrow's leaders? In this episode, Claire and Pat speak with Julia Colin, Head of Talent at BAE Systems, and Helen Cresswell, a Leadership consultant & Transpersonal Coach who have been been working together for two years creating and delivering Talent & Learning initiatives for BAE's leadership community, with a specific focus on high potential future leaders.
Hello there. I'm Claire Dale, the founder and a director at Companies in Motion. I'm joined today by Julia Colon, head of talent of Be a Systems on Helen Cresswell, a leadership consultant on transportation. Elk coach. They've been working together for two years, creating and delivering talent and learning initiatives for the company's leadership community with a specific focus on high potential future leaders. We're going to talk about physical intelligence. I'm also joined by Pat Peyton, fellow director of Companies in Motion on DCU, author of our book on physical intelligence, Over to You, Pat to kick off the conversation today.
Thank you, Clan Julia and Helen. Our aim with this podcast is to share best practices from your perspective and also to consider more widely how organizations can best support their leaders, especially young leaders, which could be a particularly challenging transition point in a person's career and beyond that, to talk about all leaders and especially how the Corona virus crisis is impacting their ability to lead in the current environment. How does that sound? This is Julia here.
That sounds great, right? You know, it's what are not good to be here.
Thank you. That's perfect parts. And Claire great to be here to.
Okay. So, Helen, I think this first questions coming to you and I know Julia, you're gonna jump in as well. Can I first ask you, What do you think are some of the key challenges that young leaders face working in corporations today?
Yeah, sure. I think it's really personal. What? Patrick saying they're in the intro thing as we're recording this in the week that Corona virus certainly are reaching its peak here in the UK until some of the U. S. We've been talking for a long time now about Luca Haven't way, uh, around the industry, and I think there's no time like the present suddenly realized
that actually means. So when we look at young leaders, they're walking into a time which is just changing rapidly. Their time pressure, the high their demands on technology, the changing in technology on the whole virtual nature of management as well. I see the stresses that they have to keep up to date with the skill managed multigenerational workforce is there's a huge focus from self reliance in the middle of this to Andi. I see. With Lueders that they are very easily going into a state of overwhelm. So anything that we can possibly equipped with to work at a level of pace on to build resilient without needing into a stressful state is, I think, really critical. No, relationships are everything, aren't they? In the end, a ship on Do they come in claiming different ball of these days that anything we can do to help center the cells to bring the best to the business onto themselves is really critical?
Yes, and And And what you're saying about self reliance applies so much to the virtual world, doesn't it? Because we are, in a sense, on our own, a little bit more in our own space, and we have to myself. Leadership needs to be really top notch in order to be able to facilitate this sometimes global processes that other people are involved in and give them the syrup carry on.
What we see is that, you know, somebody started an organization now have a young they are. There's an expectation that they actually are going Teoh savvy with technology,
are going to have a certain understanding they're going to have a silky lines off the questions that need to be asked. So people need to be up on the road to feet very, very quickly on which I think it. I think it's a tragedy. I think there's probably not not enough support. So our young leaders
now you know, that's interesting, because even before this Karen crisis, we were living in a time of unprecedented change and much less tolerance and patience. And, as you say, uh, giving people the ability to develop at a reasonable pace. Yeah, yeah, so you know. So when you think about all of that and the need for self reliance and the need to build resilience and and the fact that relationships are everything you knew, isn't that the truth? Yet what led you to incorporate physical intelligence training into the curriculum for young leaders at B A Systems.
So one was because you
guys came so highly recommended. We we had to see what it was was all about. I think of V A systems. We're ah, we're a logical company, predominantly, where we'll spend a lot of times in our heads, so we absolutely light this shift of focus onto the body onto the physical cell on the growing of that self awareness of what's going on in inside your body on the way that we were able to engage the logical be a systems in that is that those are essentially what you're getting is a whole lot of new data, a whole lot of meta information about yourself about your sensations on. I think understanding those sensations and how they inform you know how you present and who you are was a big insight for us and for be a systems at large. I think the phrases that you build intimate detachment. So you the more you understand about what's going on in your body, the more you have it under your under your control, and it's no hijacking you off into ways of being that, you know, preferable in a leader. So it was the attraction of growing physical intelligence as part of growing emotional intelligence and that whole holy grail of self awareness of who you are as a person and how you present as a leader. That's what attracted is, and I'm continues to attract us.
I really like what you're saying there about this intimate detachment, Andi think you're so right. Whenever we can name something, you know it as something that's concrete and riel. Then it becomes less uncertain. So our cortisol levels immediately drop. If we start to add in this the chemical story, this the cortisol levels go down as soon as you name something on, then you're in much better state to look at the rest of the data that's around emotionally.
Yeah. Tried instituting. Okay, I'm what's going on there in my belly or in my heart. Or, you know, the flutters order there, the racing heart. I can name those things, detach myself from them. And then, you know, I can still be creative in my group meeting or in my presentation or in giving that headspace to allowing myself to be more in the moment. Andi, therefore more innovative. I think I'm or more inclusive and all those great things
Helen and Julia right now, Aziz, you watch people navigate this crisis. What observations have you made about the group that we've trained in their ability to navigate, maybe more effectively because of their knowledge of physical intelligence?
Well, we'll have to say they're a really remarkable group which been a great great privilege for both of us to work with them. And when they joined the organization, they had such a first for the new A swell as such? A, I guess, a focus on making sure they did the right thing. Andi, I think where our development programs really help them, where physical intelligence particularly has helped us within that is allowing this bridge to form between that, that real excitement and that that forward thinking on that, understanding himself, on also knowing and having the courage to understand when they can speak out around maybe old practices that don't work so well. Andi are not so when helpful Center. I see with all of them, have a very, very bright bunch. They will pick up theories
very quickly. Uh, what physical intelligence Help dude actually put it into practice and it's given them that experiential on the sensation of being able to truly understand what's happening on connected with a lot of the neuro scientific evidence that they've been soaking up 12 that now they they are presenting a so much more centered and they have a much more insight into their their personal impact on others Onda on. They have a complete set of the tool kit now so they can avoid the sort of pseudo psychology approach to why somebody behaving that way on go straight into understanding the sensations on those the biological impact of certain scenarios and have much more actually much more empathy, which is the word which demanded around off, isn't it leaders? But I've got a riel sense of it now in a really understanding and I think, sent in the widest possible terms. So they're starting to beautifully and body their leadership. Somebody will have to say,
Yeah, there's something There's something really concrete about it. Yeah, isn't it? It's really it's really tangible, and I want to go back t to the first question. When we were saying about how self reliant new leaders had to be in a lot of virtual technology they have to cope with and just either the expectation is that they're just, you know, on it immediately on At the same time, the paradox is in lots of corporations they're still having to deal with very I think, Helen, you use that the phrase old practices, So some very in traditional structures as well in some very hierarchical ways of being. So they have to be able. Teoh have the grounded sense of being able to deal with the whole Booker Element. Andi have some very traditional, hierarchical based conversations, so, you know, we're asking them to do it all. So it's good that they come from a grounded concrete space.
Yeah, I think what's also really interesting is again Julie was mentioning, You know, where we're in a highly cerebral environment with our engineers on, because, you know, the ability to build series is quite astounding to me of Golden articulate them, But they ever said then the embodiment to the practice of that is quite different. Andi to be able to bring a wheat of understanding and physical intelligence, Doctor, it brings that whole piece around at mastering of being a human being
mastery, all becoming a chartered engineer or whatever. We might be a chartered accountant, so there's a great a great desire. Isn't that achieve the states of mastery and all of our professional skills yet simply that ability to look to master that that being this is a human is not quite so well regarded, so Junior and I are very much aligned on. That is the real skill set in itself again. Artifical intelligence. Doctoral. You know, philosophy just works brilliantly, brilliantly.
So we're encouraging everybody to do that. 10,000 hours of physical intelligence in order to become
complete way. Love that. And if you start to build, you know, these these habits physically intelligent habits into your every day, I think 10,000 hours you could not chuck for fairly quickly. Although it sounds like a laws on one thing that I'm struck by is ah, that you talked about empathy levels seems to think to have been raised as a result of this sin. Self awareness. And isn't it the case that when quarters are levels are a little bit high as a leader and you feel your fire fighting all the time? The first thing to go is a sense of fraught on an emotional level on a developmental level, your team might need your your your part of the organization might need. And so, yeah, it just struck me as you were talking. How important to is to know that your oxytocin levels need to be high on your serotonin levels need to be high as well. So oxytocin for creating those relationships and social bonds. Andi serotonin. For feeling that you have your self esteem in place on that you're not under under threat when when things are difficult. But you could manage things with fluidity and flexibility. The real marriage of strength and flexibility
there. Yeah. And I think the important thing is because hi, experience the workshop is that people learn and certainly the group that we were they take away those life hacks that can Then you know, OK, I need to excess that that hormone. What? You know what? Don't remember. What do I have to do on particularly? I remember the serotonin because I know that involves eating dark chop
that sticks in everyone's brain. That one we're answer about that all the time That in the end, eating the bananas,
Yeah, donors and smiling. That's Yeah,
I was just going to add that there's so much talk about being authentic leader, you know? And it have water authenticity, lead and on. And I'm just picking up. You know what? You're what you're saying. There is that three articulation as it is. One thing But again, you know, with our young leaders here, they've been ableto have a language around, uh, talking authentically too sensation and to feeling Andi How often? That's just such a unspoken arena, isn't it? You know, and it seems the fluffy side of managing people in very eight Jari and on, and I will always, always pulling up on that. They know this is around behavioral sciences, and it's actually about your biology on its understanding, all of the press that he
give them the language to be ableto genuinely and authentically. Talk about the way that we work is really, really powerful.
I mean, that leads us on to talking about the future. What do we think? The future of training and development for new leaders is going to look
like what I've discovered in the last. I suppose a couple of weeks is just the level off intimacy that we're getting with communicating on a virtual basis. There's a level off authenticity when you get a little back drop of somebody's office or their bedroom. Ordell, their sitting room. That's like King people put on, I think, more of, ah, work persona when they're in the office. There's a a level of intimacy with the virtual communication that I hadn't really anticipated. So I've learned things about my colleagues in the last couple of weeks colleagues that I've worked with for a long time that I need to me. So I think one of the obvious futures for learning and development is that we make use of that of that. Virtual technology is more sustainable. Andi, in some ways paradoxically more intimate than being in a room together.
Isn't it interesting? You know, I was thinking myself. Someone asked me this question just the other day. Is this a more intimate or a less intimate platform? And I said before the Corona virus, if you were going to zoom in to a large conference room full of people, it would have been less intimate than if you'd been there in person. And yet now that we're all in each other's homes, it feels more intimate. We are even, you know, meeting Children sometimes unintentionally meeting Children and other family members. So it is an opportunity to connect at a deeper level personally that we may not have had without the crisis.
Now I couldn't agree more I think you know, we young we put a face on in them in our corporate world. Don't lay on bat in that veil can very quickly, quickly fall away, can't it? When Suddenly somebody coming into our homes. Andi, I know a lot of people will be set up with the home office. But I think you know, even in those purple environments with Pat, you were saying it is. Suddenly a dog would be barking in the
or a family member will come in on all of a sudden. You're then looking at again your whole self. Andi, this is back to that word I was using earlier about this embodiment. No, we can't. We can't separate ourselves so much, can we? We have to naturally start integrating our many different proponents. Inter Tinto. One good, balanced, healthy version on been a way of understanding how to do that again. Mastering only beautiful on hormones and chemicals. But we've been talking about so again a huge, huge help.
Yes, and and the chemistry of great leadership is is a good, high risk tolerance. So women and men needs need testosterone. I think we were talking about this on the workshop that we did together on balance cortisol. So we're ready to get our skin in the game, but it's not going to take us into throwing our weight around or putting people down. So on then variable oxytocin. And I think we've always known that leaders need to be able to ramp up compassion and really feel it and mean it when they do need to give the tough messages. I don't think we've ever really discovered how to get the oxytocin working as well as it could to facilitate us. Really. Knowing our leaders, because of that difficulty of maintaining a professional persona, leaves that you were talking about Helen. So, perhaps, is an exciting time for the future off training and Will will recognize that this different chemical balance is going to facilitate the context where we care more about the people. Onda work as well.
Yeah, you know, thinking beyond just the training or the current moment in time. If we emerge from this crisis and we think about the future, what would a physically intelligent organization look like? And how do we actually get there?
Very good question.
Physically intelligent organization as well as an emotionally intelligent organization would have people being able to bring their whole Selves to work or not to work, as the case may be in the In the New World, that need for really strong self awareness on your impact on others and what's going on in their bodies and in their hearts. Then you can have really appreciative Onda authentic conversations. So it does sound really new world to me. If everybody is dropping their masks and being themselves and everybody's allowed to bring their special talents on whole cells into the workplace, I find it quite an exciting prospect.
Do you think that leadership across, uh, certainly not alert all organizations? But some organisations are starting to realize that there's a connection between physical intelligence and business outcomes. We know we've experienced that our clients have experienced that and curious to know if from your perspective, you see that that light bulb going off above the heads of any leaders you're working
with, yeah, it's going off in pocket. I just need to make mawr off those connections because the science is there. That says, if you can distance yourself from your thoughts and your bodily sensations and name them as we were talking about earlier. You then that allows your prefrontal cortex toe have space to be creative, innovative, inclusive, engaging all those things on that I think that like, well, goes off. But I think it's one of those things that it's the same as with digestion. Inclusion. I think you have to experience it for the light bulb to kill off.
You know, it's interesting. I I know that, uh, if we can share those sorts of results, which and we have them, it captures attention. It's difficult, though, because, as we mentioned earlier, some people view this is fluffy. And yet we know that it isn't. And there's so many other benefits to this that may not be directly connected to revenue generation, etcetera, etcetera that are just as valuable. And yet, in the end, it's the financial impact that gets the most immediate attention. Is that really the piece that's going to capture attention among the most senior level leaders to help spur this dr valuing physical intelligence as more than just ticking the wellness
box? Let's say, yeah, well, you say, I said, I think the well being connect option two products activity into business outcomes. It's a known thing. It's a known thing, whether it's fully embraced unembedded, we could discuss that. But what I think the physical intelligence approach does is give that well being piece a Tanja bility in a concrete nous that is understood Onda appreciated by people that want to see the evidence. They want to see the science they want to see the data on. That's why it works well in an organization that lights to see evidence and likes to see see data. So the data is important. I still think the actual experience off Ah, workshop is what sort of lights? The blue touch paper.
Yes, on in terms of physical intelligence that's re balancing the dopamine ergic system, George, that speed, advancement and commitment to those outcomes which we we need between race lap, but to balance the oxytocin ergic brain body circuitry that were not very used to using the oxytocin ergic system Does that kind of framework makes sense to you, Julian
Helen. Yeah, well, that's exciting. Yeah, on that sort of feels to me like we're in the territory of the parasympathetic system and kicking that in and You know, I'm also really interested in people taking some time to be more mindful and sort of hesitating about introducing the word mindfulness because that has lots of different connotations for different people. But to be able to take that moment to reflect before you act is, I think, really important for all organizations. Yeah,
you asking what a physical intelligence organization would look like? I think it's a genuinely more congruent on organ donation. Andi, I
you're absolutely right to raise the point about. You know, companies now would still be looking at the financial gains for the financial benefits of introducing a different way of doing things. But I feel very strongly that there's a massive bridge happening at the moment. I'm referring back to the old way of doing things which is highly controlled. Have today
look at the amount
of Krystle we've had due to the last few weeks, could see, you know, systems breaking down. And what's coming through is this incredible level of cooperation and creativity that so where there's a lot of control on the one hand on the beautiful and groundswell of of Creativity Inc on and that can only benefit from on be enhanced by that understanding that physical intelligence bring to oneself. Andi, That's the That's the future style of leadership that I definitely see.
it's really interesting. I was moved from the 20th century, which is about psychology, that on get the end of the 20th century and the neuroscience comes in and our understanding of three brain well, the fact congruent started to come together. But then, as we move into the
the new century, the whole philosophy around physical intelligence and application, all that I think is taking us into that that complement state. Um,
electrical with first fantastically creative and scented leaders of the future
on the mayhem. So it goes alongside that'll the research around the guards and how influential that is to mood and how we think Absolutely no, there's no interesting the way science is going.
Holy and Helen, it's been an absolute pleasure to speak with you, and we're so grateful that you are that you're willing to share all of this. Ah, wonderful insight with us today. We've talked about pace of change, accelerating beyond what it already laws, which was challenging enough about the fact that relationships are everything and that physical intelligence actually enhances those empathy levels and enables us to more effectively connect with each other, whether we're in a leadership role or not Onda and how it helps us achieve that mastery of just being human, being alongside being an engineer or an accountant, etcetera and ah, and then making that shift right, moving from the old way of doing things to this new way of doing things and becoming more, ah, more congruent organization that's cooperating more effectively, creating more effectively and then ultimately, of course, experiencing the financial benefit of that shift. And we're thrilled to know that we have champions of physical intelligence out there like both of you, to help spread that message. Because we hear you, we hear and we feel that passion from you and you know we believe it. So thank you very much. Please stay safe and we wish you all the
best. Thank you. We're very excited about to physically intelligent future.
Thank you. We're delighted to be advocates. Well, you
take care too,
but I have no one. Thanks. Bye.