Minds i Ltd was founded in 2005 to support individuals, teams and businesses to close the gap between potential and performance.
Performance can be defined as:
Performance = potential – interferences
In our experience too much energy and focus goes into the performance part of this equation. However the greatest leverage, and where we have greater control and influence, is in accessing the huge potential of mind and really understanding the internal interferences, which can stop us realising our potential.
The business was founded by Steve Knight, and he works with a number of key associates in delivering solutions for our clients. Steve has over 20 years experience in the field of learning and development, working as a coach, facilitator and programme designer. Prior to founding Minds i Ltd he held a number of senior management positions at Ernst & Young. His last position was the Director of Leadership Development, with responsibility for formulating the firm’s approach to developing its future leaders.
We work with individuals and businesses in the following ways:
1. Consulting - to understand the business need and then design tailored solutions
2. Coaching programmes - for individuals and teams
3. Development programme - design and delivery
It’s curious that we are called human “beings” not human “doings”. However we see a tendency for leadership development to focus on the “doings” or behavior, rather than realising that all behavior flows from our state of mind in the moment. Our belief is that the challenges of today cannot be addressed with quick fix ‘how to’ solutions. There is a need for a more grounded understanding in how to access the huge potential that we all have as human beings.
Understanding the role of our state of mind is a key factor in being able to sustain high performance over time.
From a higher state of mind, we have access to different thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. High performers are those that can operate effectively, even when the external circumstances are very tough. Other people can get dragged down to a lower state of mind, and are therefore less resourceful at the very moment that they need to be more resourceful.
When we are operating from a clearer understanding:
• Productivity goes up with less conscious effort and less stress;
• We are more creative;
• We are more likely to have fresh thinking and insight in response to challenging situations;
• Positive results are produced much more consistently; and
• We lose the fear of being “found out”, because we lose the need to “fake it until we make it”.
Understanding that we are thinking creatures and create our reality from the inside out. Thought includes perceptions, associations, memories and beliefs. Even the sense of sight relies on thought for us to be able to make sense of the visual stimulus coming through the eyes. We are like a fish in water in the sense that, because thought pervades every aspect of our experience, we overlook its role and significance in our lives.
Our level of consciousness is the key to learning, and sustainable change. A shift in consciousness opens up the possibility of responding differently to our experiences. We can only respond to the things that we are aware of at any given moment in time. People with a high degree of self-awareness are also more able to reflect on themselves and their situation in that moment. This provides them with an opportunity to turn experience into learning. It could be argued that a key competitive advantage for an individual and an organisation is the ability to learn and develop faster than the competition.
It’s important to be aware of the responsibilities that we see as being part of our sense of identity. We see too many leaders trying to live up to an image that they have for themselves in terms of how they feel they “should” be behaving, and how they “should be seen”. This comes from a positive intention; however, it is misplaced. The problem is that as soon as you feel obligated to behave or be seen in a particular way, this limits your freedom to respond as you see fit in the moment.
Sydney Banks in the 1970s made a major breakthrough in uncovering the three psychological principles that point to the inside out nature of life. Our work is informed by this understanding. The principles he uncovered are:
1. Mind. This is the energy and intelligence of all life. The universal mind is constant and unchangeable. The personal mind is in a perpetual state of change.
2. Consciousness. This is the gift of awareness. Consciousness allows the recognition of form, with form being an expression of a thought.
3. Thought. Thought is the creative agent we use to guide us through life and create our own realities. This is our frame of reference through which we see the world. By changing our thoughts we can change ourselves and our world, and that of others.
Sydney Banks realised that the reality we are experiencing from moment to moment is being determined by how effectively we are using these three universal principles.
We work with businesses to customise development programmes to meet business objectives. Our development programmes result in:
• Greater clarity in understanding what effectiveness really looks like
• Greater productivity with less effort
• Improved creativity
• More effective relationships and improved engagement with others
Previous programmes have focused on the following subject areas:
• Leadership development
• Coaching for enhanced performance
• Developing individuals and teams
• Developing your management capability
• Agile thinking
• Strategic thinking
• Effective change management
Traditional coaching takes place primarily on a horizontal dimension – coaches assist people in getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. Yet lasting, sustainable change nearly always happens in the vertical dimension – a deepening of the ground of being of the client, giving them greater access to creativity, inspiration and higher wisdom.
This vertical approach is what we call “coaching from the inside out”. Here are typical signposts of someone who is being coached in this way:
• Productivity goes up with less conscious effort and less stress
• Results matter less than ever, and yet they produce them even more consistently
• They lose the fear of being “found out”, because they lose the need to “fake it ’til they make it”
Our role is to help you better grasp how thought, feeling and mind processes create the human state of mind and how that state of mind influences your ability to perform to your potential. We examine your challenges and opportunities in light of the role the human mind and thinking process. This takes place via conversation, inquiry and reflection. The focus is to examine issues from the perspective of the relationship between internal world and external events. Our coaching sessions provide support, challenge and feedback during this process.
There are two options for coaching packages:
1. A coaching intensive. This is where we work with someone over three or four consecutive days. This is an approach that we have been increasingly taking with people as it often leads to a deeper and more profound transformation. Following the intensive we would also have a number of follow-up conversations spread over several months.
2. Six sessions spread over several months. Each session lasts 1.5/2 hours. We would agree some overall goals and then work out an appropriate timescale for the sessions. This could be done face to face or over the telephone (or a combination).
Teams are critical to business performance. We can help a team to understand the stage of development they are at and what needs to happen to support movement to the next stage of development. A team can have the best strategy but if the culture is not right then the team will fail to deliver on its goals. We work with the team to understand how to create a culture that will sustain high performance.
• Designed and delivered a three stage leadership programme for the top 45 leaders in the central group function of a major UK retailer.
• Designed and delivered a four stage leadership programme for the board and senior leadership of an Asset Management firm.
• Support for 50 managers in managing the implementation of an online organisational change.
• Designed and delivered a management development programme for new managers in a global law firm.
• Providing coaching support for individuals who have been identified as future partners in a global law firm.
• Designed and delivered strategic thinking and agile thinking programmes for leaders within a fast moving retail business. These programmes are now part of the core leadership curriculum for this client.
• Designed and delivered several programmes for professional service firms. These have been for partners as well as managers and directors.
• Designed and delivered a three stage transition programme for graduates transitioning into their first leadership roles.
• Providing coaching support for individuals that have been identified as potential board directors.