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The Credit Services Association (CSA)
Blog: Driving innovation in debt collection by changing the way you think
Professor Damian Hughes, international speaker, author, sports psychology consultant and Professor of Organisational Psychology and Change, will be delivering a follow-up to his talk at the Credit Services Association’s UK Credit & Collections Conference in 2016 at this year’s conference in September 2017. Book your place here: http://ukccc.csa-uk.com/
What can the debt collection sector learn from the world of sport? As I demonstrated at last year’s UK Credit & Collections Conference; perhaps more than you would think. At this year’s event, I’ll be taking things one step further to help delegates understand how to change the way they think to drive innovation in a sector that is rapidly evolving.
When was the last time you sat for an hour of pure, unadulterated thinking? If you’re like most people, it’s been a while. Is this simply a function of our high-speed era? Perhaps not. The absurdly talented George Bernard Shaw – a world-class writer and a founder of the London School of Economics – noted this thought deficit many years ago. “Few people think more than two or three times a year,” Shaw reportedly said. “I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.”
As part of my session I will identify three common trapdoors that we need to be aware of falling through.
Double loop learning
Listening is to hearing what seeing is to looking. Our brain’s persistent and hard-wired preoccupation for taking short cuts means we get simple things wrong quite often and most likely in a busy working environment
Also, think about the last time you were genuinely surprised.
Most people possess a model of the world, a script for how things should be. What stops innovation is the lack of willingness to double back and revisit our scripts and determine whether they are helpful or not.
The Knowledge Trap
Let’s say that you are excellent at a given thing, a true master of your domain. Does this mean you are also more likely to excel in a different domain?
Business managers believe that when they have clicked through a PowerPoint presentation showcasing their conclusions, they’ve successfully communicated their ideas. All they’ve really done is share data. If they’re good speakers, they may have created an enhanced sense, amongst colleagues and peers, that they are decisive or motivational. But the surprise comes when they realise that nothing they’ve said has had a lasting impact. They’ve shared data but they haven’t created ideas that are useful and lasting. Nothing stuck.
Given the obvious importance of courage to successful coaches, it is amazing to note how little coverage it receives. There are loads of books about risk avoidance and management and very little about the positive nature of courage. Whilst courage is no guarantee of success, it is obvious that to take action without displaying some sort of bravery is an effective way of preventing success.
What is courage? My own favourite definition of the word is the original meaning of it, which is ‘to speak your own mind with all your heart’.
It was the Stone Roses singer Ian Brown who once said that “it doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s where you’re at.” Changing your thinking is something we can all do.