Why don’t we do healthy things?

Part 1 – Culture and business change


Hayley Caspers is a co-founder of an organisation called “What’s Possible.” The company was formed in 2009 and the organisation looks at ‘making the impossible possible in the human side of business’. Hayley has been doing this for 20 years with any sized business from global corporations to small tech start ups. As Hayley explains, culture is “the way we do things round here” and the skill of the What’s Possible group is that they are brought into an organisation, they quickly understand the culture and the drivers for change and they then help the people and entity to achieve that change.

Hayley and I worked together in the mid noughties (2005-2008) and she became a friend thereafter. She is a warm, wonderful and insightful human being. In this podcast, Hayley and I reminisced somewhat talking about where and how change needs to happen in organisations, resistance, egos and why she thinks a fundamental goal of employers should be to ensure that employees feel happy and safe at work.

The interesting overlap in our current roles is that organisations tend to only call “What’s Possible” when they are at a corporate crisis point and individuals often only really do something drastic to tackle their health when they are at a personal crisis point. We talked about motivation and how to find the ‘why’, without which change is unlikely.

Part 2 – Why don’t we do healthy things?

In this second podcast, I open by sharing the research from the Caerphilly population study which found that there are five healthy behaviours that can transform our quality years of life. These behaviours won’t come as a surprise: don’t smoke; do move; maintain a healthy weight; eat a healthy diet (there is some debate as to what that is); and drink alcohol in moderation. The fascinating finding from this study was that just 5% of people follow four or more of these healthy behaviours and this has not changed between 1979 and 2009.

Hayley and I thus explored – when we know what to do – why don’t we do it? Hayley kicked off with a great quotation: “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”
We explored – can we encourage people to see the pain coming? Would that stimulate change before crisis points are reached?

Does Australia (where Hayley is from) approach health differently to the UK? What’s the difference between beliefs and facts and how do beliefs get in the way of progress? What about limiting beliefs? How can we see what might be holding us back and address it? We closed with the four stages of learning model but I think both of us came to some really interesting insights along the way – we hope that you do too!

You can find more about Hayley at http://www.whatspossible.co.uk/

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