July 11, 2022
Terri O'Brien

The Will to Change Starts with a Shift in Mindset

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Recently, I have been thinking a lot about how and why we grow. When I look back on my career, I can pinpoint definitive transformational moments of growth, and each of these have something in common: They required me to reach beyond myself, to see things differently, or to change my mindset. Growth can feel uncomfortable, but I am fortunate to have a supportive network of friends, family, colleagues and mentors – all of whom provide diverse perspectives. But in the quiet moments of thought and introspection, I find myself reaching for a book for guidance and insight.

I love to read and one of the most impactful books I have read recently is The Outward Mindset by The Arbinger Institute. Both personally, and professionally, this book has helped me understand that “the biggest lever for change is a fundamental change in the way one sees and regards one’s connections with and obligations to others.”[1] In other words, if we want to elicit change we need to shift our mindset from inward-focused on solving our own problems first, to outward-focused in truly helping others overcome their challenges.

Changing your mindset is key to changing any area of your life, including work. Our mindset influences our choices and our actions. Everyone has a mindset that governs their behaviour and it is shaped by our life’s journey, our lived experiences, and our views on life.

What exactly is an outward mindset? Here are some of the key attributes:

·       An outward mindset is open-minded and other-centred;

·       An outward mindset is focused on being helpful to others first and adjusting our efforts to do so;

·       Adopting an outward mindset allows us to examine the needs, objectives, and challenges of others first.

People and organizations get stuck when they have an inward mindset because when we are focused on solving our own problems first, our perception is not necessarily focused on our members or customers. Outward-mindset people and organizations help others to be able to achieve their goals and find solutions first, which thereby solves the organizational problems too.

Équité Association is the product of a collective outward mindset. Insurance fraud and crime has devastating impacts on the lives of many Canadians. The industry came together to address these issues, and to try to make a positive and tangible change to the insurance landscape for all Canadians. We believe in the power of possibility; that, if we collaborate, augment the power of data and intelligence, and invest in key partnerships we can and will eradicate insurance fraud in the next decade.

As a leader, I try to spearhead the shift from inward to outward mindset by focusing on the collective result, my role in it, and how I can support our members in eradicating insurance fraud. I also encourage my teams and all Équité employees to do the same.

At Équité, we are cultivating a culture focused on others, with the core principle of “investing in each other’s success”. Our employee-led Culture Committee ensures that we are building a people-focused culture by creating a positive, caring, high-performance work environment.

We try to take good care of one another by integrating our professional and personal lives in a way that focuses on results rather than routine. We participate in a Mental Health Committee that supports and educates employees about mental health and wellness, and we are investing in our members every day by helping them minimize the impact of insurance crime on their customers.

When we shift from an inward mindset to an outward mindset, we operate from a place of genuine kindness and thoughtfulness. We also improve performance, spark collaboration, and accelerate innovation. The possibilities are endless and the rewards are limitless.

[1] The Outward Mindset, The Arbinger Institute