Discovering Original

Virgin grew out of and thrives upon entrepreneurial thinking. With that mindset always front and centre, our latest Spotlight theme on Virgin.com is Discovering Original, which delves into the power of problem solving in unique, exciting, surprising ways.

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I’m often asked how I tackle obstacles in business and the simple answer is I see challenges as opportunities. Virgin is always trying to disrupt industries and make our customers lives easier with what we offer.

We find our best ideas by speaking to our people and our customers – they are at the heart of every decision we make. There are so many examples from all of our Virgin companies - from Virgin Active South Africa coming up with innovative solutions to the water shortage in the Western Cape to Virgin Trains texting passengers platform information updates ahead of their journey.

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I think business has a huge role to play in leading the charge on problem solving. With this in mind, we’re also partnering up with Virgin Media Business to bring back the Voom Podcast for its fourth series, delving deeper into this topic.

I also think we are at our most productive and creative when we are happy and being ourselves at work – so at Virgin Management we try and find ways to support our people to be the best they can be, whether this is with learning and development, parental leave policies or unlimited holiday.

Our latest guest editor Poppy Jamie has moved away from a TV presenting career to launch Happy Not Perfect with the mission to help people feel better regardless of what is happening around them.

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In her editor’s letter she encourages you to use “the others” mindset and focus on other people instead of yourself. She explains how it can help your mental health and happiness to give someone else a bit more confidence, attention or reassurance.

I think there are a few great ways to find time to do this every day:

1.            Make time. The day can often slip by in a hurried blur so it’s important to set aside time for the most important people in your life. A regular lunchtime stroll, a family dinner or even a Facetime call can really make a difference.

2.            Listen to your loved ones. When spending time with the people who are most important to you, make them feel important and valued by listening. When someone is talking to you, don’t just sit there waiting to answer and to tell them all about how this relates to you. Have empathy and think about what they are going through and really listen to what they have to say. This isn’t about you, it’s about them.

3.            Act on it. Once you’ve got an insight into what’s going on in someone’s life, think about what you could do to make someone feel better or make them smile. Can you do something to lighten someone’s workload or make their life a little easier?

Shifting to this mindset requires small change that could make a huge difference. Give it a go for a day and share how you get on – I’d love to hear about the impact it has had on your life.

 

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