Ever Heard of the ‘Jonah Complex’?

Are you running from something you know you really need to do?

Ever heard of the ‘Jonah Complex’?

Possibly not – not many people have heard of the Jonah Complex. It doesn’t seem to get a lot of air-time alongside things like ‘Imposter Syndrome’ and some of the other better known ways of thinking about our many peculiarities.

But I think the Jonah Complex deserves some time in the limelight. It has a lot to offer, especially in this brave new world where so many people are reaching for a more balanced, purposeful way of living and working and where we really can’t afford people’s best talents to go to waste!

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A High Tide

Anyone can identify the talent that shouts, we want to find the talent that whispers too.

One of the greatest things about working in learning is the boundless curiosity of those around you; unfortunately it can also be one of the worst things about our profession too. We are, far too often, enamoured with the latest shiny thing and, as such, open to the accusation that we’re “fluffy” rather than commercial.

Yet our role in business is simple: to make it better. Our job is to improve the quality of our people and make the organisation better at what it does. As Sergei would say “simples”…

So why do we often get it so wrong?

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Change, not chaos…in five steps

We’re all on a change journey, and that journey will call upon us to develop different things at different times. Your chance of success and avoiding chaos is greatly enhanced by the amount of time you spend on preparation.

I was listening to a podcast recently in which a prominent CHRO commented that “the world has changed, it’s chaotic and unruly and our leaders need to be able to operate effectively in chaos”. Surely we want change not chaos.

Now I don’t know about you but that’s not a sales pitch I’m warming to. I’d agree that things certainly seem to be heading that way; I’m not sure we’re enjoying it…is anyone getting a kick out of Brexit? Somebody else once told me “never hire anyone who tells you they’re good in a crisis – you’ll always be in one”.

And yet it seems to me that all we need to escape the chaos is a little process, and some structure, to help us find our way out of the darkness. What’s frustrating is how bad we are at doing just that.  I work for an engineering business and we love a process – we just love following them less!

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