Brian Woodhead, former Customer Services Director, London Underground Ben Renshaw, Leadership Consultant Jess Fraser, Arup Kathryn de Kort, Arup The presentation began with a rather disconcerting but powerful reflection on the mindsets of the presenters: they were each asked to indicate what kind of day…
Ian Beer – Personal Profile
How would you describe what you do?
Our company name is “The Mojo Project.” That is what we help people and organisations find: their performance mojo. Often this involves change: guiding clients through self-awareness, understanding, adapting/connecting and – eventually – valuing behaviours/relationships.
What was your first role as a business psychology practitioner?
Thinking back, it would have been pretty much accidentally when I was UK sales effectiveness lead at a mighty US industrial technology corporate. My job description contained the usual expectations around coaching and training. Yet I started to notice that the relationships with product distributors, with customers and between internal business units were where all the real opportunities lay. Needless to say the role grew and morphed into something more like a business psychology practice!
What has been your greatest role or achievement so far?
Setting sail as an independent, free agent in 2013. A leap of faith that continues to surprise and delight.
What has been your biggest challenge as a business psychology practitioner?
Being patient. I am quite the eager beaver and once a course of action is – at least, to me – clear, then my instinct is “crack on”. Spoiler alert: This is not how everyone works. Who knew? Well, not me apparently, for years. This is – of course – a lesson I continually re-learn with the myriad, rich and complex textures that make people/organisational development so fascinating.
Which advice has helped you the most?
“Don’t just do something, stand there!” Learning to trust the room, allow the group a beat to gather its own thoughts and then finding its own way. (I fear my facilitation in the past might have been a touch overbearing…)
If not business psychology, what would you love to do?
Saxophonist! Ideally touring as what musos call a “sideman” in a horn section or maybe a full-on Big Band. (Am open to offers.) If not that, then perhaps a travel writer? Our family travel blog has been active since 2012: https://aroundtheworldin84days.wordpress.com/ Maybe there is a micro-niche for a travel-blogging-horn-player?
How do you spend your spare time?
In a heartbeat I used to proclaim “traveling!” Maybe sometime soon… The offspring are soon to fly the nest for university: I sense this is our last year of living cheek by jowl. These strange times will be remembered in a bittersweet fashion once they are gone as we have spent all our spare time together as a family. So, a little more travel with my partner please. Then there’s the cooking, cycling, walking, music and practical stuff – servicing the car, decorating, building work and the like…
Who do you most admire, and why?
Gilly – my partner – has retrained and reinvented her profession: she is now thriving as a therapeutic counsellor. She has my undying admiration for the journey she has been on and helps so many people.
What, for you, does the future of business psychology look like?
It is a field that is on the up. Many conversations with business leaders alight upon the realisation that product, systems, tech’ and organisation charts alone are not the key to unleashing potential. I look forward to helping people be creative in making the future bright.
Music Choice of the Day:
You’re getting 2 answers:
- Why not let other people choose the groove? Tune in to BBC Radio 6 Music on a Saturday afternoon. Gilles Peterson showcasing gems from across the planet from 3PM and then kitchen dancing with the Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show from 6. (And of course, every day can be Saturday with the BBC Sounds App.)
- My current album of choice is Gentleman from Curtis Stigers. (If you are old – like me – you’ll recall him from the 1980s? Well, he has reinvented, making some sublime music that soothes and grooves. Check him out.)