Category Archives: The Factory Podcast – Interviews and Presentations on Careers

The Factory Podcast – Interviews and Presentations on Careers. Has all past interviews with likes of Krumboltz, Amundson, Lenz, Niles etc

Goals are not enough for success in a Chaotic world

Goals are promoted as the way to success in many coaching, counseling and training situations. Goals are not enough for success in a Chaotic world is the title of my latest youtube video embedded here.

The world changes, you change, change is inevitable except from a vending machine.  The point of this video is to overcome the concerns some have when I point out the shortcomings of goal setting.  There is an assumption that I am automatically advocating anarchy and that the only alternative to setting goals is mindless wandering, meandering and fatalistic acceptance of whatever comes our way.

However there is a more optimistic and practical view.  That is that it is unreasonable to expect or demand the world to stay still as we attempt to reach a goal, but that doesn’t mean we give up, rather that we should not think about goal setting as something we do early in the planning stage which is then followed by execution.  It is not a linear goal-setting – planning type process, rather it is cyclical, or in reality probably more like a DNA double helix of intertwined plans (or goals) and continually planning and revision.

I think that there is not enough emphasis put on the continual planning part of the process and this is why I have coined the term “planmanship” or planfulness if you prefer a less sexist label – to describe the continual process of devising plans, revising plans, copying plans, amending, freezing, recalling, nuancing, nudging and pushing plans.   All of these skills are assumed to be intact for the goal-setter, but rarely are these skills taught to people.  Nearly always, training involves telling people what they think a goal is (usually the awful Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based variety), and then getting people to articulate their goals.  Then it is straight off to implementation with lots of encouragement and injunctions to stay focused and to be persistent.  All of which are attempts to pretend that change doesn’t happen, and that sometimes SMART goals are very dumb and the smart person is better advised to abandon the smart goal, and instead get good at planmanship.

There is more on goals limiting the imagination here and on over-prescribing goals here and on goals and happiness here

What are you doing in your coaching to promote planmanship? How can we increase a person’s planmanship capacity?

Slow shift, fast shift, deep shift – Keynote Presentation to International Coaching Congress, Manly, Australia 2012

Shift: Slow shift, fast shift, deep shift – Keynote Presentation to International Coaching Congress, Manly, Australia 2012

How coaches can enhance their practice using shift principles.

Fast Shift Slow Shift Deep Shift Coaching using the Chaos Theory of Careers presented by Dr Jim Bright

Coaching is about change and therefore we need to embrace the ideas of fast shift – sudden change; slow shift – slow change, and we might end up in deep shift  – up shift creek!  Coaching focused on shift sets up a powerful way to interact with clients to help them survive and thrive in a world where shift happens.  This is a one hour keynote presentation by Dr Jim Bright at a coaching conference in 2012.

Make or Break Moments in Careers and Life

Make or Break Moments in Careers and Life

Are there moments in life that are make or break?  In Chaos Theory of Careers Terms, tipping points, where everything changes? Can we predict them, how do we deal with them?

This link here takes you to an ABC broadcast “Life Matters” where I was interviewed alongside Peter Fitzsimons, an ex Australian Rugby player, and now a prolific journalist and writer.  We discuss the nature of these events and how linear thinking and narrative can sometimes contribute to these events.

About midway through Sharelle McMahon a champion netballer shares her dramatic make or break story.

In the second half of the program, Dr Andrew Martin, a leading Educational Psychologist picks up on these ideas in relation to the make or break of final school year exams.

Sadly in the photograph below I was not given a box to stand on when surrounded by the giants of Dr Martin on my right, and Peter FitzSimons on my left!!!



Jim Bright talking change and chaos video from his Cannexus Keynote 2011

Here is a five minute video of my Keynote “Know Change and No Change: how I learned to love Chaos” presented at the Cannexus Career Development Conference in January 2011


If you like it, please mark it as liked on youtube and even leave a comment or two!

Jim Bright Keynote video clip on chaos, shift happening and spys in Ottawa

This is a 11 minute clip of my Keynote Know Change and No Change:how I learned to love chaos given to open the Cannexus Career Development Conference in Ottawa, January 2011.

The Factory Podcast Interview with the late Dick Bolles

The Factory Podcast Interview with Dick Bolles

Sadly, Dick died on Friday 31st March 2017 soon after his 90th birthday.  I am re-posting this interview that he generously granted me in 2010 in California.  In the interview amongst other things,  he discusses the idea of legacy.

Vale Dick Bolles.


Jim Bright 8th April 2017

The interview

I arranged to meet with Richard Nelson Bolles or Dick Bolles as he is otherwise known during the National Career Development Conference in 2010. He is no stranger to anyone as the author of the spectacularly popular What color is your parachute? self-help careers guide. I was interested in hearing what motivated him to write the book, how it came about and how his life took him in this particular direction.

His book has been published for more than 40 years and is updated every year – something that is very rare in publishing, let alone careers publishing.  Dick was concerned his book had been trimmed down for the recession the US was experiencing at the time and had resolved to increase the size of the book in the next edition.  The striking thing about the book is how the ideas are presented in very practical terms and always from the job hunters perspective. Nor is Dick afraid to tackle bigger subjects, and his religious training gives him the authority of voice to address issues of purpose very effectively.  This is an area of job hunting that is often overlooked, yet how common is it, that job hunters lose heart and motivation in the face of rejection?

The interview was recorded over lunch in a restaurant in the hotel in San Francisco. It was interesting and impressive to see several people including waiters come up to our table to thank Dick for his work, telling stories of how his book had improved their lives. In the interview, I ask Dick what he wants his legacy to be. His answer is very interesting. Enjoy!

Dick Bolles

Click on Dick’s photo, or the logo below to hear the podcast (49 mins).

Interview with author and all round careers guru, Dick Bolles, author of the 10 million selling What Color is your Parachute.