Is it time for us to put on Gorilla suits?

Carmen dressed as a monkey

Embracing change requires discernment, patience… and knowing when it’s right to wear a gorilla suit

By Peter Foy

Recently I wrote about attending the Neil Young and Bob Dylan concert in Hyde Park. In that piece I voiced my disappointment at Dylan’s reinterpretation of one of his songs, Like a Rolling Stone, and contrasted it with Neil Young's faithful recreation of his greatest hits.

The day after the concert I took another dip into London's cultural scene with a visit to the Royal Opera House to see Bizet's Carmen. I am not going to write a review of that experience, but I will share with you three brief observations.

  1. The singing was sublime
  2. The orchestra was magnificent
  3. Carmen made her first appearance on stage dressed in a gorilla suit
    There is a balancing act between embracing innovation and maintaining stability.  

Yup, that's right: she was dressed as a gorilla. Now, you don't have to be an opera buff to know that this is not a normal costume for the role. Barrie Kosky has re-imagined a staple of the opera canon, shaking up a number of traditionalists along the way, in the same way that Dylan re-imagined his own work in the previous day's concert.

This got me thinking about when we should be sticking with the tried and tested and when is it time to introduce some disruption. Not just in the arts but also in the business world.An orchestra

We are witnessing unprecedented change in the commercial arena. The retail sector's retreat from the High Street. Crypto-currencies challenging the very core of traditional business models. Artificial Intelligence potentially heralding the advent of a new industrial revolution. Brexit, Climate Change, the rise of Populism. The list gets longer by the day.

During the 40-year span of my professional life I have seen jobs that once provided work for millions completely disappear. Other technologies, and the employment opportunities they created, have emerged, blossomed and then withered away. The pace of change has been fast and is accelerating. At the same time there have been some solid bastions of the economy that remain a constant, a steadying counterpoint to the innovators.

I have witnessed the world's stock markets seduced by the promise of new technologies only to crash, Icarus like, back to earth: the dot com bubble of the 1990s became the dot com crash of 2000-2002.

There needs to be a balancing act between embracing innovation and maintaining a stable economy. It's an issue that's as old as the hills; think of the South Sea Bubble of 1720 or the Railway Mania of the 1840s. Investors have always seen the advent of a new idea as a way of making a quick buck. Sometimes it works. Often it ends in tears.

Innovation has always been the locomotive of history and change is inevitable. I may not be ready for a gorilla in my favourite opera, but I'm prepared to embrace change. It is all about balance, discernment on the part of those making decisions about the best course of action, and patience.

I leave the final word to a poet from 1960s:

"...don't criticise
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'"

I wonder what became of that wise prophet...

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

Published on 18 June 2019

If you enjoyed this article, to you may like: Five ways to make your people more creative

You may also enjoy: How employers can close the social mobility gap


Jobs currently available

Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £18,000 - £22,000 per annum
Location: Chelmsford
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909015
About the role

Just Recruitment is looking for a driver to join a large and well-established business, with multiple branches across the UK.

This position will be based at their Chelmsford branch.

The role involves delivering various items to locations in and around the Chelmsford area.

You must have a full clean driving licence and have experience of driving either transit or LWB vans.

Working Hours:

  • 45 per week Mon-Fri 7:30 - 5 plus 2 Saturday mornings (8am-12pm) per month - paid at overtime rates!


  • Salary Negotiable.
  • Attendance bonus scheme.
  • Company pension scheme.
  • Shared profit scheme.
  • Uniform and PPE provided.

Duties will include:

  • Deliveries in and around Chelmsford
  • Assisting with various warehouse duties
  • Proving a friendly service to customers and other staff whilst out on the road and within the branch as and when required.
  • Working with the team to ensure the branch runs smoothly and customers are delighted with the service.

In order to be considered for this role you must have worked in a similar role, have excellent IT skills and a good telephone manner.

This is a great opportunity to join an organisation that promotes from within, provides extra training and development and further company benefits.

Read more
Workshop Technician/Mechanic
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £17,500 - £27,000 per annum
Location: Hadleigh
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909014
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Workshop Technician/Mechanic on behalf of a leading independent parts specialists based on the outskirts of Sudbury, Suffolk.


  • £17,500 - £27,000 depending on experience.

Great working environment in a high-spec workshop with heating and insulated flooring, to ensure employees are comfortable all year round.

Duties include:

  • Repair and refurbish motors and gearboxes.
  • Stripping down engines.
  • Disassemble and fix parts.
  • Complete root-cause analysis.


  • 23 days annual leave, plus bank holidays.
  • Free parking.
  • Profit share scheme, available after probation.
  • Medical scheme, available after probation.
  • PPE provided including boots and company branded tshirts / fleeces.
  • Training courses.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a great company offering lots of progression and excellent benefits.

Candidates must drive due to the location of the company, and will occasionally be required to drive company vehicles.



Read more
Business Development & Account Manager
Sector: Sales
Salary: To be discussed on application
Location: Witham
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909013
About the role

Are you looking to work for an exciting new start-up business offering a great opportunity for you to grow?

Have you worked to targets, and enjoy selling?

Just Recruitment  is delighted to be recruiting for an Account Manager for our client based in Witham.

The role of the Account Manager is to build and develop relationships with new members, working with them throughout their one month free trial and ultimately upgrading them to a paying member.

There will be no cold calling in this role, all leads have come to express their interest!

If you love working in a team, talking to new people, have worked in sales before and have good verbal and written skills then this could be the role for you!

This is a full-time, permanent role working Monday – Friday.




Read more
Legal Secretary
Sector: Law and Security
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Clacton on Sea
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909000
About the role

Just Recruitment is excited to be recruiting for one of the East of England’s longest established Legal Firms.

Operating for over 250 years, they are a full-service law firm, which has doubled in sized over the past four years, and they are looking to expand further by hiring a new Legal Secretary for their Clacton branch.

They are looking for someone with experience of;

  • Electronic diary management.
  • Telephone liaison.
  • Front of house/reception duties.
  • Digital transcription systems.
  • Using accounts software.
  • Various other clerical and administrative duties.

The ideal candidate will have experience working as a Legal Secretary, with a genuine passion for building a career within the law.

They must also have fast typing speeds and the ability to multi-task effectively.

In return you will receive;

  • A competitive salary.
  • 20 days holiday + bank holidays.
  • Contributory pension scheme.
  • As well as a whole host of other benefits.
Read more