How old are you and where do you work?
I’m 33 and I work for hotel and leisure company De Vere Group in Warrington, Cheshire.
What does your job involve?
I work in the organisation development team, which is responsible for the design, implementation and evaluation of company-wide people development solutions.
What types of courses/events do you organise?
A real variety: recently I’ve been working on our cultural change programme, new management development materials and a new approach to induction across the group.
How and why did you get into training/L&D?
Like most training people, I was a disillusioned operator frustrated by the ‘disconnect’ between operational relevance and our company training initiatives. I was working for a great company who really listened and an operations director who gave me a shot at a training job.
What course or programme are you working on?
I’m looking at a different approach to developing the facilitation skills of our management teams. I’m designing materials that are straightforward and effective development interventions to encourage a wider breadth of accountability of training. We want all of our people to support development, not just a selected few trainers.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Hopefully still working within an organisation where being original and creative are talents that are recognised and utilised. The cultural fit is just as important as the work I do. I’ve had some great opportunities to work on some interesting projects and would really like to continue with this kind of work and develop my approach.
What’s the best training event you’ve attended?
Working on the recent rollout of our corporate values programme. Working as a facilitator with most of the senior managers within our organisation has not only been incredibly interesting and a great challenge, but certainly developed my facilitation skills. It was also a really emotive programme which I felt privileged to be part of and quite proud of.
How do you measure the impact of the training you deliver/organise?
On a number of different evaluative levels, but ultimately on the operational performance. Making commercial sense and building capability for future growth are the starting point for every development intervention I design. Good development in industry should have its roots firmly grounded in commercial growth, personal development and organisational profitability
What advice would you give to someone setting out on a career in training/L&D?
Be yourself, however different or unique you are. Experience has shown me that the best companies are looking for something new – the ordinary they can find anywhere. Be special and you’ll stand out.
Who would play you in a film of your life?
Sandra Bullock. Her quirky style, ability to produce and present while maintaining her sense of humour really resonate with me.