S Salone, 40, is based in Paris
as vice-president of learning and development for rail products manufacturer Alstom Transport. He explains his
role in providing opportunities for staff worldwide.
What does your role involve?
the most opportunities for development of our people worldwide, while ensuring
there is a contribution to the bottom line of the organisation. This involves
traditional training, e-learning, performance management, succession planning,
and change management.
What are the best aspects of the job?
want to be active in the people development process, and in my role, I get to
help them take charge.
What is your current major training project
or strategic push?
First, the improvement of our virtual university
– the Alstom Learning Institute.
along with Cole-McKee Partnership, we’ve developed specialised workshops for
the management teams, interactive communication tools for cascading, and a
short interactive and information quiz online in nine languages.
third, the Alstom
Leadership Programme – a traditional format of development programmes designed
to increase the competencies of our future leaders. The thing that has made
this different is the online Priority Plan where employees inter-act with their
managers to determine their development priorities.
What impact would you like to have on your
Alstom is made up of a lot
of different company cultures, through mergers, joint ventures and
acquisitions, I would be extremely satisfied if one day all employees spoke
with one company voice while maintaining their local qualities. Learning and
development plays a key role in making this happen.
What did you want to do for a living when
you were at school?
a boy growing up near the ocean in Florida,
I always wanted to be Jacques Cousteau’s replacement and become an
oceanographer. The closest I’ve come to that is living in France!
How do you think your job will have changed
in five years’ time?
don’t think the fundamentals of the job will have changed as much as the tools
available. We will certainly have to be increasingly responsive and cheaper as
How do you get the best from people?
By giving them my best and providing autonomy,
respect, and achievable goals.
What is the most essential tool of your job?
gut! I have all the technology and a lot of HR experience, but if something
doesn’t look, sound, or feel right, there’s usually a good reason not to do it
without checking it out more carefully.
Which is the best management book you have
have lots of books but two stick out in my mind as nailing down the principles
of management: In Search of Excellence
(Thomas J Peters and Robert H Waterman, Jr)
and The One Minute Manager (Spencer
Johnson and Kenneth H Blanchard) are still my favourites. They’re basic, but
powerful, and not so stuck on theory as much as reality.
Describe your dream job
selling suntan lotion on the beach in St Tropez, I’d say I have my dream job
article originally appeared in Training
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