Graham Borley, 47, development manager at Panasonic UK,
explains the changes to his job which have led to him operating as a consultant
to the business
How long have you been in this job?
Almost three years
What does your role involve?
My role has changed dramatically since July 1999, when I was employed to
bring an outsourced training function back within the organisation. Over the
past three years, we have successfully moved training in-house (saving around
40 per cent on budget and improving quality), introduced an electronic system
to manage staff development and performance management, and moved the
department’s role to be a more reactive consultancy.
What are the best and worst things about this job?
This is a great company to practice people development. One of the core
values is ‘we make people before products’, and the development team is
responsible for making this happen.
The most difficult element of this role is in providing the support which
people need to grow within the confines of the annual budget.
What is your current major training project or strategic push?
Last year, we completely rewrote the job profile and competence sets for all
roles in the organisation. We are now using these for the 360-degree review
process that forms the major part of the company’s training needs analysis. We
are currently working on the next two phases. The first is the introduction of
a performance management system, incorporating the balanced scorecard approach
to goal setting and key performance standards, and the second involves
succession planning for future leader and business critical roles.
What did you want to do for a living when you were at school?
I wanted to climb mountains. I didn’t manage to make a career out of this
but I did achieve one ambition when I climbed some of the Everest range in
Which of your qualifications do you most value and why?
The MBA I recently completed from Oxford Brookes as it is the most recent
and adds a real business emphasis to the MSc in Human Resource Management I
gained a couple of years ago.
Do you think evaluation is the Holy Grail or an impossible dream?
Evaluating the impact of learning events is critical for T&D departments
if they want to be taken seriously. However, it is extremely difficult to
eliminate all other possible influences and to show the pure return from
How do you think your job will have changed in five years?
The whole HR function has to get closer to the business and create
measurable ways of proving contribution towards organisational goals.
What do you think will be the core skills for your job in the future?
The role is changing from just offering an annual curriculum of courses, to
being a consultant with a wide range of solutions.
What advice would you give to someone new to training and development?
There is more to this job than course delivery. Make the time to get a full
understanding of the role and be prepared to learn.