Top job: Neil Fletcher, head of Honda Institute, Honda

Where were you working before?

I was with Ford as a business manager, working with car dealers to improve their business processes.

What qualifications do you hold?

BSc (Hons) geography.

What are the duties in your role?

I am responsible for the strategy and delivery of people development to support the growth of our retail businesses, reporting to the head of HR and legal.

What main challenges does HR face in the next five years?

To provide the right environment, information and framework for the business. Also to show what value HR adds to a business, and to attract and retain the best talent.

What is the essential tool in your job?

Patience.

And the most overrated?

E-mail.

What is the worst thing about HR?

Having to be right all the time – other areas have the luxury of commercial trial and error. This can make HR departments risk-averse and slow to deliver.

What is the most annoying piece of management jargon?

Talk about strategy and brand.

Who is your ultimate hero?

Mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary – his achievements motivated a generation.

What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?

Interviewing former England rugby captain Martin Johnson in front of invited guests before an Ireland v England match in Dublin. Great, but strange.

How do you fill your spare time?

With my family – wife Sarah, daughter Lucy (8) and son Jack (5). And playing cricket, tennis and golf.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Determined, personable and honest.

What is your favourite web page?

BBC news/sport.

What song gets you on the dance floor?

Car Wash by Rose Royce.

What is your worst habit?

Being five minutes late.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Bungee jumping to conquer my fear of heights.

What three items would you take on a desert island?

My iPod, a photo of the family, and a huge book, such as War and Peace.

Who would play you in the film of your life and why?

Daniel Craig – it would fulfil the Bond fantasy.

What is the best office party you’ve ever attended?

The Honda F1 Racing end of season party in Shanghai a couple of years ago.

Sum up your philosophy on life in one sentence

Be positive, be honest with people, try new things and enjoy what you do.

Fletcher’s CV

Jul 2001-Dec 2007
UK sales manager, Honda

Jul 1997-Jun 2001
Brand manager, Honda

Oct 1996-Jun 1997
Marketing programmes manager, Honda

Sep 1994-Sep 1996
Business manager, Ford

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