Giving managers their wings

month, Dunlop-Aerospace’s recently appointed learning and development manager
Simon A J Cutler, 39, reveals his hopes for training both senior staff and

How long have you been in this job?
Four months

How long have you been with your organisation?
Four months

What does your role involve?
I have a blank sheet of paper to write my own job description and I’m
currently scoping some very big topics such as management development, the
management of IIP, our modern apprenticeship schemes and looking at competency
development in technical and management skills.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The people at Dunlop and the new challenge and opportunities which lie in
front of me.

What is your current major project or strategic push?
We are going through IIP assessment in September so preparations for this
are taking up my time. We are an approved centre for engineering training and I
am also looking at how we manage the quality and standards of that training.

What was the worst course you ever went on?
Fortunately, I have not yet experienced a poor course.

What did you want to do for a living when you were at school?
Professional golfer

What was your first job?
Delivering a milk round when I was 15.

What was the worst career decision you ever made?
I do not think I have made one.

What was the best career decision you ever made?
Moving into HR management around 12 years ago from operational management
in hotels.

Evaluation – holy grail or impossible dream?
Neither. It is essential because it is important to cascade the benefits of
evaluation to teams in order to enhance the business from a learning and
development function.

Which of your qualifications do you most value and why?
My CIPD because it has given me a professional platform and recognition in
the HR field.

How do you think your job will have changed in five years time?
Greater responsibility and accountability for learning and development.

What do you think the core skills for your job will be in the future?
The same as they are now: communication, influencing, innovating, creating
opportunities and inspiring people.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in training and
Gain the professional qualifications in HR management.

How do you network?
E-mail, phone, attending learning and development events.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
I am extremely comfortable in my new role and hope that I can progress to
be learning and development director. As long as my work involves motivating
people to get the best from themselves, I will be happy.

Do you take your work home?

What is your motto?
I have a type of mission statement for my life which is adapted from The 7
"Life is very simple; what is important is your family, your good health,
the friends you keep and the desire to do your best in your chosen

Describe your management style in three words or less
Positive, communicative, responsible

How would you like to be remembered by your colleagues?
As a true friend

Up close and personal

Favourite buzzwords?
Innovating, inspiring, creating, learning and development.

Most loathed buzzwords?
"I do not have time"

Are you good at self development?

What self development have you done in the last six months?
Extended my own research into management competencies and expanded my

Where do you want to be in five years time?
In my current role but seeing it evolve into that of learning and
development director.

What was the most useful course you ever went on or learning
experience you ever had?
My CIPD course

Which is the best management book you have ever read?
Any of the range of books by management guru Tom Peters and The 7 Habits of
 Highly Effective People by
Stephen Covey.

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