Where were you working before and what were your duties?
I was HR director at Inchcape. For the last 12 months, I was responsible for developing a global leadership competency framework and performance management process.
What qualifications do you hold?
BA in business studies, and member of the Institute of Directors.
What are the duties in your current role?
I am responsible for developing and delivering HR strategy, overseeing a harmonisation programme and reviewing business planning processes – a first for me in a not-for-profit role.
What are the main challenges HR faces in the next five years?
Having a workforce that has the right skills to meet the ever-changing demands of customers.
What is the essential tool in your job?
My ability to connect with people at all levels.
And the most overrated?
E-mail – people use it to replace genuine and meaningful communication.
What is the worst thing about HR?
Still having to explain the difference between HR and personnel.
What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?
At Safeway, I stopped a shoplifter who had put a frozen chicken down his trousers. Needless to say his walk back to the office was somewhat uncomfortable.
Who is your ultimate hero?
What is the most annoying piece of management jargon?
‘Let’s park that one’.
How do you fill your spare time?
I give careful and considered advice to football referees on Saturday afternoons.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Dynamic, friendly and innovative.
What is your favourite website?
Ebay.co.uk – it never ceases to amaze me what some people are willing to buy.
What song gets you on the dancefloor?
Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.
What is your worst habit?
Saying in 50 words what I could say in 10.
What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
Changing career from a supermarket manager to HR. I studied for eight years part-time and took a drop in salary. I don’t regret it for a single moment.
What three items would you take to a desert island?
My wife, my son, and an endless supply of fresh drinking water.
What is the best office party you’ve ever attended?
The one I remember very little about.
Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
Stephen Covey – an inspirational storyteller.
Head of HR and administration, LHA ASRA Group (housing, regeneration and community services)
Apr 2006-May 2007
Group HR manager, Inchcape (automotive retailing)
Mar 2003-Apr 2006
HR director, Inchcape
Jun 1994-Mar 2003
Senior HR executive, Safeway