Top job: Gavin Jones, director of cultural change, Swindon Borough Council

Gavin Jones has been appointed to the new position of director of cultural change at Swindon Borough Council. He will be head of a directorate of more than 500 council staff offering a wide number of services ranging from IT, personnel and training, education and the arts and community.

Where were you working before and what were your duties?

I was vice-president of customer services and marketing for a company called SITA, which provides information and telecom solutions to the air transport and related industries.

What are the duties in your new role?

In a nutshell, to put in place a series of programmes that help transform the council and enable it to become a top performer. In terms of activity, I need to put in place a corporate structure that is capable of delivering functional leadership across the council as a whole. To implement a performance management culture that drives accountability through the organisation and develops staff potential to its full.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

To play a major part in turning round the fortunes of the council, so that we are seen as high performing, and that staff feel they have played a key role in our success.

Which aspects are you most looking forward to?

Building a ‘can do’ culture and seeing those people that have real potential realising that potential.

Who is the ultimate guru?

My wife – who else?!

What is your essential viewing?

I watch very little television, but I do like Grand Designs.

What’s the best thing about HR?

If you get it right, it can help a business realise its greatest asset – its people.

How do you fill your spare time?

Not much left these days, but I play guitar in a rock band and write music.

What is the essential tool in your job?

Common sense – it’s easy to get consumed by the buzzwords and acronyms.

Do you network?

Not as much as I should – networking is not only good for you as an individual, it’s an additional source of tremendous knowledge and information.

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

Robert Redford, because my wife likes him – Redford is a bit wrinkly like me!

Jones’s CV

2004 Director of cultural change, Swindon Borough Council

2000 Vice-president customer services and marketing, SITA

1998 Business development director, Spring IT

1991 Business development director, Galileo International

1988 Principle IT consultant, TSB Trust Company

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