Top job: Lyn Harper, director of learning and development, Morrison

Where were you working before, and what were your responsibilities?

I was with the Al Naboodah Construction Group in Dubai, as its group head of learning and development (L&D), communications and marketing.

What qualifications do you hold?

I have an MSc in strategic personnel and development, a City & Guilds senior management award (masters level). I am a fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

What are the duties in your new role?

Creating, leading and developing the L&D function.


Harper’s CV

  • May 2009-present
    Director of learning and development, Morrison (facilities services)

  • Feb 2008-May 2009
    Group head of learning and development, communications and marketing, Al Naboodah Construction Group, Dubai (construction)

  • Sep 2004-Feb 2008 Senior learning and development business partner, Carillon (construction)

  • Jul 2003-Aug 2004 Head of management and employee development, Maintrain (engineering)
What are the main challenges HR faces in the next five years?

Supporting organisations through the current economic situation. This gives L&D the opportunity to prove its value and show how it can make a difference.

What is the worst thing about HR?

That it is seen as responsible for everything.

How do you wind down after a bad day at the office?

Busy days yes, bad days no. I enjoy sitting with a G&T by my garden pond.

What was your lucky break?

Working as a Post Office branch manager. The attached training establishment provided me with my first taste of training and that was it for me – I knew where my future lay.

What do you regret about your career?

Not enhancing my career prospects early on.

Tell us something about yourself that no-one else knows.

I’m a ‘girl racer’. I love fast sports cars, and really would like the thrill of driving one at speed around a circuit.

Who was your childhood hero?

Comic character Bunty. She was a girl’s best friend, and having a copy of the comic, along with the doll and her paper clothes ready to be cut-out from the back page, was heaven.

What advice would you give someone starting out in HR?

Take risks. Roles I thought would be the biggest risks have been the most rewarding.

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