Unusually, 'helping people to learn' is all I have ever done.
At the age of 21 I was told to go into a room of managers who had been managers since before I was born, and make them better managers in a day. Well there's more to it than that, but that's essentially the way it was. I survived that day, and have been doing that and more for the past 36 years.
I was a management trainer in local government and later the road transport industry thoughout the 1980s, and since 1992 I have been self employed which I like as I can choose with whom I work, and just as important with whom I do not.
I recognise that creating sustainable change for the better by developing talent is harder now than ever before. For this reason I work closely with clients to genuinely understand all the variables that I know impact on successful application of learning to the workplace.
I turn down more work than I take on. These days I mostly work one to one with truly motivated people supporting them as they really work on developing their skills and fulfilling their potential.
My work is driven by these principles:
Return on investment
I will not undertake any work until I have agreed with the client a reasonable
and attributable financially measured value that considerably exceeds the
cost of a learning programme. For this reason I will typically exceed
contracted time and support to those with whom I work.
If this seems a pain in the behind that other providers don't insist on, then
that's fine, we just found out we aren't suited to work together.
Working in partnership
My preference is to work with, and not just for a client. I expect to have
reasonable access to and interest from the client, and to keep a dialogue
going throughout an assignment.
If you are more used to working with a provider that simply leaves you alone,
and expects nothing from you but to pay invoices allowing you to do a
disappearing act, then stick with you are working with - frankly I expect more.
If I feel something needs to be said I will say it. I will not hide from bringing
issues of concern to the attention of a client.
I am not confrontative, I can be challenging to a client that is accustomed to
working with those that simply maintain the status quo and don't genuinely
seek long term changes for the better.
I will not undertake any work that I feel cannot be done to at the very least the standards I expect of myself.
If I cannot do something it is very likely that the network I have grown over
36 years means I know someone more qualified and capable than myself to
do specific tasks.