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INTERVIEW Playing to win

 Always have a diverse team of people you can trust and who will also positively challenge your thinking.

 Work should be fun – you spend so many hours doing it, so I encourage laughter and down- time while at work.

 Foster informality as it tends to support creativity – it allows the team to have the opportunity to share their view and challenge ideas where needed – including my own.

 Be curious – it’s one of the techniques we use as a team and with our customers, and forms part of our award-winning Living our Values culture change programme. The word ‘curious’ tends to be non- confrontational so allows us to find out more in a non-critical way.

 Factor in time for reflection with your team – extend it to suppliers and customers, learning from what you have done so that it can be even better the next time, and celebrate your achievement.

 A continuous drive forward is not sustainable if you want an engaged and performing team. Have a longer term vision and periods of high energy activity, then some ‘rest time’ where you focus on embedding any changes and checking in with customers – like L&D athletes!

confidence and firm foundations for my practice – as a people manager, I still refer back to some of the things I learnt on my ILM course 15 years ago!

Describe your best learning and development experience?

One of the benefits available to me in the NHS was to apply for part-funding of a qualification. I felt that I could enhance my L&D skills by using my psychology background more and saw that the local univer-

sity offered an MSc in occupational psychology. Te modules were highly applied and developed to add value to practitioners working with organisa- tions, so the route felt like the perfect option. I had a great operations manager who encouraged me to apply for the course and supported my funding application, and I was lucky to be accepted for both. I studied part time and was able

Qualified success 14 | August 2016 |

to bring my learning back to the organisation quickly – introducing talent programmes, new approaches to recruiting and enhancing leadership development. I loved the qualification, I was so inspired by the learning and the variety of experiences of the team teaching. I think what made it my best learning experience was that it could be applied so easily in my work role but was also full of things I could share with others, including as part of management development.

 Be aware of the shadow you cast as a leader – realise that the shadow is always there and visible to others. It is about being mindful of interactions and situations and trying to use a style and approach that builds sustained, positive and collaborative relationships.

What's next in your career?

I am very excited to be moving on to a new role as director of learning and OD for NCG in September. NCG is one of the largest not-for-profit education and training groups in the UK, with four colleges, two national training providers and a long distance learning service. Te purpose of the organisation really resonated with my values and experiences, aiming to unlock potential through learning.

Find Elouise on LinkedIn at elouise- leonard-cross and Twitter @ElouiseL_C


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