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INTERVIEW The 360 degree

“Brid has many strengths; among them her ability to motivate and engage. Brid works relentlessly to drive L&D and push the boundaries of innovation which has changed the way we work today. I'm proud to call her a colleague and a friend.” Sarah Gregory-Anderson, M&S

“For me, Brid's most significant quality is her courageous integrity. It is only when you get a chance to work with someone who is brave enough to take calculated risks that true innovation can happen.” Rachel Pendered, Media Zoo

“Brid is hugely inspirational as a line manager and an L&D professional. She constantly pushes the envelope to come up with new ideas, utilising technology to find ways to inspire and captivate the learner.” Margi Bayliss-Stranks, M&S

“Brid is an expert at bringing groups together. She values the creativity of her team and encourages

collaborative thinking, making sure team skills bring fresh thinking to projects, while proudly recognising individual achievements.” Nicola Dole, M&S

Marketing Director on my decisions for store layout. It was absolutely due to this role that I ended up in L&D as part of that role was helping store colleagues to understand their space, grids and store equipment and making sure that once I walked away they were self-sufficient and sustainable and they could reach their potential. I saw a maternity leave role within L&D and applied for it, because I had discovered a passion for supporting people to learn. I was suddenly in the world of HR, managing people who knew much more than me, speaking a language I didn’t know. I realised fairly quickly that I

had a huge wealth of commercial knowledge. I fully understood how stores work and operate, and I had a sense of ‘what I don’t know, I can learn’. I got to grips with the jargon

12 | September 2016 |

and the L&D process, while always bringing it back to the end user and how L&D would work for them. I had to work out where I could

make a difference in L&D with my background, being business savvy, networking, knowing people out in stores and the challenges they face, and building skills in my team that they didn’t have. 75 per cent of all learning for stores was workshop driven and I knew we could put together video clips and short, sharp bursts of learning having created many engagement and cascade videos in my communication role. I worked out I could learn the theory. Tat first year was tough as I had to

deliver some really large scale service initiatives for the business to a retail audience of around 70,000 – there’s nothing like learning on the job!

“Brid is one of the most passionate people I have worked with in L&D. Demonstrating curiosity about trends, inspiring all around her and creating award-winning learning. I'm lucky to have experienced Brid as a line manager and mentor, and now class her as a close friend.” Katie Kinnaird, M&S

Who or what inspires you?

Tere are a few things that inspire me professionally and personally. I love history and was born in Ireland, a country that has seen its fair share of historical moments. I came to England at the age of 19 because the work situation in Ireland was really tough. It was hard to leave family and friends but I have made a life for myself here. One of the quotes that truly inspires me is from Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in this world.” It took me a while before I really

got this, but it’s all about taking full responsibility for your life, practice what you preach and, if you want to see change in your life or in the world, then it has to happen with


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