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INTERVIEW Playing to win

 Lead by example; inspire, motivate and always give your best.

 Think BIG – introduce new ideas and get inspired. Inspiration is all around us and not always in the most obvious places – brainstorm with your teams, you will get golden nuggets of ideas.

 Love what you do…

 Don’t be afraid to fail or take a risk, we all learn from our mistakes. ‘Failing’ will drive you to be better next time. As Henry Ford said: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

 Deliver on what you say you will do. Manage your stakeholders, teams, clients and deliver your part.

 Act with integrity and treat people how you would want to be treated.

 Follow your gut instincts – they are normally right.

 Be positive and have fun. We need lighthearted moments in the sometimes chaotic world of trying to balance work and home life.

 Look after yourself. Stress is a major factor in how well people work and operate, and you have to make sure that you look after yourself and make sure that you are operating at your best.

The best learning experiences I have had has been listening to inspiring people talk about their experiences like Richard Branson, Ruby Wax, Baroness Doreen Lawrence

that we all have transferable skills and that hard work, taking ownership and delivering will always win in the end. My experience in L&D has been

one of the most fulfi lling roles in my career, from starting as a novice to within six years becoming a Chartered Member of CIPD, and winning L&D professional of the year.

Describe your best learning and development experience?

Starting with a blank piece of paper for some of the retail concepts that I have delivered over the last few years, and moving from a blank piece

14 | September 2016 |

of paper to a really inspirational, fully immersive L&D experience. Everything I have delivered over my time in L&D has been inspiring, innovative and pushed the boundaries for M&S colleagues, as well as simple, creative, low cost interventions that we have delivered via an iPhone fi lm clip. T e most important thing is: what does the learner go away with, and have I made a diff erence to them and their skills? Personally, the best learning

experiences I have had has been listening to inspiring people talk about their experiences. People like Richard

Branson, Ruby Wax and Baroness Doreen Lawrence who have all led completely diff erent lives. Hearing from them about the challenges they have faced; I get a lot from inspiring people and love to attend conferences and seminars whenever I can.

What's next in your career?

Just before I won the award last year, I moved from Retail L&D to the Head Offi ce L&D team accountable for Logistics, Finance and Property academies, as well as leading the Systems L&D team, so I am still learning myself and hopefully starting to shape this for the future. Who knows what the next

challenge will be? When I won the award in November, it was presented to me by Gill White from the CIPD and she told me that, for the majority of people who win this award, it is a life changing moment, so I’m ready for anything!


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