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INTERVIEW The 360 degree

“Belbin's Team Roles, like Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions, have been criticised by those who believe their time has passed. The truth is that both models are timeless and constant and therefore highly reliable. In my work, I combine the two for fabulous team success and creativity in the workplace.” John Vaughan, Moving Forward Team Ltd

“I discovered last year that Meredith studied at Clare College, Cambridge, with Sir David Attenborough. Like David, Meredith is a giant in his field and long overdue formal honour and recognition for his contribution to business, industry and teams worldwide. He is a man of principles and integrity and always keeps his promise.” Gary Hewins, Tesco

“Meredith’s work on high performing teams is an iconic backbone for those of us working with teams. I’ve used it for 31 years and watched it bring practical

and valuable team and individual insights. As a person, Meredith is a truly remarkable role model for all of us as we get older. He remains engaged and engaging, curious and open and a modern day positive behemoth who has created a huge L&D legacy.”

Isobel Heaton, L&D consultant & director, DTC International

What we found was that they could be trained satisfactorily for new jobs, providing the training system was changed. Tat meant taking it more slowly and in stages, and introducing ‘discovery learning’ – setting a series of challenges and allowing older trainees to find their own way forward. I learned early on in my working

life that what often looks impossible could be made to work with the appropriate training. Tat lesson proved useful later on, when many well-educated people felt unsure how to meet the demands of working life.

Who or what inspires you?

I always respond to the word ‘impossible’. I have heard it uttered many times and always see it as somewhat of a challenge! When it comes to people, I have

been lucky enough to encounter people who brought out the best

14 | July 2017 |

in me. My first wife, Eunice (née Fellows), had an amazing career trajectory. Starting work as a secretary in London, she was bombed out of the building in which she studied in her spare time. She took a job teaching typing in Sidcup Technical College and rose to become its acting principal. Entering Cambridge University on the submission of an essay, she took the first part of her degree in anthropology and gained a first and the college prize. We met when she transferred to the psychology department and married shortly after we graduated. Eunice went on to write a doctoral

thesis on learning and training, became director of the Industrial Training Research Unit (making her my boss!) and a member of the Manpower Services Commission, for which work she received an OBE. Eunice and I formed a complementary working

“I have worked with and gained inspiration from Meredith Belbin since the mid 1980s. The impact he has had (worldwide) upon the understanding of human

behaviour when in a team situation is incredible. Unassuming and thoroughly approachable, he is, for me, a giant among thought leaders and those responsible for the development of others.” Alan Marsden, Leeds University Business School

partnership: I came up with ideas and she took care of the business side of things. With my son, Nigel, we found- ed Belbin and worked together to build the company until her death in 2006. I also worked with many

enterprising colleagues – two I would mention in particular. Tony Caston and I consulted on recruitment and scholarships at ICI, and later worked


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