David J Walker, 56, recently picked to be training and development managerof flower relay company Interflora, displays his plans for nurturing staffHow long have you been in this job? Three months. How long have you been with your organisation? Three months. What does your role involve? Initially, to assess current training activity within Interflora. To makerecommendations for improving and enhancing the range, quality and availabilityof training and development to meet its business and strategic objectives. What are the best and worst things about this job? The best thing is the challenge of identifying the issues and implementingthe solutions. There is no worst thing. What is your current major training project or strategic push? To put in place a programme of training and development ,first with headquarterstaff and then with the florists who subscribe to our services, which reflectsInterflora’s objectives of: – One team – Pride of people – Working in partnership – Open communication – Trust What did you want to do for a living when you were at school? To be an architect. I got as far as Art College but, it was the 60s, andthere were too many distractions. What was the best career decision you ever made? Moving into training and development with the Post Office in 1979. Thisgave me an excellent grounding in the core skills and the opportunity to growwithin that career over the next decade. And what was the worst? The two years I took out of training and development activities in 1990/92when I worked in financial services. How and why did you become a trainer? The move into training with the Post Office was a natural progression. Iwas fortunate to be able to build on that experience and develop a career intraining and HR over the past 20-plus years. Which of your qualifications do you most value and why? When I started working as training manager for an insurance broking companyin London, I wanted to encourage the staff to undertake a Chartered InsuranceInstitute qualification to improve their knowledge and understanding of theindustry. I agreed to study for the qualification and exam if they would. Withvery little knowledge of the industry, I was pleased to successfully completethe study and, pass the exam. What was the worst training course you have ever experienced as adelegate? I was invited to be a team facilitator for a five-day ‘prestige’ managementprogramme. I walked out after 24 hours. I found the lack of organisation,elitism and ‘childishness’ of the process totally unprofessional. How do you think your job will have changed in five years? There will be more emphasis on development rather than training. An olderworkforce (including me) will have the core job skills and will be required tomaintain and update them. What do you think will be the core skills for your job in the future? I believe there will be a greater need for the design and implementation ofe-learning as a practical means of making training more available andaccessible in the workplace. What advice would you give to someone starting out in training anddevelopment? Patience is a (very necessary) virtue. What is your preferred terminology? People development. I start my courses by explaining that I do not trainpeople. My role is to bring people together to share their knowledge, skillsand experience. I will contribute mine, which will also reflect theorganisation’s objectives. That way, everyone benefits and develops. What are your favourite buzzwords? No train, no gain. No gain, no good. No good? get trained. Got trained,good. Which buzzword do you loathe? Empowerment. Are you good at self- development? Yes. It has been an integral part of my career. I am presently attendingnight school for the Introductory Certificate in Counselling Skills. I felt theskills and concepts of this course would be of benefit in my people developmentrole. Up close and personalHow do you network?I am a member of the local CIPD branch. I am the branch professionaladviser to Lincoln College CIPD Cert. and Dip. in Manage-ment programmes andexternal examiner for University of East London PG Dip. in Management. I findthese activities keep me up-to-date with people and ideas.Describe your management style inthree words or less?Honest, accessible, professional.Do you take work home?Yes, but don’t tell my wife, she thinks I am doing the ironing.How would you like to beremembered by your colleagues?Positively.Which courses and learningexperiences have been most useful for you?Undertaking (and achieving) NVQs at level 4 and 5. As previously, Iembarked on these qualifications to encourage others to consider the NVQprocess as an option for their personal development, while increasing andenhancing my own development.Which is the best management book you have ever read?The Gower Handbook of Management by Dennis Lock and Nigel Farrow. I boughta copy about 12 years ago and find it a useful reference for a wide variety ofmanagement and training issues.Which training gurus, managementexperts or business people do you most admire?Charles Handy has had the most realistic, relevant and pertinent input onpeople development in recent years. Bringing talents into bloomOn 1 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed.