James (Jim) has been in L&D since 2004 and still has the same passion as a he did back then, if not more so. Having worked in many industries such as financial services, gaming, retail, technology, and now logistics, James has done pretty much everything when it comes to all things learning wise but is always keen to explore and grow more. As well as being a multi-award winner, James is also a qualified coach (ILM) and an Insights Practitioner.
James has been told he’s got a lot of energy and enthusiasm, but we’ll let you judge that for yourselves.
What do you like most about the L&D field?
That I’m able to inspire people to grow and develop, while using my creative abilities at the same time. It really is the best job in the world.
What made you decide to stand for the LN board?
I was approached by a LN Director as they know my skillset pretty well, and I wanted to step out of my comfort zone too.
What would your dream job be?
Apart from wine tasting on a tropical island, I’d say I love my job.
If you could change 1 thing about the world of L&D, what would it be?
Not so much change L&D, but I think many businesses still see L&D as a cost to the business and a nice to have. I’d like businesses now to rethink their approach to learning and development as a crucial element of any business wanting to grow and flourish.
What does a typical workday look like to you?
Meeting with my team, my stakeholders, my peers and managers.
Bouncing off ideas, and sharing best practice.
I like to get to know people, and what makes them tick.
I try to structure my day so I get all the meetings out of the way in the first half, and the second half is all about creativity.
What is your favourite type of training to either build or deliver?
Soft skills, anything behavioural, psychological, and makes people think/learn something new.
What are you currently obsessed with?
Not so much obsessed, but really excited about implementing VR into our learning programmes.
If you could give yourself advice when you were first starting out, what would it be?
It’s ok not to have all the answers, and use your team as a sounding board, and to share ideas. Also, you don’t have to talk in a meeting if it doesn’t add value.
What has been your proudest moment?
Winning 2 L&D awards, and of course now becoming a LN Board Director.
Who inspires you?
Many people for different reasons. Dolly Parton, I think is a fabulous inspiration as she is so genuine, seems a lovely person, has such an amazing work ethic and continues to be a trailblazer.
My late Dad, is also a massive inspiration.
He passed away in August quite suddenly, and he lived his life with such a spirit, integrity, love, and passion for adventure. I try everyday to make him proud.
If you were a super-hero, what would your name be and what powers would you have?
I love Batman for his mind and his mystery, and Wonder Woman for her heart and badass warrior-ness (if that’s a word!), so maybe a combination of both. I’d also like to either fly or be invisible.
What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
I haven’t done anything that daring, I didn’t realise I was so boring!
What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
An endless supply of wine. Something to play music on. My phone.
Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
My daily walk to get my steps in has something that I do every day now since the pandemic and go out in all weathers as it’s great for my mental health and overall fitness.
I never thought I would be the one to do this, but I can’t miss a day now without some sort of exercise.
Finally, what would be your top 5 tips for someone new to L&D?
- Immerse yourself and ask lots of questions.
- Try not to silo your skillset, be open minded to design and deliver.
- You never reach a point where you will know everything, so don’t ever think that you will.
- Push yourself to learn, develop, and grow.
- Never give up, working in L&D is challenging but incredibly rewarding.