Get to know the LN Director: Jane Rennie

Jane’s passion and purpose for 20 years have been developing people; making a positive difference and enabling others to become extraordinary. As an experienced facilitator, coach, consultant and speaker, she has an affinity for getting the best out of people.

Having worked at operational and executive levels, Jane fully understands the challenges of today’s competitive business environment and tries to use a pragmatic approach, incredible energy and a sense of humour to ensure great results.

What do you like most about the L&D field?

People are everything. It’s the connections you make with stakeholders and learners and the value you bring to their everyday worklife.

What made you decide to stand for the LN board?

Becoming a Board Member fulfils my desire to positively impact our industry. I want to be a catalyst for the changing shape of L&D. It’s an incredible opportunity to contribute to the strategic direction of a community of like-minded members.

What would your dream job be?

The one I have now! Seriously, I absolutely LOVE what I do. I love being a part of the change and transformation as people realise their leadership potential.

If you could change 1 thing about the world of L&D, what would it be?

Changing the perception of the value L&D can bring to individuals, teams and entire organisations. We’re an asset not a cost!

What does a typical workday look like to you?

We’re a female led business, so flexibility has always been key to our workdays. We work a 4-day week, Monday-Thursday, 9.30 – 4.30 to fit around the team’s personal commitments.  For me, my day starts with walking my two spaniels – a grumpy cocker and an exuberant 15month old sprocker who then come into the office with me. Typically, Monday is internal meeting day – we work through our ‘buckets’ on Teams, recognising achievements, celebrating any big wins and plan for the week ahead. We are still delivering about 70% of training live-online, so when I’m facilitating, that takes up the bulk of my day. I am very hands-on (but not overbearing!) and recognise that building strong business relationships is the key to our growth, so I spend a lot of time in hotels and restaurants all over Scotland & NI as our client base is predominantly the hospitality, tourism & service sectors (I know, the hardship!)

What is your favourite type of training to either build or deliver?

Any and all leadership programmes. We typically don’t do ‘one and done’ courses, but rather we design learning journeys which happen over the course of weeks or months. I love this kind of training because I get to see transformation happen in front of me.

What are you currently obsessed with?

I love our learning platform, GiraffePad. It makes life so much easier from a planning/logistic perspective and makes for a fantastic learner experience. Also, we have been recently making a real effort to fully utilise MS Teams and I’ve been surprised at just how much it actually does.  MURAL is also another favourite when we want to visually scope out a training programme, course or share our ideas as a team. Oh, and this amazing Gimbal that a videographer showed me…what a difference it makes to creating your own videos for training!

If you could give yourself advice when you were first starting out, what would it be?

In the prophetic words of Elsa, ‘Let it go’. Recognise that you can’t win over everyone, nor win every piece of business, or do everything yourself. But when you’re starting out it’s easy to take it personally when a prospective client uses another provider and you want to be in control of everything.   

What has been your proudest moment?

Without doubt, designing and delivering The Tourism & Hospitality Talent Development Programme. In 2021 and 2022 approx 2,000 learners (77 cohorts) joined us online each week over a period of 10 weeks.   We created a dream team of 27 trainers to support the biggest online learning ever delivered in Scottish history, two years running. To date, we’ve trained almost 4,000 leaders, managers and supervisors across Scotland and Northern Ireland. Super proud!

Who inspires you?

Everyone I choose to spend time with – my family, my friends, my team and my clients. They’re all part of my life’s rich pattern and without them, it would be really hard to draw inspiration.

If you were a super-hero, what would your name be and what powers would you have?

The Time Queen – my power would be the ability to control time. With my power, I would be able to stop, reverse, slow down and speed up time. Having control of time would give me control of any situation, whether it involves me or not.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

Related to my proudest moment…it takes a lot to be considered ground-breaking, but that’s what I did when I put together a team to design and deliver The Tourism & Hospitality Leadership Programme – it supported the industry to get back on its feet and has been called first of its kind!

What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?

A solar powered Kindle, a comfy reclining chair for sleeping/relaxing, a never-ending journal & pen.

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

The unconditional love of my dog who clamours for my attention, all the while her tail furiously wagging. Oh, and my husband, children and best friends, of course!

Finally, what would be your top 5 tips for someone new to L&D? 
  1. Stay curious – spending time and effort on your own development and keeping abreast of developments in your business and across the L&D world, is essential.
  2. Build alliances – a strong network is invaluable whether that be mentors, peers, bosses – your job is to be an adviser in your areas of specialism 
  3. Retain a healthy skepticism – don’t spend time chasing gimmicks
  4. Do things differently and do different things – focus on improving capability by helping people change their behaviour.
  5. Trust in your own value – everyone thinks that training is easy. It isn’t. And not everyone can do it well.