Career file: Promoting faith in the future

first_img Comments are closed. Nick Wright, 42, T&D manager of Christian development organisationTearfund, explains why his job shows that theology and HRD are compatibleHow long have you been in this job? Five years – for as long as I have been with the organisation. What does your role involve? Tearfund is a Christian development and relief organisation employing around500 staff in the UK and overseas. My role involves leading a team of training& development specialists engaged in staff development at individual, team,group, leadership and organisational levels. What are the best and worst things about this job? It’s a real privilege to be part of an organisation in a role where mypersonal values and aspirations are so closely aligned with those of theorganisation and my work. The flip side is that there is a real danger ofpersonal burnout. Wisdom and discipline are very important survival factors. What is your current major training project or strategic push? We’re currently developing forms of leadership support, based on coaching,mentoring and action learning, that will help leaders deal with increasingdegrees of organisational and global complexity and change. What did you want to do for a living when you were at school? I think I swung from wanting to be a vet, to studying philosophy, tobecoming a social worker. What was your first job? Working as an apprentice in industry after leaving school at 16. I hated it.What was the best career decision you ever made? Leaving my industry job when I became a Christian at the age of 21. I movedstraight into community development and human rights work as a volunteer. What was the worst? It’s tempting to say starting my apprenticeship in the first place, but Ilearned so much through that experience. How and why did you become a trainer? By accident, really. I worked for another voluntary sector organisation thathad expanded beyond its capabilities and found myself running training eventsand reflective practice seminars to help reduce some of the terrible stressstaff were experiencing. Which of your qualifications do you most value and why? I studied BA Hons Theology at London Bible College and MSc Human ResourceDevelopment (OD) at South Bank University in London. The Theology course wasdefinitely the most difficult whereas the HRD course was the most inspiring.This fairly unusual combination of Theology and HRD has proved incrediblyvaluable in my line of work. What was the worst training course you ever experienced as a delegate? A very frustrating one-year course in supervision & consultation wherethe facilitators did very little in the way of effective facilitation. So manylearning opportunities were lost. Do you think that evaluation is the Holy Grail or an impossible dream? It really depends on what we try to evaluate. It’s right to try to evaluateimpact and there are things that can be measured tangibly. But there areimportant things that can’t be measured scientifically. I guess it’s a bit likethe age-old tension between reason and faith. How do you think that your job will have changed in five years’ time? I think there will be a growing shift away from a fairly conventionalsingle-organisation focus towards inter-organisational/international strategiesand approaches to staff and organisation development. What advice would you give to someone starting out in T&D? Think carefully about what attracts you to the role. My sense is that thereis increasing differentiation between three disciplines within the training anddevelopment profession, particularly a three-way divide between trainer,manager of training processes and consultant. What are your favourite buzz words? Organisation development, insight, reflective practice andtransformation.  Conversely, my leastfavourite word is probably ‘performance’. Racing cars and circus acts spring tomind. Are you good at self-development? I try to be, paying regular attention to my own spiritual, personal andprofessional development. Examples include working towards a certificate inpsychology of management, writing articles in various journals to have my ideastested in a public arena and receiving mentoring from an external consultant. Up close and personalHow do you network?I tend to network quite widely with people in similar andcontrasting roles and sectors, although maintaining active contact is somethingthat I do find difficult due to other distractions and work priorities.If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?What I’m doing now.Describe your management style in three words Intuitive, proactive, consultative.Do you take work home with you?No. Home time is primarily for my family.How would you like to be remembered by your colleagues?As a person of Godly vision, wisdom, influence and integrity.Where do you want to be in five years’ time?Wherever God calls me, but here in Tearfund is fineWhich courses and learning experiences have been most usefulfor you?Coaching by Rudi Weinzierl, a radical social worker in Germany.Exploring strategic horizons with ex-colleague Mike Wilson. Being mentored byBrian Watts, a freelance consultant. Learning to be a good husband and father.Which is the best management book?Images of Organisation by Gareth Morgan, published by Sage.Which training gurus ,management experts or business peopledo you most admire?Gareth Morgan, Edgar Schein and Peter Senge. Previous Article Next Article Career file: Promoting faith in the futureOn 1 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img


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