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Interview with Michelle Ford


1. What does a typical day look like for you?

There isn’t really a typical day for me, my role is very varied. I look after leadership development across Europe and it’s a more strategic role than operational, focusing on implementing our learning across the European business by sharing best practice. We look at the capability gaps of our leaders and design training that will enable them to be engaging leaders in order to drive our company forward to becoming a digital leader in the industry.

2. What are the main skills required for your role?

Everything on the learning and development cycle needs analysis, from training through to design, facilitation and evaluation. To do this effectively, networking is key. Working in an organisation that is present in 24 countries across the globe means there’s a need for cultural awareness and, more importantly, knowing how to engage with different cultures is imperative. I speak Spanish, which really helps me in forming those relationships.

3. What are the most rewarding and challenging parts of your role?

Probably the most rewarding thing about my role is working internationally; I get to learn so much about different cultures. I love to travel and I’m always learning about the way different people work and build relationships.
This can also be one of the most challenging parts of the job, for instance, keeping someone engaged when they are not physically in the room, their first language is not English, and their way of working is very different from our cultural norm. That involves real self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

4. Why did you choose to use Page Personnel Secretarial & Business Support in your job search?

I originally worked with Page Personnel in my job search six years ago and my experience then was really good. They provide the right support and ultimately find you the role that’s right for you.

5. How did you find your experience with us?

I had been living abroad and within three days of being back Barney Stupples and Peter Reid had a job offer for me. They’re very professional, very supportive and a good laugh!

6. What advice would you give someone looking for a role like yours?

Businesses are becoming increasingly global and hence more diverse, so being culturally aware and having an understanding of global markets is a big advantage. Also, it sounds simple or obvious, but if you want to work in an international organisation then learn another language. Communication skills are vital for anyone required to engage with people, especially in regards to virtual platforms and reaching people who won’t be in the same room with you.



What are you reading/watching at the moment?

I’m reading Snakes in Suits, which is about corporate psychopaths, and Beyond Performance, which looks at the McKinsey model of organisational health and how to improve performance through that.

What are your favourite websites to use?

Google is my best friend at work for researching, but I also use Mind Tools, Businessballs and Doodle all the time.