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How Did I Get Here? Girish Menezes, Business Development Director, SBC Systems (UK)


Girish Medezes
Business Development Director Girish Menezes explains the challenge of connecting training with business objectives, and why weakly defined strategy damages the industry’s credibility.

1. Describe your role and responsibilities
I head the Business Development function for SBC Systems. My team is focussed on helping large organisations get to grips with their benefits administration issues. We spend a lot of time consulting with clients and employee benefit consultancies, understanding their very specific blocks and constraints, and developing solutions to overcome them.

2. How are training priorities set within your organisation?
Training at SBC Systems is role and task based. Senior management takes a mentoring stance to individual employees and creates a training path to ensure that personal development is aligned with the business needs.

3. How closely aligned is training and development to the over-all organisational strategy?
As a technology company, training and development is critical to our survival. This also has a knock-on effect on employee morale and the empowerment of individuals.

4. How does your department keep your organisation one step ahead?
We’re constantly working on developing teams without stifling individual creativity. Our employees range from Actuaries to ex big four project managers. Keeping the ship moving swiftly in a focussed direction is the key to our business success.

5. How does your training department operate?
Responsibility for training lies with our line managers. It is one of the key assessment parameters at our employee reviews. Client training is part of our business service, and therefore we have ample internal resources to achieve results. However, we are always open to external training for niche requirements.

6. How do you evaluate training and does this vary according to the learning intervention?
Training is task and role based and is assessed against the original learning objectives.

7. Do you feel that training and development is under-rated? If so how can training professionals improve its credibility?
Training tends to be badly defined and is rarely tested. As testing and the requirement for sound business cases are becoming more common, the credibility of training will automatically increase.

8. How do you prove the value of your department within your organisation?
My department has responsibility for top-line growth and therefore does not have an issue in this area.

9. What is the biggest current challenge for your department?
Finding good quality people, willing to put in supernormal effort into creating a quality company.

10. What do you see as the main challenges for training professionals in the next five years?
Connecting training with business objectives – top-line and bottom-line growth. This will only happen when there is cross-fertilisation of people and ideas between the business and the training department.

11. What influences do you think have had the greatest impact on the training sector in recent years?
The economic boom and bust cycle over the last ten years has done more for the training industry than anything else. It has ensured a vast financial and people investment followed by belt tightening and questioning of core values.

12. What is the best lesson you can pass on?
Following the 80/20 rule, employers must identify the high flyers in the organisation and ensure that the bulk of their effort is focussed on building a supportive organisation around these people.

Previous career profiles can be seen on the How Did I Get Here? page.


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