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Spotlight: We shine the light this week on Nigel Paine


Photo of Nigel PaineNigel Paine, former head of people development at the BBC, talks to about the evolution of the 'people agenda', and predicts technology will play a huge roll in learning.

Name: Nigel Paine

Age: 55

Job title: MD

Brief description of the job that you do:

I now run my own company helping organisations develop better people strategies, develop informal learning, share knowledge and use technology more effectively for learning.

1. Why did you become a presenter/coach/adviser?

It was a natural extension of the work I was doing in the BBC as head of people development.

2. What do you love best about your job?

Variety: working in different countries (20 last year) with different companies on different issues and speaking at conferences.

3. What do you find most challenging?

Trying to get an accurate handle on a new organisation very quickly in order to make intelligent decisions.

4. What's the best advice that you would give to someone new to this work?

Be honest - it pays in the long run - and never claim to know more than you do. Also work with companies, and individuals, you trust and like.

5. What's the best advice that's been given to you that has helped you in your career?

David Puttnam told me that being scared stiff of a particular task was the best learning opportunity you would ever have. He was right.

6. How do you see your area developing over the next few years?

There will be a new emphasis on getting the 'people agenda' right. Many staff are too miserable and unmotivated to be truly effective. This will be seen as a gross waste of resources. Also technology will become the most common route to learning and knowledge sharing.

7. What's the best career help book that you've ever read?

Nicholas Negroponte’s 'Being Digital'. It changed the way I looked at the world.

8. What's the best event within the training community that you've ever attended?

Elliott Masie’s Learning 2006 - always in Orlando and always in October, always challenging and brilliant. I will be at Learning 2008 this year too.

9. Who do you think is the most inspirational member of the training community and have you ever met them?

Ken Blanchard and I have met him. His energy and belief in people is astonishing. He is quite elderly now but still making great speeches and writing great and simple books.

10. What else would you like to share with our readers?

The learning community will come of age over the next five years. It will be a great place to be.

Read the last Spotlight, on Andrew Mayo


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