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In this article you can find an interview with the L&D Manager at Renewable Energy Systems, Danny Benton:

Daniel Benton Image - MBM Training Provider

1. What is your name, title, company, and for how long have you been at that company & where were you before?

Danny Benton, Learning & Development Manager for Western & Northern Europe and Asia Pacific at Renewable Energy Systems (year and a half). Previously I was the Head of the Leadership Centre for Leeds Business School

2. What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

The opportunity to help shape an L&D service across a wide geographical region.

3. If you were a learning product/course, what would it be?

A puzzle.

4. What’s the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you at work?

There are too many to mention.

5. Do you have any hidden talents?

I am fluent in 3 languages (Dutch, German and Yorkshire).

6. What is your favourite self development book and why?

The 7 habits of highly effective people, simple to use and applicable to everyday life.

7. Which learning model do you like best and why?

Situational Leadership, although Leadership models have moved on, people easily relate to Hersey and Blanchard’s work.

8. What are your top 3 proudest moments in life? At home and/or at work.

  • My daughter (Amelie’s) birth.
  • The person Amelie is growing into.
  • Holland winning the Euro’s 1988 (I am from Amsterdam).

9. What is your favourite piece of resource for learning? (Blog, video, guide, etc.)

20 second video blogs.

10. What is your favourite film of all time and why?

Goodfellas because Robert DeNiro gave an acting masterclass.

11. How do you suggest that people should make learning sticky?

Practice, Practice and more practice.

12. What words of encouragement do you have for line managers that should support their staff to learn?

Ask questions and find out what makes your people ‘tick’, everyone is different so really get to know your team(s)

13. What tip do you have for people that struggle to evaluate their training?

Keep the long term in mind, learners often display changes in their behaviour straight after a development intervention, however, evidencing longer term change is the true challenge!

14. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to come into the world of learning and development?

In order to best help others, make sure you truly understand yourself first.

Darren A. Smith

About Darren A. Smith

Darren has been working in the world of UK Supermarkets and Suppliers for over 20 years. He began his career as a buyer at one of the big 4 UK supermarkets and after rising through the ranks he decided to leave after 13 years and set-up Making Business Matter. For the last 14 years he has run MBM, which is a training provider to the UK grocery industry. Helping suppliers to the big four supermarkets to develop the soft skills that will secure them more profitable wins.

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