We asked our MD, James Webber, six questions to find out more about his experience in talent. Here’s what he said…

1. Where were you before TST?

I started my career at Deloitte where I gained my ACA qualification, before joining EY in 2008. My time at EY was largely spent in Corporate Finance, but for my final year I undertook a secondment with the UK&I Leadership team as part of the Accelerated Leadership Programme (ALP), working alongside the COO, CFO and Managing Partner for Talent. Following a fantastic five years at EY I joined Norman Broadbent PLC as Group CFO/COO where I was lucky enough to be voted by The Financial Director as one of the brightest 35 talents in business under 35. Fast forward four years and I joined The Smarty Train as Managing Director in October 2017, and I genuinely couldn’t be happier!

2. What excited you most about joining TST?

To work in a niche business that is high growth and has a clear USP. Since we started in 2007, we have grown on average by 40% each year!

3. What have you seen changing in how our clients work with us?

Over the last nine months I have noticed a number of trends. Here are three of them:

  1. There has, and continues to be, an increasing demand for our work abroad (so far this summer our team has worked in India and Australia, as well as delivering in Paris in French).
  2. Requests for our expertise in designing and delivering Senior Executive Events, such as communicating/kick-starting cultural change, are growing month on month.
  3. Clients want an element of digital content. For example, we are currently working with a FTSE 100 business on the design of a female high-performance development programme delivered globally through webinars.

4. What one thing surprises you about the work we do?

Just how creative we are. Think secret cinema meets training. That’s us.

5. Tell us a about a standout moment with a project that taught you something new.

In March we designed and delivered a high-performance, women in leadership event in Zurich for a global investment bank. One of the sessions focused on growth through courage: to be able to do the right things well you first need to have the courage and vulnerability to do the right things wrong. This was led by one of our facilitators who explained his journey of magic which has culminated in him now being a member of the prestigious Magic Circle. He then went further and demonstrated his courage by performing a complex trick ending with a standing ovation from the room!

6. What are you most excited about in the coming year?

Having the opportunity to hire more great people into our fantastic team.

By James Webber

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