Meet Steve Walker, IoD Ambassador for Skills and Learning Technologies
Q: How long have you been involved with the IoD?
Q: Can you tell us a little about your career to date?
I started my own business at 25 in 2004 after a successful management consultancy role with Business Link. I now have 2 businesses in the field of online learning, one focussing on larger companies and the other a SaaS based called ‘Improve’ which provides high quality affordable online training products for small businesses in UK. The first of its kind!
Q: What do you hope to achieve as an IoD Ambassador?
To provide a more rounded steer for members in the learning and development world. There is so much complication with the skills agenda, provider networks and training provision that most directors do not have the time to unravel this, or where to turn. If we can provide ‘real’ practical guidance this will provide businesses with the trust and guidance to invest in their people in the right way, with the right delivery partners.
Q: If you could give your 21 year old self some advice what would it be?
- Recognise simplicity in business is good, try not to overcomplicate things.
- Focus on developing your core business and don’t become distracted by new shiny things.
- Don’t be railroaded into strategies by others, take a step back and a measured approach.
- ‘Always’ maintain your professional values. Never allow others to ‘try’ and lead you down the wrong path. You will always come out on top!
Q: What keeps you busy outside of work?
My 3 children. I have 2 sons and a daughter, who have an array of in school and out of school activities, so I am usually found at the side of a football pitch, rugby pitch or standing outside a dancing school. Therefore, most evenings/weekends during the winter I am outside freezing cold and during the summer can focus on developing a good sun tan!
Q: Are there any business related or policy issues that keep you awake at night?
I am always awake, I love what we do and don’t tend to worry about policy, as I will never influence anything. I focus on ensuring we spread our risk and build cost effective products that are high quality and always affordable. I obviously track the trends in learning and training and understand clearly where the market is heading. This enables me to advise many of the UK’s leading business support providers, membership organisations and emerging networks around people development and how to harness learning technology in the real world.
Q: Why do you think business leaders should join the IoD?
- To meet likeminded people, who want to do the right things in business!
- To learn from the experience of other more senior directors, I have found that many more experienced directors are always willing to provide advice and guidance.
- To be associated with a credible Institute with credible people.