IoD Edinburgh gets up close and personal with one its members
How long have you been a member of the IoD & why did you join?
I joined about five years ago and my main reason for joining was to undertake some of the director development courses. At the time I’d just been promoted onto the Board of my company and I wanted to learn more about the responsibilities that come with being a Director and the mechanics of how a Board should operate. What I hadn’t really anticipated was how useful it would be to me to meet other people dealing with similar challenges.
What's your day job and how to you get it?
I run a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba Medical based in Edinburgh doing healthcare research and development company. We employ just over 100 highly skilled software engineers, scientists and clinical experts developing medical imaging and decision support software. You can see more about us here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKBZDoF4apU. My background is in image and signal processing and I took this role at a time when I wanted to move back to Scotland for personal reasons and I don’t regret that decision at all.
Favourite aspect of your work?
I get to work with the some of the smartest people in the world doing genuinely meaningful work in healthcare – what more could anyone want? Oh, and I get to travel to Japan regularly, which can be a bit of a chore sometimes but generally I love being there.
...and some of the challenges?
I think I have two main challenges. Working with different cultures is a constant challenge; from simple misunderstandings through to major differences in approach mean that making progress can be very difficult. The other challenge for me is probably more personal. This is the first job where I don’t really have a day to day boss anymore and so I value the chance to meet others in the same situation as me and the chance to learn from them.
What's the best business lesson you've leaned?
‘Never waste a good crisis’ as an impetus to affect meaningful organisational change. Human nature makes change difficult and we all need an excuse (or even a shove) at times to get difficult things done.
What's special about being based in Edinburgh?
I love the city of Edinburgh, I love the architecture, I love the people and I love the festivals. It’s an excellent place to live and a great place to do business. My dad was born and brought up in Edinburgh and so I think I always knew I would end up living here even though I was brought up in the Highlands. I moved to Edinburgh over 30 years ago now when I came to University and I’ve only been away for four years since then.
If you could be anywhere right now where would you be?
Well, as you’ll see from the selfie, I’m in Tokyo at the moment so I’d probably rather be at home or at my family’s holiday home on Skye – which I escape to whenever I want some guaranteed down time.