Paul makes ideas come alive with stories, practical tools and tips everyone can understand
Paul’s background as a trained engineer and his natural curiosity give a unique edge to his L&D work. Meanwhile, his travels to remote areas of the world have resulted in some fascinating stories that bring his talks to life.
Paul grew up on a hill country farm in New Zealand and, even as a boy, he liked making things around the family farm. Perhaps not surprisingly, he went on to study Agriculture and Engineering at University – and graduated with first-class honours. In his first role, he won a national farm machinery award for the design of a seed drill. Years later, travelling in Ecuador, he saw one of those very same seed drills for sale in a second-hand farm machinery yard by the side of a road.
The ‘Overseas Experience’
In his 20s, like many New Zealanders, Paul decided to embark on an ‘Overseas Experience’. After several years wandering the globe, he landed what was to him a dream job, working for an adventure travel company leading overland expeditions into remote areas of the world. He climbed Mt Kilimanjaro twice, crossed the Sahara 3 times and the Himalayas 8 times.
He saw his first elephants in Africa and says they are far too magnificent to be thought of as lurking in a room, or anywhere else.
“I believe the principles in my books lead to better businesses for everyone involved – for the customer, for the employees, for the business owners, and of course for those in L&D who are using these principles.
My vision is that thousands of L&D people become more empowered and contribute more to the businesses they are part of.
With that contribution, there is an inevitable uplift in employee development, engagement and satisfaction. Employees will thrive and that will spill over from the workplace into the other areas of their lives.
Let’s make the world a better place.”
A meeting of minds
He then got a ‘real job’ as an engineer in the UK. After some success, he was headhunted into a NASDAQ-quoted multi-national technology company, where he eventually held the role of Customer Services Director. It was during this time that he really started to appreciate the importance of learning in organisations. His curiosity led him into studying psychology, NLP and many other areas relating to how the mind works – knowledge which he now translates back into the workplace.
A different approach to L&D
Leaving the corporate world to try something new, he landed a job as a management trainer, and soon started to think of ways to make his work even more effective. He drew on his engineering background which gave him a different approach to L&D. It led to writing three books on L&D and the creation of a successful suite of online tools, the People Alchemy learning workflow platform (LWP).
Designed to support L&D within a professional environment, People Alchemy has already been adopted by many organisations to support their learning initiatives. To find out more, visit peoplealchemy.com
Paul’s work today…
20 years after moving into L&D, Paul is a sought-after speaker on the international stage – not only for his undoubted knowledge but also for his engaging, story-led approach and his desire to make L&D ideas easy to understand. He also runs workshops and does consultancy for many blue-chip clients in the UK and beyond. He’s a regular speaker in L&D events in the UK and around the world, as well as writing for leading industry magazines and blogs.