“I believe you learn if you enjoy yourself. If you do not, it isn’t worth doing. It was once said of me on a psychometric test: “If the challenge runs out, so does Nigel”. I must make a difference, otherwise, I won’t do it and I don’t expect anybody else to do it.“
Nigel Tomlinson | Head of Practice - Management and Administration
How would you describe yourself?
I have almost 40 years of experience in International Business – mainly gained in corporate strategy, acquisitions, joint ventures, stakeholder and change management, and leadership, the latter of which has become one of the key components of developing managers in the last 20 years. I have worked across all five continents, and then had a complete shift of careers when I became chief executive of a chamber of commerce and ultimately a Director of the British Chambers of Commerce which brought me into everyday contact with the UK Government and at one point I served as an advisor to the Prime Minister’s small business council in London. Shortly afterwards I first got into management training through Eurochambres and then for the World Chambers Federation, UNIDO and the World Bank. Ever since and 20 years on, I have enjoyed doing it.
I believe you learn if you have both curiosity and challenge and then you will enjoy yourself. If you do not, it isn’t worth doing. It was once said of me on a psychometric test: “If the challenge runs out, so does Nigel”. I must make a difference, otherwise, I won’t do it and for that reason I don’t expect anybody else to do it.
What is your specialty?
My areas of specialty are Leadership, Organizational Development and International Trade and Corporate Strategy. That is why I also deliver the Mini-MBA course, which is certified by London School of Business & Finance (LSBF), and in addition, I am a certified change manager having originally trained in Japan, when I worked out there many years ago, which gave me a real passion for the subject and the relentless search for continuous improvement.
When delivering these subjects, the challenge is always to keep people’s attention, and particularly when people are returning to class in the afternoon, after lunch. It’s difficult for everybody, but it’s got to be about the methods – the actual voice, the tone, the pitch; how you’re going to give the message to them. Give them real-life examples, which can link in with academic models. But you also must give them exercise…and again linked to real-life examples.
What is the Mini-MBA and ICALS?
The Mini-MBA is a five-day intensive certified programme, which takes delegates through the core subjects, associated with MBA study and provides them with practical tools and techniques across all disciplines of an organisation to make them more effective in their current and future roles. Many of our delegates attend the course because they are considering studying for an MBA, some already have the qualification and are brushing up on the subject areas and some use the course as a stepping-stone to other courses such as Leadership and Organizational Behaviour. And even if they do not want to go to the next stage, it’s good to get a better understanding of other disciplines, so that people understand better what other people’s roles and duties are.
The International Certificate in Advanced Leadership (ICALS) is one of our most popular courses and takes delegates through every aspect of the subject and equips them with the skills and knowledge to understand and be capable of carrying out basic leadership challenges by identifying and developing the competencies that make for effective leadership. The one question I always try to get through when explaining Leadership is to ask “what if?” Think of scenarios, think of how you could do something differently, do something better; where you’re going to be positioned, how you’re going to get there, and when and how are you going to get there?