Matt Simkin


What do you do for the business?

I am the Course Leader for Learning and Development for all levels and also an Assessor Coach for students studying both HR and L&D with Busec.

What is your favourite quote?

I’ve got two, one by Cher – “If it doesn’t matter in five years, it doesn’t matter” and the other a line from Stan Laurel – “Remember the old adage: You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead”.

What is your favourite book or movie?

The most recent book I’ve read is the Gorse Trilogy (Patrick Hamilton) and I’ve just started a No 1 Ladies Detective Agency (McCall Smith) – I’d forgotten how nice those novels are. I don’t watch that many films, but have been enjoying the 1980/90s reruns of Coronation Street and have just got into The Crown on TV.

What is something people in your industry/niche have to deal with that you want to fix?

I’d love to see organisations really mean that their people are their most important asset. All too often, when times get tough, staff and learning and development budgets are the first things to be hit – it’s time that we stopped that happening as a matter of course.

What are your credentials/past experience?

My career in HR started with a distance learning course – the Certificate in Training Practice, so I understand the pressures that learners are under when trying to fit things in to the rest of their lives. I didn’t have the advantage of an Assessor Coach though so found it difficult to understand what I could have done differently, or better and didn’t have anyone to turn to if I had any problems. I have specialised in change management and organisation design and development. I have (and still do) work as a consultant helping organisations be more effective and have held a variety of roles related to HR, learning and development, business management and corporate affairs. My ‘biggest role’ was as the HR Director for a large housing association that was going through a potential merger.

What gives you the most satisfaction within your working life?

The biggest buzz I get is when I explain something to someone that they haven’t understood before and I can see or hear that they ‘get it’.

If you were a cartoon character which would it be and why?

Bugs Bunny – I have a good sense of humour and can be a little bit of a trickster. I’m interested in every aspect of the world around you. Like Bugs, I’m resourceful and I maintain a fun attitude in the face of adversity!

What are the values that drive you?

Fairness, Authenticity, Curiosity, Empathy, Simplicity and Decisiveness.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

I spend much of my leisure time catching up with friends, going for walks (sometimes with the dog), reading and listening to Radio 4. I also watch a fair bit of TV (though usually I feel guilty about doing that) and spend far too long going down rabbit warrens online (Google can be your friend, but it can also use up an awful lot of time). Although I have coached people throughout my career, I have decided that it’s high time to be accredited and so I’ve just signed up for a coaching course – a mixture of distance learning and face-to-face.