Keep a Sense of Perspective [interview]
Martin Kirke is a consultant and non-executive director specialising in change management and HR. Martin has held international HR and business director roles with Dow Chemical, Ericsson, Serco and BP including Vice President Resource Management for Ericsson based in Stockholm and HR Operations Director Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific for the BP Group. He was the lead for the HR business partners at Transport for London for the 2012 Olympics. His clients include; The Cabinet Office, Priory Group and the Charity Action for Change where he is also a non-executive director. Martin is a regular speaker and chair at international conferences and Universities including MBA programmes.
Martin is one of the key note speakers at the “Business Brilliance Awards”, Georgia, which will be held in Tbilisi.
Q: You have achieved a lot in your career, what helped you in difficult times to carry on achieving your goals and objectives?
A: In difficult times it is even more important to stick to your principles and beliefs. These are what will guide you to make the right decisions. It’s also key to keep a sense of perspective about what is really important in life. I have found in the most difficult times a truly diverse team is a real asset because you need people with different perspectives to find the best solution. It’s not much help if the team have such similar characteristics that they all come up with only the same answer.
Q: What would you suggest three characteristics of a successful business are?
A: For me, the first is to know what it is you do better than others. I think of this as the deep rooted core competence which gives the business a competitive advantage. The core competence may only be with a small number of people but their knowledge and skills are at the heart of the business. Second, is to think and plan long term- many successful businesses have avoided short term risky strategies such as major acquisitions or diversifying into markets they do not fully understand. Thirdly, it is the ability to manage change effectively. Sooner or later the market, technology or competition will change and successful businesses will adapt and manage the change required.
Q: You are a key-Note Speaker at the Business Forum in Georgia; could you tell us more about your presentation?
A: I will look at the relationship between leadership and change management. Why are some leaders more successful than others in managing change? From an international perspective I will share my experience of managing change in global organisations and the impact of culture both within the organisation and the external environment. The emphasis will be on practical tools and real examples-not theory!