Consultant Spotlight: Simon Drane


Get to know Simon in our consultant spotlight Q&A.

1. What surprised you most about Lane4?

The extent to which Lane4 really does practice and adopt the development of itself as we do for our clients. More than practising what we preach, I was pleasantly surprised at the sheer amount of research and development that goes behind the methods, interventions and frameworks that we use with clients.

2. What is it about your job that makes you get out of bed in the morning?

We are at work for a significant proportion of the time we are awake. I have personally experienced how a workplace can be extremely influential on the rest of your life both in a positive and unfortunately in a negative way. If I can begin to help others to affect change in a positive direction, that's really motivating to me, and that is why I work for Lane4.

3. What one thing do you wish you had known at the start of your career?

The impact of being absolutely present with someone. Not just active listening, but really, really being ‘with’ someone. I have since found out the highly beneficial impact that this can have for both parties and it is something I strive to achieve in as many interactions as possible.

4. If you could put one message up on a billboard for millions of people to see, what would it be?

Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Control the only controllable: YOU.

5. What’s the biggest challenge you have overcome in your career?

The biggest challenge for me has been accepting that conflict between colleagues is not just acceptable but a fundamental requirement to a better outcome.

6. What has been the highlight of your consulting career at Lane4 so far, and why?

It was actually relatively early on in my first year at Lane4 and involved an internal Company Day delivery around a slightly different approach to resilience. The process of arriving at the delivery required a lot of collaboration with some key colleagues displaying great trust, support and challenge which then resulted in a highly impactful 45 minutes that provoked some fundamental changes in language and thinking. Knowing that the impact was then going to be passed on from those in attendance to all of their stakeholders and individual contexts is why this is a highlight for me.

7. Can you tell me about a specific time when you feel someone made a real difference to your working life?

The most specific and biggest impact would have to be the birth of my son. He instigated a fundamental shift in my mindset that then led to a cascade of behavioural changes including a career change that has had a significant impact on my working life.

8. What is the one skill you think employees need to thrive in 2020?

Adaptability. However, rather than a skill or even skill set, I see it as more of a mindset to enable an individual to see opportunity and benefit from the multi-faceted change that is all around us, let alone an individual’s transition in reaction to it.

9. What is the one skill you think team leaders need to instil in their employees for success?

Stop, Look and Listen!  Despite the fast paced nature of life and business, the ability to slow down, to see the exception, to not always rely on our biases or the story we hold of someone/ something is extremely beneficial. To ‘instil’ this skill, as the question asks, the team leader needs to set up an environment to make this acceptable and most importantly to model it him/ her self.

10. What one habit has had the biggest impact on your daily life?

Replying to a 60 minute meeting invite with a proposed time of 50 minutes! This simple habit means that I have space to ‘reset’ between meetings/appointments to consolidate the previous and get ready for the next.  I’m not sure why adults think they are able to go from one thing into the next with no time to physically change rooms let alone cognitively shift their mindset to a new project/people/context.

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