Ayming’s Scott Ward on people, performance and development
Ayming has been improving business performance for 30 years and has grown a vast global team of over 1300 employees. We sat down with Ayming’s people, performance and development partner Scott Ward, to discover what a day at Ayming looks like, and how his experience in performance and wellness is catapulting the business even further!
Can you tell us how your work with Ayming began, and exactly what you do?
I was approached by the UK Managing Director Martin Hook who wanted to build the capabilities within HR Performance from the UK. It was clear from the very first moment that Ayming was completely committed to this area of people, wellbeing and innovation and took their own medicine. Since joining, we have developed three pillars of support within the HR People, Performance and Development space. 1- Ayming Academy for digital skills and people development through our app . 2- People Consulting for advisory services with organisations on change and people management. 3- Coaching Development where we have designed a certified coaching methodology for effective leadership and people development.
What does a day to day look like for you?
On a daily basis, I will be in discussions with organisations globally to discuss their people and digital agenda. This can be anyone from a household sports organisation to a public company that is searching for the right balance of people development, cultural understanding and positive progress. I could also spend my time in concept and solution design alongside our digital team or helping to evolve our digital learning framework.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the future of the company?
When we began this journey our aspirations were always to help as many people as we can by removing barriers and supporting the educational and structural design for maximum impact value. We already hold a new standard of approach through a certified process and want to keep pushing these boundaries to ensure we do the very best for those we work with. Our approach is 100% collaborative with our clients and so our knowledge and understanding must be at its optimum level.
Your background is in performance and wellness, can you tell us a little bit about this and how you started a career in this area?
I began my working life as a professional footballer and until the age of 25 envisaged myself continuing until the ripe old age of 40 then working out what life had to offer beyond the pitch. Unfortunately quite early on my body began to break down and I realised it would not be something I could continue with both physically and psychologically. After some health complications with my heart and while studying at Warwick Business School, I decided that I wanted to confront the challenges I was facing and also find out how we as human beings confronted challenges that led to trauma (mental health illness, bankruptcy, divorce etc). This began my journey and after years of study, writing research papers and confronting global organisations I released this is where I want and need to be. My focus is on the personal and organisational design improvement. In basic terms looking at the culture, development pathways and seeing how through cognitive development and improved awareness, we can support both operational and personal needs while combating the traumas people often face as a preventative measure. This has become ever so clear in the response to Covid19. When people are uncertain, don’t have the answers or are fearful, we often see bad outcomes, poor decisions or something even worse.
What would you consider a personal career highlight?
My career highlight has been broadening the reach of support and awareness into various sectors due to the ambitions of Ayming. We have been researching and designing support frameworks for people in the care system, construction, sport, public and private sector. This means we can offer bespoke solutions for those who need it and support organisations in becoming more aware, supportive and insight driven when it comes to the links between people performance, organisational development and leadership growth. As I previously mentioned, accessibility has always been a huge challenge and we want to support those who need it with understanding, a true passion and expertise.
What career advice would you give to anyone starting out in business?
I would advise anyone beginning their journey to gain as much insight and knowledge from those that have walked before them. Try to remain open to all suggestions and advice given but never accept second best. I don’t think I would have gained career progression or opportunities had I not been so personally driven, supported by my close family and determined to support others. It is ok for your journey to change direction. We do not live in an ideal world and must accept that sometimes we have to change direction to keep moving forward.
What keeps you passionate about your job?
Following my recovery from illness last year I got to observe the reaction to various health and political challenges we have been faced with globally. To date, while there are definite improvements, we are not even close to developing a sustainable way of tackling matters like skill shortages, mental health, racism, gender disparity, bullying or even the social impressionism our younger generation must combat. I am desperate to support and evolve the world we live in for the better and this will keep me passionate every day as part of Ayming’s HR People Practice and the fantastic people I get to work with on a daily basis.
Words: Grace Goslin