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Interview with Tariq Ahmed, HR Director

Name: Tariq Ahmed

Position: HR Director

You’re relatively new to LBS. What drew you to the School?

I have worked with a number of business schools around the world as a client and also been on executive education programmes at LBS and Insead. I always loved the LBS experience and felt more emotionally connected here than with any other School. So when I heard about the opportunity of HR Director, I didn’t hesitate to put myself forward.

What have you been getting up to since you arrived?

The School is a new culture and sector for me and I love getting into and understanding the real fabric of organisations, so I have been focussed on exploring and learning. At the same time I have of course been working with my team to ensure we continue to deliver on our commitments across the School.

What’s all this about a change community?

The change community is a new idea that has recently been discussed with Management Committee and is set to launch in the New Year. It is being led by Jonny Horsley, the School’s Change Management Specialist. 

My involvement came about because of the links between this work and two of the key themes that emerged from the School Survey: ‘change’ and ‘collaboration’ - and our need to improve on both. When Jonny suggested building a change community, it struck me as a great way to improve our change capability by working collaboratively, cutting across teams and divisions and sharing more. 

Feedback from the recent staff MOOC sessions has shown us that bringing people together to have a great conversation has real value in and of itself, not least in connecting people around the School who may never normally meet or work together. Putting structure around those conversations can accelerate their value and Jonny’s experience of running big change communities at PA Consulting will bring vital experience and expertise to the initiative.

We will be recruiting people to join the change community in the January. 

What does 2016 hold for you?

2016 is an exciting year for me. I will have learnt far more about LBS and be sharing the refreshed ‘LBS People Strategy’.

I’m already amazed by the volume and quality of work taking place across the School. There are also more great activities and opportunities for people to get involved in than I have ever seen before which does sometimes make me stop and think what else could we possibly do? But I’m sure there is still plenty of potential to unlock and that excites me. 

On a personal level my eldest son has just started secondary school and I’m looking forward to seeing him continue to develop. And my daughter has recently started gymnastics and is doing great, so watching her progress in 2016 will be fun.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Epicurus, the Greek Philospher who wrote “Letter on Happiness” for cultured conversation, Jonah Lomu as a sports legend and Richard Burton for some real Celtic hell raising.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

The importance of team. Together we are stronger.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Becoming a father.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?          

People excel far more and far more easily if you focus on their strengths.

Tell us something surprising about you.

I own land and a mango farm in Kenya.