Our next conversation in the series features Steven Faull, Technology Director of Allied Vehicles.
What is the biggest challenge facing the sector at present?
Allied Vehicles are Europe’s largest convertor of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles. The biggest challenge the sector faces is the variation in vehicle supply which, while steadily improving, is still impacted by the fallout from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles?
Communication and collaboration are key to minimising conflict and overcoming obstacles. However, to support long term motivation, I try to empower and support everyone in my team to help them achieve their goals and demonstrate how their efforts help drive the company forward.
Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship?
The older I get the more I’m impressed by those who are doing something to make a difference to the lives of others. Gerry Facenna, the chairman of Allied Vehicles, is an inspiration – he’s built a massively successful business from the ground up in Possilpark, one of the country’s most deprived areas, and is passionate about sharing his success to create opportunities for the people living in the area and contributes significantly to the community through the Allied Vehicles Charitable Trust.
How do you generate great ideas in your organisation?
There’s no shortage of great ideas at Allied – it’s a highly entrepreneurial organisation. We recognise that senior management don’t have the monopoly on good ideas so we also have an “Inspiring Ideas” initiative that allows everyone in the company to contribute to product and process improvements as well as new opportunities. The trick is to evaluate and prioritise to ensure we focus on the ideas that can bring tangible returns.
What one thing makes you most proud?
I’ve been involved with lots of incredible transformation projects throughout my career which I’m proud of, however it’s seeing how people I’ve helped develop go on to be really successful that gives me the greatest satisfaction.
What are the most important traits to look for when you're hiring?
Capability and drive are a must, but I’m always looking for individuals who are a fit culturally, and who can bring something to enhance the wider team.
What’s the most important risk you took and why?
I worked for a blue-chip organisation where I had a fantastic role, a fantastic team, and a brilliant boss, but had hit the glass ceiling as far as progression was concerned. I decided to leave to pursue a CIO opportunity, and to be honest things didn’t work out the way I expected, but what I learned in the process has been invaluable.
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