Home Spotlights & Interviews Spotlight: Paul Crabtree

Spotlight: Paul Crabtree


You’ve recently left the Middle East. Tell us about you, your experience, and your time there.

I came to the Middle East for a career opportunity as I wanted to change careers after studying for an MBA. I took a leap of faith which paid off and instead of the expected two years. I stayed a 15 fantastic years. Looking back, my time in L&D in the region was the highlight of my working life so far – colourful variety, random challenges, great adventures and life-long friends. Not to mention years where work never felt like work .

I enjoyed 15 years in the MENA region learning how to deliver results on the ground while meeting company strategic goals. I was very impressed by the culture and warmth of my colleagues in the region, particularly as they rose to the sometimes, unexpected challenges of localisation which I saw handled with skill and robust, long-term solutions.

How would you describe the culture of your business?

Client-focused, relaxed, personalised and proud to be associated with brands and companies represented.

How easy is it for you to get direct access to the decision-makers in companies?

Fairly easy. Decision makers know that L&D and professional growth are key, and that ROI is not a given. If or when they see a positive impact both in business results and attitude, they are open to conversations and even to additional, discretionary investment for targeted interventions.

What are your biggest challenges in the next 5 years?

Ensuring that legacy L&D systems and processes are able to compete technologically with other media. It’s critical that engagement is high and that content is accessible and custom delivered to the learner.

What are the skills and competencies that you would need to train in order to meet the region’s talent requirements?

Omni channel process support – how to give customers a great experience regardless of which channels or tools they use to interact with you.

Listening and questioning skills to back this up – to deliver a more personalised experience based on where the client is in their process and what they need next.

Obsessive product and service expertise. Genius-level knowledge for the majority of customer-facing staff. This means making this information accessible and engaging for everyone, and making everyone self-starters.