'‘We have completely re-engineered the business to be a provider of integrated, validated, and expert solutions for customers’'
‘Talent management’ is a popular buzzword for today’s business, but what does it really mean to Synermetric CEO and owner John Dutton? As our company undergoes some major changes in 2015 we take some time out with John to talk about his consulting career, interest in assessments, and what is in store for the next Synermetric chapter. In a cosy interview over tea and croissants, he strips away the buzz and emphasises his people-focused outlook in the workplace and beyond.
'‘My career has been a series of interlinked steps based on responding to opportunities rather than a predetermined master plan'’
Before amassing his vast experience with HR consulting and psychometric assessments, John began his career teaching at a local technical college at the age of nineteen. His role as a professor nurtured his continuing interest in adult learning development and education. Additional experience as an accountant introduced him to finance, which contributed to his hybrid career of commercial background alongside learning and development work.
In his 30s he reached a career crossroads, driven by two key factors: wanting to build and drive his own business, and focussing on adult education and learning.
So began his consulting journey. What started as a project in his bedroom as a sole trader progressed into a successful consulting business utilising various assessments and tools, with a specific focus on 360-degree feedback in the early days.
360-degree feedback has always been fundamental in the consulting age of John’s career and played a key part in the process of helping people be more aware of what they did really well and what their strengths were.
“A key part of learning development is to give people the message and motivation”
Recognising the lack of an efficient solution provider for organisations in learning and development processes, John expanded his vision to form ConsultingTools, a business providing psychometric tools and project support to consultants and organisations. The great successes of the company, both in the UK and internationally, led to further expansion of both its mission and offerings. Thus the company rebranded as Synermetric, an organisation building on the synergies between psychometrics, and a provider of a wide range of well-validated, expert solutions for its customers.
For John, the transition of the brand sees him driving business strategy whilst enjoying his role as a mentor and coach to his workforce. John has created a talented team full of fresh ideas and aspirations.
Outside his commitment to Synermetric, John fills his time with roles as a chairman and board member to four different charities. Two of these are dedicated to dyslexia, an issue of great passion and personal significance to John. He channels the same passion and drive from his career into enhancing the strengths of people living with dyslexia as well as encouraging them through its challenges.
"I don’t think of it as a disability as it comes with significant talents and strengths”
As if that weren’t enough, John is also a fully qualified jet–setter. Sit him down for ten minutes and he’ll regale you with tales of one of the many places he has travelled. From Canada to South Africa to China, the list is practically endless.
“We’re a travelling family; our eldest’s first trip with us was to New Zealand when she was six months old”
Whilst travelling, John’s second love of photography makes an appearance, and he will often spend time behind the lens to capture the sights of his adventures.
“I am passionate about photography, particularly if it involves being in a game reserve in Africa somewhere”
Focusing back on Synermetric, there is a strong emphasis now on a new chapter in John’s career as CEO of the brand. He has renewed his focus on becoming a mentor, coach, and support to those around him. Stripping back all the themes in John’s career to date, at the core is his dedication and willingness in enabling others to achieve.
“I’m wired in a way to create opportunities for people to help them grow and develop”
Whether as a father to his three children or to his Synermetric family, John is passionate about encouraging talent. The correlation between John and that of Synermetric itself is their mission to empower people to thrive and develop their strengths for success.
“Why assessments? To me, psychometrics are about becoming aware of what we are and therefore enabling us to see what we want to become-- individually, as a team, and as an organisation.”