How do they do it? Jonathan Wade

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 25 Jan 2016

Jonathan WadeJonathan Wade graduated in environmental science before taking a postgraduate masters degree in town planning at the University of Liverpool. He followed this up with masters degrees in urban regeneration and in urban design at the University of Westminster. After spells at Reading and Bromley Councils he joined the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea at the end of 1997, eventually moving from a senior role in development management into policy. He is now head of forward planning for the borough. 

Q. What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them? 

I manage two relatively small teams looking to optimise development opportunities but ensure new development reflects the townscape. A big challenge right now is how to meet our latest London Plan housing target. My objectives are ultimately measured against outcomes and it can be a challenge achieve good ones, especially in the more deprived areas - they do exist, even in Kensington and Chelsea.

Q. What key lessons have you learned during your career that help fulfil those objectives?

A. Build a strong team. Make sure you have lively and motivated people around with a sense of balance and humour. 

Believe in what you do. There will be be plenty of times when your belief will be tested, so it must be firm and enduring.

Use your people skills wisely. Learning to influence others and exercising common sense are key ingredients so you can take people with you – you need to do this to be successful.