Simon Turner graduated in town planning at the University of the West of England in the late 1990s and then worked for Fuller Peiser where he was encouraged to undertake a distance-learning diploma in surveying at Reading University. He then joined DTZ in Manchester to manage a planning team before “moving over to the a client side role” working for a commercial developer until the 2008 economic crisis. Simon then moved back into consultancy roles working independently and with chartered surveyor AspinallVerdi, where he spent three years as a regional director with the firm. Late last year he joined commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) as a planning director.
Q. What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?
My job is to develop the business, identify opportunities and then manage delivery of those new projects. Measurement of objectives is twofold: delivering successful outcomes for clients and meeting or exceeding income-fee targets.
What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil those objectives?
A. Keep learning. It's easy to think you've done this course or learned that specialism, but I came to understand the value of continual evolution of skills when I did the diploma in surveying and have never regretted it.
Keep communicating. It's important in planning to speak and communicate well with everyone involved, not just planning professionals, but the public, so you understand where everyone is coming from and can navigate to a solution that helps all those involved.
Keep reflecting. From time to time things will go wrong – sad, but true - and it's important to reflect on where you went wrong in order to learn lessons that will help you in future projects.