Vincent Ryan was recently promoted from associate to director at Barton Willmore's Manchester office. He joined the consultancy five years ago and has worked on major projects across the north west such as the redevelopment of the former Lancaster Moor Hospital site and an urban extension at Longridge in the Ribble Valley. He joined the practice after seven years at Cunnane Town Planning and before that worked at Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Ryan gained a degree and diploma in planning from Newcastle University.
What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?
I do a lot of business development and raising the profile of the practice. But I also get my hands dirty, leading in the preparation of planning appeals including acting as an expert witness, working in multi-disciplinary teams and liaising closely with developers and landowners. We have annual appraisals and are measured on new fee and client generation.
What key lessons have you learnt in your career that helped you fulfil those objectives?
You are only as good as your team. You can't take on jobs individually; you need a team to bounce ideas off each other and tap into expertise and support.
Listen to your client. Understand their needs and priorities, so you can bring added value: most people can deliver on a project to a degree; but how many can really meet the client's objectives?
Be prepared. Whether it's a small meeting, presentation or giving evidence at an inquiry, if you do your ground work, know your topics and think through your arguments you shouldn't go far wrong.