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Spotlight on Steve

Meet Steve, our experienced Senior Learning and Development Manager, specialising in designing and delivering interactive, engaging and impactful development programmes, creating learning environments where learners can feel empowered, challenged, and share thoughts and experience.  

Steve joined the Ashorne Hill team just over 15 months ago and has already made a huge difference in the lives of our learners and colleagues.

Steve Hicks

Senior Learning & Development Manager At Ashorne Hill


Steve started at Ashorne Hill as a Learning and Development Manager and quickly progressed to Senior Learning and Development Manager.  Supporting our L&D Director (James Lee) and our wider team with the coordination of new programmes and client development.

A firm believer in experiential learning, Steve brings a great deal of collaboration to his sessions and is able to transfer this engagement across formats, virtually and in-person.

Challenging learners to think differently, believe in their potential and practice their new skills, is important to Steve, this is why he works on the end-to-end process and focuses on results and the objectives to which are established at the very start – ensuring that each learner gets the most out of their learning experience with us.

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What attracted you to joining the team at Ashorne Hill?

The opportunity to work in an L&D environment focused solely on the leadership and management space; a subject I am passionate and driven about.


How do you feel that your personal strengths and experience add value to the team and offering at Ashorne Hill?

My strengths and experience are firmly in the leadership and management space, and particularly creating engaging and interactive learning solutions that bring these topics to life for delegates. I feel well positioned to support the team driving forwards to creating innovative, immersive leadership and management programmes that deliver lasting change in organisations.


Can you tell us of some of your most memorable achievements?

From my time at Ashorne Hill so far, I have already been fortunate to have been involved in business successes. One of the first projects I was tasked with was to tender for a large opportunity to design and manage a management training programme – I was extremely pleased and proud that Ashorne Hill were awarded this contract.


Can you explain a little about how your career has been allowed to grow at Ashorne Hill?

One of the reasons that I was so interested and enthusiastic about joining Ashorne Hill was the impression that personal development, career opportunities and growth were all embedded in the way Ashorne Hill engages with its people. I have found this to absolutely be the case in many ways. I have enrolled on a L5 Diploma qualification with the encouragement and support of my Director and the Ashorne Management Committee; I have had the opportunity to job shadow and learn more about other aspects of Ashorne Hill; and ultimately, I have also been successful in gaining promotion to Senior L&D Manager in my time here. There is no doubt in my mind that Ashorne Hill lives its purpose to grow, nurture and develop people.


In your opinion what makes Ashorne Hill such a great place to work at?

Ashorne Hill is a unique place; there are many factors! It’s a fantastic team to work with, the venue is stunning, as an individual I am supported and encouraged to develop, and the future looks very exciting.

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In your opinion, what makes Ashorne Hill an ideal choice for learning and delegates alike?

Spending time at Ashorne Hill, as a learning or conference delegate, is something unlike anything else I have experience of. The natural setting and unique building immediately position the day as something different. Delegates are encouraged to consider a whole different mindset and apply a wide perspective to the challenges presented to them. Delegates are naturally and subtly given the space to explore ideas and challenges, and this brings a positivity that lasts far beyond just their time at Ashorne Hill.


Ashorne Hill exudes positivity and creativity, give us your most positive phrase or saying.

“We all can dance when we find music that we love” – from Giraffes Can’t Dance (my 3.5 year old daughter’s book!)

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How do you see our core value of ‘Creativity’ reflected in your day-to-day experience and role at Ashorne and how you add to these values in your approach to work?

Our L&D ambition is to become a greater presence in thought-leadership and to develop and own new and exciting leadership concepts. This challenges us to be creative in how we design and build programmes, and bring new concepts to life for delegates. Our focus on experiential learning provides us with an excellent opportunity to be creative in how we challenge delegates to apply and practice skills and behaviours; whether that is building an artic shelter whilst blindfolded or running around like Headless Chickens (it’s an activity!).


How do you see our core value of ‘Integrity’ reflected in your day-to-day experience and role at Ashorne and how you add to these values in your approach to work?

Integrity is, I believe, doing what you say you will do, doing your best work in everything you are asked to do, and being genuine in the support and guidance you offer to colleagues. These behaviours are demonstrated every day in Ashorne Hill from the L&D team collaborating to design and build learning programmes, to the support from the wider Ashorne Hill teams in the venue, customer support and F&B that all contribute to our clients exceptional experience.

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Can you tell us where you see the future of learning and development leading to?

The future of learning and development will continue to evolve with the exponential growth of technology; but for me, the underpinning principles of learning – challenging, sharing, experiencing – will remain and perhaps become even more critical to equip people to successfully navigate an increasingly globalised workplace.


What steps do you think L&D should take to keep up with the speed of change?

(How do we design learning for constant change?)

We certainly have to stay on the curve, if not in some aspects even get ahead of it. L&D has to match the pace of change in organisations and that means being adaptable, flexible and agile in our approach, and underpinning this with key skills that enable people to work effectively together, solve problems creatively and demonstrate exceptional leadership skills to be successful in the future.

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And finally, what is your favourite thing about Ashorne Hill?

I am very fortunate to work with brilliant people. Ashorne Hill is a fantastic environment to work in because of the people who make it such a success, and are constantly supportive, engaged and dedicated. Lunchtime walks around the stunning grounds are a big bonus too!

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