Welcome to another installment of our monthly Spotlight feature – a chance for the readers to get to know the Active IQ team better. This month, we talk to our Head of Operations Michael Donohoe to find out more about his role within the company, what motivates him and ask him for any advice he’d like to share with us.
Michael Donohoe, Head of Operations
Q. Tell us about your role at Active IQ, how long have you worked here and what do you most enjoy?
A. I joined Active IQ in January as Head of Operations, with a principal remit of improving the efficiency of our processes and helping to implement our new digital strategy. As you can probably tell from that remit, IT solutions are a key feature of my role, and I really enjoy implementing business systems that help both colleagues and customers to make best use of their time by servicing their requirements in an intelligent, intuitive way, so I join Active IQ at a very exciting time of change. In the second half of 2017 we will be launching a number of new digital initiatives that will strengthen our offer and improve our customers’ experience, so I really look forward to making those products and services available.
Q. What advice can you give people who aspire to be where you are?
A. Firstly, be inquisitive – I’ve learned a huge amount during my career and developed my skills by absorbing as much as I can from talented people around me, but also from going out of my way to find out more about areas of interest or things that I think will help me to do my job better. We live in an age where information, guidance and training tools are abundantly available and often free, so there’s usually no excuse for not being able to learn more about your topics of interest.
Secondly, take opportunities when they come your way (even if they might be a bit scary!). It generally means that your employer trusts your abilities and wants to invest in your development, so grab that opportunity whilst you can or it mightn’t be offered again.
Finally, be willing to put in some extra graft where necessary. Whether we like the idea or not, successful people often put in extra time and effort due to their own diligence and work ethic, so be prepared to put in the hard yards at times if you want to progress to a senior level.
Q. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A. As a young kid I was sports mad, and had a particular love of athletics. I remember a primary school lesson where we were asked to draw a picture of what we imagine ourselves doing as a job in the future, with our rather cynical teacher telling us not to bother drawing ourselves as footballers “or anything stupid like that, as that’ll never happen” (how inspiring for a group of kids with their whole life ahead of them!) I ignored her and drew myself winning the Olympic 100 metres final, and although I didn’t quite get to that level I was a competitive club sprinter for several years in my teens.
Q. Tell us something we would never guess about you?
A. You wouldn’t know this at a glance as they are all coverable, but I’m a real tattoo enthusiast, with a current tally of 12 dotted around my body!
Q. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
A. Don’t worry about the things you can’t control and focus on the things you can control.
Q. Which exercise do you most enjoy?
A. I really got into various different gym classes during my last job as we had free access to an on-site gym, but I probably most enjoy playing five-a-side football with my friends due to the social aspect of it.
Q. Any hidden talents?
A. My partner says I make the best omelette in the world! I’m not sure they’re quite that good, but they are pretty decent.
Q. How would people describe you in three words?
A. Calm, considered and amiable. I don’t always feel that way, but I think that’s how most would see me!