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Tom Walker

by Garry Miller

Sometimes people gravitate toward one another, and Tom Walker and I did just that.

We had in common a shared optimism for the region in which we worked. We were not direct colleagues, and if it had not been for the shared importance we placed upon optimism, we probably would not have ended up working together.

Tom worked for Department for Trade and Industry (DTI), the former UK Government department. His role was to manage the business support services in the Northwest of England. My role, at the time, involved providing design counselling services to small and medium-sized businesses for and on behalf of the DTI and Design Council.

Our paths crossed as Tom wanted the region to succeed and for regional business support services to be instrumental growth agents.

We became collaborators and together delivered various innovation events and initiatives. Each was aimed at providing the optimism businesses needed to innovate.

Life finally took us on separate paths, and since those crusading years, Tom has been continuing his career in the civil service. Finding himself on the Island of Jersey in 2009 and since 2018 is its Director-General for Strategic Policy, Planning and Performance.

Optimism is a personal favourite of his, alongside the power of kindness. Catching up with Tom recently, he shared his guiding views on optimism inspired by the late Colin Powell (Mr Optimism):

"As the man said, perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. Amplification through belief and confidence gives us all the ability to accomplish even greater feats. Optimism is the positive force that will always get more done."

Tom continues to serve the public and how better than by being optimistic and innovative.

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