Introducing Tony Rogers, Director at Deja People, keen writer and history enthusiast!
Hello Tony! You run Deja People along with your partner Julia - an organisation which helps to resolve people related business problems. What were your motivations in creating the company?
I had worked for a succession of big organisations including The Department of Health, AXA, and GSK. I wanted to redress my work life balance, working part-time and offering my expertise in HR whilst also writing my novel.
It’s also great to collaborate with my wife Julia who is an experienced business psychologist. Deja People is a collaboration with others too; Harry, an experienced learning and development professional, Barbara, a change management expert and Emily, an employment lawyer.
What are the most fulfilling and the most mundane aspects of your job?
The most fulfilling aspects are solving people problems; getting people working together again when all seemed intractable. Also supporting people to make evidence based decisions and not just pursuing the latest fads. Evidence based practice means bringing together information from scientific studies, internal data, stakeholder views and our own professional experience.
The most mundane aspect is the usual - getting paid and paying others. Also frustrating not to have IT support when you’re running your own business!
If you were forced to make a career change (money and practicalities aside) what job would you go for?
I think the answer here is that I’ve just done that. And if this fails I will become a professional quizzer.
According to your Deja People bio you enjoy Renaissance history. What fascinates you about this particular period?
I would say to be honest I’m interested in all history and different cultures. Renaissance is a particular favourite at the moment because of my novel. But what’s not to like about great paintings and sculpture, the birth of modern music and the birth of literature?
You also enjoy writing - What sort of things do you write? And are there any particular authors who inspire your writing?
My novel is set in 16th century Italy and France. One of it’s main characters is Torquato Tasso who is now lesser known but until the 19th century was as well-known as Shakespeare. Think of the book as a revamped Canterbury Tales - Hilary Mantel meets David Mitchell (cloud Atlas) meets Ali Smith.
Describe your ideal three course meal, money no object.
This is very difficult. Living by the sea, seafood is a must. You can get fantastic seafood platters in the Regency Fish Bar. I’d have to go for a seafood platter, like the platters you get in France. If I were forced to eat anything after that it would be steak and chips and creme brulee.
What is the greatest advantage of having your base here at PLATF9RM?
It’s meeting lots of interesting people with energy and drive. And it gets me out of the house and gives my dog, Pepita, the opportunity to meet lots of interesting dogs. It’s great to have your dog with you at work.
How does PLATF9RM compare to your previous office space?
I worked at Custom Pharma Services - it’s a manufacturing environment so there were no windows. I was in a shared office which was 10 foot squared with no windows.
Tell me something about yourself that is perhaps surprising or unexpected.
An interesting fact is that I went to the same school in Geneva as fellow PLATF9RM member Alex Prezanti but we were 20 years apart.
If you want to be a member at our space, get in touch for a tour and trial.