“Exhausting, emotional and rewarding”… Dawn Rutherford shares her personal change experience as a result of COVID-19.
Dawn Rutherford joined Marbral Advisory, the Channel Island’s largest change management company, as a Principal Change Architect three years ago. She works behind the scenes with leaders and organisations to support them in delivering their change programmes. Today, she comes into the spotlight to share her personal change experience as a result of Covid19 and why she is so passionate about her profession.
The last 18 months has changed the world in a way no-one could have ever envisaged. Being a Change Architect, you must be used to change, so how have you found this extraordinary period?
Exhausting, emotional and rewarding.
Exhausting - because everything has been different, using Teams/ Zoom for all meetings, pressing the mute button and not being able to take it off and putting the camera on with no make-up..shocker! When things change, everything takes more effort. It’s like trying to write with your left hand when you are right-handed.
Emotional - losing the ability to visit family and friends in the UK and missing those all-important dates with them. When going through change, people need emotional support and during the last year this has been limited to virtual meetings. Thankfully, my parents have now worked out where to put the camera, so I can at least see them but for me it’s just not the same as in person and it’s without the hugs that say, ‘it will all be ok’.
However, it’s also mostly been rewarding. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing and inspirational people on Jersey in both the public and private sectors, seeing first hand everyone working together to achieve a common goal: the safety of the Island and its community.
Change Management is a term widely used in business but not always understood, how would you describe it?
For me, it is the process of managing the people side of change. A lot of energy, effort and money is invested by companies in defining the changes they want to make and the resulting development of new technology and processes but the key to any successful change is that people actually use what you have produced or alter their behaviour to realise the project benefits. According to Prosci (Best Practices in Change Management 2018), a project that has excellent change management is six times more likely to meet objectives than with poor change management and having an effective Executive Sponsor can increase a project’s changes of achieving its intended business benefits from 25% to 85%.
Humans are creatures of habit and have years of experience of resisting change, so when we embark on any type of change, whether that be personal or work related, it is important to acknowledge that people will resist it (even if it is deemed to be a positive change).
Change resistance can be anything from negativity and conflict to avoidance and disengagement but with the help of change management activities, for example proactive communication and engagement plans, visible and supportive change sponsorship from all organisation leaders (not just the executive teams), this resistance can be reduced both in terms of the stress to individuals and the time it takes for the change to be embedded.
Having been involved in change as a consultant for a number of years, why would you recommend it as a career?
It is really diverse. You get to work across all sectors and organisations, in challenging environments with great people and teams. There are a few limitations based on background and previous experience but being passionate about supporting people and a commitment to continued professional development is a must. You learn so much every day and every situation has its own challenges and rewards. It is also growing in popularity with more roles becoming available as businesses see the value in the investment.
What kind of projects have you worked on in recent years and why did you choose to work with Marbral Advisory?
My experience prior to joining Marbral Advisory was mainly in the financial services sector but since moving to Jersey, I have worked mainly for the public sector across the Channel Islands. The projects have ranged from long term organisation change and people projects to the facilitation of vision/ values sessions and change management training sessions.
I chose to work with Marbral Advisory as their organisation values align with my own personal values, they source the most interesting projects, and finally (but most importantly) they have a simply excellent team.
For more information on Marbral Advisory please visit their website: www.marbraladvisory.com
If you are interested in applying for a position at Marbral Advisory as either a permanent member of staff or as an Associate, then please contact Laura Spears, Head of People and Operations: firstname.lastname@example.org