My career story
Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin at the beginning. I began my career in change management at the age of six. I had read George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl, and thought it would be an excellent concept to recreate in the playground. I encouraged all the children in the class to bring in a random item from home - lipstick, powder paint, shampoo, washing up liquid, and so on. My contribution was to bring in a large bowl. We mixed our concoction together, and then I made everyone drink some of it. This being the 80s, my school teacher howled with laughter, and simply told my parents that I showed early signs of leadership. Looking back with the wisdom of an experienced change manager, I see that my younger self was experimenting with the key change management concept of influencing hearts and minds through emotional appeals that paint an inspirational picture of the future (kids, you might fly!). I’ve never looked back…
I began my career working in the NHS as a PA in the IT department, and rapidly became a master at stakeholder management. I then moved into project delivery, working on a range of projects including a major community website roll-out.
I then switched to change management consulting for a large American technology outsourcing firm, and learned my trade working for on the National Programme for IT. Most people who worked in consulting in the early 2000s worked on the National Programme for IT, and have the scars to show for it - ask me to tell the story of how I learned about the importance of sponsorship, and why you should tell people what the impact is on their roles before they get into training, rather than while they’re in the training classroom.
I worked in consulting for nearly ten years, specialising in organisational change. I commuted to Berlin for 18 months while working for a global manufacturing firm on a major IT improvement programme, including a Remedy service desk roll-out for 2k account team members and 100k global clients. I also got a target operating model project for an insurance client and a large transition/transformation programme for a transportation client under my belt, in between delivering my own two personal projects - my two eldest daughters. In each assignment I provided change management expertise to my clients - change strategy, communication, stakeholder engagement, change impact assessment, organisational change, leadership and culture, training and education, readiness, transition, and benefits management.
While on my first maternity leave, I established Simply The Nest, my DIY blog. I have now been blogging for nearly ten years, and receive hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. I also have 24k followers on my related Instagram account, and have worked with major brands such as BoConcept Manchester.
After my second daughter was born, I decided that a life on the road was no longer for me, and moved to my first in-house change role at a Manchester-based European energy provider. I worked there for three years as the company’s change management lead, where my successes included establishing and managing the change team for a £40m IT transformation programme, setting up a European centre of excellence for change practitioners, and rolling out a cultural change programme that substantially increased engagement levels within the IT and Operations departments.
I joined the Love Withington Baths community team, and used my project and change management skills to save a much loved heritage swimming pool from closure. I’m now on the Board of Love Withington Baths as the Director of IT and Governance, a voluntary role that I have held for over three years.
After daughter number three arrived, I moved to my second in-house change role with an education charity, again based in Manchester. I’ve been there for over two years now as the Head of Change, leading a team of change managers providing the full range of change activities for a large-scale IT enabled business transformation programme.
Click here to read my full CV on my LinkedIn profile.