An Interview with Ollie
Ollie is Change & Transformations Managing Director. If you’ve ever worked with us, you’ll have spoken to Ollie or had him facilitate a piece of work for you and you’ll have some insight into what he is like already, but as part of our ‘interviews with…’ series, we’re checking in with Ollie to hear his thoughts and insights.
It’s your turn in the hot seat as part of our ‘interviews with…’ series, so first, how are you?
I’m currently in the middle of lots of new work challenges and some training on personality profiles so I’m busy ‘getting on with it all’ and really enjoying the energy that comes from so many different challenges. On a personal level I’ve had a two year break from cycling but I’ve just started training again and playing golf so I’m looking forward to doing more and a bit of time off over the summer.
For those who don’t know much about Change & Transformation, where did the name come from and what were your aims when you started the business and are they different to what your aims are now?
Laura came up with the name and it just fitted perfectly from the beginning. The idea for the business came from my passion for supporting people and organisations striving to create new futures. The aims are still the same now but I’m surprised at how much our approach has grown and developed over the last nine years. The most powerful part of our work, and common across most clients, is the development of shared vision and then from there we might be working on strategy development, culture change, and/or capability building for leaders, teams and managers.
As MD and C&T’s lead facilitator, what do you enjoy most about your role and what do you think is the most important thing about the work you do?
I love exploring the challenges and opportunities with people. As soon as we get groups together to explore what is possible they quickly see opportunities to drive change and growth. It’s exhilarating and inspiring to then work through the journey with them. People soon open up and discuss the challenges facing them once they get a sense of what the future holds and feel they are in a trusted space.
You’re a certified TetraMap facilitator and working towards your master facilitation, we’d love to know, what’s your TetraMap profile, and what do you love most about your preference?
My highest profile score is Fire (I’ve done the test a few times and it’s always top). Water and Earth follow not too far behind. Being optimistic and considering what is possible allows me to bring a new and fresh perspective to people who are dealing with significant workloads. Being able to bring this alive for organisations and their teams facing huge challenges is very rewarding.
The C&T office has quite an extensive library, can you share with us what your favourite book is and why or are there any books you’ve read recently you’d really recommend?
The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge still holds most of the theory and tools that I underpin our work. Many books about learning organisations, developing vision and culture have come since but this one resonates for me. It has some very simple, well-explained theory and practice to help leaders and organisations create their future.
Throughout your working life you’ve travelled to some amazing places – do you have a favourite?
It’s too hard to choose one! South Africa, Jo’burg and my friends there were the inspiration for Change & Transformation so that has to come first. It’s a beautiful place and the people and the change they were going through in the early 90’s was extremely inspirational for me.
A close second would be Helsinki and the surrounding countryside. It’s such a peaceful place and their design and attention to quality is inspiring, whether it’s a simple country cottage or a central Helsinki café – and of course my eldest son lives there!
We’re already a half of the way through the year, do you have any specific goals in mind for 2023, personally or for the business?
Throughout this year we’ve been consolidating how we operate. Bianca is developing a lot of systems to make us more consistent and able to offer higher quality to our partners. Aside from that our offer is developing across all areas of change, strategy, team, innovation, and leadership development. It is a broad offer, and this will bring us more consistency. Personally I’m trying to improve how I stay healthy, mentally and physically.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, one last question, we’ll end it with a nice one! What’s your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
Taking Norman (our dog) for a walk first thing in the morning has become a real favourite moment of the day for me. The sun is coming up, there is no one out and it’s just ten or fifteen minutes of fresh air and quiet time. Aside from that I like having a coffee, or reading a book (mostly work-related) to wind down.