Q: Why are you involved with Awaken?
A: I met Jim Wardlaw through our trusted advisors’ group and started becoming more familiar with
BCCI. The way BCCI has put things together around culture is the intersection of brand, internally
and externally. Things should be in alignment, which is often referred to as “purpose, people, and
place”. How BCCI looks at all of these components really resonates with me. So, I was drawn into
activities at BCCI and attended Awaken last year. I was very honored when Jim asked me to be a
speaker at this year’s conference.
Q: What is the nature of your presentation?
A: My presentation is about the key first steps that most teams seem to overlook when they launch
into a new initiative. It could be strategic planning, when they’re first forming, or any initiative that
they’re going to tackle and need to have a cohesive team for it to be successful. Addressing trust
within the team is highly important for a couple of reasons. One, teams that trust each other can
participate in productive conflict, commit, and hold each other accountable. Trust is also important
to have so team members are comfortable throwing ideas out there knowing that it won’t cause
them any harm if their idea doesn’t work or if it’s a mistake. Exploring and building trust ensures
team cohesion, innovation, and successful strategy implementation, which will be covered during
Q: In your opinion, why is organizational culture important?
A: Because if you don’t pay attention to culture, it will form itself. It’s forming whether or not you’re
paying attention to it or managing it. As a business owner or executive, it’s important to consider
your brand, both externally and internally. It’s been said that your first customer is your employee. If
you treat them well within that culture, they’re going to treat the customers well. If you don’t
manage, pay attention to, nurture, or foster it in the way you envision it to be, it will form itself –
and when this happens, it’s often not in alignment with the vision, strategy, or goals. The way a
company chooses to handle challenges is what helps clients understand what your brand is about.
The same thing can be said with employees. You can either become knowledgeable about an issue
or choose to let it go, allowing it to form itself…and getting on back on track is a lot harder.
Q: What are you looking forward to at this year’s Awaken conference?
A: Not just having the same old, same old approach. I’m looking forward to all of it. In addition to
speaking, I’m interested in connecting new dots and gaining new insights. I’m a learner. I always get
excited about these things. Connecting with participants is part of the equation, too.
Q: Attendees will be learning a great deal from you and other presenters at Awaken 2020. What
specifically do you hope to learn?
A: I hope to learn how I can get more of those who are responsible for managing the culture in their
organizations keyed into this topic. I hope to learn things at Awaken that I can bring back to clients. I
also want to learn how to keep creativity alive in my own HR practice. For years, I’ve been interested
in this, so I want to continue to learn how to work innovation and creativity into my own firm’s