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Mantra

Anything is possible!
  

In a nutshell

Facilitator, Consultant, All-rounder
  

Availability

Partly Available Immediately
  

Location

London, United Kingdom
  

Languages

  • English
  

Top 5 Strengths

  • Motivational
  • Outcome Focused
  • Great Communicator
  • Hard Working
  • Highly Reliable
  

Skills

  

Nominated By


  

HM Expert Since

Tuesday August 20, 2019
  

About Cari

Curious and upbeat, I like to help people understand concepts and changes so they can get the most from their work - as leaders, managers, or the front line - while meeting business objectives.

I ask the right questions to find the causes of blockers, and apply the most appropriate tools and techniques for the specific situation and audience.

My experience ranges from UK Civil Service communications and digital roles to consultancy work on processes, strategy and behaviours - with a bit of project management thrown in throughout.

If you need an all-rounder with a full toolkit of solutions please get in touch!
  

Current Role Details

Leadership of public and private sector project engagement, management and delivery, using traditional and agile methodologies alongside Lean process techniques and a range of facilitation practices as relevant to provide sustainable results.
  

Cari's Valuable Contributions

(Case Studies)

HOW UNLOCKING SILOS WITH AN 'UNCONFERENCE' IMPROVED DELIVERY EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS (Reveal More  OR   View Full Page)


Situation
This team within a traditional transport business found that hierarchies were preventing truly effective collaboration.

The team were completing project planning and preparation, and about to move into delivery – requiring faster pace and proactive support across disciplines.

Task
As part of a wider workstream I was asked to design a session to enable a route to open communication for the rapid and effective escalation of challenges.

This would be a single intervention of a team awayday, using the time to build trust, develop capability, and define clear cross-team actions on key areas to gain experience of working better together at pace.

Action
The team needed to:

- develop the right communication capabilities and capacity to deliver
- build increased confidence from the business
- create increased quality of oversight, control and delivery performance.

Having built a strong relationship with the team lead I proposed an innovative (for them) format: morning - building trust and relationships; afternoon - experiencing pace and individual responsibility using an 'unconference' format. I worked with individuals in the team to prepare them for the day, helped leaders to endorse activities to enable understanding of trust, and introduced the ‘unconference’ method to empower team members to deal with their own challenges, support those of their colleagues, and deliver.

On the day I facilitated throughout, reinforcing the 'one team' ethos by encouraging sharing between participants.

Results
The team awayday itself achieved all objectives: building capability in 'trust' techniques, developing cross-team working in short, fast-paced exercises, and defining new and well-defined actions for the team in key challenge areas in the 'unconference'. On the day, barriers were broken, silos smashed, and we couldn’t get participants to stop talking to go for coffee. Feedback included “Everyone got involved with, and contributed to, the activities – there wasn’t the feeling of ‘having to sit through another one of these’ – a very positive mood in the room.”

Back in the office, after the event, I made sure to informally ‘check in’ with different members of the team at different levels on immediate feedback and ongoing engagement. Value was seen in:

- improved delivery efficiency and effectiveness, building trust to better challenge and speak up to resolve issues collaboratively
- more openness and progress leading to improved credibility with and confidence from across the business
- improved ability to support team and business directives
- and removal of 'pain' around lack of clarity or understanding on operational readiness requirements

[image by Schluesseldienst from Pixabay]



SURFACING ISSUES AND CREATING OWNERSHIP THROUGH VISUAL MANAGEMENT (Reveal More  OR   View Full Page)


Situation
The senior leader of a construction team wanted the team to resolve issues more rapidly to better support project delivery needs.

Task
We were asked to develop a visual management ‘war room’ to support regular meetings, surfacing data in a more visual way to enable understanding and improve collaboration.

Action
We worked with the team to identify what data was important to decision-making, and how it directly related to the project deliverables and benefits. We encouraged them to embrace increased visibility of oversight, governance, control and delivery performance and dug into concerns around more sharing of data.

To reduce ambiguity and gain buy-in, we worked with the team to validate the perception of their senior leader. They felt that information was available and visible, but inefficiency with business ‘rhythm’ (multiple meetings with the same people looking at the same challenges) and duplication / gaps were to blame for delayed resolution. From this understanding we adapted the plan (working with the team and senior leader throughout), articulating the validated project goals in terms of both visual management and business flow and using agile techniques to maintain momentum.

For the ‘war room’ boards we created paper-based ‘wireframes’ for initial feedback, then used whiteboards for rapid iteration, before finally printing boards for ongoing use. Alongside this, we worked with the team’s leadership to define terms of reference to optimise the business flow. We also worked with individuals and teams to develop collaborative behaviours.

Results
The visual management ‘war room’ was delivered to deadline, with the team taking ownership of data, visuals and behaviours, self-policing the agreed terms of reference, and continuing iteration to create sustainable results.

Providing effective tools and coaching new ways of working improved collaboration, alongside providing 'good' data agreed across the project and common reporting tools - what started as several meetings is now one, and a mix of reporting routes is now a 'single source of truth'.

Individual teams better understand operational requirements across the piece - and are clear on ownership - allowing them to more quickly implement changes to resolve issues.

 

[Image by Wynn Pointaux from Pixabay]



DELIVERING ENGINEERING STRATEGY THROUGH LEADERSHIP TEAM DEVELOPMENT (Reveal More  OR   View Full Page)


Situation
The engineering leadership team of a transport business needed to better develop, articulate and deliver their strategy.

They had previously identified objectives but progress had stalled ('day job' taking priority) and activity was more often ad hoc and uncoordinated.

Task
We were asked to work with the team to develop their strategy, lead the identification, documentation and progression of their objectives, and encourage understanding of wider program priorities.

Initial consultation also uncovered a gap in leadership skills within and across the team.

Action
We designed a series of workshops, initially introducing the team to policy deployment tools and techniques (encouraging a more strategic mindset) and later driving into the culture and behaviours needed to embed engineering into projects and champion engagement. The workshops encouraged sharing of ideas and knowledge across the group and created opportunities for team members to develop their skills.

Enabling better understanding of the strategy helped the leadership team to:

  • improve planning and forecasting

  • develop the right capabilities and capacity to deliver

  • better align their work and teams with Business Strategy.


Throughout the project we provided analysis and reporting of progress, group and individual coaching, and change management support. This enabled the team to focus on strategic actions and personal development, and ensured recognition of success.

Results
Over the course of the workshops the group gelled, creating an atmosphere for open discussion (and at times robust debate) around factors affecting the engineering team and how to be proactive in meeting the challenges of the wider program. One year on, the team had delivered their strategic objectives and defined new ones for the year ahead - along with a plan (and the tools, skills and confidence) to achieve them.

In addition to achieving the strategic objectives, real value was seen in the team's confidence and improved credibility across the business, with better project estimation and delivery capability leading to higher customer and colleague satisfaction. The efficiency gain from delivering 'right first time' and clarity around project performance also allowed clearer demonstration of value and the ability to better support business objectives.

At project close we received an in-house thankyou award 'for actively collaborating with the engineering team to deliver the strategy objectives, being the driving force behind identifying and prioritising the critical areas for team improvement'

 

[Image by ar130405 from Pixabay]



REALISING CROSS-DEPARTMENT SYNERGIES THROUGH CRM IMPLEMENTATION (Reveal More  OR   View Full Page)


Situation
The client, a large further education college, needed to improve results in their relationships with external contacts. They had engaged a Microsoft Dynamics CRM provider and needed additional project management capability to implement this new tool.

Task
I was asked to project manage the implementation in three phases for business development and sales, vacancy management, and student recruitment. Throughout I would seek and document internal stakeholder needs, work with the internal technical team to translate these into technical requirements and system documentation, and manage the CRM supplier's delivery through design, build and handover.

Action
My understanding of digital and data management allowed me to ‘speak the language’ of supplier and technical teams and apply principles of user needs to gain the trust of non-technical academic and business teams.

I began by gathering stakeholder needs, developing a relationship with the technical supplier, and discovering the internal technical team’s capability and concerns. To gain buy-in and gather feedback through the phased implementation I used group facilitation techniques, ensuring all voices were heard and concerns / ideas exposed - as well as improving the group's access to skills, capabilities and expertise, and cross-business collaboration, communication and buy in. I took responsibility for technical documentation and alignment of new and existing policies for, among other things, data protection and GDPR.

My range of skills, including experience of Lean, meant I could also map processes for a number of academic and business functions and suggest improvements. Teams using these processes (with the CRM) were better able to identify, agree and prioritise new ideas and opportunities to generate business value, using improved context and insight to improve accuracy and confidence in tactical and strategic decision-making.

Results
The system was handed over into business-as-usual as planned, enabling the team to take ownership with the tools they need to continue to optimise for the future, and enabling the realisation of synergies across the organisation as a whole. The human-centric approach provided a model for ongoing maintenance and future development.

Almost 100 internal staff contributed and were trained on the CRM, managing more than 7000 contacts in 5000 external businesses. The process for new customer acquisition, addition to the system, and relationship management was now delivered in a consistent way. The behaviours within and across teams were visibly more collaborative, building a transparent and trustworthy culture. And goals across teams were aligned, with a customer-focus enabling clarity of ownership across the business ecosystem.

 

[Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay]



  

Roles & Results

RAIL AND TRANSPORT CLIENTS, INCLUDING TFL, HIGHWAYS ENGLAND - Principal Consultant (A2B Excellence)

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Requirements / Actions
Consultancy and project leadership and support
Delivery and Achievements
Successful delivery of project activities to client satisfaction; Constructive challenge and introduction of new techniques; Sustainable client team capability and growth; Strong relationships.


FURTHER EDUCATION CLIENTS INCLUDING WNC, LSEC, CSSD - Associate Consultant (Bentley Management & Consulting)

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Requirements / Actions
Digital project management and business process improvement
Delivery and Achievements
Led improvement with internal departments and external supplier; Ad hoc team / individual capability development; Identification and realisation of cross-department process synergies.


CIVIL SERVICE AGENCIES INCLUDING CMA, OFT, OFSTED, BRITISH COUNCIL - In-house digital and communications roles

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Requirements / Actions
BAU and project leadership and delivery
Delivery and Achievements
Merged OFT and CC websites and intranets to form new CMA platforms and content; Successful delivery of digital projects; Team leadership and management


  

Industry Experience

  • Business Services
  • Capital Projects and Infrastructure
  • Education
  • Engineering and Construction
  • Government and Public Services
  • Technology
  • Transport and Logistics
  

Regional Experience

  

Articles




Cari Hewer

Profile picture of Cari Hewer

@cari_hewer

active 2 hours, 17 minutes ago