If you know Alison, you’ll know about the calm and clarity she can bring to any form of chaos or complexity. Alison is a highly experienced management consulting professional with over 12 years of experience specializing in strategy, business and operating model design and large scale strategic and operational transformation. As a leader at Blue-Mark, Alison shares her thoughts on client success, what it takes to help leaders move their agendas forward and what she believes to be her superpower!
One of my superpowers comes from making sense of things. I’ve always been a very curious and inquisitive person. I see the world as a series of collisions and connections between competing parts, pieces and agendas and I’ve always been compelled to figure it all out. For me, there’s nothing as exciting as finding a pattern or concept beneath the complexity that explains why things are moving the way they are, or better be able to predict how things are going to play out. I enjoy my work because everyday I get to advise and support business leaders on all manners of complex business agendas from helping them think through business solutions and decisions to navigating through complex, multi-stakeholder environments.
One of my favorite proverbs is, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. It succinctly captures my firm belief that when organizations can bring the right people together effectively, they can move their business agendas swiftly and create sustainable change. Bringing people together sounds simple but is surprisingly hard to master. It requires thoughtful reasoning, structured facilitation, and the ability to think in terms of possibilities. At Blue-Mark, our highly collaborative approach to consulting builds partnerships with all key stakeholders throughout every stage of an engagement. I’m very proud of the successes we’ve had from bringing people together to solution problems and generate ideas.
A successful engagement for me is when I’ve been able to not only help a client move forward their business agenda, but I’ve also left behind something of lasting value. In other words, I strive to not only help my clients solve their problems today but also equip them with the capabilities to better address challenges in the future. When you take an organizational effectiveness lens to fully understand the implications of business initiatives and have strong client involvement throughout the engagement, it provides the unique opportunity to identify critical capability needs. Success isn’t just a one-way street. As a leader, I’m also focused on mentorship and coaching internally to help employees grow. The best feeling is when both my clients and my team have taken away new insights and learnings.
When I reflect on what makes Blue-Mark unique and special, the term “feedback culture” comes to mind. At Blue-Mark, as leaders we focus on ensuring that feedback is integrated into our team’s daily routines, so that we’re always learning and growing as a company and as individuals. I incorporate feedback conversations when I’m on a walk with team members, at the end of a meeting or over a cup of coffee. For me, feedback isn’t just giving and receiving feedback, it’s also asking for input on how I’m doing.
I’m a thrill-seeker! Physical adventures and risks that raise my adrenaline level excite me. Last summer I completed my first backcountry hiking trail on the Bruce Peninsula and this summer I’m planning my first portage trip in Algonquin Park!