Drew Tompkins is a seasoned business leader with more than 20 years of leadership experience and proven track record for leading large teams, implementing significant organizational change and delivering business results. As a leader at Blue-Mark, Drew shares his insights on his work, trusted relationships, courage, what effective change looks like and more.
1. What has been one of your most meaningful and rewarding engagements with a client and why?
About three years ago, I did an engagement focused on building a more collaborative culture. This engagement required training and workshops that supported employees and managers in challenging the way they collaborate. In these sessions, we provided a safe environment for individuals to create new relationships and business partnerships – many of which hadn’t happened before. Furthermore, the leadership team was ecstatic about the positive impact that it had on the organization. It was truly meaningful and impactful for them. The concept and principles embedded in this engagement are core to our current Blue-Mark training about building trusted relationships.
2. Tell us about a time you had to be courageous during an engagement with a client.
Being courageous is a big part of what we do at Blue-Mark. There are many times during an engagement where we’ve had to challenge established thinking, assumptions and approaches by bringing a different perspective to our client’s discussions and decision-making. It can be tough to tell key stakeholders about their risks and blind-spots, but it’s an important part of the consulting process. We work hard to drive informed decision making.
3. What are you hoping to achieve through the current work that you do?
I just want to help people solve their problems by defining and implementing well thought-out plans. My overall goal is to give the clients confidence that they will be able to deliver their agenda.
4. What is a key step when approaching a new client engagement?
When starting a new engagement, it is important to first understand the client’s perspective. Understanding and helping them articulate their viewpoint helps us fully understand the current environment, perspectives and opinions. This approach expedites understanding and builds the foundation of trust, that is critical for effectively navigating the engagement throughout the life cycle.
5. What are key characteristics you think your clients need to effectively mobilize complex change?
Effectively mobilizing complex change is all about leadership. Leaders need to provide their employees, managers and affected key stakeholders with:
- Direction on what needs to change and why,
- Opportunities to engage in defining and implementing the change,
- Evidence of commitment to the change by collaboratively working through the change, issues and concerns, and
- The knowledge and skills required to adopt the new behaviours and activities required
6. What is your advice on building trusted relationships in a work environment?
- Deliver on what you’ve promised consistently and with quality.
- Act with integrity and honesty.
- Bring focus and purpose to all your interactions (meetings and one-on-one discussions, etc.)
- Finally, take time to understand others and consider their needs to adapt your approach to better meet their needs.
7. What do you think is something unique about the Blue-Mark team?
The Blue-Mark team is a group of extremely smart and talented individuals. With that said, we know that we don’t know everything. We are inquisitive and we are going to contribute our best thought process to help our clients achieve their goals. At Blue-Mark, you’re going to find people who truly care, who will ask the right questions and who will really make you think.
8. What is the best part about working at Blue-Mark?
I love working at Blue-Mark because of the amazing team, the variety and types of engagements and the collaborative-iterative approach we use in our consulting method.
9. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in their consulting career at Blue-Mark?
There are two key characteristics that I feel all Blue-Mark employees embody. I would also like to present them as pieces of advice to anyone interested in a consulting career.
a) Be Inquisitive – This allows you to explore, ask questions and think things through. If you don’t understand it, then maybe others don’t either. By asking the right questions you can get a better understanding for yourself, your client and others.
b) Iterate – Your success is going to be based on your genuine thought process. Once you think you know the answer or the next steps, don’t stop, seek other perspectives and think about it even more. You’ll never know when the best ideas will come to mind, but they will.
Education: Sc. (Hons.), B.Ed. (Hons.), MBA
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