Lisa Harris spoke with one of our client partners to learn more about her consulting career and her experience working at Evolve over the past three years.

What is something creative that you did in your role or on your program that you are really proud of?

For my role on a program at a chemical company we were working with, the most creative and beneficial exercise for our workstream was designing a compelling story. Since standardization has few direct metrics, and no one gets very excited about doing it, explaining why standardization is important was critical both for our team and for those outside our team. The development of this story forced the team to really think why this path was important to them personally as well as to the client overall. The result was great in that they combined a need with a little out of the box thinking and it worked!

Most impactful failure or something that went wrong that you learned from?

Learning the value of commitment and never giving up. When I was in graduate school, getting a PhD required passing a comprehensive exam. You were given about one and a half chances to pass, or you were out of the program.

After the test was over, I went to my Dad’s house to try and get some reassurance that I was going to live through this. However, my father’s response was “not everyone was cut out to be a PhD!” He was really trying to help by motivating me to quit whining, put my boxing gloves on and get in there and finish the fight. At that moment, it didn’t feel helpful, but it did make me mad and as a result I got back in the fight and won. What I carried away from that experience is that you need to work hard, believe in who you are, keep moving forward and never give up.

What’s the best part of the Evolve culture?

I think Evolve has a great culture that puts together the pieces I was missing in previous work. While this is great, I think the best part is being able to admit that you need help on something, having others always ready to assist and not having to deal with the looks or comments, such as, “you should know this” or “that is a stupid question”. This type of attitude is refreshing and enables increased learning and more compassion for each other within Evolve. An amazing example of this was the time some colleagues of mine helped me prepare for a test I was required to pass for a program, all before I even attended the Evolve assessment center.

What does Evolve stand out for?

I have rolled out CI programs at several companies (from within the company) and no matter what, something comes up that results in dumping the entire effort, usually from the lack of commitment in the senior leadership because it was more difficult than expected. I was not able to find impactful ways to communicate to the senior leadership so they really understood the message and commitment required to be successful.

Based on those experiences, I think the Organizational Space model is what Evolve stands for, or more like the Organizational Space model stands for Evolve. I like the structure of the pyramid and how the bottom three layers are the stone on which you want to build the rest of your business. Using this with the client is very powerful and easily sets us apart from others.

Finish this sentence: “Call me if you need...”

Statistical analysis, teaching or all types of CI and problem solving. But my real answer would be if you need compassion, understanding or someone to help resolve (or really, just listen to) a problem, or a shoulder to cry on.

Best or most influential book or film you've read/watched?

I have rules for movies: (1) No crying required, (2) I do not want to learn a life lesson, (3) I do not like stupid funny and (4) I just want to be entertained. In addition, I really like action movies and I like reading those types of books as well. A couple of favorites (I liked both the book and movie) are: The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, and The Hunt for Red October.

They were all challenging to follow and had lots of twists and turns you don’t figure out until later. And of course, some nice looking actors thrown in for good measure.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world (living or dead) who would it be and why?

This is a difficult question for me. I am a serious social introvert and unless I am with someone I know very well, dinner would be difficult. So, going to parties or dinners, or hosting either one is challenging and most of the time, my stomach hurts! Weird, right? At work it is not an issue, but still pretty crazy for a consultant. So picking someone is difficult!

With all that said, my first choice would be my mother, who passed away 22 years ago. She was my biggest fan, tough when she needed to be, but truly a wonderful person and role model. We could always talk about anything and saw each other often. Today, there are lots of days that I would really like to sit with her, have her council, or just have a cup of tea.

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