Kerry Evans checked in with one of our Client Partners to see how life at Evolve has been since joining two years ago, and what it is about working here that is different from past consulting experiences.
How long have you worked for Evolve?
It’s been a little over two years. I was hired in April 2016.
What part of your job do you find most challenging and why?
I think it has been learning the Evolve process of engaging the client. We work more directly with the client than what I was used to, and the Foundation is much longer. I do see the benefits though. At firms I worked for in the past, the 4-6 week journey was consultant driven, with approximately 80% of the effort on the consultant. If the consultant already knew the answer, he/she would go for it from the beginning as there were results deadlines to meet. At Evolve, we engage the client in a self-discovery journey to get those results. It takes longer but it’s more sustainable. I’m still adapting to this change to be honest.
Describe a time you were able to be creative with your work. What part of that was exciting and why?
I would say the Foundation for a leading Oil & Gas producer in Calgary. It was my first Foundation with Evolve, and I was putting into practice the new processes learned while on the bench. In my theme I needed to touch base with multiple departments—with some located remotely off site—so it was a lot of work to get the leadership and organization engaged. Planning working sessions often required video conferencing and tons of creative prep, as the audiences were at different org chart levels and had different agendas. In the end we probably engaged close to 50 people to put together a sound benefit case. They even admitted that the success of the outcome was due to all of them working together and putting their fingerprints on the final document, which was very exciting to hear.
What’s different about working at Evolve than other places you’ve worked?
As I mentioned before, in previous lives the analysis was shorter and a lot of the efforts were on the consultants involved, with the approach being top-down. At Evolve, it’s more bottom-up. I was used to being the one to complete and present analysis findings, but I must say, it is very rewarding to see the client doing the work.
What parts of your job as a consultant have you applied to your personal life?
I’m an industrial engineer by trade, so developing a process map or analyzing data is second nature. Since working as a change management consultant, I see that it’s more about human engineering and less about the technical or numerical aspect. I’d say that’s the biggest lesson, or confirmation I’d say, that human interactions are not simple. Building rapport and coming to a common understanding with the other person is how things move forward.
Who in your life has inspired you and why?
There are a few people to choose from, but I would first highlight my dad for how he raised me and my siblings. More recently—like in the last 10-15 years—I’d say Bruce Dickinson, lead singer for the band Iron Maiden. I’ve been a fan since I was a kid, and a few years back, I discovered Bruce was an aircraft pilot. I found this very fascinating, mostly because I too am a pilot.
I remember finishing an engagement in Puerto Rico back in 2008 and I’d heard that Iron Maiden was on a world tour, with him piloting the aircraft. At night Bruce was playing a concert, and then the next morning he was piloting a 757 or 747 aircraft, taking the band to the next tour stop. That’s two different skills and careers with their respective levels of high planning and complications being applied. I’ve listened to interviews with him discussing this, and I now see him as a pilot who sings in his spare time. Maybe one day, once my consulting career winds down, I will become a commercial pilot like him. Who knows!