Brand EditorialEPMEPM: BD & GrowthInsightsTransform

The Power of Change: Fiona Blayney

The Transform PM program saw an intensive period of change for all those taking part. Head coach of Transform PM Fiona Blayney looks at the power of transformation and the effect it could have on your team, using the experience of the Transform PM teams as inspiration.

Transformation carries with it so many elements. There is the transformation that takes place for most of us as we prepare for a black tie event, for example, or undergo a weight loss or fitness challenge. Some transformations are fast, some are slower; some take weeks, months or years. Gee, some even happen rapidly over the course of a day at the races (no judgement; we’ve all done it, or is that just me?).

Some transformations are fast, some are slower; some even happen rapidly over the course of a day at the races.

I love the process of transformation and have embarked on many such journeys across my lifetime; some acutely planned, others reminiscent of a book (think Eat Pray Love). My experience with transformation of any sort is that it is a magical time. Sure, some bring tears of joy, some tears of fear or sorrow, but when channelled in the right way each transformation becomes a period of your life that shapes and defines you, if only for a moment.

When Samantha [McLean] approached me to work with her on the Transform PM program, I was immediately excited. However, in the moments that followed the excitement I started to digest the enormity of the journey. You see, I take transformation and my role in it pretty damn seriously.

Committing to work with three staff members over four companies in differing roles was never going to be easy. Whilst my mind turned to strategic planning mode to establish a structure for coaching the Dirty Dozen, as we lovingly called them, I had not prepared myself for what I would gain from them.

Judging the entries showcased the importance, and the need, that the applicants had placed on being involved. For some it felt like make-or-break time in their business. Some were at a crossroads with significant decisions to make; others needed a clearing of the cobwebs that come from having a successful business for a period; still others were about to take a leap into the next level of growth and were eager to ‘do it right’. Everyone, though, had a hunger to break things, create opportunity and enact change. I was impressed and remain so to this day.

As we moved through more than 15 hours of coaching a week with the Dozen, I was reminded of the fundamentals of business we all take for granted; the ones perhaps we think we are doing well at, but really have become dated, dusty and unloved. Over nine weeks the group worked with our industry expert coaches who delivered content and ideas, and the Real+ coaches who worked to unpack the learning, plan and implement change, and keep them away from bright shiny objects (which is hard when you love shiny stuff).

Over the nine weeks my pride grew as I watched business owners, PMs and BDMs soak up learning and take action. The biggest change came from the smallest things: Creating the vision, the values and the plan. Reviewing team structure, job descriptions, KPIs and remuneration. A biggie was having the right people in the right role. Everyone needed to increase accountability, for themselves and their teams. Reporting and responsibility increased, meetings gained meaning, directors delegated and team members stepped up. Systems, procedures and technology were reviewed, changed and streamlined. Maximising time was fundamental for the PMs and a wave of awareness came when auditing the use of it.

Our BDMs appreciated the difference between development and conversion. Together with their directors, many eye-popping moments stemmed from discovering the number of opportunities being wasted every day. We’ve reviewed countless marketing ideas, listing kits and banner adverts, but ultimately it’s not about getting the data; it’s about what we do with it, and there lies the next chapter for these businesses, like countless others we work with.

For me, we could be here all day. It was more than gaining connections with an authentic group of people. I have been inspired by their commitment, their openness, and their action. I felt humbled by the impact we have had in their business, knowing we have made a difference in each person’s life for a moment, a year, a lifetime.

There have been some pretty amazing transformations, and the journey continues. There’s always work to do.

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