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Strategy Hero podcast - S1:E2 transcript - digital transformation and change

Not able to listen right now? You can read the full transcription of the Strategy Hero podcast episode with Rachel Neaman here.

As the first Chief Digital Officer for the UK Department Of Health and now a consultant and non-executive director, Rachel has lived and breathed digital transformation. Delving into her extensive experience, Rachel emphasizes the importance of placing people at the core of any digital transformation endeavor, revealing its pivotal role in achieving remarkable success.

Episode: S1:E2 - The Strategy Hero Podcast - The past, present, and future of digital transformation - Rachel Neaman


[James] Hi, and welcome to the Strategy Hero Podcast. The podcast that's all about diving into the world of business strategy, transformation, and operational excellence. Featuring insights and experiences from some of the most successful leaders in the field.

I'm joined by Rachel Neaman. Rachel is digital non-executive director, business advisor and leadership coach whose executive career spans the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in the UK and internationally. She is a governor and chair of the Digital Committee of Birkbeck, University of London, a non-executive director of the Environmental Social and Governance Committee of TPXimpact PLC, and sits on the board of the Campaign for Social Science and Digital Health London. She was a member of the Board of Digital Leaders for 10 years and chair the organization for three.

Rachel is a frequent speaker at UK and international conferences. She is a regular judge of digital awards, a member of the International Coaching Federation, and a fellow of the RSA. But today, she is our strategy hero. Thank you so much for joining us, Rachel.


[Rachel] Thank you for having me. Pleasure.


[James] So today, when we were coming up with what I wanted to talk about on this episode, there were quite different topics, but one thing that really, I believe, looking at your career and talking to you and talking to our producer, what comes across to me is that although that you can describe your career in a lot of different ways, the thing that is quite constant is change. And that's something that I really want to talk well hear about today from yourself.

So, what have you found to be a recurring set of challenges in overcoming change issues and really delivering on transformation in your career?


[Rachel] I think one of the key things to remember is how quickly the pace of change is accelerating. So, particularly in the digital world, we're seeing developments that are increasing at an unbelievably rapid rate. So if you think in less than 20 years, I mean, the iPhone, for example, Apple's iPhone was introduced in 2007. So in less than 20 years, they've released 34 different models, and that's a huge number, and that's just one particular company. And today, in 2023, absolutely everything that we do socially, politically, economically, at home work, with our friends is dictated and defined by data and by digital technology. So it's become an absolute full part of everything we do.

So, alongside that quick pace of change, we have to adapt to that. Businesses have to adapt to that. Systems and organizations have to adapt to that. And what we're finding is that it's very difficult to keep up. So that change curve is becoming steeper and steeper and steeper and more and more difficult to achieve. So I think the reality of the digital world that we live in requires a different approach to change where we're constantly seeing change as the new normal.

Change is the only constant. And to try and keep doing things in the way that we've always done them, however successful we've been at doing them that way, is just not going to work in a world which is continuously evolving.


[James] In your experiences working with senior leaders and execs, do you feel that resistance to change perhaps is something that comes from the top? Or is it more of an organization-wide issue where it's just, this is how we've always done things? And while, over there, they may feel that there's a need to change our industry, hospitality, for example.

We don't feel that need to change. Is there something that starts at the top, or is it something that just permeates throughout and there's not really any one air area that that really starts and ends this reluctance to change?


[Rachel] I'm not sure that it's a consistent reluctance to change. I think there are lots of organizations and people who want to change and understand the need for change. I think it's more industries and organizations that perhaps don't see the rationale, the change and don't feel it's relevant to them. And what I would say to those types of organizations is that, to quote Einstein, the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and over again, and expecting a different result.

So if you're happy with just maintaining the status quo and continuing to do something that has made you reasonably successful, okay, but you're never going to move forward. You're not going to grow, you're not going to gain competitive advantage, and most likely other organisations around you're going to disrupt you and gain that competitive advantage instead.

So there can be a reluctance at the top of the organization to understand the real rationale for change and why it's so important to do things differently. Because change is a massive undertaking, and it can feel, you know, can feel almost impossible to some traditional organizations and traditionally successful organizations that, as I say, don't necessarily see the need to change. However, also, it can be very difficult to get people in your workforce to change. I mean, people are very wedded to the way they've always done things. There's a familiarity about that. And being told to do something differently is innately uncomfortable. Now, there are people who love innovation, doing things differently, taking a different route to work, those sorts of things. But more often than not, people find change threatening.

So having the right approach to change and the right way of communicating the rationale for change is really key.


[James] We spoke to Pascal Dennis on one of our episodes, and he is a leader in Lean manufacturing systems. And he argues that, and this is something that I know our audience probably finds a little bit shocking, but I think if you bear with, and as you hear Pascal talk about this, it kind of makes sense, which is that your core business is your core business, and you shouldn't try to maintain it. But in order to grow, to your point, Rachel, you have to think about digital transformation.

You have to embrace it. And Pascal's point is, Lean is dead and it's not enough. And, in fact, you need to be thinking about innovation consistently. You need to be trying to drive change from the top down. And I think what's stood out to me just then when you were talking, is talking about sort of people are going to be reluctant to, but there are tools and there are techniques to help you to really address in an effective way that change, that change journey.

What do you feel are those tools that will help you with change management? What do you consistently bring to the table when you are talking to, you know, business leaders and in terms of change management?


[Rachel] So change is all about ultimately making something better and doing something differently for a positive reason, not just because we feel like it. So again, I go back to the why. What is the rationale? What is the reason for doing this? What are the benefits of change for the organization, for the individuals within the organization, for clients, for the supply chain, for shareholders, stakeholders, et cetera, et cetera. I'm a great fan of Simon Sinek, and his TED Talk “Start With Why.” And I really do feel that when people understand why they're being asked to do something differently, they're far more likely to do it than if they're just told to do something different.

So I think part of the secret to successful change is being very people-centered in the way you go about that change. You need to engage. Whether it's the senior team, you need to engage your entire workforce and possibly your shareholders, other stakeholders in the reason for the change. And to believe that this is actually going to make your lives better. Often people function on a kinda what's in it for me basis. If you can tell somebody in your workforce, and actually their job is going to be easier, their job is going to be more efficient, their job is going to be more productive. These are very positive things. People go to work to do a good job. Nobody goes to work to do a bad job. And if they feel that this is being done to support them and help them and that you put it in place the right training, support, communication around it, then you're much more likely to succeed.

So there's a huge thing for me about being very people-centered, understanding the teaching, you know, explaining the why, giving people the support they need, hearing their concerns. The change curve, as we know, goes through a range of different emotions. And we need to be accepting of that. Some people accept change more quickly than others. So I think often within the workplace, having a group of early adopters as acting as your sort of internal ambassadors change, and your internal change agents can be massively powerful as well, because peers tend to listen to their peers. So often, if it is a very top down change mandate, it may not be as easy to work through as something that is more of a peer-to-peer change mandate. So I would really recommend starting with why.

Focusing on the early adopters and getting them on the side, thinking about the benefits and the outcomes and doing it in an inclusive way.


[James] In terms of those, I guess, internal champions of change, what would make up, what's in the, if I can talk as a marketer for a second, what is that persona? What are the qualities of that person that you'd be looking for internally? Is it someone at the top of the tree?

Is it someone towards the middle, towards the bottom? Does it really matter where they are? Or is it great? You know, is it better to have several champions that can affect change of around change?

You know, what would make up that sort of person in your mind?


[Rachel] First of all, it has to be championed and endorsed and embodied by the leader of the organization. So the CEO, the executive team cannot abdicate responsibility for the success of that change. They cannot just say, well, this is something that the IT team need to be worrying about or the transformation director needs to worry about. The senior team, the senior people have to role model why this change matters, why this change is going to be a good thing.

Then I don't think it matters where your change agents come. In fact, it's probably best if you have them at all members of the organization because those people are going to be the people who are instinctively interested in innovation, in experimentation, in doing something different, and will have that energy and that enthusiasm that will inspire others. So you need a leader at the very top who has a clear vision for what this change will do, is able to communicate that in a way that inspires followership, that inspires people to follow him, and then empower individuals throughout the organization who equally have an enthusiasm for this change to become those catalysts within the organization.

Those energetic motivators, if you like, that help to create a movement for change and a culture of interest and excitement about change rather than a fear of change.


[James] So let's say that I'm one of your clients. I'm a leader in a hospitality organization. And Rachel, I have a, you know, I have a team of 20 execs. We have an organization of five to 10,000 people. We're across. Two, three continents. Like, we're a fairly large organization. This is a great organization, by the way.

What would the typical process be, if I said to you, we realized that after Covid, we need to change. We made some changes, but it really wasn't embraced. And now actually we can see that our competitors are changing and it's really impacting our bottom line. We've got a mandate to embrace, I don't know, contactless check-ins, getting, you know, introducing some sort of digital assistance with [inaudible], things of that nature. So we have a whole menu of different initiatives that we believe we need to embrace and to deliver upon, really stay competitive with our market. What would that process look like?

If I came to you and said, this is the challenge that's in front of me. I need to get people on board, and I need to do it pretty quickly and effectively. What would that process be with that challenge said to you?


[Rachel] So, that's a very interesting question. And as ever, it would slightly depend, but I think in broad brush strokes, I would want to ensure that that leader had a very clear vision of what the future state would be. So what is it that he sees as the endpoint? What is that vision? What is the destination of this change journey that he's going to be leading his people on? And to ensure that he can communicate that in an inspiring and empowering way.

Then I suppose I would suggest that he starts to identify the, again, the people in the organization who are going to be most important to him for that change. Similarly, the people that might be the blockers to that change and to start to communicate the reasons for that change. So I think starting with communicating a clear vision is absolutely the first point. I think something that we need to remember is that actually only 30% of transformations succeed, which is a very small number. That means 70% fail. And it's often because those transformations focus primarily on purely the technology. This is a transformation. We need a new system. Technology will do it all. We need to bring in IT. Let's get in an incredibly expensive system, job done.

Absolutely not. The transformations say 30% of transformations that are successful are because it isn't all about the technology. So again, it's the cultural change that is the most important and often the most difficult to achieve. And that's why getting people on board, understanding culture, explaining the new culture, explaining the why, helping people to see why this is a good thing, helping people to work through any fears or any negativity, providing support, listening, being constantly, empowering people to give their views, being inclusive in the process is essential because it's only then when you've got people in the right space culturally, that you then ensure that they have the best technology to achieve what they need to achieve.

So, technology is the enabler. Technology is not the end, it's the means to the end. And very often people forget that, and senior leaders think, if I just bring in a lot of technology, everything will be fine. And it won't.


[James] In the worlds of Hoshin Kanri as a methodology for strategy execution. It often fails, like you say, in terms of, well, it's not exactly a technology, but that fails because that cultural change, just really hasn't been addressed effectively. And I think that's something that consistently comes up. When I talk to our audience about this. Is there a particular framework that you would use or recommend?

I mean, you know, because clearly as you say, having that vision and bringing clarity and excitement to this massive thing that you're trying to achieve is important. But is there any particular framework that you would adopt in embracing that change management process? Or is it more of a case of, well, we know that there's a tool that, you know, we have a tool and we know that we need to apply X, Y, and Z because that's what's appropriate in this instance?

Is it more of a, I'm listening to the needs of this exec, or is it okay, well, actually, I know that in my experience, this looks like a situation, and therefore, I have this framework that I would apply from the jump.


[Rachel] I guess it's a little bit of both. So, inevitably, you know, we'll draw on our own experiences and, you know, the lessons that we've learned and what we know has been successful. But again, it's really important to listen to what the client needs and to listen to what the organization needs. Because if you go into support an organization with a preconception and an assumption that this is going to be exactly like that one that we did 20 years ago, or that one that we did five years ago, even that one that we did last week, you might miss something.

So again, I would always suggest going in, listening, understanding, asking the questions, what is it that we are really trying to achieve? What is the problem that we're really trying to solve? Because if we're just trying to change something for changes sake, that's not a good reason and that's probably not going to work.

So again, going back to that 30%, do we know what we're trying to achieve? Why we're trying to achieve it? What are the benefits going to be? How long it will take for the ROI on those benefits to come through? Are all the shareholders and stakeholders completely bought in? Yes. To all of those? Okay. Then let's start to implement the change following potentially the preferred framework of the organization. There are plenty of methodologies for change management in some ways.

My view is don't overthink it, but ensure that you have the engagement to carry it through and that you really understand the end.


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[James] How do you reward those people in the organization that, well, how would you recommend to reward people in the organization that really are those champions that we talked about a little bit earlier? Is there anything that, is it a case of, you know, you want to reward them because they're doing, you know, representing the right behaviours? Or do you want to empower them further to, I guess, affect more change?

I can think of when I worked for one of the biggest, oil and energy companies in the world. And I worked on an internal comms project. And it was a massive change. It was around, it was actually redefining their entire proposition for the sector and there was a lot of change that came with that. And I remember we had a, we did have a program around basically internal champions. I can't say the name, but we had a program around empowering those internal champions and our way of rewarding, those internal champions was, it was monetary. And there was also, you know, I guess kudos, they were highlighted.

They were showcased as being someone who, you know, really had gone the extra mile. Is there a, what would you recommend to business leaders listening right now in terms of rewarding those people that are championing their cause?


[Rachel] They're giving those people some airtime, as you say, to profile them, to show why they are making a huge contribution and a huge difference to the company. Because ultimately, the change is about having a positive outcome, having a better outcome, increasing productivity, increasing the bottom line, increasing profitability, increasing effectiveness, growing, increasing reach.

So if somebody is supporting to do that internally, then, absolutely, I would give them as much kudos, as exposure as possible because that kind of thing is deeply rewarding and motivational. Of course, if you can make a monetary reward, that's great. But I think some of this is not a transactional, you've done a really great job, his bonus. Of course, that matters. But I think it's more important in some ways to reward the right behaviors with something that makes people feel that they've achieved something. That makes people feel that they are of value. And I think this is about the non-monetary value of this sort of contribution to the business in terms of the right behaviors, the right values, the right way of doing things because that's what needs to become embedded throughout the organization. So if it's just a private transaction of, you know, you've got a bonus in your pay packet, that's not going to, that's not going to translate into more change. That's not going to translate into further change.

If people see somebody being rewarded in terms of profile for what they've done, then they'll go, "Oh, I could do that, and how exciting. I'd like to do that. Let me join in." That's the way the movement becomes a real movement. And everybody likes to be praised for what they do. Having lunch with the CEO, you know, something like that, that is special and different and personal.

I think this goes back to the point about changes, about being people-centric. The what is it that's going to really mean something for that individual.


[James] We've talked a lot about, sort of what goes into change. For our audience, is there an example in your career of, I don't want to call it a project, I don't feel like that's fair, it's not a project clearly, but is there an example of a transformation that you've helped with that really stands out to you? And if so, again, without revealing too much, that's identifiable, what sort of industry was that? Who did you engage with?

What were some of the challenges and how did you measure and then, you know, communicate the success of that change initiative?


[Rachel] I guess there've been many, but one that stands out was helping or working with a large non-profit organization over here in the UK to, to adopt and to develop and adopt a digital-first way of working. So that was very much about how do you start putting digital systems into the day-to-day operation of the organization.

How do you free up people's time to focus on higher-value work? How do you increase the responsiveness of the organization to its clients and its client base by implementing technology? How do you use data in a much more effective way to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of that organization? So there were a lot of different ways of looking at this to create a digital-first organization. What does that mean internally? Well, that means making sure that everything is joined up. So talking to each other, that's interoperability, that people can talk to each other. It's also it's making sure that people work in a horizontal, not in a siloed way. So there's a lot about how do you then re-engineer business processes. Because quite often, it's the process as opposed to the system that gets in the way of people working effectively together. And the next thing is, how do you train people? How do you give people the confidence and the training to be digitally literate enough at work.

One of the things that is still quite, quite shocking, if you like, is that there is still about 20% of the UK adult population that don't have all of the essential digital skills. All of the digital skills that are considered essential for life and work. That's one in five UK adults. That's a huge number. I used to run, I was CEO of a digital inclusion organization. And it's really the situation has barely changed. So how do you increase people's confidence in using digital? Then, what does it actually mean for interactions with supply chain, for example? What does that mean for interactions with client-side? So for this particular not-for-profit, it had a lot of clients who could not use digital means to access them.

So what does that mean for people running a phone line? How sustainable is a gold center for an organization of that type? How do you change people's behaviors? How do you support people to start to interact in a very different way? And again, how do you use data to demonstrate the scale of the problem, the reality of the situation? It's very easy for us to say, you know, well, we think most people can contact us online, but do we know. We think that everybody's got a telephone, but do we know.

So how do we use data intelligently and effectively to help us create the right business strategy that's going to support our outcomes? So for this particular non-profit, there were a huge number of different areas to try and understand and try and think about and try and implement. And again, I think the reason that it was successful was because everybody was aligned behind a single outcome. We are doing this for the benefit of our clients, and being very client focused, it made them realize that they had to change the way they worked internally in order to be of greater benefit externally.

So again, this comes back to my point about the why. Who is going to benefit from this, and why does that matter?


[James]  Thank you, by the way, that's fascinating. I think it leads me on to naturally on to ask this one question, which I think, it it's important for clarity's sake to ask. Is there a difference, in your opinion, between a not-for-profit, a public, and a private organization when it comes to change?

Is there a laggard on that list? Or is everyone sort of coming to the dance with the same sort of mindset and I guess, appetite for change or is there a difference?


[Rachel] Again, it depends. And that's a terribly annoying response. In some ways, sort of lumping all of the commercial sector together, all of the public sector together and all not-for-profit sector together is a little bit like lumping people with brown hair together and people with blonde hair together, and people with gray hair together. And obviously, there is more nuance between organizations and that.

I think that... I think that there is an assumption that the commercial sector is much, is much more focused on innovation and is much quicker to innovate. Now, I'm not sure that that is always born out. There is a lot of work going on at the moment in the public sector, and particularly in government departments, in local government, the NHS and elsewhere, excuse me, to start to really innovate in the way they do things. It's almost an existential need to reinvent themselves in order to meet customer's needs. And those customers happen to be citizens for the public sector, in the private sector, their customers. The private sector, the need is monetary.

These are private paying customers, and if they don't innovate and let others disrupt them and disrupt their industry, then they're going to lose their market share and they'll fail. So, it's an existential threat, but similarly, for the public sector, there's a huge need to be more efficient in how they work. One is scarce and also to be more effective in terms of delivering the rights of this to citizens. And going back to the point I made about data, of having the right data to be able to constantly improve services to the people that need the most. The not profit sector, the cost of innovation is often a huge blocker and a huge barrier. But I think one of the things to bear in mind is this transformation that we're talking about is about being different, being digital, not doing digital. So actually it isn't always about spending lots and lots and lots of money on a huge system. It's actually about having the right cultural responses to the changes around it.

So again, if there are ways of improving business processes, ways of improving communication, if there are ways of improving the interaction with whoever the customers are of that not-for-profit. That can be equally transformative as creating some enormous, you know, create completely changing all the technology. So I think people need to think again, why do they need to do it? How can they do it in a way that is commensurate with their own resources and with the needs of the people they're doing this for?

So I suppose to answer, I suppose, you know, that's a very roundabout way of answering your question, but I suppose the different sectors have slightly different challenges and have slightly different needs. If there is... Resources are different. [inaudible] You do need to put resources into transformation. It doesn't necessarily have to be masses of money, but you need to put time and people into it in order to create the right culture for that, even if you're not spending lots of money on technological systems. So, therefore, in making that business case in the public sector, the non-profit sector can be more challenging. But even in the private sector, it can be very challenging to make that case.

So it goes back to having a really inspiring and clear vision of this sunny upland, this new place that we're going to get to and how that's going to benefit the organization, which I think is absolutely key.


[James] I couldn't agree more. I think looking more towards, and just changing gears, I guess, looking more towards the future, as we get towards the end of our episode. I could keep talking a great deal, I know, but I know how busy your schedule is, Rachel.

Famed American marketing thought leader Philip Kotler talks to the idea of marketing 5.0 in the 2020s. And that's a post-Covid world where baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha have to coexist. And businesses are rightly so, finding themselves pulled in multiple directions with adapting the digital-first world and one where things like social consciousness really are table stakes. In your mind, what are the modern challenges that leaders need to be cognizant of in terms of staying ahead of the curve? And just to, I guess, give you some, some pointers in terms of like where I'm thinking about this question.

Are businesses able to set long-term strategies anymore with this pressing issue of having to serve multiple generations in terms of your products and your, you know, your workforce is changing and how they look at technology is changing. So first and foremost, can you set a long-term strategy anymore or are the sands shifting too quickly? And then what do you feel are the biggest priorities right now for leaders who are concerned, not just locally, but globally in terms of the economy and where things are heading in the world, in that, you know, that marketing 5.0 structure.


[Rachel] I think that's interesting. The marketing 5.0 because many people talk about where we are currently as being in the fifth industrial revolution, which is where humans and machines work together as opposed to one working over the other. Now, we could, you know, discuss whether that's true or not. I think it is difficult for organizations to set 5 to 10-year strategies now simply because the reality is changing so quickly. So I think that the thing to do is to focus on what is the strategic goal. Is it growth? Is it delivering? Is it product development? Is it delivering a better service to an individual? What is the actual strategic goal for that organization? And to maintain that as the north star, if you like, as the endpoint, as that point of vision.

Then the detail of how to get there, may well need to adapt as circumstances adapt as the world changes around us. But it's easier in a sense to adapt the root to that endpoint if we're clear about what that endpoint looks like. So it's about the outcome, not the output. And I think this is something that, again, organizations have perhaps struggled with. People like to produce a document, this is our strategy, this is what we're going to do, this is the roadmap, job done. Now we're just going to do it for the next five years.

The danger with that is that that roadmap shifts. You know, you're taking a car journey from London to Edinburgh and the motorway’s closed. Oh my God, what do you do? You didn't see that obstacle, you didn't see that. You've gotta be able to adapt, you've gotta be able to get out of the car, get onto a train and take the train or whatever. So it's very, very similar. The direction of travel needs to be clear, but the exact route for getting there has got to be able to shift and to adapt.

Now, I know that that's not easy. It sounds very simple and it's not easy, but it is about having that mindset of adaptability and innovation, which is required in today's leaders. It's that agile leadership which is really, really important. I think in terms of the key issues facing leaders today, I mean there are some macro trends that we are seeing, like climate change, like demographic change, war, Covid, hybrid working, all these sorts of things. And again, as Covid has shown us, we have to be able to adapt. And actually we did adapt unbelievably quickly to having to suddenly work from home, move everything online.

It's extraordinary how quickly and how successfully businesses, schools, organizations in general adapted to that. Because we had to, not because we were given a choice, but because we absolutely had to. So it can happen. That wasn't always perfect, of course, but it does show that when we have to adapt, we do adapt. So things, like those big sort of megatrends which then have an impact on supply chains, on client bases, on transport of goods, on all of those sorts of things. We need to be able to adapt. The other end of the spectrum, AI, automation. And we haven't touched on AI. You can't open a newspaper today, whether it's the mainstream press without more articles about AI. That is disrupting the way we live. Absolutely. So again, we've got to be really clear about how, you know, where is automation a reality? What does that then mean for our workforce? How do we retrain people for this fifth industrial revolution world so that the human can have an equal place to the machine and actually the two can work in harmony to deliver more than the sum of the parts.

That requires a lot of retraining and a lot of thinking, and a lot of thought. People don't want to have to do that thinking until I have to. But if we wait for a Covid-like moment, it's going to be too late. Because we need time to train people and to get people to think that their world may not be the same, that they may not be doing the job they've done so to date for the rest of their lives. So automation. Megatrends and that impact that it has on the supply chain, talent retention, hugely important. Skills. How do we maintain the talent that we've got? You mentioned that the newer generations, Gen Z have got a completely different attitude to work than the attitude that I was brought up with to work. You don't go to work for, you know, monetary reward is not the only thing that matters. We need purpose now. There needs to be a different relationship between worker and employer. And all of those are things that employers who are from an older generation have got to understand.

So, adapting to the expectations of new entrants into the workforce is a very real challenge for people. If young entrances into workforces don't like what they see, they walk with their feet, some people call it entitlement, some people just call it, you know, having, you know, using their own, you know, having free will. But these are really, these are really major issues that if people, if senior teams and boards ignore are going to create failure.

So constantly horizon scanning, constantly thinking about, you know, how are demographics just changing things? How is technology changing things? How is our relationship? How are geopolitics changing things? If we don't adapt to reality, we're going to fail.


[James] Those are yeah, those are very, very telling words. You've used that and I, again, couldn't agree more. What would you say is your number one advice for the next generation of change makers, for someone like yourself. If you could pass on one piece of advice, what would that be?


[Rachel] I guess my one piece of advice would be, don't rely on the technology, rely on the people. Because if you cannot get the people to engage with the technology, doesn't matter how fantastic the technology is that you've brought in, it's not going to do anything for you.

So invest in your people because they, ultimately, are the change makers and the people that will make all the difference between great change and mediocre change.


[James] Brilliant. Thank you. So, like I said, I could keep talking, but I know that you have a lot going on, so I just want to say thank you, Rachel. Today's episode has been nothing short of fantastic. In terms of anyone who is listening and you know, what Rachel talked to that, you know, they find really has resonated with them. What can those people do if they want to engage with you further in terms of talking about change management and the broader issues that you've brought up.

Where can our audience go to connect with you further and potentially, you know, develop a relationship?


[Rachel] Sure. I mean, by all means, find me on LinkedIn, or email me at rachel@neamanconsulting.co.uk. I'd be delighted to hear from anybody and to continue the conversation.


[James] Amazing. Thank you. So everyone, there you have it today. That was Rachel Neaman, our strategy hero. Again, Rachel, thank you so much for your time and hopefully, we get to talk again in the future.


[Rachel] Absolutely. Thank you, James. I really enjoyed it. Thank you very much.



Listen back to the episode

Rachel's episode was the second of six in our opening season of Strategy Hero.

You can click here to listen back to Rachel's episode or search "Strategy Hero" wherever you find your favorite podcasts.


About Strategy Hero

Published on the last Thursday of every month, the Strategy Hero podcast delves into the world of business strategy and transformation.

Each cast shines a spotlight on a Strategy Hero – inspirers, boundary pushers, and leaders of change from all walks of life – armed with practical advice on achieving your goals.

Episodes explore topics around operational excellence, Lean management, process improvement, change management, and much, much more. Available where all great podcasts live, listen on-demand today, and discover the Strategy Hero inside you.

About the host

James Milsom is Head of Marketing at i-nexus, but James is a storyteller. He’s the UK’s biggest Georgia Bulldogs fan (go Dawgs!) and lives and breathes marketing.

The Strategy Hero podcast is his opportunity to bring some of his conversations with mentors, inspirers, and people anew to you every month.

He’s behind the content read and watched by people like you and lives to educate and help others.

If you’d like to learn more about him, connect with him on LinkedIn and subscribe to the Strategy Hero podcast today!