Our profile series is all about highlighting the work of unsung heroes in the NFP sector ( #HelpWithHart) but did you know we have the (not a, THE) actual Wonder Women on the Hart Square team?  

Read on to hear her advice (no lasso of truth needed) on how you can better overcome the challenges of change and be the hero of your organisation’s digital transformation programme. 

 

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your role at Hart Square?

I’m Leah Mynett, one of the Business Change Consultants at Hart Square and I’ve been with Hart Square for the last two years. I have previously spent over 25 years working in not for profits and charities, but I started work in the commercial retail sector, in customer service, and then moved to working in a museum in Cornwall. From there, I moved into marketing and worked for housing, care and support associations, and blind associations.  

I found as I moved through these roles, that each time I was involved in re-developing a website and a brand. Through project managing these projects, I met technology partners and found that I enjoyed the technology side of things. The real transition came when I worked with the Ramblers, where I was the organisational Change Programme Manager for the Digital Data Transformation programme – that put me firmly in the digital sphere.  

At Hart Square, I now have the pleasure of working with a variety of amazing not for profit clients including Unions, both small and large charities, and some faith organisations. Working in the not for profit sector ties in strongly with my ethics and my desire to work with people who make a difference. It is a wonderful sector to work in and I have so much fun meeting all varieties of fantastically wonderful people, and it’s just such a joy and it’s a privilege to work with them. Every not for profit is unique, and that’s what I love about it.  

 

To get to know you a bit better, could you please share something that you’ve really enjoy about your role, and something about yourself that your colleagues might be surprised to hear?

My favourite part of my role is being able to talk to clients, hearing all their problems and being able to reassure them and say there is a way through this. Sometimes it can feel completely overwhelming on their side of a project as there’s a lot that needs to be done and I really enjoy helping them understand and see that when you break it down, it’s all achievable and you will get there. 

It’s funny how support can come in many forms, and sometimes the smallest interactions can have the biggest impact. Back in my 20s, I was working in a bookshop in Southampton Row and a gentleman often used to come in and talk to me. One day he came in and said, “I’m drawing the cover to a comic, which do you think is the best cover?” So, I told him which I preferred and thought nothing of it.  

Then, many years later, I was talking to friends, and we realised that gentleman who I often used to talk to was Brian Bolland, the comic book artist. My friends told me he draws from life, and they got the Wonder Woman comic up and he used the one I chose. They looked at it and they went “It’s not exactly you, but it’s based on you.” So, I am actually Wonder Woman. 

 

What is your biggest piece of advice you would give to an organiszation who are thinking about or are about to embark on a project?

It’s all about preparation, and you cannot start preparing soon enough. Understand what data you’ve got, where, what, how people are using it, because the more you understand, the easier it’s going to be. Everyone also talks about wanting to be data-driven and reporting the bedrock for that, so for me is understanding what you report on now, who’s using it, how are they using it and what data you’re using  as often you can be using two different metrics when you are trying to understand something such as the number of new members.  

In addition, one of the most important aspects of change organisations should be aware of is that it won’t do it itself. If you build it, they won’t necessarily come and so you need to invest in change. You need to sit down and seriously define what your goals are in terms of what you’re trying to achieve as an organisation and what this means in terms of change. The culture of change needs to be led from the top – if the directors don’t buy into it, no one else is going to. You need to create a culture of openness and communication where individuals feel that they can speak open and honestly without getting blamed.  

 

What value have you seen Hart Square provide to it’s clients?

I feel a key value we add to our clients is being that critical friend. It’s having open conversations with clients where we talk about what they really want to achieve but also challenge them to think about whether what they believe they want is best for their organisation.  

It’s also about freeing them, giving them the space to concentrate on what’s important. So, in an implementation project, for me it’s about taking the load of pushing for certain things and information, so it can free people to concentrate on important aspects of the project where their expertise and input is needed.  

I would also describe us as a catalyst for change. I believe we spark a moment where they can see change and to see the art of the possible. Through our extensive experience of working with not for profits we see common themes and challenges and I believe the value we, at Hart Square, bring is that through our experience and knowledge we can say to them that you are not alone, and this is not unusual, and we can help you find a way forward.