Partner Insights on Internal & External Employee Engagement Strategies
Tom Dennehy provides insight into what life is like as an Afiniti partner, working to the shared values of the partnership to deliver effective employee engagement strategies. Looking to the future, Tom, a principal consultant, gives advice for the next generation of consultants and shares his excitement about the future of business transformation and Afiniti’s growth.
Tell us about your background and what first led you to change consulting and, ultimately, to becoming a partner at Afiniti?
Before Afiniti, I had the opportunity to take on several in-house roles in finance and insurance, focusing on communications and engagement. I loved the variety these roles afforded me and the impact I could have. The experience allowed me to develop my writing skills, critical thinking abilities and flex my creativity. As colleagues were constantly inundated with information on a regular basis, we needed our content to truly stand out and capture attention.
During this time, I had the privilege of engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, particularly leaders. This exposure helped me refine my stakeholder management skills. Crucially, I learned the importance of effective employee engagement strategies, which in turn influences the productivity and effectiveness of the workforce.
I wanted to build on this and decided to join Afiniti, a company actively cultivating expertise in change consulting. This decision allowed me to build upon my existing knowledge and capabilities. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been part of the company’s evolution and to have become a partner.
What is your favourite thing about working as a partner at Afiniti?
The partners have a common bond that stems from recognising change as a positive force for good; we all believe change presents opportunities to work smarter and contribute more to society.
Our collective drive is rooted in a shared set of values that, at the heart, prioritise doing what is right for both us and the clients. As a partnership, we create a collaborative environment that encourages constructive discussions and a genuine desire to achieve positive outcomes.
What advice would you give to new or aspiring change consultants?
We need to keep people at the heart of every single change strategy, so be sure to put yourself in the shoes of those impacted by the change, and also learn what makes people tick. And, whilst it’s important to take the time to grasp the basics of change management, the best way to learn is by doing. Listen to those around you and soak up the wisdom from the experts. Maintain an appetite to hone your craft and be relentlessly curious about your client organisation. Even the most experienced consultants are constantly learning and evolving.
How do you see change and transformation within businesses evolving in the coming years?
In the current economic landscape, companies will continue to seek smarter ways of operating as they strive to achieve more with less. The rise of machine learning and AI will significantly influence how we work. Digital technology will take on more of the manual and transactional tasks and we’ll see people redeployed to activities that need human brainpower.
There are things that will remain the same with regards to delivering effective change. Strong and consistent leadership and sponsorship will still be crucial. I think colleagues still need to buy into and truly believe in the change – which can be achieved through effective storytelling that brings the “why” to life, including evidence-based drivers for change.
However, since the global pandemic, I believe people are rethinking what is important for them at work. They desire a stronger sense of belonging and fulfilment. The way companies deliver change will have an impact on this. If companies want to retain their best people, they need to embed and sustain change effectively throughout their organisation.
What aspect of Afiniti’s future are you most excited about?
Continuing to grow our business. We are fortunate to have a number of fabulous clients who we love working with. However, we can only grow if we continue to deliver great work. To do great work, we need great people, so I also look forward to developing our next generation talent to deliver effective employee engagement strategies.
By Tom Dennehy, Partner and Principal Consultant
If you’re looking for your next business change consulting challenge, take a look at our current opportunities. Alternatively, send us your CV using our contact form for a conversation on working together in the future.