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How to Drive Change in a Diverse, Chaotic World

Gillian Fischer
Director, Transformation & Customer Success
Mindbridge Ai
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Culture is what happens when no one is looking.

Gillian Fischer

In this episode

In this incredible episode, Gillian Fisher shares her personal experience driving change and creating an outstanding company culture in a diverse, sometimes chaotic world.

We also discuss the importance of building self-confidence. Gillian summed up how she reached her potential in the industry: “As a young, female, blond, non-technical leader, I had to tear down my own walls and turn them into pedestals."

Our conversion also covered the relationship between AI and humans, and the impact this connection can and will have on cultural change. 

Gillian is an incredibly talented leader focused on driving growth, transformation, and technology adoption, including AI.

She has a wide range of global experiences, extending from developing and managing a strategic account programs to leading complex organizational transformations for multinational companies, such as IBM and MindBrindge AI. 

Outside of work and volunteer initiatives, Gillian is a passionate endurance athlete, amateur artist, and creative baker.

Tune in to hear Gillian's advice on how to drive positive change within your organization! 

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In this episode




Gillian’s vision on change management


Impact of company size on change management


Leading through chaos


Gillian’s take on how to build a great company culture


Gillian’s experience working in Alberta during the 2014 oil crisis


Creating culture in a cosmopolitan environment


Stop diminishing yourself. How to turn your own walls into pedestals.


Education as an investment


AI, humans and cultural change


How to feel good working from home


Books recommendations on change and culture

Resources from this episode

Transcript of episode

[0:00] Introduction

Cassy - Okay. All right so thanks so much, Jillian, for joining me here on the culture builders podcast, why don't you start by telling our listeners a little bit about yourself and, uh, in your background. 

Gillian - Awesome. Well, thanks so much for having me as well. I'm really excited. I love talking about culture. It's one of those topics that I find you can get really, really, really excited about. So I'm excited to be here. 

A little bit about myself. I currently work for a company called MindBridge. I'm the director of Transformation and Customer Success there. The reason why I joined MindBridge and an AI company is actually because I am really passionate about helping people. And that's why I actually went to work specifically with an AI company. 

So a bit about my background. My background is in change management, adoption, transformation, business strategy, and mixed with this passion of how people work in organizational psychology and in all those kinds of behavioral pieces that bring it all together.

So that's a little bit about my background. Prior to MindBridge, I worked at IBM. And I also had lots of opportunities to practice another type of consulting in different engagements and outside of work. I'm a big passionate endurance athlete. I love getting outside. I'm lucky enough to live in Ottawa, close to Gatineau Park.

And I also have various creative outlets, whether it's painting or baking or lots of other different things, just to help me create space through creativity. 

Cassy - And you're telling me you got on the bike for the first time this last weekend. 

Gillian - Yeah, I did. So we were just chatting before and it's the first weekend.That's really warm. And then also one of the first weekends since COVID started that we had a little bit less restriction, so I was super excited. I got out, got to a park opened up for the first time for cyclists. And I think I may have overdone it a bit, but it was good. 

[2:32] Change Management

Cassy - And we're here on May 25th. I feel like we're starting to feel a little bit of normalcy now in a way where this is like the new normal, at least for me it's felt that way. And you mentioned change and change management. Can you explain what change management means to you? 

Gillian - Yeah, that's a great question. So I actually like to think of change management as really just change. So just kind of primarily at its core.

And when I think about change management and transformation, I mean one change changes the new constant. There’s a bit of a paradox there in terms of our worlds evolving and transforming so quickly that we actually, you know, staying in the status quo is just, just not normal anymore.

It's not a way that we can continue to thrive in this world. So we have to continuously adapt and find ways to do that in a way that allows us to really have growth and continuous improvement. So when I think about change and transformation, I actually really think about breaking it down to four big building blocks.

So at the core of really having effective change within your organization or effective transformation, I really believe you need four key things. So the first one is leadership. And there's lots of elements of what rose into leadership but really having that change leadership,  resiliency, ability to adapt, ability to pivot, ability to understand your core values that you can then hold on to. So that leadership piece. 

The second element is strategy. So understanding your business strategy and how your business strategy relates to those core values and how your business strategy and the direction that you've been given your team. So understanding your business strategy that also ties in at the end with understanding ROI. I find that when I talk about change, a lot of times people say, Oh yeah, change, change, change, but you know, how do I get the ROI out of it? And so it's a good connection as well. 

So leadership, strategy, the third one is engagement. So understanding how you actually create a good stakeholder experience, whether that's an employee experience, a customer experience, or, you know, another stakeholder experience. How do you really get engagement and how do you build an experience so that whatever change you're going through actually creates long-term attention to behaviors that you're looking for. 

And then the last one is execution. So that's kind of the project management side of change. And honestly, my experience with this is that people spend a lot of time on the execution piece. What's the project management, give me the 12-step process, give me the deliverables, like let me finish these exact things that I have to do, and less time on the strategy or less time on the leadership, less time on the engagement.But you still need those operational pieces to make sure that your transformation, your change initiatives go through on time. 

So those are the four elements. That's how I like to break them down. And I feel like if you can build those building blocks, you can actually take them and then adapt them to whatever project, scenario, context, environment that you're in to be able to effectively transform your organization.

In this season

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