Make change work for you - Interview

Change is not something that should be feared. In order to thrive in today’s complex work environments you need to be able to influence those around you to make progress and ultimately make change work for you.

Want to know more? Read my interview with NETT Magazine for their August edition on my professional background as well as how help lead individuals, teams and organisations through change.

Melbourne-based Michelle Gibbings is a firm believer that we don’t need to fear change.

What’s the name of your company, and what do you do?

We’re called Change Meridian, and our ethos is “Change happens. Make it work for you.” We help make change work for people and teams – in both organisational and personal settings.

There are techniques, tools and skills that can help people make the most of changing circumstances. Rather than people seeing change as hard, I help them see the opportunities that exist and to find the best way forward.

Through leadership coaching, team development sessions, workshop facilitation and advisory work I build the capability that is needed to make change work.

A key part of this is instilling new ideas and learnings via programs on change leadership, influencing, negotiation, decision making, change management and change resilience. This is all part of the service!

It’s invigorating when you can see that the ultimate goal – of helping people and teams tackle ambitious goals and to make more progress – is achieved. It’s an awesome job!

How long have you been in business?

18 months

What were you doing before you started this business?

Working as an executive in Financial Services guiding and leading large scale organisational change.

How did the idea for your business come about?

I was on a meditation retreat and realised I wanted more autonomy in how I worked and who I worked with. The best way to do that was to start my own company. I also knew that change leadership and change management skills were not just for people who worked on projects. They’re essential skills for a successful career. With my background in risk and compliance, there was a great opportunity to take that capability into the more technically oriented areas of organisations (ie: Risk, Finance, Governance etc).

What has been the most difficult challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Finding the optimal balance between spending time “running” the business (ie the legal, administrative requirements) and “growing” the business (ie meeting new clients, designing and delivering new programs). The list of things to do never seems to get shorter!

What has been the most effective form of advertising for your business?

I don’t advertise through media outlets. My business has grown through networking, referrals had having a strong presence on social media.

How important is social media to your business?

Critical. LinkedIn is particularly important. It helps to raise my profile (I post articles each week), keeps me connected with contacts and helps facilitate new connections.

What do you think the Federal or State Government could do to help make it easier for small business?

There are some incredibly useful Government sites that provide guidelines on what to do when you are starting out. Anything the Government can do to streamline the processes and ensure the supporting technology is efficient is welcomed.

What are your plans to expand the business?

The next growth phase is focused on New Zealand and Asia.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Starting your own business is an amazing adventure. You never know precisely where it will lead, and that’s what makes it so enjoyable.