Impacting the Culture: University of Waterloo, Housing Division

The division had a new director who was trying to affect a change. We wanted to give them enough information so that they could figure out which direction they needed to go in. Then there were some shifts and settling, which happens when you introduce change. It created openings. They've hired new people. They continue to build. Now we're asking them what kind of culture they want to see. We're using assessments. We're using 360s. We're using team development and organizational change and executive coaching. We're doing a lot.

Chris Read, University Housing Officer

The thing that impresses me about Christie is her knowledge of the tools she uses and how she uses the information to positively impact change. The PXT and the 360 are sophisticated tools, and the data you get from them is good, but the way she uses it is what's so impressive.

The word that comes to mind when I think of Christie is determined. She's given me an ally to get things done. I was new and that could be lonely sometimes. Her determination to work with me and help me get there made a big difference. On any random day, she knows what I'm going to do, so I can call her any time and she knows what I'm talking about. I feel that I have a partner instead of just a consultant.

Once she's had time to make an impact on your organization, it can really change the culture, to the point where everybody is thinking about how she can help them. It's allowed me to focus on other things.

I see the results every day. I see staff that are more engaged, more passionate about how they can make a difference. Through Christie's work, they see that we're committed to making this a better place.

We've also worked with the senior leaders and their teams. We're moving through the organization and doing team building and visioning:
If we really have a clean slate and can move forward, what would we want to do? How do we want to do it?

Pamela Charbonneau, Director, Student Development & Residence Life

I brought Christie in to work with my team. They were all new, so they had to learn their jobs, but they also had to learn to communicate with each other. They're a great team, but they're very diverse, which I see as a good thing. Christie spent a day with us and helped us see our different strengths as positives and helped us figure out how we can work together.

This was a very young team and they really liked learning about themselves and they especially liked learning about other people. One of the things her tool measures is sociability. They realized that people have different levels of sociability, so if you invite someone out and they say no, they're not necessarily rejecting you. There were some good discussions about things like that.

What's good for our department is that she's been there for a few years now. We feel like we're getting to know her and she's getting to know us. I think that's a credit to her. Most outside consultants aren't like that. They just come in, do their work and leave. She makes people feel like she's sincere and she really cares about what we're doing. She's genuinely interested in people and genuinely happy when other people succeed.