Here we find out more about our CEO Julia, who has been an integral part of the development of iOpener over the past 14 years.
At iOpener, our global community includes mastery-level facilitators and coaches across Europe, MENA, Asia, the USA and Mexico backed by a brilliant team of project managers and led by a team of highly experienced business leaders.
When did you first become involved with iOpener?
In 2004 I had the good fortune to meet Jess Pryce-Jones on a Coaching qualification course. After 15 years of working in investment and wholesale banking, I was ready for a new challenge and was learning to be a coach. I had always loved developing teams and people as part of my role as a leader. Jess had recently founded iOpener. We got talking and I joined the business shortly after as director and part owner.
Over the years I have focused on Executive 1-to-1 Coaching, being a practitioner in the Science of Happiness at Work™ and overseeing the business. My main role now is to manage the day-to-day running of our global organization and build relationships with existing and potential clients. I enjoy discussing how we can be proactive about the challenges ahead and develop and grow
What do you think makes iOpener different from other leadership consultancies?
Our experience of working with leading Business Schools around the world makes us unique. This has given us deep knowledge of working with international groups and a whole mix of different cultures. Our consultants are very able to deal with this complex dynamic and create value from it.
We strongly believe in a facilitative approach and peer-to-peer learning. This helps people get the most from one another as well as themselves and extends the learning into the day job. Most of our consultants have leadership experience themselves. We have walked in our clients’ shoes and can both challenge people and support them.
Curiosity is at our core and in response to that, we have conducted a lot of research to understand leadership. Our Science of Happiness at Work™ iPPQ has now collected over 54,000 responses from 131 countries. We continue to draw new insights from the data about how leaders create environments where teams deliver their best. We’re also curious when it comes to new clients. We make a really massive effort to understand an organization. What they are trying to achieve. Their context. What’s really happening in their organization, sector and culture. To really get under their skin so that we can walk in partnership to deliver real and lasting change.
What is your favorite part of your role?
I absolutely love the experience of getting to know a new client. There are so many incredible organizations out there, delivering amazing products and services. It’s a real privilege to find out what they are doing and how they are making an impact. This inspires us to do our very best work with them.
What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
Speed – how to work at speed, how to move at speed. And how to enable your team to operate at speed. But at the same time balancing that need for speed with sustainable ways of working that deliver value. That leads to a new challenge in communication. We operate in a complex world of continuous change. Yet somehow leaders need to find ways to communicate something very complex in a way that’s simple and powerful.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Someone once said, ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’ and it has always stuck with me. It’s important to remember that every interaction we have – be it with a person, an organization or even the world around us, it is almost always two way. There is value moving around somewhere. We need to be mindful of the value we create as well as the value we receive.
What makes you happy at work?
Getting things done is a huge motivator for me. Knowing I have made a difference to our clients and our business. I am lucky to work with a great team of inspiring people who are all experts in their fields. Having really trusting relationships with these colleagues enables me to move forwards with confidence, which is a key component of happiness at work.
Julia Lindsay is CEO at iOpener Institute for People and Performance. She has 25 years of commercial experience, running and supporting international businesses within the consulting, financial services and hospitality sectors. Both as a consultant and coach, she has enabled organizations to deliver their strategy and goals efficiently and effectively by increasing happiness at work.