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.
Here we find out more about one of our lead consultants Vicki Townsley who is passionate about equipping leaders with the resilience they need to thrive in today’s challenging environment.
When did you first become involved with iOpener?
I first came across iOpener back in 2011. At the time I was working as a consultant and looking for new learning organizations to work with. A contact recommended iOpener and after an inspiring meeting with the CEO Julia Lindsay, I was delighted to join the team.
My 30-year career in learning and development had begun client-side as a ground level facilitator. Over the years I went on to complete a number of organizational development roles, including at senior levels, before deciding to move into consulting. I now work globally, cross-industry and primarily with leadership and sales.
Do you specialize in any particular area of leadership development?
I am most passionate about anything to do with change and resilience. To navigate continuous, disruptive change, leaders must become more resilient in order to be happy and successful.
I also enjoy working on sales training programs such as negotiation skills and consultative selling, as I have a strong sales background. At iOpener, we work with actors in our sessions which is highly impactful, as well as great fun. It’s a live learning experience and a creative way to embed learning for the long term.
What is your favorite part of your role?
As a facilitator and a coach, my role is to challenge people to be the best version of themselves. I encourage them to be courageous and go out of their comfort zone. This achieves real development, not just superficial change. At the heart of what’s important to me is unlocking potential in people – and working with iOpener and their Science of Happiness at Work™ model enables me to do just that. The core of the widely-researched model is ‘Achieving Your Potential’.
What do you think is special about iOpener?
The people. Since I first joined the business in 2011 there has been a core group of people which I have always enjoyed working it. It’s a rich, consistent, very talented group. Whenever we are together, we learn something from each other – and we have great fun.
What is the best iOpener project you have ever worked on?
Most of the work I deliver at iOpener is with business schools and over the years I have got to know the program leaders well. I feel it is a real privilege to work in partnership with organizations like Cass Business School, who are so passionate about the quality of their Executive MBA program. It really encourages me to be at my best and represent their prestigious brand with the utmost integrity. I also get to travel to amazing locations such as Dubai and see the world.
What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
Our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world is a huge challenge. I see organizations and individuals struggling with it all over the world, in all industries. It is undermining employee engagement and decreasing productivity. Helping leaders to navigate so much ambiguity and be happy at work is not easy. But, with the right growth mindset and support, leaders can generate positive stress from these experiences. Resilience and the ability to manage change is crucial.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
My father always told me that life is not a dress rehearsal. That little voice inside your head is really important and you should always listen to it because it never lies.
His words have always inspired me and I do believe that listening to that voice and really knowing yourself enables you to make authentic choices which deliver happiness and success.
Vicki Townsley is a global coach, facilitator and change-management consultant with extensive experience in the financial services, travel, publishing, professional services, retail and the telecommunications industries. Working in partnership with executives to create and implement strategy which engages the wider organization, Vicki excels in delivering constructive solutions in a changing environment. The result is high-performing and happy individuals and teams.