Membership Profile - Vanessa Simpson

Tell us about yourself:
My name is Vanessa Simpson. Professionally, I’m a change manager whose change management practice is centred on interpersonal dynamics because I believe communication is at the heart of all successful changes. I use my educational and life experience in individual and group identity, transitions, loss, resiliency, and communications to support organizations and their employees through technology, process and cultural transformations. I earned an MA in New Media and Society from the University of Leicester in the UK, a degree in English and Psychology from SFU, and a diploma in Professional Writing from Douglas College. I’m Prosci certified and I’ve also taken Prosci’s Experience Practitioner Program. If you couldn’t tell already, I’m a nerd. I’ve come to terms with that moniker years ago, so I wear it as a badge of honour. I love learning and applying what I’ve learnt to real-life situations. Personally, I’m a mom of two and a wife and caregiver to a husband with combat-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. My unique life and experiences gives me an unconventional perspective on change management that I think has served me well over the years. 

How did you get into Change Management? 
How much time do you have? I took a circuitous route to find my way into the change management field. I started my career in Communications, but found I was undertaking more change management type work because I had a natural proclivity for it – although I didn’t know what change management was at the time. One day several years ago, a recruiter reached out and asked if I would consider a change management role. The position didn’t pan out but that encounter with the recruiter confirmed that a career change was in order. While I was redefining myself professionally, I was also evolving into a change manager personally because of a family crisis. So, I entered the field holistically, head, heart, and soul.

Why did you decide to join ACMP Vancouver?
As a change manager, I mainly work alone on projects. Being part of an association, I can connect and learn from others. I like feeling part of a larger community.

What are you working on? 
I’m currently working on an enterprise service management project with the City of Vancouver.

Do you have any recommended change management books / resources to share?
There are too many to choose from, but I can tell you what I’m reading now. I’m enjoying the Status Syndrome by Michael Marmot at the moment along with the Respect Effect: Using the Science of Neuroleadership to Inspire a More Loyal and Productive Workforce, by Paul Meshanko. I’m fascinated by the relationship between how our brains are wired and how we emote and process information during times of change.

How do you like to spend our time outside of work? Oh, I enjoy creative, solitary pursuits. Recently, I started painting. I’m no Picasso by any stretch of the imagination, but I find applying paint to a blank canvas exhilarating, yet relaxing. I’m also a soap making who will be making a few batches this summer. I enjoy the solitude of nature. When I have time, you can find me in the back forty in my trailer doing some gourmet camp cooking.

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