"A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn." ~ Anonymous
Lynda Lemont is one of Condeco UK's Senior Project Managers, with a wealth of knowledge in the workplace and technology industry. She has a serious passion for innovation and how this can benefit society. We sat down together (over cheese, crackers and a jar of her famous home-made chutney) to delve deeper into the responsibility we all play in the world of technology, innovation and empowering the people around us.
Innocent juice does a lot of work in the charity sector and I recently heard Dan Germain, Group Head of Brand, speak of the time Innocent Juice took a chance on a start-up charity to help malnourished children. As a business, they have now fundamentally changed the way aid is delivered to struggling communities globally. I spoke to Lynda about this example, and she explains what lessons she thinks corporate business can learn from implementing change, even in small ways to own working environments.
Business can learn from the Innocent story, the key to implementing change is to do it in small steps. Small steps do not need to be slow steps; small changes often build a momentum and desire to move faster without the need to force change. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying
"we cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
I would suggest this implies without the ability to think differently and therefore be open to change we won’t move forward and solve the simplest of problems, those we face in business or even in our own personal lives
Lynda recently visited India, where she met a group of amazing women who were part of an educational community. Lynda was part of this training initiative and shares her biggest takeaway from this experience.
Going to India was a big moment in my life and fundamentally changed my outlook on how I can help and implement change in my life and my community. Although it was a wonderful experience and I met some amazingly strong and resourceful women, I walked away from the entire trip with an unexpected view. If I can do this in India, I can do this at home. I didn’t need to make a high-profile trip to another country, I should be looking outside my front door and helping those in my neighbourhood. There are people in my own local community who could benefit from the workshops we facilitated and the work we completed in India, I’ve now made those steps to be more active locally. I urge everyone to help each other, personally and professionally.
As a senior project manager in a technology company, Lynda knows keeping ahead of the game requires skill, knowledge, innovation and passion for your industry. She shares her thoughts on what she considers to be the greatest technological innovation for society.
Technology has given us all the power to instantly learn something new, to me personally, the greatest technological innovation has been the ability for all of us to have knowledge at our fingertips. Reading is a great passion of mine, and with my Kindle I’m able to access an unlimited library of knowledge and information.
Project Management is the art of putting all the right components together in the right order to ensure everything runs to plan. Occasionally there are those times when the pot boils over and it needs expert skill is to bring the project back on target. Lynda shares with me how she has overcome some of her biggest challenges in the workplace.
As a Project Manager, you are a conductor in an orchestra, engineering writes the music, and I ensure the team work together smoothly. A bad Project Manager makes a cacophony of noise, a good Project Manager makes workplace Harmony. My role is bringing everyone together to make the project run smoothly; working backwards to find the solution to any possible issues, and create a path towards the end goal.
Lynda is a strong and professional individual and a very experienced team player and mentor, over her career helping to lead many teams to success. I wanted to find out what qualities she admired in a leader and who from history inspired her as a great leader?
The best type of leaders are those who can listen, this is one of the hardest skills to acquire. Hearing often produces answers to questions not asked, whereas listening creates questions. Influential and inspiring leaders from history are often created because of the inspiring people that have come before them. We all know that Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1937 - perhaps she had been inspired by Amy Johnson a British Woman who flew Solo to Australia in 1930 and even before Amy was Sophie Piece-Evans who in 1928 was the first Woman (or Man) to fly the length of Africa! I can’t say that any one person from history inspires me it is the journey that each leader takes that I find more interesting.
Innovation and Leadership come in many forms, and it doesn’t always have to take place in workplace, empowering yourself, understanding social change, being part of educational initiatives, volunteering or being involved in local communities, can inspire you in your personal and professional life to make a difference.
*Special thank you to Lynda Lemont, UK Project Manager at Condeco for her contribution to this article.