PEOPLE PRACTICE Q&A WITH
At The Gunter Group we categorize our work into four practice areas: Technology, Execution, People, and Strategy, with client engagements often stretching across multiple service categories.
In our People Practice work we empower companies across all industries to align their people and strategic objectives in order to maximize results.
In this Q&A we explore our People Practice in greater detail — as we visit with Kara O’Connor, Service Delivery Manager – People Practice.
Tell us a little bit about the nature of work TGG focuses on within the People Practice:
What separates our People Practice is the unique and focused way that we ensure people and culture are cared for and prioritized in any big change. We frequently assist organizations with large complex change initiatives that balance technical proficiency (project management, business analysis, etc.) and people proficiency (change management, employee engagement, etc.). Our team focuses on being well-rounded so we can thoughtfully bring both perspectives to the table.
What is the most rewarding aspect of supporting clients in TGG’s People Practice?
If we do our jobs well, people feel like we’ve helped them prepare for and overcome something challenging. We’re helping avoid burnout, helping find clarity, and helping design a future with people at the forefront. This truly makes a difference for people’s lives, when their human emotions and reactions are respectfully accounted for. When we’re able to support change like this, it’s very meaningful and very rewarding.
What are recent trends you see impacting businesses in the People Practice space?
I’ve really loved seeing more conversations about integrating change management into agile projects. You’ve typically seen change management presented in very traditional, waterfall methods and these methods are not the only way!
What do you anticipate impacting organizations over the next 3-5 years in this area?
I think People Practice issues are becoming more mainstream. A few years ago, change management was really on the periphery, not many people were prioritizing it in their projects. Now, we’re seeing more acknowledgement that without addressing the human component in the workplace, you’re missing half of the picture.
Tell us about one of your favorite projects your team has worked on:
Right now we have someone working on a social and emotional wellness program for a large public school system. At a time when school staffs are being stretched thin, it is great to know we have someone to help organizations strategically plan for and build programs that support the mental wellbeing of their staff. This ultimately has a huge impact on our community as a whole in light of school staff connecting with parents and students.
More about Kara O’Connor:
Kara owns a diverse background in organizational change, team leadership, project management, communications, and marketing analytics. She is passionate about keeping “people” at the center of change management and large-scale initiatives and has enjoyed bringing strategic, people focused solutions to her clients for over 10 years. Kara is very skilled at considering issues with a fresh perspective, which results in her suggesting and implementing viable solutions that may not have been previously considered by an organization. She has worked in a wide range of industries for many nationally-recognized brands, in technology, healthcare, sportswear, and education. Kara holds a B.S in Business Administration and Marketing from Central Washington University. She is also a Certified Scrum Master and PROSCI Certified Change Practitioner. In her free time, Kara enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with her family of four.