Hilary Green, Director of Change Management in Workplace Transformation at Scotiabank

A Choice Point Interview About Values, Decision-Making, and Leadership.

Choice Point: Hi, Hilary. Tell our readers what you do. What’s the ‘networking-event’ explanation of your role?

Hilary Green: I am the Director of Change Management in Workplace Transformation at Scotiabank.  Essentially, my team and I create readiness strategies for employees who are entering into new work style models and set them up for success.

CP: Tell us about the values that got you where you are today. What are they, and why have they been crucial for you?

HG: Authenticity, transparency and trust, which go hand in hand.  I am always 100% myself, and very transparent with my team and colleagues.  I have found that this is what builds the deepest bonds amongst teammates. When you drive transparency, it builds trust with your team, and contributes to a culture of psychological safety.  The same can be said for being authentic – by being myself, it encourages them to show up the same way.

CP: What’s your proudest professional achievement?

HG: I would say it was the day we opened the doors of our first space of Scotiabank’s new way of working.  That day we welcomed 400 people to their new home, and over time that number has grown to over 7,000 and set the stage for workplace transformation not only at our workplace, but for many others.

CP: Choice Point Solutions is all about training for decision-making. Tell us briefly about a key juncture in your own career, or a dilemma you faced – a “go left or go right” moment – and tell us how you resolved it. 

HG: Before I made the decision to do my MBA I was kicking around a number of other options.  As someone who had been in the arts or not for profit my whole life, I was concerned that jumping to the more corporate world would not ultimately feed my soul.  While I had done the research, it was the advice of a trusted friend that helped me make the decision, that I could still do work that I considered valuable to society – never underestimate the power of your network.  It was a major pivot for me career-wise, one that led me to the career I have today.

CP: Thinking about the situation you just described, what was it about you that let you get through it?

HG: Tenacity.  It is hard to go back to school after being out for over a decade, let alone having to learn concepts and skills that were previously foreign to you (like statistics!).  There were some very long nights, but I pushed myself to jump in with both feet and get the most out of the opportunity.

CP: Without necessarily telling us who it is or was, tell us about the characteristics of one of your mentors. What was or is she or he like? 

HG: Someone who took the time to get to know me on a personal level, what motivated me, how I learned and so on. They were my boss, and it allowed us to have a much more productive, and candid, working relationship.  

CP: Next, here’s a question that will interest the students out there, the future leaders reading this: beyond the right education, what do young people need to do, in order to get to do the kind of work you do?

HG: You really need to be passionate about figuring out drives people, including finding creative ways to get to that answer, because change happens one person at a time. Change management is part science, and part art – the art is using the tools provided to get the insights you need.

CP: Tell us a favourite book that you want to recommend, and explain why.

HG: Perhaps my favourite book on leadership is Radical Candor by Kim Scott.  It is a good mix of storytelling and very actionable tips that can help any new or established leader go from good to great.

CP: Tell us an blog or podcast or website that you’d like to recommend, and explain why.

HG: Imagine a Place (and not just because I’ve been a guest!) – with the focus on workplace, transformation and the future these days, they have had some very good conversations about the role that place plays in our lives. OFS (the company who produces the podcast) also has a great set of company values, and a commitment to sustainability.

CP: That’s all our questions, Hilary. Thanks for sharing your insight!

Hilary Green is Director of Change Management in Workplace Transformation at Scotiabank. You can find her on LinkedIn, here.