Meet the Pros

 

heather

Heather Sheehan I know what it’s like in the trenches; I’ve been there. I’m still there, leading, advising and coaching individuals and teams to achieve breakthrough performance with some of the biggest brands and greatest thinkers in Canada – from CTV, Cadbury and Loblaw to Seneca College. For 20 years, I’ve helped leaders with bold goals – for themselves and their teams – make them a reality.

I started as an HR business partner, navigating the intricacies of benefits plans and compensation structures, employee relations, recruitment, org design, and all other facets of people management. I too had to kick and scratch for funding to pay for much needed learning and development programs, many of which I ultimately designed in-house. As I worked my way through the manufacturing, packaged goods, media and retail industries, I realized I was developing an affinity for leadership and talent management. I went on to lead the Learning and Talent Development function for Canada’s largest retailer, including all training solutions and learning technology enablement for 190,000 colleagues across the country. I led teams, large and small, in the delivery of learning solutions from the requirements phase through pilot, implementation and into rollout. I managed multi-million dollar budgets. And I facilitated dozens of soft skills training programs on every possible priority leadership competency out there. I get it. I am you.

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Robert Thomas In my nearly 30 year career, I’ve transitioned from a line engineer, tasked with building, staffing and operating an active pilot plant in a start up pharmaceutical company, to managing the ~$700mm capital expenditure process for the largest food company in the world. In between I’ve chaired capital investment committees attended by CEOs, CFOs and the like, developed and implemented company-wide Lean Six Sigma programs, transitioned large scale manufacturing sites from manual to high-speed, automated equipment, and hired and managed hundreds of people. I’ve re-engineered production lines, transferred products from one plant to another, mapped and installed the latest technology, planned production, streamlined changeovers, and trained thousands of unionized and non-unionized employees on improvement tools and the intricacies of new equipment and processes.

What’s remained true for me across dozens of transformational projects and thousands of equipment and process changes is the critical role that our people play in getting it right, especially with all those moving parts. An engaged team can make a mediocre idea succeed beyond wildest expectations, while a dysfunctional team can sink the most brilliant plan. It’s really 80% about the people and 20% about the process (or the equipment, or the technology). My from-the-line-up approach means I don’t miss the nuances that can jeopardize a multi-million dollar investment. It works when our teams understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it AND believe in it.

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