Charlene Smart (left)

Professionals learn how to make change

The Vernon Women in Business Leadership Conference 2015 is Oct. 23 at Sparkling Hill Resort

NATALIE APPLETON

Special to The Morning Star

A candidate walks into a job interview and, after the introductions and niceties says, in her own words, ‘I adapt well to change.’ The manager’s ears perk up. A light goes on. This might be the hire. Why?

Today, organizational change isn’t just common, it’s constant and intense, and what managers really want to know is how someone’s going stand up when ‘the winds of change’ blow.

“Everyone thinks, ‘No one else is going through the kinds of changes we’re going through, but everybody is,” says Mark DeVolder, a change specialist and internationally acclaimed speaker giving the keynote address at the upcoming Vernon Women in Business Leadership Conference 2015.

“What’s not normal is the change saturation companies are experiencing now. Each year it’s increasing and it’s only going to get worse. So, how do we become more resilient? How do we adapt?”

DeVolder’s talk reveals how leaders can help ensure change initiatives succeed by giving people the skills and resources to become adaptable and resilient.

The title of this year’s conference, being held Oct. 23 at Sparkling Hill Resort, is ‘Navigating Change.’

Conference founder Charlene Smart, owner of Smart & Associates Certified Professional Accountants, says the theme is fitting for the conference’s goal of helping professionals excel and support each other.

“Change can be tiring and discouraging and costly, but it can also take you to the next level in your career. Growth means change. So for people who come and want to up their game, all of that impacts the community positively.”

For a lot of professionals, ‘navigating change’ is code for ‘not getting burned out.’

Conference organizers, then, thought it would be fitting to give professionals the tools they need to make it easier to eat well and lead a healthier, more balanced life.

After DeVolder’s keynote address, guests will also hear from Christina Manuck, a registered dietitian who will provide resources to help professionals achieve true health as well as uncover the short and long-term impact of living ‘balanced.’ 

Third to take the stage is Colin Parker, CEO of Lonestar Sales Performance, to help entrepreneurs and executives take care of that other figure, the bottom line. Parker, based in Kelowna, helps small business owners implement better sales strategies for better results.

Smart founded the conference, open to both men and women, in 2012 with the idea of reaching higher in mind.

“I think this valley has such talent and we need to support each other in order to be successful. And sometimes it’s lonely in a small community striving to do your best.”

For Hatt Fitness owner Jes Hatt, who attended in 2014, the conference offers both camaraderie and motivation.

“What I really enjoyed was just being around people who want to improve, and having the chance to meet people,” said Hatt. “And on top of that I got to listen to some really amazing speakers.”

Kristy Higgins, owner of Therapeutic Life Counselling, also attended last year.

She said the chance to have face time with peers and experts allows us to connect and feel inspired to take on changes that would have others been more difficult or taken longer.

“A lot of us are looking externally for a feeling we can tap into right now. The conference environment allows us to feel in a way that allows us to shift and change from within, and that’s a longer lasting change.”

The Vernon Women in Business Leadership Conference 2015 takes place Oct. 23 from 8:30 am to 3 pm at Sparkling Hill Resort. Tickets, available at www.leadershipconference.ca, are $139.

 

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