What problem are you trying to solve? Is it even the right one? In this episode of Unlearn, host Barry O’Reilly is joined by Renee Hawkins, a skilled technology and transformation practitioner. Together, they discuss problem solving, aligning business strategies with purpose, and how to pivot your organization successfully. With practical tips on networking, market research, and seeking advice, Renee offers a roadmap for anyone looking to make a meaningful impact in the business world.

Renee Hawkins, a technology and transformational practitioner with over 25 years of experience, brings a wealth of knowledge from her time at Thoughtworks and her current role as a fractional COO. Renee’s approach of asking for help, networking, and continuous learning serves as an inspiration for aspiring fractional leaders.

The Influence of Thoughtworks and Roy Singham

During his time at Thoughtworks, Roy Singham was a visionary leader who influenced Renee’s entire approach to business. Roy led with purpose and kept social justice and inclusivity top of mind, which made Thoughtworks an incredible organization, internally and externally. When you take time to study the impact of influential leaders like Roy, you can gain insights into creating a culture that drives innovation and fosters a sense of purpose among your team. [Listen from: 02:26]



Transforming Business Models

To deal with the challenges and leverage the opportunities of changing a business model, you need to ensure that your team, operations, and value stream are consistent with the new goals of your business. When you divide the transformation process into achievable steps and concentrate on urgent needs, you can manage complicated changes and prepare your company for success. [Listen from: 15:14]

Building Effective Communication Strategies

Communication is essential for keeping teams on the same page and achieving business outcomes. Renee values storytelling, honesty, and frequent updates as ways to keep everyone updated and involved. By using effective communication methods, such as weekly reports or town hall meetings, you can make sure that your team remains in sync, inspired, and oriented towards common objectives. [Listen from: 18:36]

Embracing Fractional Work and Portfolio Careers

Working fractionally and having a portfolio career can be very advantageous in the changing world of business today. Renee tells us how she went from conventional roles to providing fractional assistance to various companies. By being flexible, learning constantly, and exploring different opportunities, you can use your skills in different projects and sectors while keeping a good balance between work and life. [Listen from: 24:17]