Below is our recent interview with organizational design and leadership consultant, Brad Fauteux.
Brad Fauteux is a business leader with more than sixteen years of senior management and executive-level experience.
Brad earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1995 at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. In 1999, he earned a Management Certificate from the American Management Association International.
Brad’s career has been highlighted with a pattern of taking on management positions with a gradual growth of responsibilities. From 2009 to 2012, he served as the Director and Acting Superintendent at Private Career Colleges Branch/MTCU, where he led an overall organizational redesign of the branch.
Following this, he became the Managing Director of Ontario Parks and the Ministry of Natural Resources, responsible for 2,500 employees and overseeing a $90 million operating budget.
Today, Brad serves as a consultant, applying his years of experience and service to provide strategic guidance to businesses in the areas of leadership development, organizational design, business development, and relationship and financial management.
Q: You went from serving as Managing Director of Ontario Parks and the Ministry of Natural Resources in Canada, where you were responsible for 2,500 employees to running a consulting practice. How did you handle that change? And what guidance can you provide others who are in the process of a similar professional change?
A: The change came along at a time where I needed to accommodate some shifts in my life that I wanted to make. I had to examine my career to date and really account for the kind of work I had done that I felt were needed in the marketplace.
Identifying your market is an important first step. For me as a generalist, it was important to recognize that I have a broad base of experiences/successes/skills that I could bring to the table. It is generally accepted that there are two ways to go about making the change: 1) you go all in with a solid business plan or 2) you ease into it while still working to refine your approach. In my case, I went all in but took on some longer term contracts to make sure to keep myself financially healthy during the transition.
In terms of guidance, I think as you move through your career it’s important to keep track of your successes and to develop and maintain a roster of skills/areas of expertise that you’ve accumulated in your career. You need to be mindful about doing this from day one, so that you are not backtracking years later trying to figure out what you’ve got to. I have kept a detailed list of my successful accomplishments/projects which is tied into the areas of expertise in my consulting practice. It allows me to quickly provide a practical basis for where I can show value to a client.
Q: You’ve said that most of your business comes from telling clients that they have a particular problem and that you can solve it. Are your clients for the most part comfortable with that approach?
A: Yes they are, but only as a result of the relationships that I have built in my career. In order for this approach to work you have to have established a wide network of contacts in the industries you work in and have developed solid relationships with those contacts. If you take care of those relationships, then you have the credibility to reach out and make the kind of problem-solving pitch that has worked for me.
Q: You’ve said that climate change is more of an economic problem than an environmental problem. Can you expand on that idea?
A: At their core, environmental problems ARE economic problems. As the earth warms up the environmental systems that we rely on to maintain the current economic system are going to change and therefore will influence those same economic systems.
Let’s use the cost of food as an example. In agriculture, as the climate changes, so will those places where humanity has grown accustomed to growing things. Important crops may not grow in the same places or in the same ways, which will affect harvest and therefore affect food prices. In the oceans, climate change is causing the oceans to be more acidic which will impact fish harvests over time. Less fish means higher prices. Higher food prices will have impacts on the economic balance and may influence all sorts of economic behaviour from individual consumer purchasing, to imports and exports, to commodities markets, to even human migration patterns as people leave their homes to seek out better food security.
Another thing to consider is the impact on shoreline communities worldwide as the glaciers and ice caps melt and ocean water levels rise. Billions of people live in places along the ocean shoreline that will be inundated over the next 75-100 years. Potentially trillions of dollars could be spent in construction to protect these cities or there will potentially be the largest migration in human history for these people to move away from the rising water. Either way, the economic impacts will be significant. These are but two examples of the economic impacts of climate change.
Q: Change management, with an emphasis on transformational change, is also a service focus of your consulting practice. What does it mean specifically and how can you help businesses and environmental leaders implement such change?
A: Transformational Change is generally accepted to be a change in strategy that incorporates a cultural change in an organization as the key component to making the “transformation”. Transformational change takes a a tremendous amount of planning and needs to be both adaptive and purposeful in order to be successful. As a consultant, my competencies and experience enable me to help leaders visualize the change, often using design thinking, and then working back from the desired (and designed) outcome to develop the strategy for getting there.