Jen May - agent for change
Managing Director Jen May has worked in nearly every imaginable role within Change Management, and genuinely adores the challenge of isolating priority needs, devising truly live-able with solutions and making sure they're delivered in a way that works.
Yet she would describe herself as an accidental entrepreneur, as her long career in Change Management started - and progressed along a winding, fascinating path - through a series of Fortunate Accidents.
CUSTOMER experience, VISUAL communication, quality
JEN'S TRACK RECORD AND PROJECT BREAKDOWN
Anyone who's been around projects knows they can be hard to classify - the most complex are a little like an octopus, with multiple arms moving simultaneously and all dependent on each other. But if you are looking for Project Resource you'll want to see relevant experience. Here's a count of the projects Jen has delivered, categorised by their main high-level focus.
35+ SOFTWARE IMPLEMENTATIONS
Multiple Internal system enhancements in regular release cycles
9 CRM implementations
7 ERP / External system roll-outs
7 Tactical Tools / Proof of Concepts designed and built
6 Websites launched
END TO END BUSINESS ANALYSIS
Uncovering the real issues
Root cause analysis
Reporting & control
Designing ideal Solutions
Proof of Concept
Form / Workflow Design
GETTING THINGS MOVING
Business Case Development
Refining Every dETAIL
Acting as Translator
Ensuring Things WOrk
A natural curiosity and drive to solve problems
Brought up in rural England, by 1998 Jen was studying law in London, pursuing her dream to become a Human Rights lawyer with the UN. Her path here had seen her study Geography at Hertford College in Oxford, then gain a Masters in Social Anthropology at UCL. She was fascinated by the world - by the places, resources and people in it - and knew she could use her analytical ability, energy and drive to make it a better place. Then her dreams flew out the window, as the glandular fever she'd struggled with for years meant she was unable to continue combining work and study effectively. One had to give. She could pack up and leave London, or find a 9-5 job and recover her strength.
The Temp Who Wouldn't Let It Go
Within days she'd accepted a flatmate's pleas to apply for a temp job at her firm. It was in the one industry Jen had promised herself she would never work in - Financial Services. The job was unglamorous in itself - phone confirming trade settlement amounts with clients - but it was in JPMorgan. Soon after joining, Jen noticed an issue where another team's timing meant her own team sat around waiting for an essential report, wasting hours in the middle of the day. She called the MD in charge of that team to explain the issue - to general horror - and it was solved immediately. The powers that be noticed this, and Jen was invited to join the prestigious Graduate Program.
Unsurprisingly, she'd been pegged as a change-maker and her first development role was as Project Management Officer to a team of 30, running 2 Equities trading systems. Working directly alongside management in managing plans, budgets, communications and reports, this has to be the best possible immersion training in genuine project management anywhere on the planet. To this day, not Workshop Facilitation has ever been harder than the first 2 days on that role - they coincided with the annual global team strategy session. Jen, the most junior in the room, was charged with taking notes and time-keeping ... a room of 15 people, none of whom she knew, with 7 teams and 3 systems she'd never heard of. Talk about a baptism of fire.
Jumping in the Deep End
Over the next 4 years, in the PMO and later Business Analyst and Project Manager roles, Jen was instrumental in over 40 projects at JPMorgan, including delivering every project requiring connectivity to any European Stock Exchange - in her early 20's. By 2003 she was an experienced project manager and business analyst, and her ability to think creatively was rewarded by being given a dream role - inventing and implementing the ''Client Agenda'', an open-ended remit to design and deliver strategies to improve client experience across the Investment Bank in Europe. This was the beginning of a gradual transition into more of a Change Manager role - understanding and communicating the strategic priorities, maximising buy-in and handling resistance, and steering organisations towards successful, accepted change.
Roles on project teams at the Swiss Stock Exchange, a hedge fund and a retail bank followed. Jen was able to combine leading change, with roles in Communications, Marketing and Recruitment, which left her a much more rounded change manager.
A Change is as Good as a Rest
By the time Jen became a mum in 2007, she was ready to leave corporate life to ensure her family could take centre stage. From 2008-2018, Jen was the sole change agent working alongside management, in 4 organisations, as well as founding 3 businesses of her own. The subject matter was fascinatingly diverse, including renewable energy, customised artwork, Cloud-based IT solutions, security, manufacturing and launching a range of healthy products.
During this time she delivered over 20 more projects and learnt the value of developing small business owners in how to plan and implement strategic change. She consolidated her belief that Pragmatism is the most important methodology - that is, you do what works. For the first time, the changes were often at a Transformational level - new businesses, locations, teams, products.
Bringing It All Together
Since returning to Australia in 2018, Jen has founded her 4th and 5th businesses, Dynamic Krav Maga and May Dynamics, and has continued to transform businesses and the lives that depend on them. Working with a succession of clients on Business Success Programs and Dynamic Consulting briefs has given an ever-greater understanding of the factors involved in successfully running - and scaling - a business. And 3 years as Business Development Manager mean Jen balances a drive to enshrine operational excellence with assertively pursuing new possibilities for growth.