During a 16-year career at Thomson Reuters, Steven Blake managed at least 500 different projects. But according to Steven, “It wasn’t until I left that I started understanding that those previous 16 years were mentoring me for what comes next.”
Steven started with IST in early June, when he was hired as an Organization Change Management (OCM) Specialist. In this role, he liaises with project stakeholders, examines potential resistance and negative impacts for projects, and ensures that those impacts are mitigated so the projects run smoothly.
“The most important parts of my job are relationship building, communication, and making everybody feel like they’re being heard and their ideas are being considered,” Steven explains. “I enjoy interacting with people. This is their life and their job, and if we’re changing how they do their work, that’s stressful for them. I like to ensure that it’s a positive experience.”
After earning his electrical engineering degree from the University of Toronto, Steven worked for Thomson Reuters in a variety of IT-related roles. From there, he moved on to become an OCM consultant for companies like ExxonMobil, Husky Energy, TransCanada, and Suncor. When a recruiter called and asked if he would be interested in a position with the university, Steven took the opportunity to move to a new area.
“I get a lot of instant gratification out of my work,” he says. “I meet with people on a daily basis, and I can address their concerns before they get bigger. Most times, change isn’t nearly as scary as people build it up to be in their minds, so OCM stops that overflow of negativity before it gets out of hand.”