Scott Span, MSOD currently serves as President of Tolero Solutions, an independent organizational development and change management-consulting firm. He is an organization development and change management practitioner with experience working in strategic and transformational change. Scott has worked both internally, externally, and as an independent contractor in the Public and Private sector. Mr. Span is a resourceful and innovative problem-solver with a belief of lifelong learning and personal growth, who has a familiarity of both large scale and small scale consulting. He effectively manages people, processes, technology, and projects helping individuals and organizations to attain their desired goals.
Tolero Solutions is an independent Organizational Development & Change Management consultancy specializing in facilitating sustainable growth by developing people and organizations to be more responsive, focused and effective. The name Tolero was chosen because of the two Latin meanings – to endure and to sustain. These words describe what we do perfectly– we support people and organizations as they change and develop. By designing and implementing enduring solutions, it enables leaders, teams and individuals to identify and navigate priorities; collaborate for success, and accelerate and achieve sustainable results.
1. You are currently, President of Tolero Solutions, what inspired this venture?
Yes, I currently serve as President of Tolero Solutions Organizational Development and Change consulting. Several things inspired this entrepreneurial venture. I have always loved my work in the many areas of OD, helping organizations to be more focused, responsive, and effective and making them a better place for the people within them. I had found in previous roles I was not able to get to the level of work (and service offerings) that I have seen makes a real impact toward positive change for clients. This became frustrating, thus I decided that to start my own company. In addition, I’ve always had a collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit and Tolero Solutions allows me the opportunities to not only customize solutions to best fit my client’s needs, but also to meet and work with many other talented and passionate individuals who want to make a positive difference.
2. Do you find that public, and or private organizations are afraid of change, and if so, why?
We all inherently resist change to some regard, both individuals and organizations. People and organizations become used to doing things in a certain way, and particularly if they feel that way has been working well for so long they can be a bit hesitant to change. Resistance to change is not abnormal. That said, I do find certain organizations to be more resistant to change that others. Government for example is a (fun) challenge. Such a massive amount of diversity exists not only within the public sector as a whole, but also within individual agencies. This diversity is not just associated with the people, but is also associated with the processes and technologies. The hierarchal yet often matrixed structures, combined with often rigid policies and procedures does often make causing positive changes in the public sector a bit of challenge – and all that more rewarding.
3. What are some of the challenges that organizations face that make change difficult?
Well, this is a somewhat personal question – each organization and the people within it are different. Organizations are like blades of grass, no two are exactly the same. Some consistencies do exist however regarding change. Money, executive leadership, shareholders, constituents, employees, and outside environmental factors can all make organizational change difficult. It is for this reason that I advise my clients, prior to taking on any change effort, to collect information and take a detailed and holistic view of their business.
4. Baby boomers are retiring from the work force in large numbers, and at the other end of the spectrum, GenY is entering the work force in very large numbers as well. Do you feel that Generation Yer’s are pushing organizations to think differently?
Well, you are correct that Baby Boomers are eligible for retirement in large numbers, however due to economic issues not as many are actually retiring as originally thought. That said, Gen X and Gen Y are next in line for opportunities and leadership roles. I do feel that Gen Y is a very innovative and ambitious generation, and as such they definitely challenge the status quo and share thoughts, ideas, and suggestions that may reflect different ways of thinking. This type of knowledge sharing is just one of the many reasons that increasing cross generational engagement and communication are important.
5. How have organizations had to adjust themselves due to the influx of a younger work force?
Some have, some have not. Some organizations have made the decision to embrace younger talent and their way of doing things, some have not. Those organizations that have made an effort to attract younger talent may have had to make changes regarding work schedules, benefits, technology and communication among other things. See my Top 10 Ways to Engage Gen Y for more info.
6. What are some of the issues presented between GenY, and the older work force when facilitating sustainable growth?
One of the key issues that exists is around communication and stereotypes. In many cases the various generations prefer to communicate is different ways. Let’s face it, there is communication, and then there is effective communication. A big difference exists between talking to someone, and talking at someone – or not even talking at all. To me, the first step in effective communication is to first understand your audience. Not all people, and or groups of people, prefer to communicate in the same way. I am as comfortable communicating via email, text, and social media as I am face to face. This does not mean however that other generations, and individuals, are as comfortable with this format. Some folks are much more comfortable with a quick phone conversation or even more so face- to- face communication. Effective communication is knowing the style best preferred for your audience and having the flexibility to adapt to their style to achieve the most productive interactions. Then you can begin to tailor your message to them in the way that it is most likely to be heard and positively received.
7. What are some of your projections for the future in reference to the corporate structure, public, and private?
I foresee organizational structures adapting to a much more virtual and decentralized work structure. With increased globalization and technology, it is a much more cost effective approach. In addition these type of organizational structures provide much more work life balance, and thus contribute to employee engagement much more so that some matrixed and hierarchal structures.
8. What are your favorite websites?
9. What are your hopes and dreams for your organization?
One of my personal dreams is to continue to do what I love while making a positive impact for others. My hope for Tolero Solutions is that we will continue to grow strategically and form collaborative partnerships to facilitate sustainable growth – and ongoing positive organizational improvements for organizations in various sectors – helping to make the organizations more focused, responsive, and effective and a better place for those who work within them!