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Meet Melissa Tandy – Twiga Specialist Consultant

She is really committed to helping organisations create environments where everyone can thrive. Whether solving business-critical problems or working on risk management or diversity and inclusion, Melissa brings a passion and commitment to positive, purposeful change.

Melissa has known Twiga’s founder, Jo Smyth, for many years and their collaborative work, like all good relationships, is built on trust.

After a career of more than 20 years in banking and financial services, , Melissa went through a metamorphosis. She took the ‘courage pill’ to leave her senior role in the corporate world and have her first extended time away since graduating from university (Melissa has an MBA from UNSW and an arts degree from Monash).

Melissa decided to act on a burning desire to build on her experience working with leaders and boards, and on her advocacy and philanthropic work as an ally to the LGBTIQ+ community. During COVID-19 lockdowns, she completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

She also started looking at the need for companies to adapt, to keep their dispersed teams motivated, maintain productivity and manage risk. During her corporate career, Melissa had seen the value of workplace flexibility and was frustrated when managers held things back through a lack of trust. The pandemic brought all this sharply into focus.

The future now became clear – to help others shift their ways of working and create great workplaces.

As a freelance consultant and Twiga team member, Melissa works with boards of directors, CEOs and leadership teams of large and small organisations in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors.

‘The first part is really listening and understanding. We use our toolkit to do this – but the results are clearly different from client to client. The process helps us understand what expertise is needed and who to bring in from the Twiga team and social changemakers from The Xfactor Collective that we’re part of.’

This is clearly a benefit for Twiga clients. They are drawing from many accumulative years of outside experience from a range of senior consultants with specialist skills who collaborate seamlessly. And they gain a new ‘lens’.

But companies need to want to change. Having a ‘diversity and inclusion policy’ drawn up, for example, won’t achieve anything. Melissa and the Twiga team help companies make the cultural shift needed. They run collaborative workshops to create awareness of different ways of doing things and the impact this can have. They give leaders the tools, guidance and support, get them to challenge their thinking and consider other options, and then they help them implement the change.

Risk management has, by necessity, a more standardised framework – but Melissa’s skill is in helping boards figure out how to ensure it is fit for their purpose, and how best to implement it.

What does success look like for Twiga clients?

‘Put simply, we deliver on their needs.’

At Twiga, this isn’t delivered to a set pattern with off-the-shelf consultant ‘artefacts’. It’s a much more flexible and personal approach that works both ways. Melissa and her colleagues make it their business to understand how things works holistically, through honest and open conversations with their clients.

‘Take risk management for example – when we look at strategy and operations, we also make sure stakeholders are kept front of mind. We recently did an exercise for a client and helped them unpack just how critical some of those stakeholder relationships were to their business.’

Twiga doesn’t just create a report and move on. Melissa and her colleagues are passionate about leaving behind a great legacy. They work hard to informally mentor internal teams – passing on knowledge and ideas and ensuring the right capabilities are in place for a successful implementation.

It’s all about collaborative partnerships.

‘Whether with each other or with clients, we are human beings. It must be a trusted relationship.’ 

Contact Melissa Tandy

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