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Around the Bonfyre: Susan Heller on Change Management Communication

Susan Heller didn’t start her career pursuing change management communication, but discovered her aptitude for it almost by fate.

Heller worked at Ernst & Young (EY) for 12 years, operating first as a project manager for the firm but progressing into a communications and metrics management role later in her tenure. One of her primary responsibilities involved communicating the state of organizational affairs to the firm’s global operations group, which spanned 300 employees dispersed across three continents and several countries.

Over time, the nature of what she had to communicate shifted. She started communicating changes to employees–the “tough kind of change” like organization restructuring, changes to job roles, and even layoffs. Heller supported these efforts by opening up two-way communications channels between leadership and staff and taking ownership of the annual employee satisfaction survey, among other duties.

“Not realizing it, I started to specialize more and more in change communications,” Heller says.

Heller soon formalized that specialization with certifications in the APMG and Prosci change methodologies. Since EY, she has operated as a change manager at National Grid in Brooklyn, NY, and most recently at New York Power Authority in White Plains. Presently, she is launching Your Life Lantern, a personal coaching business.

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