Suzie Lewis Is a Natural Potential Passionista
Suzie Lewis is the Managing Director at Transform for Value and the host of the podcast, Let’s Talk Transformation. She is passionate about connecting people, their potential collective intelligence, and equipping organizations to get the best out of individuals and teams. Suzie’s quest is to constantly bridge the gap between digital and human and create more inclusive and collaborative cultures in organizations.
We spoke with Suzie about Transform for Value and her passion for changing the status quo in the aeronautical industry. Here is an excerpt from our interview.
Passionistas: What's the one thing you're most passionate about?
Suzie: People. I think people and connecting people, which is where the unlocking potential comes from. I worked in an organization for 20 years and I just saw so much wasted potential or untapped potential.
And I just thought, wow, we've got to do something about this. And I come from a family of very strong women. And I'm a big believer in sistership and we've always had each other's backs and I've always had that privilege, to have that space. And I thought if I don't create it for others, I'm missing a trick and I'm not putting myself at the service of creating a more inclusive and equitable world.
Passionistas: Tell us about those amazing women from your early life and where you grew up, what your childhood was like.
Suzie: I grew up in UK and those fabulous women where my mom and my three sisters and my dad's great as well, but we had this safe space and it was predominantly discussion on equity and how to create different spaces. My parents were both doctors and researchers, and also spent a lot of time counseling people. And we've always had these discussions on the table explicitly around healthy challenging, listening to others and making sure each voice is heard.
And my grandma, who is actually my role model for courage and confidence. She was just incredible. And she worked in a time, unfortunately for her, when women didn't have the empowerment we have today. My goodness, if she'd have had the empowerment we have, and she always used to say that to us. Oh, if I had your opportunities, I'd be doing something different, something bigger, something, but she was already big for me. That was the inspiration and it runs through the family.
Passionistas: Tell us about the aeronautical industry and what you did.
Suzie: I basically started as a lean expert on the supply chain and they trained me in that. And I do like operations, and I like doing, and I like seeing the impact of what I'm doing and there's no better way than lean on a production line. You see it, you see it coming in, coming off, you see what's happening.
I went to join HR to understand what was going on and how I could make a difference and how they worked and what their mindset was. I think the best thing about where I worked was, yes, it's quite a traditional sort of industrial manufacturing environment, and the mindset goes with that.
Passionistas: While you were getting people to think more about diversity and inclusion, what was the impact that you saw on the company?
Suzie: I think the first impact is always engagement. You have engagement scores and things like that. But you also have people coming to you when you think that's why I do what I do. When people come with, yeah, I wanted to leave that job, but now I'm staying. Or I never thought that was possible, and I never thought I could lead that.
Learn more about Suzie and Transform for Value.
Listen to Lucy's complete episode.