Design and implement strategies for change.Employees thrive when they are given agency.
Leaders need to take action via people, process and culture.
“It’s not about standing still and becoming safe. If anybody wants to keep creating they have to be about change.” – Miles Davis
I enjoy solving and ideating around challenges that exist at the nexus of internal and corporate communications, employee engagement and change management. I help companies navigate these areas in the context technology, collaboration or organizational culture. I coach them through the impacts on their operations and leadership.
Since 2013, I have worked with more than 25 large for-profit and non-profit organizations in medical technology, biotech, media, technology, healthcare, energy, logistics, global humanitarian aid and community development.
Empathy and active listening guide the organizational change programs and coaching services I offer. In a world where 70% of change programs fail, and creativity is the most-needed skill for the future of business, I use storytelling, authentic connection, and community management principles to help you tap your organization’s nascent superpowers.
Work with me! I am exuberant about the future of your organization.
Change management, collaboration, and culture
How does your company function? What’s the culture like? What are the shared points of delight or friction for your employees? By being curious, I find most companies fail to plan for the holistic picture. They forge ahead intending to save money/time with something they can control and measure (a technology solution) and are shocked when efficiency and productivity don’t increase. This methods accrues organizational “change debt” and fosters exhausted workforces.
Employee ecosystems and organizational leaders need can be coached by someone with high emotional intelligence on how to create and facilitate change with grace and balance.
Whether you’re trying to make your team more agile, or respond internally to external and market forces, your people probably already have the answers. Using a design thinking approach, I can help you uncover and implement them.
Community & audience building
Feeling connected with other people because of a shared profession or passion is powerful. I blend analytical and behavioral inquisitiveness so businesses make the most of their online investments, build their audiences and foster healthy employee community.
I organically create audiences using social media and storytelling best practices, combined with behavioral science principles. Strategic communications practices leave positive impacts on internal communications. The result is a more aligned and unified workforce.
Services I Offer
Change management initiative design, planning, communications, and implementation/operationalization
Design thinking workshops focusing on: employee engagement, employee experience, culture-building and ideation
Employee focus group facilitation
Leader interviews and communications coaching
Technology education and learning design
Community design and building
Virtual education events
Internal communications planning and strategy
Content development and planning
Audience building and digital engagement
Employee recognition programs
Strategic communications and community outreach
My academic training is in journalism and psychology, a combination that gives me a love of finding root causes and storytelling (isn’t it interesting how those things are sometimes at cross-purposes?!). Once the digging is over and a scope is defined, I work with you to define services that fit your company’s challenges.
I am a certified as a:
- LUMA Institute Human-Centered Design Practitioner
- LUMA Institute Facilitator (July 2023)
- Prosci Change Practitioner
- Institute of Organizational Development Organizational Development Process Certification (ODPC) practitioner
I also incorporate formal training in mediation, conflict resolution, and non-violent communication (NVC) principles into how I work.
What People Say
In our 4+ years working together, Rachel has been invaluable for projects where the employee experience vis a vis technology and communications was at the core. Clients deeply trust Rachel, which means our projects have always been collaborative and meaningful. I highly recommend Rachel as a partner or leader for engagements where companies need thoughtful, experienced, creative, honest advice to ensure that tech and people work well together for the long term.
Carrie Marshall, Founder
Talk Social to Me and Basecamp Lassen
Rachel can be comfortable in a variety of situations. She’s naturally observant, insightful and a clear communicator who is able to apply those talents to help inspire organizations and individuals grow and evolve. What I appreciated most about working with Rachel was her ability to, almost instantly, explain complex topics in a relatable way. Every time she engaged, whether with leaders for buy-in or with collaborators for ‘retraining,’ Rachel brought fact-based and very compelling counsel.
Client who worked with Rachel
Rachel worked with our team for over a year and was undeterred in asking the hard questions we needed to hear as we went through the change management work of launching a giant communications initiative for our employees. She brought great ideas to the team and I often think to myself, “WWRD?” (What Would Rachel Do?) The impact of her work will always be present for our Firstup-powered internal communications platform.
Stephanie Ramos, Director of Internal Communications
Rachel facilitated a human-centered design session among volunteers we hope to recruit more deeply to advancing awareness of our cause. She convened an interactive and creative experience that removed us from our familiar ways of brainstorming and shifted us into ideation.
Her process helped us expand not just how we were thinking about things, but also to reimagine what constituted engagement. She then helped us refine our volunteers’ ideas into specific actions that were easiest to execute on and that had the highest impact. Rachel helped us reframe our challenge and increased our comfort with new approaches to creating awareness of our cause. Her impact will is expected to be felt beyond our next event.
David K., Nonprofit Director
Lorraine K., Volunteer Lead
Rachel joined the HR Strategy Forum as a committee member to add outreach to the group’s collective skills. Within a few weeks, the board recognized her unique contributions as an advocate for the interests of senior HR professionals and chose to promote her to a Board Member at Large so she could bring even more value to the organization. Rachel is an expert at fostering interactive relationships her leadership has helped HRSF challenge the way we think about our mission to build community and collaboration.
HR Strategy Forum
Rachel stepped into a leadership role for our 2019 annual fundraising event. Her skills as a communicator, strategist, as well as in analyzing and working with data from past year’s events helped her to mobilize our community. She led a professional result from idea to implementation hat exceeded the prior year’s fundraising achievements. Rachel is a pleasure to work with and takes initiative, always finding ways to innovate and add value to the bigger picture.
Paloma Baquerizo, Director of Development
Escuela Bilingüe Internacional
I have helped companies maintain their brands inside and outside of company walls and despite the pace of change in business and the tsunami of increasing employee and customer expectations. My work has been measured in things like adoption, risk prevention, and more humbly, in small leader behavior changes such as shifts in perspective, attitude, and actions.
From my early career in marketing, public relations, and digital communications I have helped companies craft key messages that build their brands. I have also helped companies strategically de-construct those same kinds of messages so they are instead co-created with cultivated digital networks like employee and customer communities. I saw the power of the mobile revolution and of social media networks in the mid-2000s. I made sure my expertise and my work on behalf of my employers were fully part of that communications renaissance.
Talk Social to Me
I have been a consultant since 2013. However, my tenure (2017 to 2021) with Talk Social to Me was especially formative for my current work helping companies understand how employees collaborate, what motivates them, work together and how to create cultures that engage and retain them. I have consulted with startups, non-profits, and philanthropic foundations on their change management, employee community and learning and development efforts.
Cisco Systems and Intuit
I have helped companies like Cisco Systems and Intuit use online customer communities to create new products, services, and offer more cost effective customer support. I was a founding team member for the Cisco Learning Network which grew to 450,000+ members. The community generated learning product sales of $1m+ annually. I helped Intuit retain 30 super users in the QuickBooks help community at a time of deep changes to the company’s flagship product.
Startup Companies & Non-Profits
At the beginning of my career, my skills as a marketer and in building relationships and content was part of two successful startup companies’ initial public offerings. I also spent 5 years in the non-profit sector helping organizations serving the business, humanitarian, arts and professional development sectors get more publicity, raise more funds, and serve more constituents.
In December of 2020, I joined the board of directors for Cazadero Performing Arts Family Camp.
Fun Facts About Me
I am unquenchably creative and resourceful. I think “outside the box” and take action with ideas, wisdom and savvy relevant to the environment or situation. The arts have always helped me keep my perspective and method fresh, creative and unencumbered.
I’m a portmanteausiast (“portmanteau” + “enthusiast” combined into a new word) who loves hybrids, mashups, extemporaneously rewriting songs, dance, and singing. I produce a podcast and blog about sound in the performing arts called Agile Vocalist. I come from a long line of horse-lovers.
Thinking & Aspiring
It’s Time to Bring Human Centered Design to the Employee Experience
As we face the overwhelm of today’s work reality and a rainstorm of challenges, companies that grasp the overwhelming (untapped, perhaps?) value of employee intelligence have a unique opportunity to create better human-centered design outcomes....
Career Reflection: Ten Years
2023 marks my 10-year anniversary as a consultant. My hope is that these career reflections will be helpful to the so.many.people who are in transition in this bold, bright year called 2023. I hope these resonate with how you may be feeling—because...
Let’s change your world.
Work with me! I am exuberant about the future of your business and its impending transformations. My experience with organizations of all sizes and in diverse sectors are my lens of organizational experience.
Creating meaningful change is a journey. Let my design-thinking approach be your guide and trusted partner.