MCA Awards Interview: Change Management & Consultant of the Year 2017

Sonia Storr, Director at Deloitte, won both the Change Management award and the Consultant of the Year award at the 2017 MCA Awards. 

How did you feel on the night of the Awards?

I was extremely flattered! It’s a real honour to win the Change Management Award, and I was stunned to go on to win the Consultant of the Year award too. I feel humble as I know there’s fantastic competition out there.

Even though I won individual awards, I truly believe my success is down to the strengths of the teams I work with. For me, it is a real recognition of what fantastic work our teams in Deloitte do for our clients. 

What are the achievements of which you are most proud?

I am very proud to have won these two MCA Awards, it’s been one of the highlights of my career!

I have been a consultant for over 15 years now and I am most proud of the people I have worked with and helped to grow and develop over time. The nature of my job means I have had the privilege to work with a real diverse set of consultants and clients from all different industries, countries and backgrounds. Some of my proudest moments have been seeing these people grow in confidence and capability and achieving things that they never thought they would or could.

How has Deloitte supported and encouraged you to succeed professionally?

I joined Deloitte almost 4 years ago, and what really attracted me from the outset is the Firm’s focus on its people. Deloitte values individuals for what they contribute, and this underpins the way we treat employees, clients and the standards we set for others.

I have always felt that Deloitte is a fantastic place for people to flourish. We have  great mentors and leaders that really put trust in their people. There is always support available, whether it’s in regards to your career, a particular client opportunity/challenge or new, innovative thinking. 

What makes for a good relationship with your clients and colleagues?

Great relationships build the foundations for great work. In my experience there are three key components that support those strong relationships; trust, honesty and overcoming challenges together.

Trust is the heart of strong relationships, I have a strong belief that if you say you are going to do something, you must deliver on it so that clients and colleagues know they can depend on you.

This links to being honest, and I am personally very straightforward in the way that I talk and lots of my clients and colleagues really value this. I will reflect on my experience and expertise, and offer them my honest perspective.

Many of my strongest relationships with clients and colleagues are the ones where we have found ourselves in really challenging situations, and have had to work collectively to find a solution. 

What are the biggest challenges facing consultants in your specialist area?

I work in the Human Capital practice of Deloitte and specialise in Change Management. Our consultants have to be creative, smart and flexible with the ability understand clients’ businesses and the challenges they encounter.

Our clients are facing change and disruption at an increased pace as they prepare for the Future of Work. They are contending with new digital technologies, workforce expectations, changes in customer demands, and new regulatory requirements to name a few. To be successful as consultants, we are always having to think ahead of the game to support our clients to overcome challenges and prepare for the future. 

What would you like to see firms’ doing to support the MCA Year of Diversity?

In my view, the Year of Diversity is a fantastic initiative! It is so important for Consulting firms to champion diversity internally as well as with their clients and put it in the spotlight.

Deloitte has led the way in a lot of Diversity Initiatives; supporting women returning from career breaks, coaching people from the armed forces on changing their careers and driving the diversity agenda around gender, sexuality and race to name a few. Our next area of focus within Deloitte is Inclusion, which I think is a fantastic step forward. For Consultancy firms to truly support the MCA Year of Diversity, they need to be celebrating the impact that increased diversity and inclusion has and the value that this delivers.