Have you heard the one about the consultant that was hired to do one thing, then realized something entirely different was needed?
That’s what happened when the RCMP contracted Colleen to help communicate corporate policies to its employees — 23,000 persons located across the country, many in remote locations without Internet access. The communication challenge was the limited means to share or receive information.
She began by surveying employees to identify their communication needs, then created a plan and built a team to implement it. Within three years, the department grew beyond employee communication to include crisis- and marketing-communication. Employee satisfaction of internal communication increased from 15 to 79 percent within the first year and to 87 per cent in the second. Colleen then set about integrating the new communication branch with the media relations and external publications units to enhance effective, consistent and more strategic communications.
At the commissioner’s request, Colleen became his speechwriter and was recognized by the Globe and Mail for her speech on organized crime. She was also the managing editor of the RCMP’s monthly, 40-page news magazine.
“Colleen proved herself to be an able leader, handling sensitive issues and managing operational projects adeptly. Colleen not only provided advice and strategic planning, but would be the first to roll up her sleeves to carry out those plans. Her people and organizational skills were enhanced by a great sense of humour, which helped her to build a remarkable team that often had to go to great lengths to complete projects on time and with very little or no budget.”
A/Commissioner Dawson Hovey,
“Colleen was an exceptional team leader and manager. She allowed her senior advisors the leeway to work on their own projects with minimal supervision, but also was there to provide advice and guidance when necessary. She was very conscious of building a strong, positive team, and was also very supportive in encouraging her staff to develop and strengthen their skills to progress on their own career paths. Colleen is a marvellous writer, communicator and mentor. She would be a valuable asset to any organization, either as a full-time employee or as a consultant. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her at the RCMP.”
Janice Coffin, Sr. Communications Advisor,