Sister Lilian Vernyuy, one of the newer members of the Society for Process Consulting, adds to our global reach. Part of her vision is to bring the Process Consulting approach to Cameroon. We invited her responses to a few questions:
Can we begin with your vocation within your vocation? You are Cameroonian, trained as a nurse and are part of a Catholic order that placed you at an Elderly Home Community in Spain. That sounds like a fascinating story of personal development and being sensitive to a calling. How did this all develop?
I am part of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus of Buea – Cameroon. Responding to the call to serve the universal church, my Congregation in 2013 sent me as a missionary to the Diocese of Teruel and Albarracin in Spain. My mission offers me an opportunity to serve in this elderly home community with 90 members. I cannot emphasize any less the power of the Divine Hand at work in this call to service.
It has been a pleasant and an enriching experience to live and work in a culture very much different from mine. I had to learn Spanish beginning from A, B, C etc. I had to battle with climate change, adapt to the gastronomic differences, just to name a few. I feel fulfilled and happy that I had this opportunity for personal development and growth.
And somewhere in here you became deeply interested in the process approach to consulting. How does that come into play in your work?
The process approach to consulting as I came to discover is a necessary tool for success in every sphere of life. It is an organized way of doing things for greater success and yields. No one sets out to do something and fail, yet some people are more ego-success driven than others. It is with my ego-success spirit that I began to evaluate the success rate of our congregational and home projects. I realized that most of them were a failure and largely this was due to a lack of putting in place correct and good strategies. Reflecting more deeply and talking about this challenge with some friends, I got inspired by the results of the process approach to consulting and felt it was a needed solution for us.
The knowledge I gained from the Process Consultancy Course with Design Group International has helped me to re-organize my work in a more fruitful way. I have been able to strengthen our team to improve our decision-making by using the process approach. There is more clarity and less stepping on each other´s toes. We have been able to re-organize our organigram, re-define job descriptions and develop more meaningful policies and procedures using the process approach.
What are some of the ways that a process approach to consulting assists cross-cultural and multi-lingual scenarios?
From my experience, using a process approach provides clarity and enhances better outcomes. When I became part of our management team, I had many challenges understanding certain decisions and their influences because of cultural differences. These began to be resolved when we started meeting frequently and using the process approach to enhance the quality of decisions we were making.
I come from a culture where respect for the elderly may be considered excessive when compared to other cultures. It is possible to be part of a group or work in a team with elders and your contributions are not considered just because you are younger and expected to listen to your elders and keep quiet. As a younger member of the team in another culture my tendency was to be reserved, listen and contribute minimally for fear my ideas would not be duly considered. But with the process approach to consulting, I realized that I was able to freely participate in our deliberations and decision making as well as feel more connected and committed to our decisions.
The process approach to consulting deepened my relationship with others because it builds trust, transparency, and collaboration. In brief, from my experience and in my judgment, this approach helps broaden engagement and creates an inclusive environment that breaks cultural barriers.
What advice would you have for someone already deep in the experiences of their career who would like to pursue some training in process consulting?
After experiencing the benefits and importance of process consulting, I would like to provide the person with a similar and why-not-better experience. I would readily advise the person to make the most of any opportunity to acquire and nurture more skills in the area of process consulting. It is a key that opens the door to quality decisions and success in both personal and professional life.
It is not the same doing something and doing that same thing well. The Process approach to consulting used either at individual or group level is an essential tool for success. Given that it helps in the improvement of businesses, I would advise anyone desiring better outputs to attain this knowledge that will enable him/her to manage and improve key business processes that directly impact the ability to serve the client or customer.
What is next for you?
Having gained knowledge of the process approach to consulting, it is my ultimate desire to put this knowledge into practice by helping those who need consulting beginning with my Congregation. As it is often said, “Charity begins at home.” Since process consulting is based on the foundation that consultation focuses on a helping relationship, I will work with and not for the client to encourage mutual benefits. I am equally working on continuous self development and growth in the consultancy career.
It is my fervent wish to build a full-time consultancy. To achieve this, I have to develop funding sources to be able to establish LIVEN & CO Consultancy when I return to Cameroon. At the moment, I am searching for partnership opportunities and creating a link with Community Vision Group.
- mark l vincent