We proudly feature FSFP’s lead data governance consultant, Teri Hinds, in our Meet the Team series.
With over 20 years of organizational change management experience and a passion for communication and connecting with people, Teri brings an invaluable skill set to her teams and clients. You’ll love learning more about this intelligent, witty and all-around “cool” FSFP team member.
If you could work remotely anywhere, where would it be?
I would say somewhere significantly more rural. We have chickens, and there’s an ongoing conversation about how we can only get so much livestock within the city limits. I would love a place where we could do a small hobby farm, do more of our sustainable food production, and live a bit farther from the hustle and bustle but still close enough to take advantage of some city life. Geographic location may be less significant than a little more rural and somewhere with more land for the hobby farm. I’m a knitter and spinner. So, sheep is an eventual goal. They’re sustainable since you can make your clothes from them and be warm year-round.
With cute chickens, fluffy sheep, and endlessly gorgeous knit creations, life does sound better on the farm (maybe Teri will make room for us all!).
Can you explain your role and focus at FSFP?
Although my background is in organizational change management, I specialize in data governance. Before joining FSFP, I worked in higher education for almost 20 years. However, my master’s degree is in social work. Meeting people right where they are is relevant to organizational change management and the ethos FSFP Founder and CEO Kelle O’Neal established from the beginning with FSFP. She recognized that bringing people along to the data conversation wasn’t happening. So, that was a big draw for me when I started at FSFP. Organizational Change Management (OCM) is authentically woven into everything we do. In my work, I focus more on the people side of our business. I concentrate on how you make the case for the tools, help people embrace them, and instill confidence in using them.
What do you enjoy most about what you do at FSFP?
The FSFP team. It may sound trite, but really. It’s true. The team here is incredibly supportive and willing to share knowledge. I love the welcoming and open culture. The teamwork is genuine. There is no shame, no judgment, just a willingness to bring people along. That is truly amazing and valuable. Teamwork and camaraderie are two of my favorite things about FSFP.
I also enjoy focusing on what may have been considered special initiatives in some of my previous roles. I love helping people manage them. We tell clients, “Okay, you – this – isn’t a special initiative. It is our full-time job!” It’s been amazing to see the relief on the faces of multiple clients when they realize, “Oh, okay, you’ve got that. I don’t need to figure that out myself.”
What’s the most valuable career advice you have ever received and that you often give to others?
On campus, I was given the best advice and the advice I offer to others in a similar position: recognize and value the expertise of the people around you. Together, we are stronger. It’s not about being the smartest in the room. Collectively, we are more intelligent than each individually. Let’s find a path forward together, taking advantage of our strengths. Value and recognize the expertise in the room.
Which of the FIRST values (focus, integrity, resourcefulness, skillfulness, teamwork) resonates the most with you, and why?
Integrity! I appreciate the culture here that fosters integrity. In my career path, this has only sometimes been the case. For example, there are those examples of “If we just slide on this part, it’ll be okay.” That isn’t true here—integrity ripples across so many aspects of the company. We don’t offer cookie-cutter deliverables but customize them to meet our clients’ needs. We provide what they need even though sometimes they don’t know how to ask for it. Our approach is very much, “Okay, so you want this piece to get you to a certain goal, and we’re committed to following these steps with you. We will get you where you need to be.” And it isn’t just lip service. It truly embodies the values of everyone on the team.
What part of working at home do you find most enjoyable? Conversely, what do you find most challenging?
No commute is the most enjoyable! The fact that I can have my coffee in the garden and be in a meeting ten minutes later is amazing.
I don’t love not getting up and moving around all day to attend meetings. You’d think I’d use my standing desk more often, but I never do. With my ability to be in the zone and the nature of Zoom meetings, I can sit in my chair all day and not move. Yeah, that’s not great.
Can you tell me about a movie or TV show you love watching or binge-watching?
The Star Wars franchise. As a Gen-X’er, my generation was raised on the original Star Wars trilogy, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I didn’t like all the offshoot series, and I didn’t read any of the books. We’ve enjoyed watching the comic and cartoon series, which are excellent. Filling in the gaps in the Star Wars franchise has been a lot of fun for us.
What is the top issue many of FSFP’s clients face today, and how can you help solve it?
It’s not a surprise that I say the people. Trying to keep up with how much data we have, accumulate, and generate through the process of doing business and how to make the organizational changes necessary to make governance a responsibility for everyone is challenging. Our job descriptions rarely include governance. It is invisible. Many people cannot recognize that this work is happening now, invisibly. To manage the risk and capitalize on the benefits of ever-increasing amounts of data, use it to make informed decisions, and make strategic decisions about where we are now and where we want to be, we must formalize and recognize that work.
It’s a recurring conversation I’ve had across the industries at FSFP, one I recognized from when I was in higher education and the association space. It’s the key to so many data challenges.
FSFP and I can add value by focusing on how you help people understand their roles.
The challenge is to bring people along in ways that don’t feel like, “Oh, hey, we’re going to ask you to do more than your job,” but instead recognize that, “We know you already do this work, so let’s document it in a way that other people can benefit from it as well and recognize it as part of your responsibilities in a way we haven’t in the past.” It validates and provides our clients with the tools and guidance to develop highly effective change management strategies.
We hope you enjoyed the latest installment in our Meet the Team series. Check out our other interviews to learn more about the people who make FSFP tick.