TJ catches up with multi award-winning Alexandra Bode-Tunji.
Alexandra is an experienced HR and OD leader currently leading a major people transformation programme at Transport for London (TfL). She has extensive experience in HR, change management, organisation design and development, and L&D.
Her ability to inspire others, along with her leadership skills and passion for excellence, are some of the qualities that have led to her success. Her business acumen, great interpersonal skills and her knack for building crucial relationships at all levels of the organisation have contributed to the success of the people transformation programme in London Underground (LU).
This award-winning culture change programme was a key enabler for the customer service transformation programme. Leading a multidisciplinary team, Alexandra and her team delivered the largest culture change programme in a generation.
Through effective stakeholder management, Alexandra was able to secure commitment and funding from the Executive Board, for a culture change programme spanning four years.
A key source of inspiration is engaging with people to gain insights into their challenges, drawing on their thoughts and suggested solutions.
The programme, which transformed the approach to training and development in LU, delivered material benefits including improved perceptions around employee engagement, greater trust in leaders, enhanced customer services and reduced customer complaints.
Why training and how did you start?
My interest in training and development stems from my belief in the importance of these tools in the defence of an organisation’s competitive advantage. Training has been a key part of all my roles; I started out in a business frontline consultant role in 1997 with the Training and Enterprise Council.
In this role, I worked with employers in the west London area to set up internal people processes and provided training for new and existing employees. This was a great opportunity to work with different organisations and share best practice around performance improvement.
Following this, I took a role with Thames Valley Housing in which I led a programme tasked with setting up a training centre. Working in partnership with the National Housing Federation and City and Guilds, the centre was developed to provide national vocational qualifications for housing sector employees within the Thames Valley area.
Introducing this new capability allowed the team to identify and address gaps in the skills base within the sector. As a result of the improvements in training and development, Thames Valley Housing was ranked as one of the top 100 companies to work for.
Since joining TfL I have used my experience around training and development to lead the delivery of key change initiatives, delivering improved capabilities at all levels.
Who or what inspires you?
I draw inspiration from several sources, starting with my father. He made me believe I can achieve anything in life if I set my heart to it. A key source of inspiration is engaging with people to gain insights into their challenges, drawing on their thoughts and suggested solutions.
I have had the privilege of working with a great team of suppliers over the last fi ve years – t-three, Interact, Kallidus, Business Smart and Progrezo. Along with my team, I have drawn insights and worked collaboratively and creatively to deliver a very successful transformation programme.
I also read a lot, I am currently reading a book we issued to all our change champions – SUMO (Shut Up, Move On) by Paul McGee. Reading this book has been very helpful in helping me to reflect on some of my ways of working, most notably my ability to manage complex challenges while leading and delivering large transformation programmes.