You’re an inside change-maker

I’m Fiona Proctor and I am a leadership training consultant. I help women working in social institutions (such as government, education, healthcare, and social services) be the kinds of leaders you’ve been looking for.

I call leaders like you “inside change makers”.

That’s because you’re not an armchair warrior, pointing fingers or taking cheap shots. Instead, you’re in the work and in the arena. You’re inside the institution, trying to leverage your role and relationships to create powerful changes that ripple out.

 

Let’s get you resourced

and ready to lead

Let’s get you resourced

and ready to lead

No matter what your formal job title is, that’s a powerful position and a power move.

Change is always an inside job.

Here’s what I know about inside change-makers

You got into this to make an impact. You believe in social justice and every day you wake up dreaming of equity.

And yet, every day there seems to be another block set in your way.

That’s because the system was designed to block your progress.

Yes, read that again: the system is designed to be exactly as it is. The bureaucratic institution you’re working in isn’t dysfunctional; it’s functioning exactly as it was created.

That’s the problem we need to fix.

And we can only fix it if we can see it. We can only heal what we accurately diagnose.

So it’s important to know that the structural oppression we’re navigating is real and strong.

Combined with just plain institutional INERTIA, these inequitable systems — white supremacy delusion, colonization, imperialism, patriarchy, misogyny, caste, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, fatphobia — can feel insurmountable.

But they’re not. We are capable of so much more… AND it takes a village. A seriously skilled village of LEADERS.

So let’s get the skills we need to explicitly navigate this complex terrain.

That’s what Inside Change, my 10 month leadership program, is about. 

I teach the art and practice of inside change-making so that we can learn the practical, hands-on leadership and relationship-building skills we need to create new structures, from inside our social institutions, instead of banging our heads against brick walls.

We don’t have to co-sign inertia or injustice. We are NOT powerless or ineffective. We have the ability, passion, and courage to co-create work cultures (and a wider culture!) where we can show up, speak up, and lead ourselves, clients, teams, and agencies towards a more just future.

We all have that power — that light — inside of us.

It starts with an inside change.

HOW I GOT HERE…

I have managed operations in areas ranging from Long-term care to an agency delivering 211 services in Ontario.

I have assessed the need for better pain management in a dementia ward, created the assessment tool, and had it implemented across all county Long-Term Care homes.

I advocated for the need for anti-poverty-political-action nurses in public health prior to the ministry creating Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) nursing positions (as a student nurse).

I led and facilitated leadership training at a social service agency.

I recreated a closed-loop referral system to support patient’s SDOH between primary care and social services.

I united multiple stakeholders, wrote grant applications, and have helped communities obtain funding to do their great work.

I facilitated the implementation of collective impact work within a Health Unit.

I lead an annual women’s canoe trip (and it’s a real heroine’s journey, every single time).

Being inspired by incredible fellow humans throughout this journey called life. I have so many people I wish to acknowledge in their shaping and influence in my life that I’ve dedicated a page to them.

And while I did those things, I also navigated agency apathy, derision, not being heard, and untenable output.

I also faced push-back, expectations of perfection, a lack of justice, and leaders who did not appreciate being held accountable.

I also faced attempts to silence me and threats of job loss.

I did my work knowing there was a target on my back, getting more and more exhausted and burned out.

It doesn’t have to be that way

Out of those experiences, and from working with women from all walks of life and backgrounds, over the last several years, I’ve developed a powerful leadership framework that can help you become the leader you’ve longed for.

 

The framework is based on principles and can be understood, exercised, and shared by practicing curiosity, being creative, and celebrating liberally.

Principle:

A proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief, behaviour, or a chain of reasoning

We live in a world where we have been handed down systems of beliefs that are so ingrained we fail to realize we’re operating in them (this is intentional and upholds the system). The leadership framework allows us to surface the unconscious beliefs, examine whether they are still relevant, and consciously use that which serves us.

 

We do this in community, learning from each other, practicing new skills, and pushing our edges.

Here’s why I do this work:

I believe that we are here to make an impact. That’s why we chose this work.

But other people’s biases and our social conditioning can slow our roll.

For example: women and those socialised as femmes have been conditioned to “show-up and shut-up” – at home and at work.

(This is especially pronounced in the nursing profession, which was my first professional home. I’m an RN, and on a daily basis, nurses (female-dominated profession) are often supposed to swallow their judgement and do what doctors and administrators tell them — even if it violates their professional ethics).

But the people we serve — and our dream for a better world —  need us to show-up and speak-out.

Our voices, our ideas, and our leadership skills are critical to creating change in the social institutions we work at. Without our leadership, we just get more of the same.

 

And that’s not good enough, any more.

 

So let’s get resourced and ready to create some inside change.

 

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I live and work on the traditional lands of the Anishnaabeg peoples, past and present. I acknowledge that the foundation of Canada was built by the labour of stolen bodies. We do not live in a just and equitable society; lives continue to be stolen, our society continues to profit from underpaid workers contributions, and the system of colonization maintains a racist, caste-based society. My life’s work is dedicated to unsettling the settler within. (Gratitude for teachers who continue to help me unlearn: Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee, Selam Debs, Naomi Clark, Trevia Woods, and Kelly Diels).