For people who work in the non-profit sector, doing more with less is a massively important key to being successful. When it comes to the public sector, we Canadians are all invested in efficiency and innovative practice. Thankfully, there are people out there who specialize in helping such organizations become the best they can be. Susan Underhill is one of them.
Susan is a management consultant for both government and the non-profit sector, as President of the Connor Claire Group. She does policy research, organizational design and development, coaching, business process improvement, and much more to help improve the performance of organizations of all shapes and sizes. Her colleague and collaborator, Amanda Parriag of the ParriagGroup, says of Susan,
“We went to university together and have stayed friends through the years. In the last few years we’ve had the opportunity to work together. It’s really a joy for me. We don’t agree on everything, but she can present things where she needs to change my mind in such a way that I can hear it. I implicitly trust her, she’s extremely smart and gets things very quickly. I really love working with her.”
We asked Susan how her training in psychology (she has a Masters in Experimental Psychology from the University of Newfoundland) has helped her in her current role.
“I am a good researcher - both qualitative and quantitative. I know what questions to ask, where to find information, and how to interpret that information to provide sound, evidence-based policy advice. Psychology has also helped me to consider organizational dynamics and the impact of these dynamics on implementing changes.”
One of the highlights of a job like Susan’s is that there are a never-ending set of policy questions that require new research. Susan says she loves the variability of her job and supporting government and not-for-profits to better serve individuals who need important services.