As our spotlight series continues, we’re excited to celebrate yet another outstanding Appirian who has been instrumental in fostering a top-notch integration experience for our customers, partners, and workers. The Appirian we interviewed this week has taken a critical role in combining the Appirio and Wipro cultures, and making sure employees stay engaged and aligned.
Meet our Appirian:
Kim Heger has spent more than four years managing a team of Change Management Consultants at Appirio. Her teams have worked to help customers perfect the Worker Experience through global HCM transformation. Despite constantly changing business environments, roles, and responsibilities, Kim manages change with little disruption to day-to-day business. Because of this unique ability, she was recently promoted to Senior Director of Change and Culture, and will be leading the change management workstream for the Appirio/Wipro integration. Kim was born and raised in Minnesota, but has lived in Carmel, Indiana for the past 13 years.
How did you end up at Appirio?
Kim: I spent the first 14 years of my career in corporate HR roles, starting in career development, talent acquisition, employee relations, wellness, and learning and development. My focus has always been on the people side of the business. In 2007, I left Corporate America to join a boutique consulting firm called Knowledge Infusion, and leveraged my background in HR to help organizations develop Talent Management strategies with an emphasis on people, process, and technology. In 2012, Appirio acquired Knowledge Infusion, and thus began my Appirio career.
Tell us a little bit about your new role and how your career has evolved.
Kim: My tenure at Appirio has been an adventure. I have had the great fortune of really creating my own opportunities. After the acquisition, we created a new practice called Change Enablement, and our team was focused on developing change management strategies and plans to ensure the successful adoption of new ways of working. This includes comprehensive understanding of audiences who are impacted by the change — marketing, communications, training, and end-user support. While my background is in HR, I ventured into CRM and Google deployments, which has been extremely satisfying. I have learned a ton about all the cloud-based technology solutions and the positive impact they have on creating better worker and customer experiences. After building a practice and team of 20+ consultants, I wanted to do something different. I knew the Appirio/Wipro acquisition was a big change and wanted to be a part of it. With the support of our senior leaders, a new position was created for a leader of change and culture. What an exciting time!
What do you do for fun?
Kim: Funny thing is… my nickname with a group of very close friends is “Fun!” (I guess that’s just what I aim to do everyday.) I am a fitness and sports fanatic, and have loved watching both my kids play hockey, golf, and lacrosse for 18 years. I’m a cheerleader at heart and spent many early mornings, late nights, and weekends traveling the country to cheer my kids on. About six years ago I decided to get in on the action and started playing ice hockey — now I play adult hockey once a week and love it! In the summer you’ll find me in the yard planting flowers, tending to my garden, and biking. I love to be outdoors — maybe because I was born and raised in Minnesota where we embraced all four seasons.
Any guilty pleasures?
Kim: Cranking up some fun dance music (maybe a little Justin Timberlake) with a glass of red wine and dancing in the kitchen. Give me a good beat and I will find myself dancing morning, noon, or night!
What has been your favorite project while working at Appirio?
Kim: My favorite project was Warner Music Group. It was a global deployment of Workday to over 5,000 employees in multiple regions across the world. The Appirio project team was amazing and I developed long-lasting relationships with my client partners. Our cultures were very well aligned and the team worked hard to accomplish the mission we set out to achieve. I feel the greatest success when I finish a project and have gained lifelong friendships with the people I work with. Appirio has given me many opportunities to do this.
How does your role impact our integration success?
Kim: Managing the people side of change and building an integrated culture is key to our integration success. My hope is that the 600+ Wipro team members that join our Appirio team feel supported, engaged, and excited to take us to the next level. We have a tremendous opportunity to leverage the talent across the globe, learn from one another, and do things we never thought were possible. My internal role as Sr. Director of Change and Culture is proof that Appirio is all about culture and creating the best place for our employees and customers.
What have you learned going through this integration?
Kim: Caffeine is a must! Working across global time zones is challenging — early mornings, late nights, and everything in between. The devil is in the details, so I’ve learned to always have a Plan B. Just when you think all bases are covered and the details are revealed… plan A no longer works. I’ve also learned to be flexible and patient — it’s a must to survive!
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Kim: Build great relationships, stay connected, and give more than you receive. When given an opportunity — even if you think it’s beyond your realm of expertise — take a chance and make the most of it. Life is a journey and there is so much to be learned in every situation you face.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Kim: Work hard, play hard, and live life to the fullest. We only get one chance and we are responsible for our own destiny. Stay focused on the things that matter most. Put time and effort into relationships — that’s what life’s all about.
Finish this sentence: Someday, I want to…
Kim: … scuba dive in the depths of the South Pacific off the coast of Fiji, or climb Mt Everest. (Two very different views of the earth, and both intriguing.)