8 Questions with Renee Patey
In “8 Questions With…,” we share a brief Q&A with a staff member. In this edition, we hear from Renee Patey, who joined Rosov Consulting in 2019, bringing over 10 years’ experience working with nonprofit and philanthropic organizations in strategic finance and program management, along with robust knowledge of mission-driven business management and operations, to her role as Director of Operations.
1. What’s your area(s) of expertise and how has it been beneficial and led to success in your work?
I have always worked within the social sector with organizations that celebrated a “double or triple bottom line”—focusing on social impact in addition to fiscal performance. My graduate studies focused on how global agencies operationalize the concept of sustainable development, and I have translated that into a career trajectory with organizations that care about social benefit as much as economic success.
I have always felt most excited by opportunities to practice entrepreneurial thinking. I enjoy thinking about strategy and innovation; then addressing the logistics aspects are like therapy—I love putting the pieces together to bring something new to life.
2. What experiences have led you into your current career path?
My 15+ year career path has always been in the social sector—first as a program manager for an environmental nonprofit and then as a nonprofit consultant. It is important to me to work with a mission-driven organization, and I wanted to work with a small team in a strategic leadership position.
Joining Rosov Consulting in 2019 gave me this opportunity. The Director of Operations position with Rosov Consulting is an ideal fit into a role that offers the opportunities to work with a small, dedicated team and a mission-driven organization. And the job role allows me to practice what I know and help build the strategic muscle of the business.
3. What do you like learning about most through your work?
I’ve always had a penchant for systems-oriented thinking—whether it’s social systems, ecosystems, or a new software. I enjoy learning about systems and technology that support our work, help us innovate, and really enhance each of our individual skill sets. RC is very systems oriented, and I’ve enjoyed learning how the team stays connected and organized through systems and practices and helping to design and implement new approaches that help refine what we do and how we do it.
4. What do you like most about working at Rosov Consulting?
As DOO I oversee a wide variety of functions and most enjoy having a diverse set of tasks and duties on which to focus. Each day gives me something new—something I didn’t know I didn’t know, such as new technologies and systems that support our work and our team, or approaches to human capital development and team leadership.
5. What are some challenges of your work?
Taking care of our team through these unprecedented times has been what keeps me up at night. As the work environment morphs to suit the needs of an increasingly dispersed team and a virtual workspace, while we continue to serve our clients, the idea of resilience has taken on new meaning for me. It is great to find ways that provide satisfying, motivating connections among our team and to the field in this remote work environment.
6. What have been the biggest changes in the field and/or your work specifically since you started?
The pandemic changed our professional and personal lives so much. We are working in a moment marked by the “the new normal.” Looking back over the last year and a half, it is simply unreal to think about what we have all come through. I am eternally hopeful though, and I look to find the silver lining. I am heartened by the care and connections the field has leveraged to come through this moment in our life and times.
7. How do you think your job and/or the field might change in the next 10 years?
I see leveraging the shift to a “virtual office” and dispersed team as a big change factor in how we bring the best people together on a common mission. I know that technology will keep us in a constantly evolving mode—if you’re paying attention, you know that 10 years from now we’ll have technology and intelligence unimaginable (to most) today.
8. What do you think is essential reading to excel in your field?
Charles Duhigg’s, Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business should be required reading for anyone in management and professional service. I’m a big fan of my local lending library, but this is one of the few books I own. I also always have a good fiction (or two) going to keep the imagination open. And podcasts! I love that there is a podcast for (almost) everything and I often listen when on the go. It is great to be able to absorb so much – “nothing new in, nothing new out.” It is essential to soak up as much as you can, any way you can get it.