About DeepOD

About Heidi

I help people and organisations develop and change.

Culture and values, renewal, major change, technology and restructures have been common themes in my professional roles. 

My contribution is grounded in real-world experience and contemporary know-how. I invest in ongoing professional development and I have deep, technical know-how in OD and HR (including, for my sins, Payroll). I also have process owner and process integration experience with HR and OD technology (SAP HR, SuccessFactors and Cornerstone).

I established OD Squared in 2021 after leaving an in-house Talent and Culture Head-of role. At the time I was starting out in freelance consulting and contracting. This coincided with pre-doctoral studies that have now progressed to a PhD program. My research interest is the animal rescue sector, with a focus on the dynamics that are alive among rescue organisations.

My professional associations include NIODA, GRA and OD Australia, and I consult via Shilo. and CBS Group. I also volunteer with Project Placed.

It won’t be a surprised that as an OD professional, I have an enduring fascination with people, culture and systems. That fascination is the basis for the selection of images displayed on this site.

Heidi Vestergaard

 Backstory

AGRICULTURAL SCIENTIST TO OD SPECIALIST

Where am I from?

I am a part of a Danish Australian family (my dad is a Dane) and I grew up in Sydney, Mossman (QLD), Perth and Melbourne. This meant a lot of moving and change; school, community, family connections, associations, friendships and so on – a great backdrop for a career in OD.

My family role models were resourceful and inventive, determined, and disciplined in the way a job (of any kind) was done. Dinner table conversation could take the form of a lively debate, deep enquiry and analysis, or outrageous humour. Few topics were ever really off-limits. Also a great backdrop for OD.

Agricultural Field Manager to L&D Practitioner

After a childhood and adolescence set on a veterinary career, I took a different path at university and ultimately qualified as an Agricultural Scientist and technically, a Woolclasser.

I completed a graduate program with a department store retailer (Myer), developing frontline leader and retailing skills before moving companies and taking up a sales role, repping for a global, German, agricultural chemical manufacturer (Hoechst).

I moved into HR via Technical Training. I worked with reps from other AgChem companies to train Mallee farmers in safe chemical use and then worked with Hoechst colleagues to develop and deliver a High Performance Selling Skills course for ag chemical resellers. For a time I worked in Recruitment Consulting with Tanner Menzies, before returning to Hoechst into an L&D role.

Transition to OD (both kinds)
Hoechst AG embarked on a “Delight Your Customer” programme across its Australian business. In its pursuit of High Performance Self-Managed Teams, it trained its staff – me included – in High Performance work systems, Participative Design, Continuous Improvement and Quality Assurance methods. This blend of new know-how was applied to the redesign of the company’s Plastics operation at Altona, VIC.

After that experience, internal consulting and leadership in Org Development, via Continuous Improvement, became my career choice. I supported the divestment of the Hoechst AG business in Australia via HR due diligence, picked up my first HR technology experience in its joint venture with Clariant, and then moved to Australia Post where I worked in a variety of HR, L&D and OD start-up and project roles over a number of years. This included more work on High Performance Self-Managed Teams, workforce re-skilling and HR technology projects.

Organisation Dynamics, the other OD, became a more conscious feature of my work from the mid 2000s and its theoretical base (applied systems psychodynamics) is an ongoing research interest separate but related to my paid work.

OD Leadership and OD Consulting
I’ve increasingly worked on the establishment and renewal of OD functions in challenging environments, for example where companies have been growing fast or have been engaged in very public turnarounds. My contribution has been as an OD leader / Specialist internal or external consultant, delivering programs of work tied to broader HR and business strategy. It has included tech enablement for Talent Management, Talent Acquisition, L&D and Performance (the two SaaS technologies with which I am most familiar are SuccessFactors and Cornerstone).

Since 2021 I’ve been external consulting and contracting in OD, and working as a consultant bid-writer, specialising in Leadership, Culture and Key Personnel responses to tenders. I am currently working in an in-house, 6-month contract as a Head of OD & Capability.

EDUCATION AND ACCREDITATIONS

Tertiary Education

PhD – National Institute of Organisation Dynamics (Current candidate)

Masters in Applied Science (Organisation Dynamics) – RMIT

Graduate Diploma in Applied Science (Web and Internet Computing) – RMIT

Bachelor of Business (HR and Marketing double major) – Monash University

Bachelor of Agricultural Science – University of Melbourne

 

Accreditations

Prosci

Myers Briggs Type Indicator (I and II)

Team Management Systems

The Leadership Circle (Individual and Collective)

DDI Facilitator & Administrator (TSI and IM)

CCL 360 Assessment Suite

Cert IV – Project Management, Workplace Training and Assessment

CONNECT WITH ME

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