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Lila-Mae White, MBA, CHE, PMP


It is not what you know that is important..

Posted 3/12/2022

As a consultant both inside my organization and for Tree Toad I often have very shaky sponsorship and limited or no publicly sanctioned mandate. I usually have however been given expectations and deliverables - either explicit or implicit that I am held accountable for. A good portion of my career has been about finding/creating the leverage to move forward projects, to introduce change and to facilitate large system improvements. My 20-year tenure in my organization has allowed me to develop relationships across functional areas which help me in getting information and support. There isn’t a week that goes by that I am not contacting someone from a past role or project for help on something new I am working on.

In a complex world with fast paced change and ubiquitous technology, the fundamentals of personal connection and relationship have become invaluable.

Equally invaluable is to be aware and comfortable not knowing everything. This insight and humility can create an environment for others to feel comfortable to contribute ideas and expertise and also admit to being a novice in a situation.

I think one of my superpowers is not knowing everything but in having the capability of connecting people and synthesizing the information from the subject matter experts into an actionable plan to solve issues and move projects forward.

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2022 - Building our Future

Posted 2/12/2022

Many years ago, my dear Gran told me that “time moves more quickly as you get older.” I remember thinking that it could not be possible. Gran of course was right.

Much has been said about the last two years – and someday I too might want to add my perspective to the narrative but right now I want to face forward and take my learning and rethink, rejuvenate, restart, and rebuild. I am in a new role in my day job, I am back at school, and I want to refocus and reinvestment my time and energy in Tree Toad.

Firstly, I want to recommit to my blog. Although I was writing weekly for a couple of years, I am feeling like those writing muscles have atrophied a bit and therefore my goal is to post a monthly blog with a relevant share or two each week on my social media accounts.

My second focus will be to update my website. Unbelievably it has been 6 years since I launched my website, so it is long overdue for a fresh look. I have to confess that I can really psych myself out when it comes to creative projects that others will see. I would love any feedback or suggestions about the new website – in fact I will buy you a coffee if you would be willing to chat with me about your ideas. Just shoot me a message and we can set something up.

Finally, I would like to refocus on increasing my client base. I have been blessed to have regular clients throughout the pandemic and because my day job was more than full-time for a lot of the last two-years I had no capacity to manage any additional work. As Tree Toad is my side hustle and my first priority is always the Toad, and I have an obligation to my employer, so I have to be very mindful of the clients and work I commit to through Tree Toad. This will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, but I am not a fan of putting myself out there or of showcasing my work so this last focus will be the hardest for me. I will have to set small goals for myself to move the dial on this one.

Stay tuned and reach out! The Toad was born on the 12th day so I will aim to post my monthly blog around that day every month!

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Think Again

Posted 8/12/2021

“Mental horsepower doesn’t guarantee mental dexterity. No matter how much brain power you have, if you lack the motivation to change your mind, you’ll miss many occasions to think again.”,

Adam Grant, Think Again

In a world where the only constant is change, the ability to rethink is a super-power. Skills to promote mental dexterity should be a fundamental component of school curriculum.

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Consumed by the pandemic - almost

Posted 7/5/2021

It has been 17 months since I posted as Tree Toad. That is unbelievable to me – that time flew past while at the same time creeping forward. As you have guessed by the title of this post the pandemic is to blame for sideline my side hustle… well sort of. Thankfully, I have not been ill through the pandemic but rather, my day job became all about pandemic planning, response, and immunization.

The COVID-19 ride in healthcare these last 18 months has been fast and furious. There have been long days and sleepless nights. I am not in direct patient care. I cannot imagine how exponentially more difficult that has been for my colleagues and friends.

My work through the pandemic has had a few different focuses but the speed, volume, and fluidity of the work left very little room (or energy) for thinking, writing or mining for new opportunities. I am still completely immersed in pandemic work and now we have the added complexity of wildfire response, but I am hopeful that I can start to carve some space and time for Tree Toad work.

Thank you to Tree Toad’s regular clients who remained stable and consistent through the last 17 months and allowed me flexibility with deadlines as I shifted to meet everchanging needs.

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New Post Title

"If you don't want to burn out, stop living like you're on fire."

Posted 11/19/2020

This was advice given to Brene Brown early in her career...... today it was a message I needed to hear.

What about you?

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Keep It Simple

Posted 11/12/2020

"Take a simple idea and take it seriously." —Charlie Munger

The are aisles of books about leadership at the bookstore or library. Many have headlines like – “How to be a Great leader in 5 Easy Steps” or “Leadership is as Easy as 1-2-3!” Of course, leadership is rarely easy and is not a destination but rather a journey with you, your teams and your context all playing into the leadership outcomes.

What if you did focus on one simple change in your leadership and took it seriously? What simple improvement idea would you look to – active listening, recognition/praise, or taking a coaching approach? What if for 10 days you diligently utilized this one simple idea? Approach this leadership experiment like a scientist – form a hypothesis of the outcome, be curious and study the impacts. After the 10 days evaluate the results. Maybe even try a second experiment to build on the first – see what happens – what have you got to lose?

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Looking in the Value Mirror

Posted 11/5/2020

I believe I am clear about my values, someone who has pulled out and examined issues and my position on them. However, having an old-soul-near-teen has altered that perception of myself.



Of course, there are the run of the mill everyday opportunities to articulate your values:

  • why it is important to be on time
  • how we choose to spend or save money
  • why we live into commitments we make

Add a provincial election:

  • What does each party stand for?
  • Do you vote for the party or the local representative?

And of course, the events in the US:

  • What women’s rights are at stake?
  • How do you discern fact from fiction in politics?
  • How does a political agenda and technology shape the narrative and what you see in your news feed?

Having these deep and meaningful conversations with the Toad are really special moments – ones which shape us both.

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A noun and a verb

Posted 10/29/2020

“Plans alone are nothing; planning is everything.”     Nirmal Kandel

In all honesty I have never stopped to consider the difference between plans and planning. In my day job my focus is on pandemic response. In that realm the distinction between the two is paramount and is the difference between a binder collecting dust on the shelf and the execution of complex operational changes/adjustments to meet needs on short notice.

By nature I lean towards lists, organization and plans but I have recently learned that I only gravitate this way if I know this work is useful and makes a difference. If I get a sense the plan is only being completed as a checkmark on a to do list, then I disengage quickly. If I get a sense that the plan I am working on is going to be read, studied, used as it continues morphing as a living document then I am all in.

I am very grateful my current role has both plans and planning in it.


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Grief and Mourning

Posted 10/22/2020

Grief is what you feel – mourning is what you do.

I came across this passage in a book I was reading recently, and it really resonated. When you are unable to mourn in the way you need to, grief has no where to go and no way to release you.

There are many reasons for and layers of grief – it is not just about death but rather about loss. Loss can sometimes be a frequent visitor.

In our current COVID reality it seems there are many reasons to feel grief, but far fewer ways to mourn.

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