This week we shine the spotlight on Michael Chachaty, Director of Institute of Management who celebrates his 20th work anniversary with blueVisions. In honour of this milestone, we interview him about the last 20 years.
Q: What is your role at blueVisions?
I lead the Institute of Management, a team committed to enabling our clients to become their own source of success through capability development and training services.
Q: What drew you to blueVisions?
Growing up, I was amazed to see how fast our communication networks were improving. The mobile phone was introduced when I was a kid, and by the time I hit high school, we all had a Nokia to make calls, send messages and, play the Snake game.
After finishing high school, I enrolled into a telecommunication engineering degree. Partway through my degree, my neighbour introduced me to blueVisions, a young and vibrant company leading the PMO on a $3billion, 3G rollout. The role was for a Project Coordinator.
It was an exciting opportunity to be part of a cutting edge, multi-billion-dollar initiative. A small step up from my current part-time job at Coles!
I met with Adel Khreich, the founder and Managing Director, the next day. We connected well, and he offered me the job; I started immediately and have never left (despite many attempts by Adel to fire me).
Q: Tell us about your experience leading to your current role.
Starting as a Project Coordinator on the 3G rollout, I quickly gained an interest in project management. Once 3G was launched and “3” mobile born, blueVisions was asked to stay on and lead several other projects. I transitioned from Project Coordinator to Project Manager and led some large and complex initiatives within two years. My role then expanded to Senior Project Manager, delivering major projects across various sectors, including government, ICT and business.
Following discussions with Adel, I shifted my career from managing projects to developing our clients’ in-house project delivery capability. Our capability development services were in such high demand by our clients that in 2007, the Institute of Management was established. The capability pathway has enabled me to work with diverse organisations across the globe in a variety of roles.
Q: What has been the biggest change since you joined blueVisions 20 years ago?
The company has evolved significantly. From its humble beginnings as a small office in St Leonards to an international brand with teams operating across Australia, Asia and the Middle East. The organisation has always operated agilely, ambitious and not afraid to tackle new markets. It has grown from a team of 10 to a team of 100 globally.
Q: Throughout your 20 years, what are some of the more interesting experiences or destinations you’ve been to?
I delivered the keynote project management training in Dubai for a world-leading food company. The conference was a learning bonanza with a variety of courses delivered by international facilitators over 5-fun filled days. It was attended by over 1000 people across 30 countries. Each workshop had participants from different cultural and religious diversities coming together to learn, interact and engage. The nights were filled with fun activities and tours across Dubai including desert driving and camel riding and night markets.
In addition to this, I have been fortunate to be part of a special team bonding event in Hong Kong which included a traditional Hong Kong meal served by singing and dancing Michael Jackson impersonator!
Q: What is the most interesting project you have worked on and why?
Too many to pick. I loved working with the same food company to develop its project management maturity. The CEO required us to develop structure and discipline in project management delivery, whilst preserving the heart and soul of the company.
Seeing the organisation transition over a couple of years to a business that consistently delivered projects successfully was amazing. New product introduction schedules were reduced by close to 50% and cross-functional teams engaged well together. A bond was created within the organisation across all staff which was highly supportive and energetic. This resulted in the organisation becoming the market leader in Australia within two years!
Q: What are you most passionate about or inspired by in life, and how do you make this part of your everyday life?
My hope is my kids develop a belief, confidence, and a passion, that they can achieve anything they set their minds to as long as they are willing to put in the hard work. This hope inspires me to be the best I can be.
I try and bring this to life from the moment I wake to the moment I sleep – through the goals I set, the actions I take and the lessons I learn, no matter how big or small.
Q: What advice would you give to those starting in your profession?
Be proud of who you are. Set your values and commit to them through good times and bad. AND never underestimate the impact you can have on those around you.