You can get tremendous collaborative results without sacrificing time or vision. You can have great relationships and powerful influence, while building an inclusive environment that brings out the very best in the people you work with.
I’m Aden Nepom, and this is my story.
I’m a pragmatic and playful advisor on communication and change.
I work with passionate leaders who want to positively impact their work, teams, and organizations.
I can equip you with powerful and flexible communication skills that help you build massive trust and have more fun, while getting people on board with your vision and increasing your influence up, down and sideways.
I’ve worn many hats throughout my adult life.
I have a background in improv and theatre. I’ve been a teacher, a performer, a writer and the front-lady in an all-girl glam-rock band!
I’m also the daughter of a best-selling author whose expertise is in communication and behavior in the workplace. My father’s tools and techniques have come in handy for me many times over the years (you can learn more about him by clicking here). And now, as the president of the Art of Change I am proud to say that they are part of the valuable content I’ve been able to offer the thousands of people I have helped to experience better communication and collaboration in their workplaces over the last decade.
How I came to this work
I started out as a creative for an educational software company. My team made learning fun, engaging and memorable for k-12 students in school districts spanning the United States.
We worked cross functionally with products being born of the efforts of curriculum experts, animators, engineers… and comedians.
In fact my whole department was filled with class clowns. Some of us had degrees in writing, some were stand-up comics and some of us came from the world of improvised comedy and theatre.
Curriculum experts would hand over their concepts to my team, and then we would turn those lessons into hilarious, and engaging scripts. Those scripts would be reviewed by the curriculum experts, and then we’d rewrite (sometimes many times) before the scripts would head off to animation and voice actors and more.
Here’s what I noticed
Everyone one on my team was funny, but not everyone was having fun. You might think it was because of workload, pressure or timelines, but actually…
Those who were most miserable were the creatives with the least flexibility and curiosity. Because of their expertise, they viewed being asked to rewrite their content (a built in part of the production cycle) as an insult to their skills.
Those having the most fun were the creatives with the greatest flexibility and curiosity. We viewed the rewrite process as an opportunity to surprise and delight ourselves and our collaborators.
The success of our product output reflected how we communicated, collaborated and felt about our work.
A larger experiment
Eventually I began working inside the corporate world in a new way. I left my job at the software company and made the leap to full-time with the improv comedy school where I had been teaching classes in my free time… eventually focusing my efforts on the corporate training side of the business. This gave me the opportunity to design and lead team-building training, facilitate leadership meetings, and help teams think about how to work better together.
By 2013 I was combining the playfulness of the improv training with the powerful tools my father had developed. And in 2015 I stepped into my role as president of the Art of Change Skills for Life.
Through this work, I saw how the experiences I had in that early software job played out for other people in other settings, with other teams, in different companies and industries world-wide.
People who are excited to share and explore ideas with each other and who are curious to hear their colleagues’ perspectives, enjoy their work more and get better results.
I learned something else
Leaders play an important role in how people feel about the world around them, and how their work relates to it.
We’ve all heard the old adage that great leaders find the best people and then get out of their way… It’s actually a lot more complex than that.
Fostering curiosity is also about modeling curiosity. Encouraging people to bring their best to the table, is also about how leaders communicate their expectations and permissions to the people who report to them.
The corporate environment can be incredibly toxic or an incredible place to come up with groundbreaking products and services for consumers to utilize. While anyone can have a positive impact on the culture of an organization, leaders are poised to make the greatest difference.
Change is inevitable. Progress is not. YOU make the difference.
Where I am today
Thanks to my collaborative partners over the years, I have helped thousands of associates, managers, and C-suite executives improve their team dynamics, workplace mindsets, and general communication habits.
Through keynotes and workshops I have introduced audiences to helpful tools and frameworks so that they could continue to improve their listening skills, increase their influence and handle challenging conversations as they put the time and effort in to make lasting change.
I still enjoy the hands-on work of facilitating a training, and the applause at a conference when I speak.
BUT I get really excited working one on one with my clients, and hearing how their work shifts as a result of their improved communication strategies, skills and habits.
I am mission driven to make this world a better, more joyful place…
I strongly believe that this starts with how people work with each other and for each other.
Whether it’s improving presentation skills, finding ways to inspire and motivate their teams, communicating challenging ideas effectively, or fostering a creative and inclusive environment, I can help you get better outcomes with the people you lead and more joy out of the work that you do.
If you could use a trusted advisor for creating healthy team dynamics and stellar communication, drop me a note and let’s connect!
“Hiring Aden for Communication Training at our state agency was one of the best decisions we have made. If you have the chance to take classes from Aden or work with her on your team’s communication needs, don’t hesitate!”
– Paul Normandin, Texas Health and Human Services