Diane Richardson – Nominated Candidate for Program Quality Director
Toastmasters member since
1st May 2016
Master of Business Administration (MBA) • University of Warwick (1996). Fourth term and dissertation spent at the Vienna University of Economics & Business (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien)
Diploma Membership of Society of Designers (NVQ level 6 equivalent) • Barnfield College – Luton, England
Professional Certifications: • Change Management Practitioner, (2018) – Association of Project Managers Group (APMG), • Microsoft Certified Professional, (MCSE Track) 2005
L3 – Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector (PTLLS) – 2013
Toastmasters offices held and terms of service
Club Growth Director D91 July 2021 – Present / Division D Director, D91 July 2020 – June 2021
Club Mentor, Pegasus Advanced Speakers, D71 June 2020 – May 2021 / Brand Consultant and Graphic Designer D91, February 2020 – July 2021
Area J4 Director, D91 July 2019 – June 2020
President, Chiltern Speakers, July 2018 – June 2019 / VPPR, Chiltern Speakers, July 2016 – June 2018 (2 terms
Toastmasters honors and recognition
• Division Director of the year, D91 2020-21
• D91 Toastmaster Significant Achievement award in 2019-20
• Guided Chiltern Speakers to 10 DCP points in my year as Club President 2018-19. This was the first time the club had reached 10 DCP points in the club’s 21 year history.
• ACB and ACL in the Legacy Program and Dynamic Leadership – Path Completed, Engaging Humour Level 4, Visionary Communication Level 4 and Motivational Strategies Level 1. Triple Crown awarded four successive years: 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22.
• Speaker to Trainer Toastmaster qualifications 2020
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District leader:
• Planned and managed a 75 country rebrand and change management project for Amnesty International, which meant working with a wide range of Stakeholders, each with their own strongly held beliefs, just as many clubs and Area Directors have their own ideas as to how Toastmasters should develop, as did each country. My rebranding and change programme saved them circa £6m in less than two years.
• Planned and implemented a major communications project for a World Bank privatisation project in Croatia, designed the information flow procedures to raise public awareness among a disparate population and engaged over 70% of the target audience. My experience in Toastmasters has shown that you need to communicate to members via a variety of channels to reach the target audience.
• Successfully project managed communication, brand and change management projects in both the UK and internationally with budgets up to €2.2m
• Coached the boards of 23 Ukrainian companies on communication and marketing strategies, resulting in $550m of foreign investment, using these coaching skills I have encouraged other TMI members to develop their own skills, such as going for Accredited Speaker status, or clubs Presidents to communicate better with their club’s members.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
As a current member of the District 91 Trio, I played an important part in forming this years District Strategy.
In addition I strategically planned the successful EU TACIS Ukraine Financial Communications project which successfully attracted over $550m of foreign investment. I also strategically planned the “One Amnesty” rebrand project, which was the first Amnesty International world-wide rebranding project. My MBA also gave me strategic planning skills.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
I have project managed and been financially responsible for several large Change Management and Brand Projects, which included managing budgets up to €2.2m to ensure that the actual spend kept within the allocated budget. In Toastmasters I have shared responsibility for the District budget with Helena, Rupa and Eddy the District Finance Manager.
What experience do you have in developing procedures?
Working as a graphic designer specialising in Branding and Corporate Identities, a large part of my role was to develop service design guidelines and also brand design manuals. Both tasks required me to develop and document new procedures which for large clients such as Alcatel, Amnesty International, SmithKline and the Inland Revenue, which would be adopted and followed around the world.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
The importance of explaining the reasons for change to individuals who are reluctant to change and to build consensus whenever possible. For example fully introducing Easyspeak at Chiltern meant spending time explaining the reason for the change and overcoming reasons to stop. I had a similar problem with Amnesty with many saying “Amnesty is not Coke Cola, why should we be a brand?” Usually I would explain what will happen if the organisation doesn’t change, why the change is necessary and clearly define what the benefits of change will be as the context Amnesty worked in had changed since it was first founded in the early 1960’s.
Why do you want to serve as a District leader?
I believe that my broad skill set of creative, communication and strategic management skills will continue to help District 91 raise its profile within the communities it serves. I also enjoy helping people develop and clubs to perform at the highest level they can achieve and believe that I have done that since joining Toastmasters and believe that as Program Quality Director I can help more people develop and enjoy their Toastmaster’s experience as I have done since joining in 2016.
In your opinion, what are the District mission’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
The Districts mission is to build new clubs and support existing clubs. My first objective would be to continue to grow the number of Toastmasters members in the South and West of England and to ensure that everyone benefits from being a member of the organisation, by providing great district and club officer training and membership marketing. An analysis of clubs which don’t achieve Distinguished or higher status indicates that they often send fewer than four club officers to one or both of the club officer training sessions and they have frequently only recruited fewer than four new members and therefor have less than 20 members at the end of the year. The aim must be to ensure that club and district officers are proactive and fully trained by continuing to offer training that is both relevant to Toastmasters and to Officers work outside of Toastmasters. The Corporate Officer lunchtime sessions will continue and the Divisions will be encouraged to hold Division wide TLI’s to support Area Director’s COTs. The specialist Webinars will continue, focusing on club markeing, running a club and competitions. The aim to ensure that a members experience is as good than it could be by providing high quality training which helps make clubs run smoothly and hold enjoyable meetings.
Additional information about yourself
A friendly, experienced, innovative, tenacious goal focused consultant with a strong record in transformational change management, organisational design, service design and brand development. Using a combination of People Management, Change Leadership, and Communication skills to bring about effective change. An emotional intelligent and credible leader with acute business acumen, people focus possessing expertise in internal and international communications management, design thinking, process planning and change management who has enjoyed her time as a Toastmaster member and who wishes to share and pass on some great experiences to other who are current or new members.