Real stories for real change
In a hyper-connected and rapidly evolving world, people can become disconnected from one another and from a sense of meaning and purpose. At Sowelo, I use scalable storytelling to reconnect and reengage teams. Through systematic enterprise-wide consultation, I find the stories that matter - the stories that drive real change.
What I Offer
An organisation is an ecosystem - a collective - that is composed of many, many different stories. The stories of our leaders and the people we work with every day are powerful sources of intelligence.
Storycatching involves finding and writing down the stories that will promote the thinking, feeling, and action-styles that benefit teams.
These stories can then become aspects of engagement or learning processes geared to creating behaviour change.
Engagement Process Facilitation
Sometimes you just need an outside perspective. I work with my clients to define and then facilitate powerful outcomes-oriented engagement processes to:
Gain a consensus;
Define concepts, design thinking-processes, create heuristics, or reach specific decisions;
Scope project requirements;
Plan projects and implement agile ways of working;
Gather granular information from Subject Matter Experts in the form of stories from personal experiences;
Translate the thinking of experts into shareable, actionable knowledge for teams.
Learning Ecosystem Architecture
This specific service is designed to analyze, confront, and solve your team's learning needs.
Building on insights gained through the engagement process stage, I design group learning ecosystems that encourage playful storytelling. When we tell stories, we learn effortlessly. And, we remember.
Delivery of unforgettable workshop experiences for learning groups.
Conversations should not stop after the workshop is over. I offer ongoing mentoring services for individuals and teams to keep learning ecosystems growing.
"As facilitator, you left me in awe – you’re a complete natural. Striking the perfect balance between letting the creative process flow yet keeping firm hold of the reigns to ensure all the crucial technical components were covered in-depth. You paced it beautifully too, you have a sixth sense when it comes to gauging each of the participants’ level of understanding."
"Can’t think of a single thing about this weekend’s workshop that I would dream of changing. It was perfection and a sheer delight. I’ve attended many workshops (never a writing one though) before but can’t and won’t compare this unique experience to any of the others. It has added an extra dimension to my life and I’m extremely grateful for that."
Tritia du Plessis
“Y'ael has a magnificent capacity for systematic thinking - she can cut through a jumble of incoherent information, find patterns, make connections, and create order, routine and structure. She contributes the disciplined application of systems thinking to our team. She is a problem-solver. Moreover, she has perfect command of English and writes most beautifully.”
Christo van Staden
“Yael can tell the wood from the trees. She is particularly adept at decomposing convoluted systems into their component units, thereby identifying the mechanistic interactions between them. This allows her to grasp the intricacies of a complex problem and timeously produce solutions. In this, she combines a formidable intellect with a high degree of creativity.”
“Y'ael is a visionary - not only as a writer but as a social observer. Her aptitude for understanding the growth and evolution of society, along with the pitfalls that sprout from said growth, gives her the expertise to deliver writing that is not only pithy and extremely witty, but also writing that is laced with a deeper understanding of the human condition."
Marius du Plessis
“One cannot be in the presence of Y'ael without being profoundly moved and struck by her presence, her energy, talent, phenomenal insight and wisdom. Diverse, driven, direct, focused - she INSPIRES, motivates and demands the best from herself and of others. Enormously gifted, she strides through life creating opportunity, excelling in all her chosen fields. I am utterly convinced that there is nothing that she cannot achieve that she puts her hand to. As a colleague, she has raised the bar on our business! As a mentor her clarity, insight and humour a quality I deeply value. I am sincerely honoured to call her friend.”
“Y’ael is an asset to any organisation. Her ability to work on diverse work streams and excel in terms of the quality and professional outputs places her head and shoulders above her peers industry wide.
I personally have not worked with such a talented individual throughout my career."
Yelena has an unusual skills-set: trained as a natural scientist, she is at home with data and technical analysis, and simultaneously a skilled writer, she is equally at home with metaphor and intuition. Yelena evinces a remarkable appetite for hard work, rigorous analytical thinking, and innovative and imaginative capability. She is most certainly one of the most gifted individuals we have employed, and her candour and humour make her a pleasure to work with."
"Yelena has worked alongside me on a number of initiatives and I have had the genuine privilege to witness her professional development over the past 5+ years.
She is a highly driven, action-oriented and resilient woman with a wide range of remarkable capabilities and talents.
She is intellectually curious (insatiably so), astute and agile, able to very rapidly master a discursive field or an industry landscape. Her research skills are excellent and consist in designing methodologies, managing quality data collection, data integration and sophisticated quant and qual analysis that answers strategic questions and tells a relevant, actionable story.
She has, dare I say, almost a rabid passion for ecological sustainability and the protection of ecosystems and fauna, and has demonstrated this passion through campaigning and raising consciousness around sustainability issues in her broader sphere of influence. Her geology background and empirical epistemology, coupled with a sophisticated layperson’s grasp of macroeconomics and politics, make her highly credible in these endeavours and she is able to dramatically shift people’s mindsets and behaviours, marshalling their support and tangible investment.
She has the project management competencies to handle large-scale projects, and is able to manage communications and stakeholder engagement processes at every level of status / seniority. This is due in part to the fact that she is assertive and confident even in dealing with intimidating stakeholders, and is able to stand her ground and create robust, win-win solutions.
She is ambitious and committed to ongoing personal development, and will require a role that is loosely defined and that allows her to work beyond a narrow role description, i.e. to take initiative and leadership roles across a number of areas. She cannot be constrained and needs to be given free reign to drive impact in an innovative, creative way."