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Assistant Vice-President, Transformational Change Great West Life Toronto  



Vice-President, Transformational Change

Great West Life

Job Description

The Assistant Vice President, Transformational Change will be a part of the Transformational Change Office (TCO) – a Global Center of Excellence in Change Management at the Lifeco level with a mandate of building capability and capacity for change in the organization.  In this capacity, the TCO focuses on three main areas:

  1. Advancing how change is led and executed at GWL
  2. Growing capacity of leaders, teams, and the organization to thrive in change
  3. Enabling success on the most complex / critical change priorities

The work involves a mixture of developing and aligning the system / methodology / tools / processes, teaching and coaching to build capability of leaders and teams, and advising and delivering on specific change priorities (based on agreement with the business) to enable and accelerate results.

While the function is Global, the bulk of the work is currently with the Canada Segment, which is undergoing the most significant and complex changes in the organization.  Within the Canada Segment, the TCO team is deploying a Business Partner alignment with the Business Units and Corporate Support / Oversight functions.

The AVP, Transformational Change will be aligned with one or more Business Units / Functions in the Canada Segment.  Within these areas, they will be accountable for partnering with theHead / senior leaders and key corporate and oversight partners to advance how change is led and executed, grow capability and capacity of leaders and teams to thrive in change, and enable success on the most complex / critical change priorities.

This role will report to the VP, Transformational Change and collaborate with other resources in the function on developing and / or evolving core elements of Change Practice.  It may also provide leadership to one or more change practitioners. There is some travel expected with this role (largely between Winnipeg, Toronto, and London locations).

Key Accountabilities:

  1. Advancing how change is led and executed
    • Collaborate with BU and functional partners in shaping and embedding an end-to-end system for managing business change, including
      1. Alignment of change approach / methodology to BU processes
      2. Clear definition of TCO vs. BU roles in methodologies and processes
  • Agreement on subset of initiatives (i.e., complex, high priority) for TCO to focus on and nature of involvement (e.g., scoping, advisory / coaching, delivery, etc.)
  1. Identification of potential points of change challenge and the appropriate strategies and approaches to address them
  • Nurture and expand the BU partner network and relationships to strengthen our corporate change culture and ensure effective co-delivery of priority change work
  1. Growing capacity of leaders / teams to thrive in change
    • Understand the strategy and associated portfolio of change initiatives and identify key strategic change issues and actions, including:
      1. Advocating for requirements (at BU and portfolio levels) to inform and enable successful strategy and change execution
      2. Aligning with BU Head / leaders on areas where the TCO will contribute to defining / delivering work on priority enablers (e.g., culture, capability-development, ways of working) of strategy and change execution
  • Providing guidance for initiative sponsors and leads in the integration of their change actions and activities across initiatives at the BU-level and broader organization
  • Provide executive coaching and support for senior leaders related to change leadership and / or specific changes in their areas
  • Collaborate with BU and functional partners in developing a change resource strategy for the portfolio of initiatives and aligning TCO capability-building efforts to enable people to operate effectively in the end-to-end system for managing business change
  1. Enabling success on the most complex / critical change priorities
    • Partner with executive sponsors and initiative leads on mutually-agreed-to priority programs / initiatives to enable effective scoping, planning, and / or execution of their change efforts, including securing quality change support and building a high performing team that will meet the demands of the change accountabilities
    • Collaborate with the TCO team on support for cross-business / cross-functional initiatives
  1. Other
    • Collaborate with VP, Transformational Change in advancing the strategy and operational plans for the function, including taking ownership for shaping and driving key deliverables in alignment with strategic objectives
    • Collaborate with the team in the identification of priorities for Change Practice development and advancement on key pieces of work to strengthen / embed organizational change capability and capacity
    • Contribute to Change Practice health by role modeling use of common change methodology and championing use of best change practices and infrastructure
    • Facilitate development of a “winning culture” through influencing executives to model the new cultural mindsets / behaviours / norms
    • Collaborate with the VP, Transformational Change and TCO peers to build a high performing function / team that will meet the demands of the accountabilities
    • Potentially lead a team of one or more Change Practitioners to enable / support change success on priority work, maximizing performance, individual development, and employee engagement in accordance with GWL standards / best practices

Qualifications and Competencies:

  • 10+ years of experience working in a change management or transformation capacity, with demonstrated experience;
    • Designing and leading change efforts on complex programs / initiatives to successfully achieve change goals and associated business results
    • Serving as a change management subject matter expert with a strong knowledge of change management practices, organization culture, and business transformation

And, with demonstrated experience in a leadership capacity:

  • Identifying and developing methods to make change happen within a line of business or geographic segment to enable strategy and impact business performance
  • Successfully implementing change systems / methodologies to enable consistent and effective practice in the organization
  • Changing behavior and / or culture within the context of a major strategic initiative or broader organizational transformation
  • University or Masters degree in organization development, organizational or I/O psychology, HR, operations (preferred)
  • Change management certification or designation (preferred)
  • Experience working in financial services (preferred)


Change Expertise:

  • Broad knowledge / experience in recognized change management approaches / methodologies, organizational development and design approaches, change operating systems, change practice and community development, and benefits realization approaches / systems – and ability to apply them effectively (i.e., “art vs. science”)
  • Proven experience designing and delivering end-to-end change management experiences from discovery to sustainment (org, strategic, and tactical) to enable adoption of changes and achieve desired business benefits / outcomes.
  • A passion for the topics of change enablement and culture change
  • Ability to coach leaders at multiple levels of the organization (from initiative sponsors to front line) to be more effective change leaders and role models
  • A passion for the topics of change enablement and culture change


Strategy/ agenda setting:

  • Ability to contribute changes subject matter expertise at a senior leadership level and shape the change agenda, including critical enablers for successful strategy and change execution
  • Ability to think strategically, develop change strategies and approaches at an organizational-/BU-/Program-level, and translate strategies and concepts into practical, actionable items to achieve desired business benefits / outcomes.
  • Ability to think expansively, bringing in perspectives and evidence from other industries / organizations, to deliver on business solutions and grow change practice
  • Ability to think systemically, understand interdependencies, incorporate multiple perspective, and execute on short-term deliverables while advancing long-term goals

Interpersonal and communication skills:

  • Strong coaching skills, with ability to coach senior leaders (e.g., BU senior leadership team, program Sponsors / Leads) to be more effective change leaders and role models
  • Strong influencing skills and familiarity with identifying and developing ways to engage peers and peer networks to drive / influence change and adopt new ways of working
  • Experience with workshop design / delivery, content development, and facilitation for a variety of change-related audiences (e.g., senior leaders, change practitioners, initiative teams)

*We are open to candidates at AVP OR Director career level. Depth of competencies and experience will differentiate candidates from career levels.

Discover your opportunity…Apply today!

Great-West Life offers competitive compensation, great benefits such as medical, dental, life insurance, wellness account and personal days not to mention onsite cafeteria and fitness facilities.  If you’d like to join our team submit your information online and introduce yourself.


Together Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life serve the financial security needs of more than 13 million people across Canada, with additional operations in Europe and the United States. As members of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies, we’re one of Canada’s leading insurers with interests in life insurance, health insurance, investment and retirement savings. We offer a broad portfolio of financial and benefit plan solutions for individuals, families, businesses and organizations.


We are committed to providing an inclusive, accessible environment, where all employees and customers feel valued, respected and supported. We are dedicated to building a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities in which we live, and to creating an environment where every employee has the opportunity to reach their potential.


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