In the News

Roxanne Pals and her interest in change leads to business ownership

It was in 2005 when Roxanne Pals sparked an interest in change — what it does, how it affects people and how to properly prepare for it.

Pals, who has a nursing background, was working as a clinical nursing manager at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa, and the organization was implementing a dramatic initiative: replacing paper records with electronic medical records.

Despite large-scale preparation, advice from consulting agencies and testing, the implementation went sideways. And Pals was left wondering: Why?

“Everything about how clinicians needed to respond was different,” Pals said. “It was a flip of a switch. We practiced, but in one weekend we flipped the switch and left paper and went to a computer. It made me curious about what happens with people in the midst of change, and why everything looks good on paper but doesn’t go right when you actualize the plan.”

Pals found that change was closely aligned with the grief process, and she implemented some of what she learned into her nursing leadership role. At about the same time, she also finished her master’s degree in servant leadership, which allowed her to look at change through a leadership lens.

In 2006, the learning came together for Pals. She was tasked with leading a culture change at Trinity Health, a national health care organization that counts Mercy Medical as one of its properties. In her role, Pals researched what people needed to flourish in organizations. She stayed in that position until 2013, when she opened up her sole proprietorship, 3 Consulting Inc.

Her consulting business helps companies through large-scale transitions, and her services extend to many different industries.

“What I’ve learned in my research is that humans are humans and change is change,” Pals said. “It doesn’t really matter. I’ve tested my methodology in energy solutions, aviation, government, entertainment and hospitality. I work with organizations that are either planning or putting themselves in the midst of disruptive change.”

With a network that extended globally, Pals traveled to other countries and states to help clients. But being from small-town Lake Mills, Iowa, and having some family obligations to tend to, Pals made the decision to shift her business more regionally.

Pals, who lives in Des Moines, took on her first-ever Iowa client last fall and has established her services in the area. She also started a collaborative group with other business owners with similar services to expand their reach and processes to more people.

As her business continues to grow, Pals is thankful for her newly found local focus.

“It’s been a great ride, and I didn’t network or search for clients until last year when I intentionally made a decision to focus my business more regionally than nationally and globally,” Pals said. “It’s been a fun year of intentionally shifting how I manage my practice.”