As the Operations Manager of Business Consulting at Saratoga, Rafieqah Isaacs manages our team of skilled Business Consultants and guides the team in both their client project deliveries and with their professional and career development journeys.
The ability to solve complex business problems and seeing the tangible positive impacts these solutions deliver to client organisations is what initially drew Rafieqah to Business Analysis, Project Management and Consulting. What continues to bring her joy and career fulfillment as a Consultant and Operations Manager is her involvement across the board with project teams, IT experts, stakeholders and in ensuring the effective collaboration of everyone to successfully deliver on projects.
Operating within complex IT and organisational structures, our Business Consultants face various challenges and rely on their extensive knowledge and analytical skills to quickly understand the organisation imperatives. By executing feasibility studies, preparing business cases, capability gap assessments and other Business Analysis services, our Business Consultants gain a clear understanding of the current and future states of the client organisation. “Bridging the gap between business requirements and implementation teams, we work closely with the Senior Management of an organisation in finding the way forward to successful outcomes and value-adding solution improvements” explains Rafieqah.
Reflecting on her career, there have been multiple notable projects and client engagements, as well as exciting career developments and leadership opportunities. The most memorable of these milestones and achievements for Rafieqah is when she’s had a positive impact on the people she’s worked with. “Creating a path for delivery or career progression and guiding individuals or teams along that path always brings me a sense of achievement.”
Rafieqah describes her leadership style as a ‘coaching’ type of leadership – while acknowledging that at certain times a more direct leadership style is required. In most cases, each situation requires a specific type of leadership in that moment. Rafieqah explores her intent in each engagement, and analyses the conversation with questions like ‘why am I doing/saying this specifically? What am I trying to achieve?’ With these types of questions Rafieqah is then able to decide on the correct approach and leadership style for different situations.
Continued learning and the development of her skills as a Business Consultant and as a leader to her team is important to Rafieqah. She enjoys taking part in leadership courses, and often goes back to the relevant readings to refresh her memory on topics such as leadership, intent, and growing individuals. “The GetSmarter Women in leadership course was particularly insightful, and the course included great forum discussions and opportunities to look at diversity in the workplace in a practical way.”
Beyond her contributions as Operations Manager and an experienced Business Consultant, Rafieqah is a strong advocate for mentorship, and this has played a significant role in Rafieqah’s career – both as mentor and as mentee. Her mentors have especially helped her when she felt stuck or when she was too comfortable to push herself to new heights in her career. “Sometimes it just takes the nudge and someone asking the right – and often difficult – questions to get the motivation going.”