Interview with Lilit Karapetyan, Head of Staff at “Enlight” Public Research Center NGO.
Lilit, how did you find out about “Enlight” NGO and join the team? What position did you initially hold at “Enlight”?
I discovered “Enlight” (at that time Armenian Center of Young Analysts) very accidentally. Then, of course, it turned out that some of my friends were already carrying out certain activities in the organization. I joined the ACoYA as an HR specialist, but it wasn’t enough for me, I have tried myself in almost all spheres: I’ve been in charge of social media, assistant of the president, Human resource management specialist. This is one of the guarantees of the organization’s success, because it creates a unique platform for the discovery and development of everyone’s abilities and skills.
According to you, what is the main mission of the chief of staff, what kind of skills are necessary to occupy this position?
In general, I think that the staff is the spine of the organization, which provides not only the system of departments’ work, but also represents the organization to the public. And the mission of the chief of staff is always keeping that spine straight and balanced. Flexibility and consistency, the ability to orientate quickly are among the most essential skills to succeed in this endeavor.
Do you have certain working principles from which you do not deviate?
There are, of course, working principles, which have become the inseparable and important elements of the work style during the time. If you work in a team, all your activities should be based on the idea of valuing and appreciating a person: this is what creates a healthy and tensionless work environment.
What role does the chief of staff play in the organization’s strategic planning process?
Taking into account that the staff is the main representative body of the organization and coordinates the work of all departments, the chief of staff is directly informed of the problems and needs of the organization in both external and internal activities based on the position. This allows for more effective and targeted participation in the process of developing a strategic plan.
It is a rather long time you work with the team of “Enlight”: what characteristics of the team would you emphasize that are the most important and exemplary ones for you?
One of the key qualities of the “Enlight” team is courage: we dare to think, to express our views, we dare to learn and give that chance to others and, most importantly, we dare to make all our ideas come true. We do all this through professionalism and hard work, realizing that each of us is the bearer of a great idea and the one who brings it to life.
As a non-governmental organization, “Enlight” is unique as, despite the fact that all work is done on a voluntary basis, the team creates and delivers high-quality works. It is also one of the best platforms for self-expression, learning, gaining experience and skills. What do you think the key to “Enlight’s” success is? What is the reason for this phenomenon?
I think that the consistency and adherence to the adopted ideas, principles and goals determine the success of “Enlight”.
What is your best achievement as a member of the “Enlight” team?
Despite the vast experience and knowledge I have gained at “Enlight”, the most important achievement for me is the people of “Enlight” who share the same values and ideas, have clear goals and a way to achieve them. Each of the “Enlight” people has his/her own different and bright colour: imagine what is created by the mixture of these colors.
How do you imagine “Enlight” in five years from now? Do you have a vision of the future?
Definitely, conquered new horizons (by the way these are the words of one of our teammates). And as Thomas Edison once said, “The vision is an illusion without action”. It is the work that brings the Enlight vision to life.
The interview was held by Anna Manukyan
Translator: Mane Vardanyan © All rights reserved.