I’ve spent nearly thirty years working in communications, change, culture, and employee engagement, with a focus on corporate environments that have undergone some sort of major disruption. And by “disruption,” I mean anything with the potential to create chaos: mergers and acquisitions, global process or technology implementations, significant reorganizations.
I studied psychology and change communications at Columbia University and Kellogg School of Management, so change (and fear of it) is my thing and the topic I’m asked to speak on most often. I’ve also studied professional coaching and leadership at iPEC and KW MAPS, am an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP), and am a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF, CPC pending).
I started out in corporate communications when, as a young writer, I was plucked from the typing pool—literally—by the Chairman of the Board of Touche Ross & Co. (which would later become Deloitte). He said, “I’ve just come from an accounting conference where they told us that any Big 8 firm that doesn’t have a ‘personal computer’ on every partner’s desk in six months will be out of business. I’m too old to learn. I want you to do it.” And on that instruction, I selected the first computer platform for Touche Ross’ 740+ international partners, and subsequently became the Chairman’s coach and media liaison for all things technology. (You can read more about that chapter of my story here.)
Thanks to that lucky break, I’ve spent the better part of the last 30-something years on leadership and “clean” teams conducting transformative corporate events like —
- the $25B Hewlett-Packard/Compaq merger with Carly Fiorina & Michael Cappellas
- the $4B HP Services/Procter & Gamble outsourcing deal with Ann Livermore & A.G. Lafley
- global ITIL implementations for Shell Services International & Coca-Cola
- the $3B YP spin-off from AT&T and its acquisition by a private equity company
- the $3B integration following Cox Automotive’s acquisition of nearly 30 brands in the course of two years
My role is typically to provide insight into the impacts (seen and unseen) the event has or might have on people. As a consultant, I help identify and mitigate the potential pain points and inform the strategic transition, transformation, and integration plans that ultimately create or improve employee engagement—the foundation of any healthy corporate culture.
I believe that culture is clearly tied to earnings success, and engagement is its magic fairy dust. For example, consider the celebrated cultures at Southwest Airlines, SAS, Google, Zappos, and Facebook. They get the concept of building a company everybody wants to join and nobody wants to leave. And that’s just plain good for business. Happy associates are productive associates, which translates to both efficiencies and sales, no matter what your widget is. All the research proves that out.
So I coach my executive and senior leadership clients to their specific goals, while teaching them the value of employee engagement (and how to communicate that) and its impact on their bottom line. As a result, we spend a lot of time designing specific culture and engagement programs together that align with their core values — like corporate social responsibility, well-being/wellness, and other elements of a “Best Place to Work.”
Foundationally, I practice Core Energy Coaching. You can read more about the process and results here.