Changing organizations, changing lives
My passion and purpose are—and have long been—to help develop people and organizations so that they can impact the world for the better. Looking back at how life unfolded, it’s clear that I was always fascinated by influential people who intended to have positive impact in the world.
I grew up in an artistic, entrepreneurial family, and my parents instilled in me a commitment to following one’s passion and sticking to one’s truth. And at university, I discovered a way to do both. I studied international politics and organizational behavior—two longtime favorite topics of mine. Through my studies, I also discovered an important truth: that businesses can be highly effective vehicles for changing the world. As a result, I became extremely passionate about business as a critical force in the fight to end poverty and inequity on a global scale.
After university, I worked for three years with the World Development Organizations in Nepal, Columbia, and Burkina Faso, helping to solve their biggest problems: poverty, sexual harassment, and clean water.
I moved into the private sector and spent 15 years with DaimlerChrysler learning about organizational effectiveness and corporate strategy functions. I led their global change initiatives along with critical organizational transformations and restructurings. Working with the company’s leadership team helped me understand my own effectiveness, what I could do differently, and how I could be a more effective and influential leader. I was also one of the very few women in the Daimler world, which sparked my interest in helping to create a inclusive work culture and to encourage more women to thrive in leadership positions.
After 15 years, I was eager to expand my work in the organizational consulting field by serving many organizations instead of only one. So, driven by both my entrepreneurial spirit and desire to make a greater impact, I left DaimlerChrysler and started my own business in 2007.
Crisis, resilience, commitment—and going the extra mile
Despite some early success attracting clients, everything changed in 2008 when the global economic crisis hit. The market I wanted to influence broke down seemingly overnight. In 2009, at the height of the crisis, I had accumulated 100 rejected project proposals—and to make matters even more challenging, my father passed away.
I found myself facing the decision of a lifetime: to go back to my old corporate life or stick with my passion.
I chose to stick with my business—and am so glad I did.
Starting in April 2010 onward, as the global economy began to recover, we started gaining more clients. We opened a second office in Singapore in 2011, and by 2014 had quadrupled our revenue. We started hiring full-time employees, and our outstanding faculty of coaches and consultants was growing.
I also started seeing how my previous experiences—working in development countries and the private sector—were lining up perfectly for our business to have the global impact I’d always wanted to have. We started working with UN agencies in 2012, beginning with World Bank and soon followed by the World Economic Forum, World Health Organization, and UNICEF.
Today, we work with a wide variety of public and private sector clients, and our faculty has grown to include more than 250 members. I’m most proud of my colleagues and team, who are all passionately on board with our purpose and aligned to our core values. They truly care about making a positive impact for our clients.
Our experience of early struggle taught me something very significant about the importance of resilience and staying committed to an idea you believe in, even if you don’t have immediate success. Keep up! and stay committed to your purpose.
Creating in-depth organizational change requires enormous endurance, dedication, commitment, courage and passion. That’s why I want our prospects and clients to know that they embark on creating change, they have a true partner in us. We don’t let our clients down—we take care of them and are always willing to go the extra mile to help them.
Our story of passion and purpose continues
If I can offer one word of inspiration, it’s this: always stick to your own truth. Ask yourself, “what do I really want?” Maybe you’ll discover your passion early in life like I did—or perhaps you won’t immediately recognize when something is, in fact, your passion. But when you really have a motivation to do something for the world, don’t let it go. Just prepare yourself for the challenges that will come.