Michelle is a passionate lean and agile advocate who loves to help organizations transform their process, culture and governance to enable a focus on value delivery and innovation. For the past 10 years, Michelle has worked with organizations large and small to innovate and create change. Michelle is known as a candid, compassionate leader and coach, supporting individuals and teams to achieve high performance and embrace change.
Q&A with Michelle Harrison
1. What is the achievement you are the proudest of in your career?
Being nominated by my team for a leadership excellence award. Reading the stories that were shared to support my nomination brought me to tears, and it was amazing to read stories from those that were my direct reports and the support they felt they received from me. What was equally amazing was knowing how many people who were my peers, or leaders more senior than I shared their stories of how I had supported and encouraged them. When I’m questioning myself, I sometimes go back and read a quote from the nomination to remind myself to trust my instincts.
2. What’s one advice or tip would you tell your 20-year-old self?
I’d tell myself “Trust your instincts!” Even when it seems like you are speaking Greek when everyone else is speaking English and your not sure the message is being heard and questioning whether you are on the right track. In the wise words of your grade 7 teacher – “Paddle your own canoe.”
3. How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?
I help teams transform the way they work – making it easier to deliver value to their customers.
4. Do you have any favorite quotes you would like to share?
“I must create a system or be enslaved by another’s” – I heard this when I was 15, I’ve lived by it ever since. I tend to be a bit rebellious of the status quo, hence why I love what I do!
5. What one book has inspired you or one that you have recommended most
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I tell everyone I meet to read that book – it totally changed my views on what corporate culture really is and how habits play a part in that.
6. Can you think of any failure that later set you up for success?
I can’t possibly just list one! I think every challenge or struggle has been an opportunity to learn and then do something with the learning. Even when I’ve had success, I still reflect and learn about what I want to keep doing. So it really comes down to personal reflection and the commitment to improve and grow as a result of what I’ve learned.
You will find past speakers and their responses here: https://pmi.bc.ca/news-and-events/news
Thank you, Michelle, for taking the time to answer our questions and allowing us to get to know you better! We are looking forward to your presentation.
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