Think HBR

Let's Talk with Michelle Crawford

Michelle Crawford
1. In a few words tell us about your current role.
My title is Chief Conversationalist for Being More Human. I wanted to come up with something that reflected what we as humans do all the time, this was it! It certainly creates some great conversations! I am responsible for the brand’s direction, strategy, vision, keynote speaking and content generation. My technical area is Executive Development and Executive Coaching.
2. How have you reached this point in your professional life?
I started life working at humanitarian aid agencies in warzones in Africa, Asia and Europe. From there I went to healthcare and education, then a commercial consulting role across nearly every industry imaginable! The only thing I knew for sure is that I would help people in some way. That has been the theme, through refugee camps, to workplaces, to boardrooms.
3. When you’re not at work, where can we find you?
A trip with my kids to every sport imaginable, I’m a huge reader and podcast listener, and I am in cafes a loooot. I don’t separate work and home, it is all my life. I love to travel as well, the more exotic the better!
4. Where do you find inspiration?
Normal people, my kids, Richard Branson. I am inspired by anyone who doesn’t give up, is focused on the present and future, and who wants to have a positive impact on people around them and the world at large and has figured out that working in their sweet spot is the most eminently sensible thing to do.
5. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
Do anything, work for nothing, be persistent - you will get your foot in the door! Decide what you want and go for it. I did exactly that and it got me my first lot of jobs. I wish someone had told me that it is action that matters, not a certain kind of action.
6. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
Years ago, I was in Cambodia and caught in the middle of a military coup. One army was approaching another and I was in the town that they would collide in. I literally believed I was going to die so wrote a letter to my friends and family accordingly. I ended up getting evacuated in a military helicopter and being written about in the SMH! And living to tell the story!
7. How would you like to see the Hunter evolve over the next decade?
I think that there are so many fantastic individual and group efforts happening in the Hunter. However, I think that Extreme Collaboration at a larger scale is not happening as much as it could be and certainly not leveraged. I have a vision for the Hunter that every single action, Individual, Team, Organisational and Community is linked explicitly to the Global Development Goals, to harness alignment at a massive level.
To pull this off, this region would attract so much attention (good for us) and act as a model of how this could be replicated in other locations. Even better, it gives the globe a chance to reach the goals by 2030.
Our brand is designed for this to happen, we want everyone in the Hunter to be part of it, to reveal the true power of humanity.
8. What’s your favourite Hunter restaurant/café/bar?
Hard one, Apothecary Kitchen under Greater Bank
9. Are you reading anything at the moment?
I’m always reading multiple books. I’m writing a book called Being More Human about the five different mindsets that we find ourselves in, which will be out later this year. One book I am reading at the moment is Richard Branson’s Finding My Virginity.
10. Do you have a favourite sport or team?
I am so not a classic Novocastrian when it comes to this... Sorry to disappoint! Too busy with my head in a book! I do like live footy games though, the vibe is always fantastic.
11. What’s the best line from a film you’ve ever heard?
Hmmmm not sure, but my favourite film is Blood Diamond, a story about corporate diamond smuggling in West Africa.