Joanna Barclay

Mindful Conscious Leadership Consultant and Organizational Culture Change Expert

Joanna Barclay is CEO and founder of the Culture Leadership Group, a global speaker, author, corporate leadership consultant, and media columnist to the Business Times.  She has 35 years of business transformation experience. The first 15 years working in the IT industry with leadership teams helping them implement new technologies. The past 20 years as a certified professional facilitator and corporate culture change consultant working with leadership teams to build high performing, values-driven organizations.

Her passion is personal and organizational transformation, developing conscious leadership, and empowering organizations to reach their full potential.  Joanna’s expertise is working with leadership teams around the world, enabling them to assess their workplace culture, giving people a voice in the process of change, integrating cross-functional business functions for effective collaboration, to meet the business needs of the future.

Joanna has facilitated numerous organizational transformations with a wide variety of clients including large Canadian federal government departments, private corporations and non-profit associations in North America and Asia. She recently moved back to Ottawa, Canada from Singapore where she lived for 5 years, speaking at conferences on Conscious Leadership through Values, and working with leadership teams who were going through cultural transformation.

Joanna is a certified International Association of Facilitators (IAF) Professional Facilitator & Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) Technology of Participation Facilitator, a certified Cultural Transformation Tools (CTT) Consultant from the Barrett Values Centre, a graduate of the National Training Laboratory (NTL) Organizational Development program, and graduate of the University of Ottawa in Management of Information Sciences.

Topic Presentations

Top talent is hard to attract, engage, and retain. In this competitive HR landscape, it is imperative leaders recognize employees are making career decisions based on a company’s social impact and corporate culture. They want to make a difference, and are looking for roles which will provide intellectual challenges, allow them to continue to grow, develop, and contribute to society in a meaningful way.
In designing a culture for the 21st century, leaders must work hard at consciously creating and maintaining their culture. They can then use their culture as a competitive advantage to attract, retain and develop the talent needed to achieve aggressive goals and objectives. Investing in corporate culture is the right thing to do and the smart thing. Look at a few of the most successful corporations such as Google, Ikea, and Amazon. Each one of these firms is at least 1646% more profitable for investors over a 15 year period. How do they do it? In her talk Joanna shares over 3 decades of business transformation experience, answering this question and many more.

We live in a  disconnected world of virtual technologies, disruptive change, and job insecurity. The impact of our current reality is decreasing employee engagement and productivity, making agility and resilience more important than ever. Where do we find the inspiration to thrive, and ‘bounce back’ when challenges and setbacks hit us? How do we see change as opportunities to reinvent, transcend, and transform business operations in ways that sustain and enable organizations to reach their full potential?

The keys to success lie within. Every individual has the ability to be agile and tap into their resilience.  That inner source of personal power to respond with vigor when the need arises. Organizational resilience depends on the personal resilience of its people. To build a healthy workplace culture, one that is agile and resilient, takes conscious leadership. Understanding the human dynamics of change and having the ability to connecting people, processes and policies for strategic success. In her talk, Joanna shares highlights from 3 decades of experience in organizational change, and 16 years of teaching mindfulness practices.

Conscious leadership through values by promoting a “share of heart” creates an emotional connection with employees. This connection leads to a pattern of happy, fulfilled, creative, inspired employees who are less stressed, more productive, better at problem solving, and provide a higher quality client experience. There is a direct co-relation between a healthy workplace culture and one that is led by a conscious leader.

Leaders in these organizations are comfortable using terms of endearment such as love, joy, authenticity, empathy, and compassion around the board room table. They invest in transforming their organization by building a culture of “heart” to attain phenomenal performance and consider it to be one of the most valuable corporate assets. Why? Because loyalty is rooted in emotion, not reason. When you earn a ‘Share of Heart’, employees will give back with greater productivity, clients will open their wallets, and suppliers will give you superior offerings and responsiveness. How do they do it? In her talk, Joanna shares 3 decades of transformational leadership experience. Insights leaders have learned to ignite the passion and inspiration in their employees, and that clients will pay extra for.

Today, CEOs and governments are recognizing the importance of happiness in the workplace. In February 2016, the UAE Government created the Ministry of Happiness. Its purpose - to harmonise all government plans, programmes and policies to achieve a happier society. Research shows having a happy attitude infuses work with energy and creativity. Being unhappy negatively impacts performance. Not only does personal performance suffer, but, also the performance of others working in vicinity because unhappiness is contagious.

The law of personal performance states:  Mental Attitude x Ability = Performance

All the ability in the world (knowledge, experience, training, education, etc.) will not help you perform better when your mental attitude is unhappy or zero. With over 30 years of business transformation experience, and 16 years teaching mindfulness practices, Joanna Barclay is passionate in sharing how to build a happy workplace culture to increase engagement levels, and employee’s sense of personal fulfillment and performance.

We are all coming to grips now on how the workplace has changed forever!  The hybrid culture, where participants are working both in the office and at home, transforming the workplace into a workspace! But creating the right hybrid culture will be hard.

Deciding who works from home or the office, and how often, is a complex issue. Understanding the human dynamics of change and how it impacts the effective operations of your hybrid workspace will be critical for long-term success. Engaging employees working from home can become a challenge and It will be different for every organization. If not done well it could threaten teamwork, virtual collaboration, and team communication and the overall productivity and success of the business.

Conversely, a well-executed hybrid workplace can be a magnet that attracts and brings people together, helping everyone connect and work more effectively than ever before. Organizations who design workplaces for their people, build resiliency, focus on being agile and adaptable, they will move forward, learn, and remain competitive in these disruptive times! In her talk, Joanna shares 3 important strategies for effective virtual collaboration in the hybrid workspace:

  • Facilitative leaderships skills for leaders and managers to support hybrid engagement and productivity;

  • Online technology - having the right tools in place and skill development to support the continuous flow, documentation, and sharing of digital information.

  • Process – having the management guidelines in place to support collaboration.


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Stittsville, Ontario

Conscious Culture

Joanna is the author of the acclaimed book, Conscious Culture, How to Build a High Performing Workplace through Values, Ethics and Leadership. In this book, Joanna Barclay shares 30 years of business transformation experience. It provides a blueprint for igniting the life force energy in values that fuel a high performing, values-driven organization.

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