As the leader of WATSON’s CEO Performance practice, Helen brings an integrated approach combining talent management and governance effectiveness. As part of the WATSON team, Helen conducts board, director and CEO evaluations, guides boards through the CEO succession journey, and helps boards and CEOs improve the way they work together.
Recognized as one of Canada’s foremost authorities on the subject of CEO succession planning and CEO evaluation, Helen brings years of experience, innovative ideas and deep understanding of the human dynamics involved in these important endeavors to assist boards and CEO’s with these complex, often delicate, human resource challenges.
After graduating as the gold medalist from the Ivey School of Business’s MBA program in 1990, Helen was invited to join the ranks of McKinsey & Company, where she spent 12 years consulting on business strategy, performance management, and organization. In 1997, Helen led the company’s ground-breaking research on executive talent, which eventually led her to co-write the book The War for Talent. The success of the book provided Helen with a springboard to launch her own consultancy in 2002, focusing on leadership talent strategy. Helen has worked directly with CEOs to help them assess the performance and potential of their senior leaders and to decide action plans for succession and development.
When the Institute of Corporate Directors launched the Directors Education Program in 2005, they asked Helen to teach the topics of CEO evaluation and succession planning. She continues to teach these topics in the DEP in multiple cities across Canada.
Over the past ten years, Helen has worked with over 20 boards on CEO evaluation and CEO succession, including the Royal Bank of Canada, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Cadillac Fairview, and the Canadian Medical Protective Association. In addition to helping boards with CEO performance, recognized as one of their most important responsibilities, Helen also brings her knowledge of boardroom dynamics to conduct board and director evaluations.
Helen is often invited to deliver speeches and has presented at high profile events such as the Human Capital Institute’s Annual Summit, the Conference Board, and the Baltic Management Conference.