Consultant Lisa Watson helps organizations maximize their full potential

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Lisa Watson is a renowned, Toronto-based Strategic Leadership Consultant and CEO at LisaWatsonCo, who is passionate about helping organizations maximize their full potential. She is also the CEO at Strategies for Social Impact, a boutique consulting and coaching firm. Through coaching, public speaking, writing and mentoring, Watson helps leaders “build compassionate, connected and conscious organizations”. A few of her past clients include ABC Life Literacy Canada, Metcalf Foundationand Centre for City Ecology.

“Lisa Watson helps leaders to tap into and fully leverage inner strengths, embrace their inner wisdom and lead from their highest self.”

Watson has extensive experience developing successful partnerships involving leaders from the community, government and private sectors to address complex problems and systems change. She has held senior executive positions leading policy and strategy development in the Ontario provincial government and the charitable nonprofit sector. Some of her previous roles include Director of Strategic Initiatives and Policy at the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Senior Program Consultant at Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Director of Strategic Initiatives at United Way Toronto, Executive in Residence at Capacity Canada, Instructor at the Schulich Executive Education Centre, Faculty Member at the Canadian Organizational Development Institute and currently a Contributor at Huffington Post.

Strategic Leadership Consultant Lisa Watson- (Photo courtesy of Lisa Watson)

Strategic Leadership Consultant Lisa Watson- (Photo courtesy of Lisa Watson)

Watson has authored several articles including ‘Fostering Learning Through Developmental Evaluation with a Non traditional Arts Organization and a Traditional Community Funder’; ‘What is Your Gut Telling You?How Great Leaders Leverage Intuition’ and ‘4 Ways to Build A Spiritually Intelligent Organization’. Watson is a graduate of the University of Waterloo-McConnell Foundation Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation and also holds degrees from Dalhousie University in Psychology and Social Work.

“Lisa Watson empowers people to lead their lives and businesses with soulfulness, catapulting their business success and social impact while enriching the world around them with connection, compassion and abundance.”

Lisa Watson tells Illuminessence that the “promise of real, lasting change and a better world” makes her strive for success.

Tell us a little about your background

As a kid, we moved around a bit. It was tough but it taught me to be adaptive and courageous in the face of complexity and change. I spent my formative years in Halifax and feel a spiritual connection to the Maritimes and the fierce majesty of the Atlantic ocean.

Motivation to become a strategic leadership consultant

I felt the call to entrepreneurship long before I took the leap. I had an amazing opportunity in 2011-2012 to participate in the University of Waterloo-McConnell Foundation Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation. It expanded my lens on social change and offered me fresh, leading edge approaches as well as a national network of colleagues. I left feeling inspired to make a bigger impact.

Tell us about your organization – Strategies for Social Impact

Strategies for Social Impact is an exciting platform for social innovation specializing in collaborating with foundations, community organizations, public institutions and the private sector to make deep and lasting changes in the world. We offer customized, innovative approaches to strategy development, systems change, leadership, evaluation and learning. Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of leaders, organizations and communities to be adaptive, innovative and impactful in dealing with complexity and change. A unique specialty is building the spiritual intelligence of leaders and organizations, often a missing partner in the subtle dance of change.

Career highlights

A major highlight was the start-up of Ontario’s Ministry of Health Promotion. I was asked to build the strategic policy and planning division, working with great leaders like Dr. Sheela Basrur, former Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, who became my mentor. We attracted the most magnificent team of people. It was an intensely creative, demanding and electric time in which I built my entrepreneurial muscles and learned the ins and outs of government. I loved the tender and promising energy of creation, with all hands and hearts focused on realizing a shared purpose.

What inspires you to strive for success?

The promise of real, lasting change and a better world. Being part of the change
making process and witnessing people tackle bold goals with courage and humanity.

How would you define an ‘empowered woman’?

An empowered woman has developed an intimate relationship with her inner self. She knows where the shadows are and chooses the light. She trusts her inner wisdom. Her grace and confidence reflect a higher purpose that she lovingly and courageously rises to every single day.

Connect with Lisa

Websites: Strategies for Social Impact and LisaWatsonCo
Twitter: @LisaWatsonCo

Chiamaka is a Nigerian-born teenage entrepreneur and media consultant who is passionate about social justice and helping people achieve their true potential. She is also the author of Blurred Creations

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