DisruptHR Chicago: Interview with Mindy Mackenzie

mindy-headshot-copyMindy Mackenzie – or the “Velvet Hammer” as she was known during her days at liquor giant Jim Beam – is currently a sought-after speaker and CEO advisor to Fortune 500 companies. She is the author of the WSJ bestseller, The Courage Solution: The Power of Truth Telling with Your Boss, Peers, and Team.  Mindy is also a Senior Advisor at McKinsey & Company.

Previously, Mindy served as Chief Performance Officer of Beam, Inc., where she was globally responsible for strategy, M&A, human resources and communications. Mindy was promoted to this role after serving as Chief Human Resources Officer for four years. Mindy drove performance in the business across all markets and ensured that the company maintained a disciplined focus on its strategic priorities through her enterprise-wide view and operational business leadership. Ultimately, Mindy led the negotiations for the $16-billion-dollar buyout of Beam, Inc. by the Japanese conglomerate, Suntory, in 2014.

Prior to joining Beam, Mindy served at Campbell Soup Co. from 2005-2009, in various positions including Vice President Human Resources and Public Affairs for Campbell’s Asia-Pacific Region, based in Sydney, Australia.  She also spent nine years at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in the areas of human resources, organizational development and training. She has an extensive background in international markets, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, M&A, change management, and human resources.

Editor: Tell us about yourself – your career history and how to came to be in your current role.

Mindy: I am a 20+ year veteran of the corporate “tribe” having lived and worked globally at Jim Beam, Campbell Soup Company and Walmart, serving as Chief Human Resources Officer for nearly five years at Beam before leaving to author a book, start an advisory practice and serve as a Sr Advisor at McKinsey & Company.What does your company do? Advise CEOs and C-suite executives and do keynote speeches for companies and conferences based on the principles in my book, The Courage Solution, The Power of Truth Telling With Your Boss, Peers and Team, which was published in May of this year. It his the WSJ bestseller list.

Editor: What does your company do?

Mindy: Advise CEOs and C-suite executives and do keynote speeches for companies and conferences based on the principles in my book, The Courage Solution, The Power of Truth Telling With Your Boss, Peers and Team, which was published in May of this year. It his the WSJ bestseller list.What does an average work week look like for you? A blend of speeches, working on human capital or change transformation projects with McKinsey and advising my handful of executives on how to increase their effectiveness.

Editor: What does an average work week look like for you?

Mindy: A blend of speeches, working on human capital or change transformation projects with McKinsey and advising my handful of executives on how to increase their effectiveness.

Editor: What made you decide to be a speaker at DisruptHR Chicago?

Mindy: I love the concept! Super innovative and very audience-friendly. If you can’t make your point in 5 minutes, you don’t have a point.

Editor: What will you be speaking about at DisruptHR Chicago?

Mindy: How to increase your ability to be a positive disruptive force by managing your personal fulfillment in a different way.

Editor: What are the major learnings that attendees will take from your session?

Mindy: The only thing you can reliably change or control at any company is yourself and that you can do that better by stepping on the Life Scale once per month.

Editor: Why does Chicago need an event like DisruptHR?

Mindy: Everyone is hungry for bite-sized, inspiring information. DisruptHR is built to provide that.

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Author: Editor

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