CEO On Purpose Hub - Author - Engineer

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My Purpose

To ignite just change to build a better world. 

Karen James

 

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About Karen James

Karen James is a purpose expert with a no-nonsense approach to igniting ethical transformation for organisations. Karen James believes it is time for just change.

With over 30 years of engineering and business experience, Karen’s portfolio career has moved her from New Jersey to Europe to Asia to Australia. From fixing networks connecting to North Sea oil rigs, to designing and implementing a 600-seat virtual service centre for the Commonwealth Bank Australia in 12 weeks, Karen is a ‘fixer’ and ‘doer’ who holds people at the heart of every service model she rolls out. Using these principles, she turned a $9M business into a $100M business early on in her career, and set the tone for her future in business: have purpose, build the right culture, and bring in amazing leaders who are, above all, human.

This same approach reaped rewards when Karen later co-created a cross-cultural change program for the Commonwealth Bank. Partnering with The Hunger Project and McKinsey, she implemented a leadership-lesson program based on the teachings of women in rural India. The program has directly changed the lives of business executives since, and its transformational ripple effect continues to make monumental changes to this day.

The real defining moment for Karen was personal, and it took place in her most recent role at the Commonwealth Bank. There she led the birth and growth of the Women in Focus network – a supportive community of over 10,000 businesswomen – built within three years, from scratch. Not only did Karen and her team prove that a corporate bank could develop more meaningful relationships with its community of clients, they also showed over 10,000 women that anyone who believes in themselves can have untold doors opened to them.

You can download an extract of Karen’s biography and follow her on LinkedIn below.

Download Karen’s Biography Follow Karen on LinkedIn

 

 

 

 

 

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Karen in the Press

Sydney Morning Herald
Women's Agenda
ABC Radio National
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Opportunity often lies in the shadow of change. 

Karen James

 

keynote-topics

Keynote / Workshop Topics

From innovation to transformation to community building, Karen’s global career brings something for everyone.

10 Steps To Get Your Life & Business On Purpose

Participants will:

  • Identify or refine their personal purpose
  • Identify or refine their professional purpose
  • Develop an action plan to manifest purpose through a formula based ten step approach – identifying who you need to be as a leader and most importantly how to get stuff done, on purpose.

Create, Disrupt & Innovate

Participants will:

  • Understand the essence of what it takes to move from transacting to relating with current and future customers
  • Learn and create new mindsets, new thinking and new operating models
  • Understand how to power your purpose with technology and deliver on time, on budget and on purpose programs and projects.

On Purpose, The Book

Participants will:

  • Understand the book and discover how the PLOT framework can get their organisation, and themselves personally, living on purpose.
  • Experience real-world examples of the application of purpose-led organisations transforming, innovating and exceeding their goals.
  • Create their own plan to unleash their purpose – converting mastery, innovation and transformation into amazing meaning-driven results.

Just Change

Participants will:

  • Understand the true meaning of “just change”
  • Learn the top questions used to challenge whether a change is just
  • Understand how their personal and professional purpose and leadership has a broad impact

Invite Karen to Speak

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Top Speaking Testimonials

  • Denise Meyerson - Management Consultancy International

    Karen is a ball of energy and fun!  She gets her message across in a straightforward way that resonates well with her audience.  The take-outs from the session are easy to set in to action.

    Denise Meyerson - Management Consultancy International
  • Ian Coad - Boyne Smelters Limited

     

    I was delighted with the work Karen performed for myself and have used this work as the centrepiece of the strategy to further improve employee engagement in my department.  A key piece of work involved better defining what the purpose of the department was. Following Karen’s advice the leadership team worked together to reformulate the department purpose which has been an outstanding success. The department purpose now is punchy, has a better alignment with both the day to day work of all employees and the needs of stakeholders who rely on an effective service being provided.  Most importantly employees have had much better ‘buy in’ to the new purpose. 

    Ian Coad - Boyne Smelters Limited
  •  

  • SHE Business

    Karen James is a unique speaker. In a world where many speakers have honed their art and created presentations that follow a predictable course Karen delivers from the heart. Genuinely thoughtful and curious she uses her experience in the field of engineering and her time in top echelons of the corporate world to deliver insightful messages in a way that pierces the usual language heard from the stage. Guests leave with a greater understanding of purpose and how it drives their actions and results. Karen is a professional, funny and smart speaker and I highly recommend her.

    SHE Business
  • Australian Department of Defence

    Karen’s presentation was entertaining and engaging – she’d thoroughly researched the subject matter and wove entertaining stories from her personal life into professional lessons learnt, and related them to the issues that would resonate with the Defence audience. The imagery she invoked was inspiring and relevant to the challenges we are seeking to address – and she provided plenty of laughs too!

    Australian Department of Defence
  • Wired for Wonder

    Karen presented workshops at Wired for Wonder this year and left our audience full of energy and focus. You only needed to check the social media hashtag to see the impact she had – people are genuinely inspired by her stories and her message and she delivers with such a warm, authentic and engaging style. I’ll definitely be booking Karen for future events including Wired for Wonder 2016! A huge thank you for bringing a touch of magic and you to our event.

    Wired for Wonder
  • Denise Meyerson - Management Consultancy International

    Karen is a ball of energy and fun!  She gets her message across in a straightforward way that resonates well with her audience.  The take-outs from the session are easy to set in to action.

    Denise Meyerson - Management Consultancy International
  • Ian Coad - Boyne Smelters Limited

     

    I was delighted with the work Karen performed for myself and have used this work as the centrepiece of the strategy to further improve employee engagement in my department.  A key piece of work involved better defining what the purpose of the department was. Following Karen’s advice the leadership team worked together to reformulate the department purpose which has been an outstanding success. The department purpose now is punchy, has a better alignment with both the day to day work of all employees and the needs of stakeholders who rely on an effective service being provided.  Most importantly employees have had much better ‘buy in’ to the new purpose. 

    Ian Coad - Boyne Smelters Limited
  •  

  • SHE Business

    Karen James is a unique speaker. In a world where many speakers have honed their art and created presentations that follow a predictable course Karen delivers from the heart. Genuinely thoughtful and curious she uses her experience in the field of engineering and her time in top echelons of the corporate world to deliver insightful messages in a way that pierces the usual language heard from the stage. Guests leave with a greater understanding of purpose and how it drives their actions and results. Karen is a professional, funny and smart speaker and I highly recommend her.

    SHE Business
  • Australian Department of Defence

    Karen’s presentation was entertaining and engaging – she’d thoroughly researched the subject matter and wove entertaining stories from her personal life into professional lessons learnt, and related them to the issues that would resonate with the Defence audience. The imagery she invoked was inspiring and relevant to the challenges we are seeking to address – and she provided plenty of laughs too!

    Australian Department of Defence
  • Wired for Wonder

    Karen presented workshops at Wired for Wonder this year and left our audience full of energy and focus. You only needed to check the social media hashtag to see the impact she had – people are genuinely inspired by her stories and her message and she delivers with such a warm, authentic and engaging style. I’ll definitely be booking Karen for future events including Wired for Wonder 2016! A huge thank you for bringing a touch of magic and you to our event.

    Wired for Wonder
clients

Karen’s Clients

Meet some of the inspiring organisations that have invited Karen to speak and work with them.

Sovereign Insurance
Wired for Wonder
CommBank
NSW Police

 

Musica Viva
Liverpool City Council
Boyne Smelters
Australian Department of Defence

 

SHE Business
Sydney Community Foundation
ABC Radio National
Beyond Festival

 

Parks NSW
University of Hartford
Management Consultancy International
WHUD 100.7

 

Watch Symon Brewis-Weston's Video Testimonial
https://youtu.be/Nae6-hVC3UI

Watch Symon Brewis-Weston's Video Testimonial

CEO, Sovereign Insurance

quote-from-karen-two

Vision trumps fear.

Karen James
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Video Blog

Subscribe to Karen's newsletter to be the find out about her video blogs. You can watch Karen's first blog here.

Karen James Video Blog
https://youtu.be/qpj7Gw3aUwA

Karen James Video Blog

November 2015
on-purpose-the-book

On Purpose Book

On Purpose is a modern-day business book for people who want to steer their work back on course, with
purpose leading the way at every sliding doors moment' they face in future.

Deliberately ironic and witty, this contemporary business book including a fable, as told by business leader Karen James. This revealing fable strikes a personal chord with anyone in business (or frankly, a little over business). Readers will discover their own winning purpose through the author’s subsequent narrative, with the aim to create the most positive business outcome for themselves. This book shows readers how a simple framework can become the turnaround for their organisation and life so desperately needed. On Purpose is for people and organisations who need are asking:

How can I motivate my team?

How do I launch or reinvigorate this project?

 

How do we redefine our purpose, vision and values?

 

How can we connect better with our customers?

Shop Now Enquire About Bulk Purchases
testimonials

Book Testimonials

  • Wendy McCarthy AO - Educator, Mentor, Non-exec director

    “I loved this book and read it in one sitting. Karen James has written about business in a fresh and beguiling way and it is understood from the beginning that she loves both business and education as I do. On Purpose is a cleverly constructed book as we might expect from its engineer author. This book could become the new black for business. How could you not aspire to be on-purpose personally or professionally?”

    Wendy McCarthy AO - Educator, Mentor, Non-exec director
  • Bob Gaudio - Songwriter, producer, founding member of The Four Seasons, inspiration for the Jersey Boys.

    “Okay, I will admit Karen went to school with my kids, Lisa, Danielle and Shannon. Well, so what! That doesn’t mean I don’t know what an excellent book is. On Purpose is important because we all need to find the path to what matters in life. Reading is learning and learning is the path. We all need to get on one. Karen did…”

    Bob Gaudio - Songwriter, producer, founding member of The Four Seasons, inspiration for the Jersey Boys.
  • Ronni Kahn - CEO & Founder, OzHarvest

    “Today’s world needs this book – delivered with wit, humour and cut through New York style, Karen’s decade of experience in life and business is bottled up in a fable, a manifesto and a practical framework that will help get you and your organisation on-purpose. The complex made simple. I love it and look forward to joining Karen to create a movement to mobilise on-purpose leaders”.

    Ronni Kahn - CEO & Founder, OzHarvest
  • Symon Brewis-Weston - CEO, Sovereign Insurance

    “On Purpose provides a simple formula to transcend your organisation’s purpose into action and literally get everyone on-purpose. Karen’s methods and leadership are exemplary, as experienced over the 6 years we have worked together. She is infectious and brings real purpose to any endeavour, including now her book.”

    Symon Brewis-Weston - CEO, Sovereign Insurance
  • Janet Holmes à Court AC

    “Karen is one of the most purpose-driven people I have ever met. She operates with a strong sense of ethics and humanity. The philosophy and framework behind On Purpose is great advice for anyone who wants to transform themselves and their organisation.”

    Janet Holmes à Court AC
  • Naomi Simson - Founding Director, RedBalloon

    “On Purpose is a book which simplifies Karen’s deep understanding of how to make things happen in the business world into a framework for every person and organisation. Karen’s ability to take an idea and turn it into reality is first class – and I know that firsthand from my participation in Commonwealth Bank’s Women in Focus program. For more than a quarter of a century through a journey of ups and downs that the faint-hearted would have given in, Karen’s track record is On Purpose’s testimony. Getting to the how is as important as the why – On Purpose brings the two together in a formula I look forward to promoting.”

    Naomi Simson - Founding Director, RedBalloon
  • Wendy McCarthy AO - Educator, Mentor, Non-exec director

    “I loved this book and read it in one sitting. Karen James has written about business in a fresh and beguiling way and it is understood from the beginning that she loves both business and education as I do. On Purpose is a cleverly constructed book as we might expect from its engineer author. This book could become the new black for business. How could you not aspire to be on-purpose personally or professionally?”

    Wendy McCarthy AO - Educator, Mentor, Non-exec director
  • Bob Gaudio - Songwriter, producer, founding member of The Four Seasons, inspiration for the Jersey Boys.

    “Okay, I will admit Karen went to school with my kids, Lisa, Danielle and Shannon. Well, so what! That doesn’t mean I don’t know what an excellent book is. On Purpose is important because we all need to find the path to what matters in life. Reading is learning and learning is the path. We all need to get on one. Karen did…”

    Bob Gaudio - Songwriter, producer, founding member of The Four Seasons, inspiration for the Jersey Boys.
  • Ronni Kahn - CEO & Founder, OzHarvest

    “Today’s world needs this book – delivered with wit, humour and cut through New York style, Karen’s decade of experience in life and business is bottled up in a fable, a manifesto and a practical framework that will help get you and your organisation on-purpose. The complex made simple. I love it and look forward to joining Karen to create a movement to mobilise on-purpose leaders”.

    Ronni Kahn - CEO & Founder, OzHarvest
  • Symon Brewis-Weston - CEO, Sovereign Insurance

    “On Purpose provides a simple formula to transcend your organisation’s purpose into action and literally get everyone on-purpose. Karen’s methods and leadership are exemplary, as experienced over the 6 years we have worked together. She is infectious and brings real purpose to any endeavour, including now her book.”

    Symon Brewis-Weston - CEO, Sovereign Insurance
  • Janet Holmes à Court AC

    “Karen is one of the most purpose-driven people I have ever met. She operates with a strong sense of ethics and humanity. The philosophy and framework behind On Purpose is great advice for anyone who wants to transform themselves and their organisation.”

    Janet Holmes à Court AC
  • Naomi Simson - Founding Director, RedBalloon

    “On Purpose is a book which simplifies Karen’s deep understanding of how to make things happen in the business world into a framework for every person and organisation. Karen’s ability to take an idea and turn it into reality is first class – and I know that firsthand from my participation in Commonwealth Bank’s Women in Focus program. For more than a quarter of a century through a journey of ups and downs that the faint-hearted would have given in, Karen’s track record is On Purpose’s testimony. Getting to the how is as important as the why – On Purpose brings the two together in a formula I look forward to promoting.”

    Naomi Simson - Founding Director, RedBalloon
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Purchase the Book

Wiley
Amazon
Barnes&Noble
Dymocks
Booktopia
Bookworld
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On Purpose Hub Downloads

Click on the images to download the resource.

The PLOT Framework©

PLOTFrameworkSnapshot

Our PLOT Framework© is the tool that helps keep you and your team accountable. Regular reference to the PLOT Framework© will help keep you on purpose.

Print this PDF PLOT Framework© and share it with your teams. You can PLOT your progress on a daily or weekly basis.

 

Prezi Template

Prezi2

We know the fastest way for you to be able to embed the PLOT Framework© is to have ready made presentation templates to use in your organisation.

Click on the Prezi icon to go to the online template.

Powerpoint Template

PowerPoint

Click on the BLUEFRAME icon to download the PowerPoint presentation.

My Purpose Template

PurposeTemplate

You’ve got to have your purpose at the front of your mind at all times.

Print this PDF template, write your purpose down and put it up on your wall. Look at it every day. Make your decisions based on whether they align to your purpose. Encourage your teams to do the same.

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Connect with Karen

Get others on the purpose journey too by getting social!

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