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Organizational efficiency specialist with expertise and insight gained during over 15 years of work and study in multicultural environments in Japan.

Anna is originally from Edinburgh in Scotland and her interest in Japan first started at the age of seventeen when she had the opportunity to work as a volunteer care staff assistant in two Cheshire Homes for the handicapped in the Kansai region of Japan.

She was originally fascinated by the relationship between language and cultural assumptions, which lead her to take a combined undergraduate degree in Japanese & Linguistics followed by a Masters Degree in Linguistics. To satisfy her curiosity in the strange use of English in Japan, her Master’s dissertation addressed the non-linguistic use of English in Japanese advertising.  She then took on marketing and project management roles for Tokyo-based offices of British companies.

After several years of working in various multicultural teams Anna realised that her real passion lay in the area of organizational development and team dynamics.  Having had the opportunity to observe first-hand the different ways in which business success is dependent on human interaction, and how easily projects can go off the rails on the basis of initial small misunderstandings, she decided to pursue a path that would enable her help to address communication challenges within multicultural diverse teams.

In order to develop her knowledge in this area, Anna decided to take a further Master’s Degree in Organizational Management & Development (OMD) together with a graduate-level Certificate in Evidence Based Coaching at Fielding Graduate University.

Anna has continued to pursue her passion in organization development through work on two research projects: one at Tokyo University’s International Center, designing and delivering career planning courses to help non-Japanese students looking to work in Japan, and another project based on helping Japanese organizations create team cultures that support learning, and hence, create an environment where non-Japanese employees or new employees are better able to contribute to the success of the business.

Having been a recipient of the Japanese Government Ministry of Education scholarship and benefiting from the kindness of many people in Japan who have helped her in achieving personal and career goals, Anna is passionate about giving back to Japan.  In this capacity, she has also served as a volunteer adviser to the not-for-profit organizations of the United Sports Foundation and Lattitude Global Volunteering.

In 2015 Anna joined Google as Learning & Development Business Partner for Japan & Korea covering both sales and engineering organizations. Prior to joining Google Anna held position of Vice President of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan and continues to pursue a strong interest in furthering exchange between Japan, Britain and other countries.

At Google Anna  also brought her organizational development expertise to leaders and leadership teams across Asia as an APAC Organizational Development Practitioner and internal Executive Coach. From 2018 through to 2021, in addition to organizational development,  Anna provided strategic HR advice in the areas of talent management, succession planning, performance management and other core HR processes in her capacity as an APAC People Partner (Strategic HR Business Partner).

In eary 2021, Anna joined Microsoft as their Head of Talent Development for the Japan Region in order to spend more time in the area of her core passions of leadership and organizational development. In this role is also responsible for succession planning in Japan in close collaboration and partnership with global CoEs and  Talent Development community.

Click here to find out more information about Anna’s expertise and research interests.

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