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NSB Logo Chitra Anand Chitra Anand

Chitra Anand

Speaker Exclusive

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Intrapreneurship Expert, Former Head of PR & Communications at Microsoft Canada

Chitra Anand is at the forefront of an important new movement in the workplace: intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurs are the people within your organization who possess an entrepreneurial spirit — driving innovation, creative thinking, and new ideas. The former head of PR for Microsoft Canada, Anand has been an intrapreneur for her entire career. Her engaging talks reveal how to foster that spirit, and how to stay on the cutting edge of market trends, technology, and consumer behaviour.

Keynote Speeches

Virtual Keynotes & Webinars
Contact us for more information about this speaker & their virtual presentations. Click here for some of the most popular formats for virtual events.
Intrapreneurship & Innovation | Developing a New Environment

With marketplaces being disrupted at a rate like never before, companies need to re-think how they operate. To succeed, modern businesses need to foster the creativity of their team by providing an environment that promotes constant innovation. In this talk, Chitra explores how Intrapreneurship can be used as a gateway for organizations to achieve sustainable innovation. She will show audiences how to harnesses the entrepreneurial drive within an existing organization to foster new ideas, creative thinking which will provide companies the problem-solving mindset to succeed in an ever-changing world.

With over 20 years spent in the technology sector working for some industry-leading organizations including Open Text, TELUS, and Microsoft, Chitra has led disruptive projects and initiatives which have created new ways for organizations to operate and think about the way in which they do business. Her book The Greenhouse Approach (a mandatory read for the Forbes School of Business MBA Program) shows organizations how to reimagine current norms and structures and develop a culture of innovation.

Learning objectives:

  1. How leaders can practice intrapreneurship within their organizations, identify the true agents of change, and mobilize these agents to act.
  2. Practical ways to apply Greenhouse principles that will drive intentional innovation within your organization.
  3. Develop methods to best support the intrapreneurs that live inside your organization.
Greenhouse Thinking | An Art of Creating New Possibilities

Greenhouse Thinking is about challenging the ideas that have created the world we live in, by exploring the realm of possibility in developing alternatives. Chitra’s research has shown how many of the problems we face are systemic. She believes that the changes we need to make to solve these problems are actually quite simple and pragmatic.

While we know that innovation is the key to value creation, many organizations get stuck in the process of actually getting there. They become complacent, which increases the risk of becoming irrelevant. The Greenhouse mindset shift that Chitra shares in this presentation will help audiences

Learning Objectives:
• A framework for healthy dissent and debate that can help boost true innovation amongst team members.
• How to leverage the power of first principles thinking in order to uncover fundamental truths that will set you on the path of innovative thinking.
• How leaders can apply the guiding principles of Greenhouse Thinking within their organization to drive a new paradigm of thinking
• Methods for unlearning learned behaviours, why and how we can challenge our current thinking

Creative Thinking | A Skill for the New World of Work

In the new world of work, creativity is one of the most coveted skills. It’s no longer seen as something exclusive to artists, musicians or designers, but rather, an essential skill for the modern workforce at large. Those who thrive are able to use creative thinking to look at things differently and bringing new ideas to the forefront.

Intrapreneurship is built on creative thinking. Having spent over 10 years researching Intrapreneurship through doctoral research, Chitra has gained new insights on the application and impact of creative thinking within the most successful organizations.

She’s also lived a life of creative thinking in the corporate world, having guided projects in her senior roles at Microsoft and TELUS to award-winning success, having won such awards as the IABC Gold Quill Award, Canadian Public Relations Society Awards of Excellence, CMA Awards of Excellence, the Corporate IT Hero award by the Information Technology Association of Canada and the Business for the Arts Awards.

In this presentation, Chitra combines the research with hands-on experience to equip audiences with the insights needed to reach new levels of success.

Learning Outcomes:
• The framework to create a culture instilled with imaginative thinking.
• Developing a lens where risk and failure are seen as a platform for learning and new ways of doing things.
• How to flex your creative muscle by framing and reframing concepts and ideas.

Women in Leadership

While the world is evolving, women are still lagging behind when it comes to leadership roles in corporations. Today only 26% of women are in CEO roles at Fortune 500 companies. Chitra believes that the “women in leadership problem” is not a male or female problem, but rather a human problem. This problem comes about due to biases we bring as a result of the language, culture and learned behaviors. Chitra believes it can be solved by applying a new lens to the way we look at these environments. 

While many would say that it is a difficult time for women in leadership, Chitra would argue that there is no better time to be a woman. By taking a pro-active approach to shaping your environment, possibility and opportunity will follow.  In this presentation, she shares insights from her time spent in corporate environments. Chitra provides audiences with foundational tools and strategies that can be applied to navigate complex environments. 

Learning Outcomes:
• Tactics to help develop your own narrative, and practice your principles.
• A lens to lead your interactions with a problem-solving mindset.
• How to have an authentic conversation based on facts in order to drive the right outcomes.

Platform Plus Presentations

Unique formats and ways to connect with audiences.
Workshop | The Greenhouse Approach
This workshop can be an extension of the talk or on its own; this is applied learning. During this workshop, we will explore the core ideas and mindset shift that need to take place to start to build your greenhouse. This is the practical application covering how to: Identify the core ideas that need to be in place and actively start to shift our mindset Become an organization supportive of curiosity Understand the benefits of First Principles Thinking and learn how to we apply it Look at the dangers of consensus thinking and re-direct team members to feel confident about expressing their ideas…even if it is against the masses. ------------------------ Are you an Intrapreneur? Do you have intrapreneurs within your organization? Do you know how to identify this incredible talent and how to best support them? We will explore the behaviours and attributes of this incredibly powerful and talented group of people. You will either self-identify and/or better understand how you and the organization can best support them. All of this will be guided through a set of activities and exercises that will help you become more intrapreneurial in spirit.

Audience reviews:

  • She completely enthralled the audience with her enthusiasm, her confidence, her unique presenting style including a musical backbeat, her humour, and her engagement. Chitra’s message of intrapreneurship truly resonated with the room as they learned how to encourage and get the most out of their colleagues and themselves. Our challenge as organizers is to find presenters who can appeal to a wide variety of attendees and Chitra certainly filled the bill, giving everyone some food for thought to take back with them to their communities and organizations.

    - Marketing & Communications, Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce
  • We loved your energy, ability to inspire and motivate the crowd while setting the tone for the second day of the summit, and found your topics engaging and insightful. There were so many nuggets of knowledge to be taken away from your speech and I am certain that each attendee walked away with something.

    - 2019 Innovation Summit Chairs, Cenovus Energy
  • The positive reaction was overwhelming. Chitra’s experience and research were presented in the best possible way to open our eyes on what it will take in the coming years to be successful both as an organization and as an individual. An absolute must-see presentation! - CEO, MTY Group
  • Her passion to see businesses rise to the top, shines through in her presentation, with her knowledge and wisdom leaving you with an impacting message that will encourage you to look for ways to embrace change and strive for success.

    - Association of Alberta Registry Agents
  • Chitra is a dynamic and passionate speaker who helped us think about our industry in a different kind of way. After her talk, she conducted a workshop where we had an opportunity to apply some of the key insights from the morning; it was very engaging and very useful.

    - Random House of Canada
  • Chitra Anand was a dynamic and impactful keynote speaker. The combination of her expertise in intrapreneurship, her enthusiasm, and her engaging presentation was a perfect finale for our audience.

    - Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
  • Intrapreneurship was a topic that had only been briefly introduced to us before the conference. Chitra is very passionate about her work on this topic. She has a unique but realistic insight into the term of Intrapreneurship that is really refreshing….If you have an opportunity to learn from Chitra I highly recommend it. I would take the opportunity again. She is inspiring, motivational and sincere in all she does.

    - GPRC Business Admin Management Student

Speaker Biography

Chitra Anand is an award-winning communications & marketing executive. With over 20 years in the technology industry she has spent time as the head of Communications for Microsoft Canada, Director of Marketing at TELUS Corporation and Director of Operations at Open Text. 

Projects she guided at Microsoft and TELUS have been awarded IABC Gold Quill Awards, Canadian Public Relations Society Awards of Excellence, the Corporate IT Hero award by the Information Technology Association of Canada and the Business for the Arts Awards.

Anand is a doctoral researcher, innovation & culture change key note speaker, professor, author and advisor to high growth companies. She is currently on the Advisory Council for the MBA program at the Forbes School of Business & Technology, collectively providing support and counsel to help shape the future of learning.

She has keynoted several events, AGM’s and conferences where her talks reveal how to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship within organizations, how to stay on the cutting edge of market trends, technology, and consumer behaviour. Her writing has been featured in the Globe and Mail and the Huffington Post and teaches several courses at Humber and Sheridan College.  In 2018, Chitra published her book; The Greenhouse Approach, How to Cultivate Deliberate Innovation in Organizations.

Chitra Anand has been named as a “bridge builder” for women in tech by the A-list; a yearly publication that features 50 prominent Indo-Canadians who through various career and community efforts have helped foster relations between Canada and India.

Anand has an MBA from The Kellogg School of Management and is currently pursuing her PhD at Bradford University in the UK.