Dr. Chitra Anand

Former Head of Communications at Microsoft Canada and Intrepreneurialism Expert

Chitra Anand
  • Doctoral researcher, innovation and culture change keynote speaker, professor, author, and adviser to high-growth companies
  • Keynote speeches draw on more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry
  • Encourages companies of all sizes to embrace creative thinking and new ideas, and rethink how to operate from within to maintain relevance

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Dr. Chitra Anand is an award-winning communications & marketing executive. With over 20 years in the technology industry, she has spent time as the Chief Brand and Communications Officer 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.

Currently, Dr. Anand is a Managing Director with Clariti Strategic Advisors™, a boutique Investment Bank. Her focus is on advisory mandates which have relevance in the environmental, social, governance (ESG) and social impact arenas, with particular emphasis on the technology and healthcare verticals.

Dr. 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.

She has keynoted several events, AGMs, and conferences where her talks reveal how to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship within organizations, as well as how to stay on the cutting edge of market trends, technology, and consumer behavior. Her writing has been featured in The Globe and Mail and HuffPost, and she teaches several courses at Humber and Sheridan College. Dr. Anand is the author of the book The Greenhouse Approach: How to Cultivate Deliberate Innovation in Organizations, which is available on Amazon. This book is now a main source of reading for the Forbes School of Business MBA program.

In 2022, Dr. Anand was named a “Changemaker” by The Globe and Mail, Canada’s leading national newspaper, highlighting 50 prominent leaders who are bold and innovative, based on their ideas, accomplishments, and impact. 

Dr. 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.

Dr. Anand earned her MBA from The Kellogg School of Management and completed her Doctorate at Bradford University in the UK. 

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Speaker Video

Dr. Chitra Anand: The Trust Trifecta

Chitra Anand on Intrapreneurship

Chitra Anand: Ideation and Flexibility

The Trust Trifecta: Humanity. Reciprocity. Trust. Over the past several decades, we have become a more untrustworthy society. This has been an upward trend, however 2020 has accelerated this with a set of implications that has exposed a set of flaws. This includes flaws in institutions, businesses, governments, and media.  It has left many of us in an existential crisis. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, we are in a “cycle of distrust.” This is a result of an epidemic of misinformation which has led to a wider spread of mistrust amongst societal institutions and leaders around the world. Distrust is now a default emotion. 

Businesses have an opportunity to step up and intervene in a new kind of leadership, where trust is at the core. The fact of the matter is business partners who trust each other spend less time and energy focused on self-preservation. When trust is present both sides achieve better economic outcomes. Dr. Anand has hypothesized and tested a trust trifecta: HUMANITY. RECIPROCITY. PRACTICE. During this session — which provides an immersive intersection of music and content — she will share insights into the impact of the intersection of these notions that, when met in this specific order, we can all benefit from the outcomes.

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. Dr. Anand’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 Dr. Anand shares in this presentation will offer audiences the following 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

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. Dr. Anand 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 language, culture, and learned behaviors. Dr. Anand 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, Dr. Anand would argue that there is no better time to be a woman. By taking a proactive approach to shaping your environment, possibility and opportunity will follow. In this presentation, she shares insights from her time spent in corporate environments. Dr. Anand 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

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