Personal file: Lisa Christy
Family: I’ve had five kids, but lost a little boy to cancer a couple of years ago.
Favourite sports: I really love golf but it’s a challenge to play with four children and a job that takes up the rest of my time. My husband and I plan to play golf together when we retire. And it’s not my favourite sport but through family/peer group pressure I have to be interested in rugby – I have a husband and a son who play and support rugby.
Favourite movie or tv: I really like lifestyle programs – things like Grand Designs.
Best advice ever received: It wasn’t overt advice but the best thing that happened was that in my family were raised to make our own way in life from a very early age. That upbringing has made me quite independent and appreciative of everything I have.
Self-described: I’m quite creative, very persistent, focused, driven, an eternal optimist – where there’s a will there’s a way – and I’ll always find a solution. I’m also quite supportive and always willing to listen.
Hobbies: I do some renovating, gardening, landscaping. I designed our own frontyard!
First job and/or worst job: First job was in a country town in a fish’n’chips shop. I walked in and asked for the job because I wanted to earn some money to buy myself a set of golf clubs. I saved up $600 and bought myself a really nice set of clubs.
If not in HR: Probably doing something like property development or landscaping or something that involves creativity. Having a vision and brining that vision to life.
In her own words...
What achievement are you most proud of in your career?
“At Microsoft I worked with a couple of executives whose teams had very low engagement levels. After a period of 12 months working with those two leaders we had the highest results in the next survey, increases between nine and 14 points. We implemented simple initiatives – I never over-engineer things – but it was around doing all the right things for employees. We had some new people move into leadership roles and we agreed we’d role model the right behaviours. We rolled out career development sessions, and we made some changes to the physical work environment so people could work more collaboratively together. We put in forums for communication and also built up the recognition program. The two leaders were actually asked to present on how they did it because it was such a shift and we were all so thrilled with the end result."