Based in Singapore
Michael was born and spent his early years in Malaysia. He graduated from Durham University (UK) in Chinese followed by postgraduate studies in Japanese language, politics and economics at Nanzan University, Japan (supported by a scholarship from the Rotary Foundation for International Understanding), after which he worked for Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan for four years as a motor analyst in the Overseas Planning Department.
Returning to the UK in 1988, Michael worked at the University of Bath as Director of the Foreign Languages Centre where he established and taught on the UK’s first PG Diploma in Japanese/English/Japanese Interpreting and Translation. In 2001, after two years with INSEAD in France as Regional Director, Japan and Korea, Michael returned to Asia as Director of INSEAD Executive Education in Singapore. He subsequently took on the role of Managing Director of the Center for Creative Leadership Asia Pacific and in 2009 he joined Roffey Park Institute in the UK as CEO. Moving back to Asia in July 2018, Michael joined the Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI) as CEO where he took an active role championing the research function at HCLI and developing a new model juxtaposing EI (Emotional Intelligence) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) as a catalyst for conversations about what makes for a truly great workplace. He set up his own company Expert Humans in April 2020.
The UK’s HR Magazine named Michael as one of the UK’s Most Influential Thinkers in Human Resources in 2013 and again in 2016. Michael served as a member of the IHRP Board (Institute of Human Resource Professionals) in Singapore from 2018-2020. He is also a regular contributor at conferences in Singapore and abroad where he specialises in topics such as humanising the workplace, new thinking in leadership development and sustainability. Michael contributed to the Singapore Ministry of Education’s Asian Leadership – What Works? (edited by Dave Ulrich) and is currently working on a new book – Expert Humans: Critical Leadership for a Disrupted World.