CEO and Co-Founder, Expert Humans
Michael was born and spent his early years in Malaysia, with his teenage years spent in Uganda, East Africa. He graduated from Durham University (UK) in Chinese Studies followed by postgraduate studies in Japanese language, politics and economics at Nanzan University, Japan after which he worked for Toyota Motor Corporation 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 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 Singapore, Michael joined the Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI) as CEO in July 2018 before moving to set up a new 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. He recently joined the UK-based FutureWork Forum (which explores the working world of tomorrow) as a Partner. Michael is a regular contributor and moderator at conferences in Singapore and abroad where he specialises in topics such as humanising the workplace, new thinking in leadership development, the Future of Work and sustainability. He most recently co-designed and hosted the People Behind People Forum in Singapore, an event for HR practitioners held by the Institute for Human Resource Professionals in collaboration with the Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI) and the Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI). Michael also teaches Managing Human Capital on the National University of Singapore’s EMBA program.
His book Expert Humans – Critical Leadership Skills for a Disrupted World has just been published by Emerald Publishing Group (March 2021). Michael is also a Rotary Foundation Scholar for International Understanding and a Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.