Angela is not only expert in operationalizing workplace culture, she’s incredibly kind too. When she and her partner came to Santa Barbara for her IRL Immersion, we shared laughs and great conversation over dinner. Moreso than Angela’s deep knowledge of and passion for what she does, I was struck by the warmth and realness of her and her husband. We are so excited for you to know Angela, the human behind such impactful work.
Who you are and what do you do?
Hey, I’m Angela and I run a culture change consulting firm called Angela R. Howard Consulting. We help companies hack the intersection of business impact and employee personal interest. We believe that when you take care of your people as humans first and employees next, they take care of your customers, stakeholders, and outcomes.
Through impactful micro progressions, and a data-backed, psychologically informed approach, my company helps diagnose symptoms of harmful culture, be objective in the face of hard truths, and facilitate meaningful change in your organization through operationalizing culture-building.
How do you define leadership?
Leadership is a mentality and a responsibility to positively impact other people.
What’s one (yes, just one) thing you’re really good at?
I’m really good at connecting the dots and recognizing when seemingly disparate elements need to come together. This has made me really effective at creating community and harnessing diversity to get better results.
Tell us about a time when you realized this is what you were meant to do.
The pandemic was a time of reevaluation for me. I’ve been building my business and dreaming about quitting my full time job for 5+ years. I’ve been taking the “slow and steady” approach, but when the pandemic hit I thought “if not now, when?!” When I started my podcast – Humanly Possible: Future of Work Conversations, I met so many phenomenal people contributing to the movement of changing the world of work. I felt like I was with my people, and that authenticity, that flow of passion felt so natural. Growing up in the world of Corporate America and traditional workplace paradigms, I finally felt like I was home.
So, in April of 2022, I left my full time job as an executive Chief People Officer and officially hung out my own shingle. Leaving a comfortable multiple six figure salary + bonus to build a business was one of the scariest things I’ve had to do, but I’m SO glad I did.
What’s one personal value you hold true in your business?
Sustainability – always. My goal is to work myself out of a job and create sustainable solutions for my clients that can stand the test of time.
What do you do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working, I’m listening to true crime podcasts, making dinner with my husband, tending to my house plants or traveling for a change in scenery. Traveling and experiencing culture (outside of workplace culture) is one of my favorite things to do! I’m also obsessed with catching a vibe from music and dancing – from afrobeats to 90s RnB to salsa, bachata and merengue, my retirement plan is to become a professional dancer and open up my own flower shop :).
What’s in your 10-year vision?
Through my Culture Blueprint Community Cohort, my 10 year vision is to position Angela R. Howard Consulting into a powerhouse brand known for having the formula for culture change. My goal is to guide 10,000 Culture Champions through sustainable transformation and culture change at their organizations.
Who is one person who has shown you what’s possible in your life or business? What was the “see to believe” lesson they taught you? (This can be someone you know, someone you don’t know, or even a fictional character!)
One person who has been pivotal to helping me understand my potential and redefine traditional definitions of leadership is a current mentor and sponsor of mine – Kim Sullivan. We met when I was heading up the Talent Management Delivery team at Walgreens (7+ years ago), and she’s been a sponsor for me ever since. She was the reason I left Chicago for 2 years to move to Seattle and lead my first big culture transformation. She taught me that leadership is opening doors for other people before they feel like they are ready. That paving the way for yourself creates a road big enough for many many people to be successful with you. I’m forever grateful for the impact she’s made on my confidence and career!
What’s one moment in your life that, looking back on, made you realize you would own your own business?
Before I had the idea to start my own consulting business, I was doing career coaching and small projects on the side. I worked with an organization to provide career coaching for women, and I began to notice that many of the women who were reaching out to me were women of color. I’d spend time working through their career challenges, but many of the discussions turned into frustration around the system of work and how it was constantly creating barriers. These barriers were not just around a shitty boss or about how the benefits sucked – they were real systemic and systematic issues that caused my coachees harm – physically, mentally, financially and spiritually. Around this time, I was also getting my Masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology – where we’re trained to understand organizations on a systematic level. This was my aha moment. This is when I realized that I was spending time on the reactionary side of toxic cultures (coaching women who were already steeped in unhealthy workplaces) and that I had the opportunity to change the system and make a difference.
What are three things you always have on you (beside phone, wallet, keys)?
- A tiny notebook for inspiration
- Hand sanitizer – but who doesn’t these days?!
- A pair of Ray Ban sunglasses
This Leaders We Love segment features Angela Howard.
Angela R. Howard is an organizational psychologist, culture strategist and social entrepreneur working to build human-centric workplaces, better leaders and thriving communities along-side growth minded leaders. Her mission is to create more human-centric workplaces that send happier and more fulfilled humans home to further enrich their communities and society. She does this by serving as a trusted thought leader advisor to owners, founders and CEOs interested in shaping and “actualizing” their organizational cultures for the collective good of their organizations, employees and the communities they serve.
You can follow Angela on Instagram @angelarhowardconsulting.