Corporate Communications Strategist
Managing Partner, IPPA Communications
PhD. Sustainability Communications (Spain, Blanquerna, University Ramon Llul, ongoing)
M.A. Counseling Psychology (Canada, Yorkville University)
Certificate; Applied Positive Psychology (U.S.A.,University of Pennsylvania)
Certificate; Marketing & E-commerce (U.S.A., University of California, Santa Barbara)
Certificate; Visual Communications Design (U.S.A., University of California, Santa Barbara)
B.A. Management (Turkey, Uludag University, Thesis on Japanese Management Systems)
Diploma, Mathematics (Kadikoy Anadolu College)
“My job is to develop communication strategies that connect the dots around the rapidly changing relationships businesses have with governments, the environment and civil society.”
Benim işim kurumlar, çalışanlar ve toplum arasındaki bağın nasıl olması gerektiğine dair iletişim temelli çalışmalar yapmak.
I study the large, long-term macro forces that are reshaping our world and driving the changes in human behavior, and their practical applications to improving lives.
My passion led me to develop a management and communications model based on “Quality of Life” and my work is used to guide the development of brand and communication strategies, and corporate social responsibility programs. I am the recipient of numerous awards for my unorthodox initiatives, both locally and internationally, and have been featured in various media outlets including CNN Turk, Bloomberg, EkoTurk, 360 TV and TRT News.
This is what makes me want to wake up in the morning:
My life is devoted to understanding how people and businesses can improve the “quality of their lives” and offering the tools to do so. I use cutting edge science to help people function optimally in life and business.
What is your reason for waking up in the morning?
I’ve lived and worked in Norway, Singapore, California, USA, and Turkey. I worked in Marketing, Market Research, Brand Management, Corporate Communications and Sustainability areas.
Who am I as a professional?
In practice, I am a management & communications strategist. It means I am particularly skilled at developing strategies to change corporate cultures, raise reputation scores, prepare organizations for the digital world and design communications programs that align with the corporate strategy.
I am and always have been an entrepreneurial executive.
It means routine is not my forte.
Companies have always asked me to take personality tests before they offered me a job. When I started at these companies, I realized none of my personality traits were of interest to them. Simply because companies don’t understand what to do with the results once they have them.
It’s interesting to me that no company asks candidates this simple question: “how can we help you achieve your dreams”. No one seems to care. Isn’t it ironic that in a world where all companies want engaged and happy employees no company cares what you care about?
The entire business world is now at awe with a recently published data stating that “most kids in Turkey don’t have any dreams”. I wonder why they are so surprised. The business world does very little for those who have a dream. Just look at the state of affairs.
Majority of my impact-making work got done during times where I ended up taking risks and did work that no one was in favor of. That meant, occasionally I would go against the current and systems to bring about change. Looking back they were all fun, exciting, highly stressful, sleepless and most rewarding times.
What I learned working globally?
I worked in 3 continents and visited over 50 countries.
I learned that human needs are the same:
- We all want to love and be loved:) As cheesy as it may sound, it is true as black & white.
- Everyone wants and needs recognition.
- Sincerity is highly valued but under appreciated.
- People with high moral standards do better in life.
While leading corporate communications and sustainability departments for Fortune 500 companies, I learned that contrary to popular belief, the biggest barrier to change is due to C-level mismanagement and their career anxiety –and rarely due to mid-managers’ resistance to change. Most C-level executives have been so resistant to change that a big majority failed to prepare their companies for the digital world. Wouldn’t you agree?
While successfully leading culture change & digital transformation initiatives for companies going through M&A– I witnessed hundreds of people with 15 or 20+ year tenures -in one single company-, getting laid off for being loyal employees. They were labeled as “resistant to change”. Given the fact that majority of companies have “digital transformation” as an agenda item as oppose to having transformation as a part of their DNA, one wonders what those CEOs have been doing for so long. When business leaders have the guts to accept their role in the process, real change is bound to surface. Then I believe, we can all have a thriving work life.
Using my background in management, psychology, marketing and communication design, and my curious personality as a force of nature, I developed Quality of Life based sustainability and corporate branding strategies, and executed initiatives globally, to foster thriving communities, social brands and workplaces. I am proud of my work. And I continue to foster quality of life based management practices for businesses so they can gain their license to grow.
Entrepreneurship & Intrapreneurship
In 2013, I published my first book on the psychology of entrepreneurial behavior. Thanks to my publisher Optimist for supporting me in my endeavor.
In this book, I define entrepreneurship as a mindset and certain set of attitudes. Highly talented entrepreneurs exhibit behaviors that are markedly different from those of their peers. Learn how to ignite the entrepreneur within to bring about creativity in your work.
To purchase Beyaz Yakalı Girişimci
Beyaz Yakalı Girişimci on Amazon.com
To listen to the book Seslenen Kitap
(Me taking a picture in Johannesburg, South Africa. This place is called Top of Africa)
My pet peeves…
Team work is overvalued and least understood. And individualism is undervalued. Let’s remember: Creativity is an individual sport. Implementation (innovation) is team work. The Nation’s (Turkey) current “trust level” fluctuate between 4-10%. Can you expect much team work in organizations when -few people in a nation- seem to trust one another?
People are smart. At least most of the time! Employees aren’t kids. In this age, superficial leadership backfires. Big time. If leaders want to have companies with a purpose, then they themselves should have a purpose bigger than themselves. So now, ask yourselves. Have you got a purpose in life?
Talent pools are for masses. But they are fun projects that take you to the strangest places and help you meet with interesting people. I have been a part of talent pools, also known as HiPo. One time, we got leadership training at the House of the Nuns just outside of Munich. We also stayed there for a week with the nuns. I totally loved the experience.
Meritocracy is a funny term. I think if any corporation spits the word meritocracy, suggest them to watch Alain de Botton’s talk on the subject. And top it up with this article by Daniel Markovitz, Professor at Yale Law School and the author of The Meritocracy Trap
Success depends on a ton of factors, and luck is one of them! Here is a nice piece written for the Scientific American for you to ponder on.
(Paris, my love)
A bit personal…
— I love swimming! I love being in or next to the water…it is like my life blood.
(Me at the Eurasia Corporate Games. 2nd place. A professional swimmer received 1st place 🙂
— I was trained to be a ballerina since I was three and a half, and won a scholarship from the British ballet company to study at the Royal Ballet in the UK.
(Barcelona, Bale street style. Photo taken by my dad)
— I play the piano, not so well any more, but I have a fairly good ear for music.
— I used to do technical drawings in black and white, and had a home studio for glass painting.
(Me in Budapest, Hungary. Photo taken by my brother. After a long day of gallery hopping, we got hit by a heavy wind storm.)
— My dad is a great swimmer and a water skier. He still swims every day on summer days. My mom is great in ceramic art, drawing and writing poems.
(My dad, 60’s in the USA, New York)
(My mom’s 1st book is called Günışığı, meaning Daylight. Her 2nd book is called Özlem, meaning Longing. Third “Kadıköy”, about the neighbourhood she lives in. Fourth is called “The End of March is Spring”. Fifth, “Tree of Life”.)
—My brother Ali thought me a lot about marketing– better than any school or company.
(My brother & I enjoy taking trips abroad to explore life, cultures, art and music. Shot of my brother taken by me in Paris)
Awards I Received That Have A Meaning For Me
—Advertising ADDY Awards from Ventura County, California; USA
—Business Journal’s Young Entrepreneur Award, also known as the “40 Under 40”, California
—Best User Experience Design and Content Management Award from Berlin we.connect, Germany
—Golden Compass Award for the Most Creative Social Media Campaign from Turkish Public Relations Association. Turkey
—Golden Compass Award for Social Media Ambassadors Program, Corporate Communications Project, from Turkish Public Relations Association. Turkey
My close friends as well as international friends call me “Fati”– Amor Fati.
For Nietzsche, Amor Fati means, loving of one’s life: To love and embrace all of life, exactly how it is, with all the good and the bad, the success and the failure, the satisfaction and the pain.
“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not only to endure what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is falseness in the face of what is necessary—but to love it.” Friedrich Nietzsche