Faces of #OKGNtech
Accelerate Okanagan - Feb 16, 2023 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

A strong community can promote new ideas and ensure accountability. It can also act as motivation, support and even provide a little friendly competition. The power of community is undeniable, and the Okanagan tech community is no exception.

Our community is strong and growing with record speed, and maintaining connections through a period of growth like this can be a challenge. Nobody panic. We’ve got a plan.

This is “The Faces of #OKGNtech,” a showcase of Okanagan tech entrepreneurs, partners, supporters and cheerleaders designed to fuel more connection, more growth and more excitement. Follow along on the blog and on Instagram at @OKGNtech to learn more about our growing community and what makes them awesome.

Meet Crystal Henrickson, the principal leadership coach and people operations advisor at Talent Collective. When she’s not developing the leaders of tomorrow, you can find her tending to her vegetable garden and greenhouse in the South Okanagan or making a mess in the kitchen while cooking something delicious.

Why did you choose the Okanagan to call home? 

Growing up, Penticton was my family’s vacation destination. Every childhood beach memory involves the Okanagan. As I got older and acquired a taste for wine, weekend getaways were spent on the Naramata Bench. Penticton might have stayed a vacation destination, but my husband and I realized that our personal interests, like gardening and homesteading, didn’t match our Vancouver condo life. So we decided to move to Penticton to pursue our interests, and we got a built-in vacation in the process. 

Where do you work in the Okanagan? 

I am the principal leadership coach and people operations advisor at Talent Collective, a company I co-founded in 2015 with my business partner, Annika Reinhardt. Talent Collective is a people operations company that focuses on leadership coaching, performance and career development practices, and compensation strategy for fast growth companies. In my role, I coach leaders at all levels and small leadership teams to accelerate their leadership effectiveness in their pursuit of building and maintaining healthy workplaces. 

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

I love working one-on-one with clients, especially new managers as they grow in their own careers as leaders. Walking alongside them as they move from challenges and struggles to adopting healthy and genuine approaches to their leadership style never ceases to leave me awe-struck. 

What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours? 

If you feel pressured—internally or externally—know that you don’t have to go “all in” like quitting your job without a sense of security or scaling a business to meet someone else’s vision, it’s important to remember small and sustainable can be beautiful. When building a business, test and iterate everything, from your coaching style to the clients you want to work with and the operating model you want to have. 

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by people who are doing the deep, uncomfortable and often overlooked inner work that is necessary to become an effective, long-term, authentic, people-first leader who leads with purpose and develops healthy relationships with others, personally and professionally. These leaders rarely get the recognition they deserve.

What is the best piece of advice you can share?

The best advice I have received and shared are one and the same—the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. If you are overly unkind, harsh, and judgemental of yourself, over time that will dominate the relationship. Instead, if you can learn to treat yourself kindly, empathetically and objectively, you’ll give yourself the gift of the best kind of friend you could possibly have. 

What is one word that describes you and why?

Bespoke. It was the first value that we wrote down when we were forming Talent Collective, and it resonates even more deeply for me now than it did then. Every relationship I engage with is as nuanced as each individual. There is a time and a place for templates and cookie cutters, but not when it comes to people.

Is there something you want to be remembered for? 

I’d like to be remembered as someone who lived an intentional and purposeful life. I hope that a part of that purpose will be seen as helping people uncover and unpack meaning within themselves that might lead to a meaningful shift for them.

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