Colin Carmona-Murphy, Senior Financial Analyst & Associate Consultant recently sat down with Siriphone (Siri) Maldonado, the Director of Marketing and Communications to learn more about her interests and responsibilities. Siri is focused on strengthening the Harbinger brand, and is also our lead communications specialist supporting numerous clients with executive communications and change management communications.
What does your role at Harbinger entail?
I’m currently working on strengthening Harbinger’s brand with compelling social media campaigns, content development and have also been working closely with the team to develop their own online brand presence. I’ve been homing in on the natural talents and expertise of the team – there’s so much here (not surprising since we are a team comprised of unicorns)! I also really enjoy being creative and thinking outside of the box. Being able to put on my marketing hat has enabled me to flex these creative muscles and I’m loving it.
What are the values that drive you?
Authenticity, accountability and teamwork. All have contributed to where I am today. Being authentic has allowed others to really get to know who I am and what I stand for. I also learned very early on in my career how important it is to take accountability, learn from your mistakes and to do better next time. Teamwork is also important and nothing beats a great brainstorm session. I’ve much seen success through this and would hate to miss the opportunity to leverage the skillsets, knowledge and expertise from peers.
What is your favourite part about change management?
As a communications professional, change management is an exciting stream due to the fact that there are so many variables that need to be considered including culture, types of change the business has gone through, personalities of the project team, leaders and executives, type of change etc. when developing the communications strategies. I enjoy the challenge of breaking through these barriers to get the business and its people excited and ready for the change.
Significant business transformations also tend to take several years so it’s great to be able to really dig deep and work through the different ebbs and flows for such a long period. You don’t always get to do this with many other types of communications work.
What was the best concert you ever attended?
I had the opportunity to see Prince and I was absolutelyblown away by his musicality and voice. He was so engaging and talented. He played several instruments and just sang so effortlessly. I almost forgot how many hits he had.
What is the most rewarding part about working with different clients and in consulting?
I joined Harbinger after working within an internal communications team in a multinational company for a decade and was admittedly a bit nervous to be on the other side. I’m still working on everyone else’s schedule (the joys of being a support function) but the work has continued to be challenging. What’s more is I still get to work with senior leaders which is one of the things I enjoy the most about being a communicator.
The most rewarding part about working with clients is when I see the impact of the work I am doing. I enjoy seeing a shift in how the project is perceived, being a part of key milestones and wins, and of course the increase in readership and other metrics like online engagement on Yammer.
What problems do you consistently solve for your clients?
While Harbinger supports business through all types of change, we are experts in leading companies through ERP implementations. I would say the most important task personally has been to simplify the technical language into simple, concise and easy to understand messages that can be consumed by all audiences.
What is your favourite meal?
My favourite meal is spicy papaya salad (som tum). It’s usually made with lime, green papaya, thai chilis, sugar and fish sauce. The hotter the better! I enjoy eating this with pork rinds, vermicelli or rice.
What impact do think AI will have on the consulting industry and how is Harbinger in a place to facilitate change for our clients?
AI is going to have a significant impact on all companies. Agencies like Harbinger will be more important than ever as they will be working in partnership with businesses to determine how this will be leveraged, what it will be for and how it will impact their people.
I think for many AI is frightening and is correlated to job loss. While I totally get where these concerns come from, I think it’s also important to highlight how AI will result in the creation of new roles, the ability to increase customer service and efficiencies within the business. I think we also cannot forget that the world is moving in this direction and it’s more harmful than not to investigate how AI can be used to be successful for the long-term.
The Harbinger team is always focused on learning and we make sure that we are on top of trends including AI. We are also experienced in managing change for significant business transformation and are also navigating AI ourselves. It’s important that to note that everyone experiences change, even us!
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
With my last employer one of my responsibilities included managing external communications including media relations and reputational management. Working in partnership with a public relations agency, we came up with an idea to launch a national media relations campaign focused on road safety. The campaign resulted in coverage across almost all of the top-tier media outlets in the city and recently won an IABC Gold Quill Award, as well as, an ACE Award. I am incredibly proud of this campaign and invite you to check it out here.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Reality TV is my guilty pleasure. I can’t seem to take my eyes off of what’s unfolding in front of me! My favourites include The Bachelor series, 90 Day Fiancé and Big Brother. If you’re a reality television fan like me, let’s connect!
Siri Maldonado Director of Marketing & Communications Toronto
Colin Carmona-Murphy Sr. Financial Analyst / Consultant Toronto