Human Capital Developer and Certified Executive Coach
Caroline Stokes is a highly experienced human capital change strategist who helps leaders adapt and grow their organizations. The CEO and founder of Vancouver, Canada-based FORWARD, Caroline is also the author of Elephants Before Unicorns: Emotionally Intelligent HR Strategies To Save Your Company (Entrepreneur Press, 2019).
Formerly a global marketeer for Sony, Virgin and Nokia, she transitioned to technology, HR and executive headhunting for major firms including Autodesk, Real Networks, Disney, Electronic Arts and Trinity Mirror.
During the 2008 economic crisis, Caroline identified a major theme – that leaders persisted in thinking that hiring the right person would solve their growth and market-relevancy problems. She identified that the true work instead needed to be done by the C-suite, and that an organizational, systems-thinking approach for product, company and team would create sustainable results. This drove Caroline to become a certified executive coach and EQi-2.0 practitioner to help organizations evolve into culture-first innovation leaders during times of change.
The book Elephants Before Unicorns draws on Caroline’s experience as a human capital entrepreneur and offers pragmatic insights on the role of emotional intelligence in the AI age in recruiting, retaining, and engaging top talent. To understand your organization’s present challenges, take the workplace EQ diagnostic that Caroline devised as part of the book.
Caroline is a regular international speaker who has addressed organizations including the World Bank, CPHR, SHRM, IEEE, Microsoft and Facebook. In New York she delivered a TEDx talk on how creating an emotionally intelligent organization can impact the organization and its product.
In 2019, Caroline was named a “Leading Global Coach” by #1 leadership thinker Marshall Goldsmith for her “New Hire? Get Onboarding Right” coaching program to expedite talent integration and alignment of organizational vision, purpose and productivity.
Caroline is often called upon to share her expertise in books and prominent publications. She contributed a chapter to Coach Me! Your Personal Board of Directors (Wiley, 2022), and has written for Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Huffington Post, Chief Executive Magazine, the Brookings Institution and Entrepreneur.com, amongst others.