This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
THE FUTURE VIEW: LISA BELL


A CITY ON THE UP


BRITISH EXPERTISE YOUNG CONSULTANT OF THE YEAR NOMINEE LISA BELL OF TURNER & TOWNSEND DISCUSSES LIFE IN THE U.S, ADAPTING TO DIFFERENT CITIES, AND HOW SEATTLE IS QUIETLY FULFILLING ITS POTENTIAL


First of all congratulations on your nomination for Young Consultant of the Year 2015. Can you tell us a bit about your career in the lead up to your nomination?


I currently head up Turner & Townsend’s Seattle business. I have worked for Turner & Townsend for over ten years now, and came to the U.S in 2006 to help in a project for Barclays in San Francisco. Ten on the back of that, the CFO of Barclays in San Francisco became the CFO of a Seattle based investment company and he wanted to work with me again, so I moved to Seattle in 2009. Tat initial project was very successful at a time when Turner & Townsend were still fairly new in the U.S, and since then I have gone on to contribute to four other projects in Seattle and now have my own team of four others to assist me.


What is Seattle like as a city to live and work in? It has a reputation as being somewhat understated, but it actually has many different sides to it. It’s surrounded by water as well as having hidden gems. It also has several mountains nearby so there is loads to do. Seattle is a very dynamic city and has a great deal of influence in terms of the big organisations, but it doesn’t feel the need to bring too much attention to itself. itself. It is definitely trying to think about change in an intelligent and subtle way.


Would you describe Seattle as a ‘smart city’? In terms of smart developments there is a great amount of intellect and innovation in Seattle – both Microsoft and Starbucks originally started here. I would say after Silicon Valley it is the most technical area in the country. A huge amount of investment is taking place downtown. Paul Allen, one of Microsoft’s founderst, has a company called Vulcan and they are investing massively in the city.


58 EXPERTVIEW SPRING 2015


Tere’s a whole area called South Lake Union, which five years ago was quite run down but now is a real hub of activity, with lots of green spaces as well as bars and shops. It is very much a city on the up.


How are Turner & Townsend approaching their development in the area? Turner & Townsend have their closest American office to me in San Francisco (which is over 800 miles away) so it is important not to lose a local focus. I had previously worked with Russell Investments who are very prominent in Seattle, and having a company like that on my resume meant I was taken a lot more seriously up here. Out of the four people in my team, one is English and the other three are American, because while Turner & Townsend are global in reach they understand it is important to maintain a local perspective. You have to be scalable.


What would you say is the key to being successful in numerous cities and environments as you have? I would say that the thing to remember is that each city is unique. You have to be able to reset your work style depending on your location, otherwise you will be more likely to alienate people than make friends. Te way things are done in New York is completely different to Seattle. So it’s best to be open-minded and get to know the market you are working in. Having said that, coming from the outside can actually be an advantage as it allows me to enter scenarios without preconceptions about the way I work. So while some people might say that I don’t know how things are done here, that can be beneficial as I am more likely to question strategies and enquire about why things are done the way they are.


EV www.turnerandtownsend.com expertviewmagazine.com


IMAGE: WWW.SHUTTERSTOCK.COM


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60