With employees and teams around the world, Planview is a global powerhouse. Each employee brings their unique background to their role to build something great together, no matter where they are located. This month, we’re highlighting Chriztine Kirk, our energetic and team-focused Director of Solution Consulting APAC, based in Singapore.
Explain your role at Planview and a few of your responsibilities. What is Solutions Consulting?
Solutions Consulting is a pre-sales role. During the sales cycle, we partner with account executives to identify how Planview solution matches the prospect’s need and demonstrate the capabilities and use cases. This is one of the key steps to closing a deal and ensuring we’re providing our customers with the best solution for their specific needs.
I’ve worked at our Singapore headquarters since 2022. Even though I am a Singaporean, I was away for 23 years. I am very excited to be part of a team to start a new region and know that I will acquire a lot of new knowledge in the process. The APAC Solution Consulting team has three members – Mohamed Zahran based in Sydney and Mansi Pare based in Bengaluru. Together, we support the account team and partners in Australia, New Zealand, SEA and India.
Tell us about your career journey to date.
I’m coming up on 16 years with Planview. It is my second job in the United States. In 2007, my dad passed away. As I was flying back to the U.S. from Singapore after his funeral, I unexpectedly received a call that I would be a good fit for Planview. The timing gives Planview a special place in my heart, almost as if my dad was sending me this job.
I started in Customer Care and learned the products from the ground up. The next role was in Enablement (training) Services. I started as a trainer and then was promoted to manage the Global Enablement Team, designing the training courses, coordinating and identifying training needs. After that, I joined the Professional Services department as a manager of the Solution Architect team. Before moving to the Solution Consulting unit, I was managing the Global Professional Services Operations.
In my time with Planview, I have been moving from the back of the house towards the front of the house slowly. Each role provided me new challenges and opportunities to learn.
Are there specific experiences in your life that you feel contributed to your professional success?
I’ve always had a desire to learn new things. When I cross over to a new business unit, it’s a new world. I have to learn something different. In my current role, I’ve had to learn skills I didn’t need before. Because I’m always curious, I always want to learn. It doesn’t matter what it is, I’ll read and watch videos about it, which helps my professional success. With enough research, we get better at a topic, regardless of what it is.
I’m also creative. I firmly believe that to be better, you have to change. Change isn’t easy, but if you don’t change, there’s no hope of doing things better.
My personal motto is “I hate regrets more than I fear failure.” For the movie fans out there, this may sound a little familiar with the quote in Money Ball, “I hate losing more than I love winning.” Which of these quotes do you resonate with more?
What is the best career advice you have received?
I was part of the pilot mentorship program with Ceresa via the Women at Planview ERG. I learned from my mentor to eliminate the word “should” from my vocabulary. Either you want to do something, or you don’t – why waste your energy on things that you are not planning to do? As a result of that advice, I mustered the courage and reached out to Ben Hood for an opportunity to be a solution consultant. It is one of my best decisions at Planview. I love working with Ben and the team.
What motivates you while working?
I love it when a team tries something new, and it works, no matter how small the success. The path to get there can be interesting. You must establish trust, learn to communicate freely, and be comfortable disagreeing without hurting feelings. This is my current perrsonal growth area. It’s exciting when a new idea gets validated and it works. Even if the idea did not yield expected results, the collaboration of the team will build the foundation for future successes to come.
I’m also motivated when I can help someone. I’ve received help throughout my career, so when I can help someone, I feel like I am paying it forward.
As part of a global company, how do you stay connected?
It’s definitely a challenge in APAC because of the time differences. A couple of times a week, I start my workday at 5 am so I can stay connected to other parts of the company. Sometimes, it may be later in the evening instead. I do prefer starting early, because the count of brain cells is higher earlier in the day. LOL!
How is Planview different from other companies you’ve worked for?
Planview is different because when you reach out to anyone for help, you seldom get a no. Even as we grow into a large global company, people are incredibly helpful across teams and leadership levels. This is very special.
Planview has a set of five shared Core Values. Is there one that really speaks to you personally?
“We Build Together.” I enjoy being part of trying something new. The process of proving a hypothesis is invaluable. It builds the muscle memories of a team to become good at identifying the best ideas to invest time and how to plan and deliver in order to achieve desired outcomes. Successful team collaboration is a force multiplier – for the individual and the company.
Here is another quote I love from a Chef in Singapore: “If I want to go fast, I do it myself. If I want to go far, I do it with the team.”
For fun, how do you unwind when you are off the clock?
As I get older, I’ve learned there’s a limit to my brain power. I have to give my brain a break, especially when I start early. I love yarn and fiber arts. I enjoy spinning fiber into yarn and use it in knitting and crocheting projects. I also enjoy the creative process of designing and sewing complex quilts. Hyper focus on one thing is very relaxing and the side effect is unexpected solutions to problems materialize out of nowhere.
If you could pick any superpower, what would it be?
I would like the power to be wherever I want instantly. Traveling takes time that I could be doing something more productive. For example, the shortest travel between the U.S. and Singapore is 25 hours from airport to airport. Add in the time difference, one may land 2-3 days later. Or simply sitting in traffic commuting between locations. I would love it if I could click my heels and be anywhere. Imagine what else we can accomplish by repurposing this time!
Interested in joining a dynamic global team? Check out Planview’s current job openings here.