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Featured Consultant: Meet Patty Hamm

Former CHRO Describes Her Coaching Style as Strategist, Motivator, Challenger and Partner
Patty Hamm holding mini golden doodle AJ in the Arizona desert
Executive Consultant Patty Hamm

Patty Hamm leads our newest service area, Legacy Planning, helping develop the tools and methodology we use with executives as they envision and plan for their “encore chapter” after full-time work ends. Patty also works one-on-one with senior leaders in career transition or looking for their first corporate board seat.

When did you join Navigate Forward?

I started about six years ago, in 2017.

What do you most enjoy about your work as an Executive Consultant?

The unique individuals that we get to work with and the relationships I get to build with clients! Every time I meet an executive, I get excited about their story, their journey, about our partnership together. I’m learning every time I’m involved with a client. It keeps me up-to-date in the marketplace. I work with outstanding individuals.

Clients have confidence that I can bring expertise that will help them

Any memorable client experiences?

I’ve had the privilege to work with CEOs who’ve accomplished so much, who have outstanding careers, yet I’m always taken aback at how humble they are about their accomplishments. And getting a “thank you” at the end of an engagement is always so meaningful, to have been part of someone’s successful journey.

Patty trades Minnesota winters for Arizona sunshine

You’ve been a Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at several Fortune 500 companies. How did that corporate work prepare you for guiding executives through job transition, board search and retirement planning?

People appreciate the diversity of my experiences. I started out in career development in higher education. I worked in marketing. Then, I moved into lead HR roles in a variety of industries: medtech, financial services, retail—global organizations anywhere from $30 million to $2 billion and employees from 500 to 8,000.

Clients have confidence that I can bring expertise that will help them. I’ve sat in executive seats; I’ve worked in both private and public companies. I’ve sat in the boardroom; I’ve interviewed executives for many senior positions.

What I’m most proud of are the trust and partnerships I built, both in business and people strategy, supporting the people in the organization who truly drive the results. It’s why I enjoy the executive clients at Navigate Forward.

Every time I meet an executive, I get excited about their story, their journey, about our partnership together

Matching each leader with the right Executive Consultant is essential to success. What makes a good partnership between coach and client?

I’m always appreciative of how engaged our executives become. Their willingness to enter the process and engage is what’s important. So many people think executives don’t need support and planning in their careers or in retirement! Especially since we started Legacy Planning, I’ve been amazed at their attention, listening, openness to exploring, doing the homework. Their commitment to the process is what makes a good partnership.

The other piece is for executives to articulate what they need. My role is helping them keep their own pace, but also move ahead.

When not working one-on-one with executives, Patty loves being active outdoors

What’s it like working with you as a career coach? What should clients expect?

My style is a mix of strategist, motivator, challenger and partner. What I bring to the table is sensitivity to everyone’s situation. And a sense of humor!

I’m patient yet will push when necessary, because everyone has their own pace, but you need to make sure they’re executing; they need to be prepared for what’s next.

What are you most excited about with Navigate Forward’s new Legacy Planning service?

For me, so many times when you’re in the HR chair and want to guide someone with a retirement decision, you just don’t have time or resources to really support them. Legacy Planning is such a great external partner for companies and leaders! It will make the transition easier for the executive, and the organization shows support in a meaningful way. It’s a win-win.

When you’re not working, where can we find you? What hobbies and activities do you enjoy?

I’m a very active person—athletic—but I also love travel, culture, arts and theater. I golf, bike and ski; I love the water. I very rarely say “no” to any new experience!

I’m a very active person—I very rarely say “no” to any new experience!

I come from a big family, but my dog A.J. is probably my best companion. She’s a 17-year-old mini golden doodle. I’m also a Minnesota native. While I try to leave the cold in the winter, I always find my happiest place is in Ely, Minnesota. It’s one of the most precious natural resources on earth.

Meet the rest of the Navigate Forward team! Our Executive Consultants, practice leads and leadership team are the heart of our business. View the full roster.

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