Spotlight Team:

Editors: Alexandra Touchaud, Isabel Gonzalez and Nithia Devan

Graphic designer: Anubhooti Asthana

I can’t stop thinking about Natalie Turner. It’s not just me. Everyone seems to be talking about her, with her name coming up in all sorts of random conversations of late: “I just got back from one of Natalie Turner’s incredible Women Who Lead retreats”, raved Judy, our PrimeTime Head of Communications; “Have you watched that Natalie Turner TEDx talk?” another friend enquired; “Oh I know someone you should meet in Singapore”, a friend from Sydney enthused, “this girl Natalie, we went on a writer’s thing together, she’s super talented and ridiculously beautiful.”

Yes, Singapore is abuzz with Natalie-conversations. I was curious – who exactly is this woman?

 

 

 

 

 

This is a life that simply demands to be written about – surely a winding autobiography is crying out to be penned? And yet she plans her first book as either a business text or a novel, women’s fiction.

Well, Natalie is clearly used to doing things her own way. Anyone who has lived in the UK, Spain, the Philippines, Colombia, Germany and Malaysia must revel in the surprise-and-delight of a life lived roving the “road less travelled by”.

She throws her head back laughing in response to my amazement at her globetrotting CV – humph! I glare at her, feeling completely outdone, I‘ve always enjoyed being the one who’s chased dreams to live in the most eclectic of places and done the wildest things in the name of experience and adventure, but quickly my green-eyed bafflement melts to a broad grin – she is impossible not to like – damn, I’ve joined the smitten ranks under her spell.

Her rather extraordinary childhood set the tone for the rollercoaster years of adventures that followed: she grew up in a religious community in Sussex, in the 1970’s, before being sent off with her missionary parents to convert disbelievers in Spain. It would have been impossible not to be swept up in such a life, surrounded by those filled with evangelical purpose, immersed in speaking-in-tongues, having out-of-body experiences and being moved by the Spirit. And Natalie was not on the sidelines, she was passionately committed: at just 19 yrs old, when she finished Missionary School herself, she leapt at the chance of spreading the Gospel abroad – first in the Philippines, then helping street children in Bogota, and later smuggling bibles into China.

She oozes intelligence – that curious and enquiring kind that can be both a blessing and a curse – it commits one to a lifetime of questioning, searching, constant personal and professional innovation and growth.

And so as Natalie queried and challenged her faith, her focus shifted to more Liberation Theology, down from the realms of the almighty to the realities of life on earth, and to the politics used to affect it. She returned to the UK and moved into socialist politics, becoming a speechwriter for the Labour Party, at the House of Commons in Westminster.

Earning a Masters in Development Studies, she explored how liberal economic policies could transform third world economies. Then in a constant evolution of ideas and belief systems – she moved into social psychology and leapt into the world of business and innovation, working in the UK and Germany.

By 2006 she’d crystalised her focus on business and organizational innovation, setting up her own consultancy, the Entheo Network www.entheo.com. Becoming a key player internationally in this field over the last decade has meant that a number of us may be familiar with her from global innovation conferences (when we spoke, she’d just come back from speaking at the Harvard Project for Asian International Relations in Manila), check out her TEDx talk at and she’s working with a wide range of clients in Europe and Asia.

In fact it was at the 2010 Singapore Management University’s Women’s Leadership Conference that Natalie fell in love with our Little Red Dot at the bottom of the Malay Peninsula. To take advantage of the increasing business opportunities here, not to mention the climate, Natalie and her husband Carl, decided to move to Asia. They have settled in Johor Bahru and Natalie commutes in to Singapore 3+ times a week.

But 2010 was 5 years ago and given her patterns of perpetual motion it is obvious that there must be new projects competing for her attention by now.

On such example is her foundation of the “Women Who Lead” workshop series  http://natalie-turner.net/services/women-who-lead/ These 2-day programmes of personal and professional development, support senior women who want to push their careers to a new level - or into a new space. Another project competing for her time is the extension of her successful innovation model into a business book, which she is hoping to complete in 2016. Businesses (and individuals) will be taken through her “Six ‘I’s of Innovation® Methodology”; with the support of the online assessment and strategy tools she’s building.

We paused to sip coffee. I felt exhausted just listening, and wondered if she ever did too? Maybe; I remembered once seeing her across the room at a PrimeTime Mindfulness and Meditation session.

She was off again, talking about how writing is enjoying more and more of her attention – not just the business book project, but that fiction is proving her preferred creative outlet. After years of journaling (she has been writing journals since the age of nine), things changed last year when Natalie decided to go on a retreat, instead of her usual role, of running one; she joined Jan Cornall Writer’s Journey to Cambodia, and there, amongst the mighty and mystical ruins of Angkor Wat, she etched out the plot for her first novel.

Natalie glanced at her watch – we’d been speaking for hours and time was up, she had to run to her next appointment to present to a new client her other project and passion, Jeunesse.

Another project? Feeling slightly giddy I asked for a one minute run down. Jeunesse is a wellness and beauty brand exploring new science-based solutions in the eternal battle against aging. My jaw dropped, and I cursed to think of the hundreds of little ‘curiosity-lines’ that would be wrinkling up round my eyes and brow. So this drop-dead gorgeous woman had stumbled on to the elixir of youth?

It turns out that a friend had recommended her the products, she had trialed them and was ridiculously impressed - it starts to sound a little like that old Remington Shavers ad from the 70’s: “I liked the products so much that I bought the company”. Well she didn’t buy the company, but she did start distributing the products through her newly created lifestyle brand Energise Life.  (Jeunesse uses a social networking model to allow passionate, and wrinkle-free, users to distribute the products).

To be sure of the impact of the products, she assessed Jeunesse with typical business rigor, analyzing their product range and business model, she did pre-post blood tests, took extensive before-after photographs, visited cellular rebuilding labs in Europe and then experimented with all the products. She’s a walking advertisement for their pills and potions – flawless skin on the outside with apparently huge improvements on the inside – lower cholesterol and other blood measures, weight loss etc. Her doctor was so impressed with the results that he signed up too (Good lord, this DOES sounds like a new-age Remington ad). I have to admit that I wanted a piece of the action – and the skin of a baby – so am filled with childish impatience as I await delivery this week of my very own trial box.

So expect to see Natalie around in the future – behind a conference lectern, on a book cover, doing some modeling shots – or at a PrimeTime event. Who knows? – I’m not sure even she does.

 

Interviewed by Alexandra Touchaud: storyteller and artist @ AlexandraTouchaud.com

Layout and Design by Anubhooti Asthana

©PrimeTime 2015. All rights reserved.



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