Michael Burwell has been the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Willis Towers Watson since October 2017, before which he served 31 years in Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP in various capacities. Michael replaced Roger Millay who retired voluntarily on 2 October 2017. The 2010’s Michigan State University Alumnus of the year worked on business advisory services in PwC for 11 years. On being elected partner in 1997, Michael moved to the assurance practice’s Detroit transaction business. He was successful in Detroit, and this led to him being asked to head the central U.S transaction business of PwC.
He was appointed COO and CFO of all PwC’s company in the United States, in 2009. Michael became the Vice Chairman, Global and U.S Transformation in 2012, and helped create and expand internal shared services of the firm.
For Michael, his day begins at 5 a.m., and as he rides on his Peloton bike, he focuses on what he needs to accomplish that day. He also reflects on the month at the start of each month and does the same for the week. To turn ideas into reality, Burwell ensures that the plans the people in his organization have been evaluated. He believes the next revolutionary ideas and talents exist in their organization and those digital ninjas are the company’s secret weapons.
To be productive, Michael Burwell believes technology turns great people into more productive ones. Since he focuses his mindset on efficiency and effectiveness, he continually hares an app that enables him to be more productive and asks others to share theirs. He views the app sharing as his way of increasing his productivity, and he finds the flip board to be handy because it gives him real-time content. Michael advises that collaboration does not always result from a consensus since getting a consensus each time implies getting the lowest common denominator. Although it is nice if you can make everyone happy, you must be careful trying to do so.
Michael Burwell recommends everyone to build a network and practice to be a good listener. All people have something interesting about them, but you can only learn if you invest your time to communicate and understand them. To grow his business, Michael advises on being relentless and maintaining positivity. Although almost nobody agrees with him, Burwell believes micro-communities will keep on growing; therefore, the technology to support them in future will be crucial.
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