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Michelle Aicken


Senior Manager, Business Transformation


People often ask me what do I do for a job and when I tell them I am often met with a response along the lines of “wow that sounds really interesting”. It’s always difficult to explain what I do, but after the success of TV programmes like Tabatha Takes Over and Undercover Boss, it has become much easier. 

As a specialist in Grant Thornton New Zealand’s business transformation team, I work with clients to re-engineer their operational processes to deliver cost savings and additional efficiencies, improve company culture, identify improvements and reduce non-value add activities. Being able to work closely with clients and be part of what I call the ‘light bulb moment’ is where I get the most enjoyment. This is typically when clients see that things could be done more effectively and embrace the recommended changes.

I’m fortunate to work with a collaborative team who are enthusiastic and passionate about what they do. Our team helps dynamic organisations with great aspirations develop and execute growth strategies and become more efficient and effective in achieving their strategic goals.

We help identify opportunities, manage risk, improve performance and leverage technology. We provide expertise through real-world experience, in many industries and environments, and offer effective tools to accelerate the success of our clients’ businesses. 

The interest in my field started at the University of Otago where I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in international and strategic management. It was there that I was introduced to concepts such as PEST, defender positioning, operations excellence, entrepreneurship and management strategies in ASEAN.