Meet the Founder
WorkingSmarts is led by CEO and Principal Consultant, Dr. Erika Garms.
Garms founded the management consulting firm in 2012 after decades building expertise as an organization development consultant and educator. She launched WorkingSmarts to help organizational leaders build high-performing and healthy workplaces where curiosity and creativity are supported, where positive mindset is encouraged, and where learning is continuous (“brain-friendly workplaces”). She shows clients how to apply smart research-based organizational and management practices for higher levels of performance and engagement.
Dr. Erika Garms uses expertise developed over 25 years as a practitioner … and warm, engaging connections with audiences and clients … to make her a sought-after speaker and consultant in the area of corporate culture and organizational excellence.
Education and Expertise
Erika combines a unique educational background in sociology, education, organization development, and neuroscience with skills working with front-line employees up through C-suite executives. She has coached forestry supervisors in the woods of northern Minnesota, developed call center management protocol and training programs, transformed workplace cultures of consulting firms, and unblocked executives held back by their own emotions, thoughts, and unproductive habits. She holds certifications in behavioral assessments, coaching, facilitation, strategy, learning, NeuroLeadership, workforce planning, human resource development, and organization development, making her expertise one of a kind.
Author of “The Brain-Friendly Workplace: Five Big Ideas from Neuroscience That Address Organizational Challenges”, Erika bridges theory and science in a way that appeals to professional staff, supervisors, managers, and leaders alike. Her second book, “ManagementSmarts” offers supervisors, managers, and upper-level leaders the freshest take on what does and does not work in managing and leading others, based on cutting-edge research. This book is written in a short, very digestible, extremely practical format and is due out in 2017. It is the companion text to the “ManagementSmarts” live program.
Helping her clients cut through the barrage of outdated, ineffective approaches to learning, development, change, and organizational effectiveness saves her clients time, energy, resources, and headaches! Erika’s engaging, down-to-earth approach to propelling workplace performance is based on leveraging what strengths already exist in the organization, supplementing what is needed and eliminating what doesn’t create true change.
Mission-driven, approachable, funny and collaborative, Erika receives rave reviews from her clients. She is a popular and repeat speaker at conferences, management retreats and company meetings. As a consultant, she is a trusted advisor to small, mid-market companies as well as national and global organizations.
Personal Life and Philanthropy
Erika lives with her family in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. When she’s not working, Erika is likely browsing design magazines, inventing something, gardening, petting animals, or pretending to understanding football plays.
She and WorkingSmarts make contributions to non-profit and advocacy organizations dedicated to causes such as K-12 education, mental health, human rights, the environment, and animal welfare.
Erika has served on the Boards of Books on Wings, the Minnesota Chapter of National Speakers Association, and as the Speakers Academy Dean for NSA-MN.