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Client's Spotlight: Kate Urlich - From driven finance professional to strategic finance leader

Strategy, Finance, Change Leadership | 3 Aug 2021 |

One of the highlights of our work is helping great people on their journey. We are glad to share with you some of their inspirational stories and achievements. 

Kate Urlich is a talented Finance leader who decided to embark on developing her strategic leadership skills as a finance professional. Her tenacity, growth mindset and dedication to her business has positioned her well to make genuine step-change in her career a reality. 
๐Š๐š๐ญ๐žโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ง ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐๐ฌ
Prior to working with The Outperformer, I wasnโ€™t sure how I could directly influence strategy. 

When I started the ๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐œ ๐…๐ข๐ง๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐‹๐ž๐š๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐๐ซ๐จ๐ ๐ซ๐š๐ฆ, I had recently been offered a newly created role in the business as the Finance Business Partner to the Marketing and Innovation team at Carmanโ€™s.  

In talking with the SLT members, I discovered there were gaps in the financial knowledge and capability in our Innovation and New Product Development (โ€œNPDโ€) team and some processes needed an overhaul to ensure we delivered on critical strategic objectives.   
๐‹๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐‹๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  โ€“ ๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐œ ๐‹๐ž๐š๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ฉ ๐ข๐ง ๐๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐ž 

The first step involved further consultation with SLT members and team members at several stages of the process to hear their ideas and understand their frustrations with the current process. Getting the approval of the SLT and Owner is crucial to any major changes made in a business and when I presented my proposed changes all of them were accepted.   

The changes I have implemented with strong alignment from my fellow leaders and team have created more accountability, enabling agile decision making throughout the business and faster turnaround on Innovation and NPD projects.   
๐„๐ฆ๐›๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ง ๐ˆ๐ง๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐‘๐จ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐Ÿ๐ข๐๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž 

Ultimately my work with The Outperformer helped me adopt a proactive approach on strategy execution and leadership as opposed to a proactive โ€˜finance personโ€™. My profile in the business has raised immensely and the relationship between the SLT, the Owner (CEO) and myself is friction-free, open and transparent. Our dealings are more frequent and they come to me directly rather than going via the CFO /COO.

It is now really obvious that the business sees confidence in my abilities to manage projects, build engagement and passion for our business and goals, and my capacity to align roles to our strategy. They see me as a finance coach and leader in the business, and I do too.   

To top it all off, I was recently nominated by my peers and SLT for the quarterly recognition awards for the theme โ€˜Collaborativeโ€™. Most importantly, the journey of growth as a Strategic Leader continues.

You can find out more about our Strategic Finance Leaders Program here and weโ€™re always happy to have a quick chat and answer your questions, message us at [email protected] 


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