Presented by Corporate Parity, the Shared Services & GBS Summit will help to illustrate many of the digital options to equip current or potential stakeholders in the SSC/GBS space with tools to enable great results. This forum will provide examples of best-practices, expert panel discussion, in-depth basic and advanced workshops.
Simone W.A. Noordegraaf, CPC, ELI-MP, CEO and Founder of BeTouched Coaching and iPEC Europe who will be discussing ‘Shared Services: From Usefulness to Utilization (From Feasibility To Implementation)‘ and will be participating in the first ‘Doctor’s Surgery Panel‘ where panelists will be answering questions suggested by delegates upon registration.
As an accomplished senior executive leader with many amazing experiences and companies on my resume, I recently made my very own step to independence. I can almost hear you ask: “Why on earth would an accomplished leader in Shared Services and GBS, a market where experience is so necessary and desired, step out of the corporate world to start their own business?” There is still so much to do and so much to gain, why leave the big leagues and do THIS? I recently started my own business; ‘BeTouched’ and entered into a partnership to deliver exceptional ICF accredited coaching programs to fifteen countries in Europe, inviting individuals, leaders and managers to develop their coaching skills. iPEC is one of the largest coach training institutes with a community of more than 15,000 trained coaches in North America. I trained with them and have experienced first hand the difference such training can make.
Time For Change
I held many senior positions and had long tenures in some of the largest global companies, like AkzoNobel, Philips and Shell. I lived in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (3 years) and the United States of America (10 years), did business everywhere and consider myself a global citizen. While I worked extremely hard, I am grateful for so many opportunities and have met so many amazing and talented people. What I found though, is that SSC and GBS transformations are run technocratic; which means that people are left behind in the process, slowing the process down, capturing less value than its full potential and sustaining shorter than intended and possible. It was turning me and many people around me into small wheels in a big machine where we should have been an army of gladiators!
During my time at Philips, I was the Global Head of Finance Operations, leading the global Finance Back Office through a shared services transformation inspiring and transforming a team of 4000 located all over the world. 4000 amazing people that I considered part of my team, who worked both for Philips and their third party service provider. In my most recent role as the Head of GBS in Europe at AkzoNobel, the team was smaller but had more diverse functional backgrounds (Finance, HR and to a lesser extend Procurement and IT). I held many Financial roles before that at Philips, Shell and Ernst & Young. I gained a wealth of senior financial experiences in Internal Audit as the auditor of the Healthcare Division, but also various planning roles, value-based management, financial advisory, process design and engineering, project and program management, acquisitions & divestments and post-merger integration. I hold an MS in Accountancy, and an MS in Information Management from Universities in the Netherlands and am a Certified Internal Auditor and a Chartered Accountant.
Importance Of Leadership
With all this knowledge in my back pocket and just like in Google’s project Oxygen, I discovered that technical skills are only the beginning of a career and a transformation. The most important step to senior leader’s success lies in the development of self-awareness, teams, influencing and coaching skills. I chose to become a certified professional coach years ago and developed my own brand of leadership, with performance management (Lean Leadership) and personal development (Coaching) at the core. It has brought the companies I worked for great progress and I look back at those periods with great satisfaction, deep learning and with the greater challenge how to make others see and learn this.
Our teams are able to do great things, achieve great results and drive tremendous transformation if we allow them to. As leaders we have the mission to be their secure base, care enough about them to allow them to dare greater than they have ever imagined possible. It is our job as leaders to enable them to make great changes and not “do change to them” and it is up to us to walk that talk every day. If we give people that space and give them the confidence in that process that they will be fine where-ever they go, we allow them to become curious about the opportunities of a truly global GBS model, digitisation and technology. By keeping them smaller than they really are we don’t only take their opportunity away, but we also slow our change down. We lose more than only one opportunity.
Last But Not Least…….
You may think you know all this and I am sure you do in some ways. The bigger challenge I put in front of all of us is how well we live it every day. We all consider ourselves a coach but don’t demonstrate the relevant skills in real life. We all know we should bring our stakeholders along, but don’t engage in constructive conflict with productive outcomes when we need to. Last but not least, being truly honest about how we lead is the most difficult thing we are ever going to do in life and leadership. I know how difficult deep change is and sometimes how painful, but I also know how amazing it can be. I leave my corporate career inspired because much more is possible if a change is led from the top and leaders walk this talk.
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