Jo Hands, Founder and Director of management consulting firm Whiteark took on her first CFO role aged 34. With a Big4 consulting background at EY, and 20 years experience leading large scale transformation programs, acquisitions, turnarounds and integrations in companies including Telstra, Australian Super and Nippon Paper Group, Jo’s learned that it takes a plan, an experienced team and the right data to create meaningful, lasting change. She’s been described by Whiteark‘s delighted C-Suite clients as the “Mary Poppins” of Transactional and Integration support.
How did your background in blue chip organisations lead you to start your own business?
My initial experience in a Big4 firm provided me technical and leadership skills and experience and an ability to be able to solve problems. The transition to Telstra provided me an opportunity to drive change in an organization and put some of things I had learnt into practice.
With a breadth of experience in finance, transactions and operational improvement driving value creation, I saw a need in the market for hands on consulting support for businesses of all sizes to help execute, and make change. My experience has provided me the skills and experience to be able to help other organisations successfully implement.
Tell us about Whiteark’s approach to working with leadership teams to create transformational change?
Our approach is hands-on. We work with the Board, CEO, and Leadership team to understand the problem/opportunity and what is required to delivered on this. Our commercial experienced team is handpicked to ensure we help the organization deliver on the outcomes.
How are organizational operating models evolving to embrace current and future challenges?
Organisations are needing to review how they operate and the skills and experience they need and how to best source this in the current environment more than ever. Understanding what skills are needed for period of time rather than ongoing becomes critical, including understanding capability gaps in organization against a strategy or plan that needs to be delivered and options around how this capability gap can be filled.
What are some of the big impacts Whiteark has helped to create for your clients?
Some recent project results have included:
- Synergy plan of over $140M developed and implemented in a large organization,
- 100 day plans with successful achievement of smooth transition for a number of clients – resulting in moving to the value creation stage earlier,
- Finance transformation – system, process and operating model redesign for finance teams.
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