What’s In Your Bag highlights pieces of inspiration in the daily lives of amazing She Lion community members and uncovers out what their essentials look like to conquer the day.
Fi is a powerhouse of a woman who works with leaders in enterprise to create innovation strategies and capabilities.
We were more than a little inspired by our chat, which was about so much more than the essential contents of a bag...
It has been a wild ride but over the last couple of months (Aug-Sep 20) Naked Ambition are feeling stronger than ever as a team and a company.The whole "COVID effect" shook the business early on. In innovation consulting, the quiet time is often Dec-Feb so the company was hit hard at what is usually the busiest time of the year. When it all happened in March, we were gearing up for non-stop delivery.
“It was actually my birthday and I’d just gotten my fourth call from clients postponing indefinitely, it all happened so catastrophically quickly.”Fi lamented.
The changes brought on by COVID-19 quickly highlighted that the company could have been far more forward-thinking on virtual delivery. For example, the time taken to travel to clients and back was highlighted by its sheer absence. Fi noted: “We moved quickly on the things we could control and shift the focus on to anticipating what our clients were going to need in the coming months. Even if they didn’t yet know what they were going to need.”
Design and strategy workshops with clients for Naked Ambition have historically been all in person, so the idea to take every major project and convert them into digital versions, has been a large, yet exciting task for the team.
An example of this was testing then adopting new technology for virtual design and workshops – which clients loved - and focusing on creating their own design thinking learning and collaboration space (which had been in the works for a long time - but often took a backseat to client design work).
Internally - Naked Ambition focused on strong rituals and rhythms as a team while working remotely (additional stand ups, frequent design meetings, plus some wellness sessions)
"That early momentum has put us in a position of strength now and we are also seeing clients adopt more of these practices. We truly had to eat our own dog food and talk about empathy for everyone to get through this together.”Fi laughed.
If you ever get the chance to meet Fi in person, you’ll notice there is never a day that she doesn’t don some sort of sparkle. So, of course, the Sequin Risk Taker Tote is her work bag of choice.
Some essentials never change with Fi housing her trusty mac, always, even on days off and you’ll almost always find a book on her person. She added,“I always have at least two red lippies, as one would have been blunted by kids doing dress-ups and a bunch of Sylvanian families figurines to settle arguments”.
Funnily enough, the book Fi mentioned she was carrying would be suitable to deal with negotiations in both work and personal life. The book “Never Split the Difference”, about how a hostage negotiator who teamed up with Harvard professors (as Harvard has owned the business domain till the late 90s and 2000s) is all about negotiating like a hostage negotiator.
“It’s teaching me strategies like answering with another question. From a business perspective, negotiation is something I’m not great at and realised I needed to upskill, but it definitely has its benefits in the real world too.”
Fi echoed the thoughts of so many of us working from home when she mentioned that she doesn’t miss carrying the clutter. Gone are the days of toting about a spare pair of shoes, a makeup bag and a hairbrush. We related hard to her statement:“There is so much less junk in my bag now. I used to carry a ridiculous amount of stuff that I realised I don’t need. I don’t think I’ll go back.”
COVID-19 has led to some surprising opportunities due to people re-structuring their personal time by having more hours at home.
Fi encourages leaders in the enterprise innovation world to teach and tell their stories on the Naked Ambition podcast. Usually restricted to a more local (Australian) guest list, it was easier to land big international guests to interview, as they were having more time at home. Many people have had a little more time to think about things, a rare but nice by-product of the pandemic.
We asked Fi if she had any faves or has been particularly impressed with some recent guests:“I was pretty blown away by Amy Childs (Momentum MD) How to Lead Through a Crisis about how recent events have shaped and challenged her leadership. The interview and overwhelming reaction to it from her people and wider network - it really touched people.”
“My 4 sisters and Mum are all pretty spectacular women. Total She Lions, very courageous in the way they approach life, work and love.”
Thank you so very much for spending time with us Fi, we love hearing about how She Lion can help you make the most of your day and being inspired by the stories you all have to tell.
Want to share “What’s In Your Bag?” We’re always eager to share your story, your expertise and find out how you conquer your day. We’d love to hear from you onenquiries (at) shelion (dot) com.
Louise is an inspiring leader of multiple successful businesses. Louise is intensely generous with her expertise and time to support other women in business and we loved hearing a little about how she faces the challenges of running 3 businesses.