I am absolutely thrilled to have joined beaton as a Partner based in Queensland. I am pleased to share some of my story and professional background that has brought me to this point.
My introduction to professional services
My entrée into professional services was perhaps an accident. After changing studies from law in semester two of university, I found marketing 101 and by chance started working in industry whilst studying. I immediately found my strengths in managing relationships internally and then with clients and stakeholders. My foundation experience translated well for my move to London in 2008. I spent the next eight years working across a global network in accounting and law at Crowe Clarke Whitehill (Now Findex), Freshfields Backhaus Deringer and finally as Director of Marketing and BD at a regional UK firm. I returned to Brisbane and spent time within international, national and QLD focused firms, leading functions, teams and firm-wide projects.
What a career in professional services is teaching me
First, as an intangible product, professional services are all about people. The basis of relationships between service provider and client or referrer is trust built on the back of people's actions, both as a technical expert but also as a human being. Showing a modicum of empathy, vulnerability and personality is not only a nice to have, but an imperative to building deep and trusted relationships. In my experience, this is an area which is often disregarded when considering a pitch to clients or the broader market.
Second, my career in professional services has taught me to be creative and look outside of the standard rule book when problem solving. I have learned not to be afraid to suggest off-piste solutions to issues such as firm brand perception or key client inaccessibility, for example. Often in professional services there is an emphasis on ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ as opposed to running an independent race. The industry is innovating fast, so time to tread a familiar path is fast coming to an end.
Combining these two learnings has proven successful many times over.
Rewarding professional experiences
Throughout my career I have been fortunate enough to work in a range of firms with some truly incredible people. Interestingly, it is the people and their influence which I regard as some of my most rewarding experiences. For example, I worked within the London Corporate and Capital Markets team at Freshfields throughout the Global Financial Crisis. The talent and hunger of the legal team during this time was on another level. The deals were biggest and best in the market and the stakes were even higher. I left that role with a greater understanding of my own capacity and drive, inspired by the talent around me. Several years on and home in Australia, I was fortunate enough to lead the Marketing and Business Development team at Queensland-based law firm McCullough Robertson. The partners gave me rope to launch new initiatives around topics such as CX, revenue origination and key client listening. I grew a team of amazing talent, and challenged partner thinking around diversity and brand perception. I cherished this challenge and grew from it.
I also now support a number of junior marketing and BD professionals in a coaching and mentoring capacity; I find this contribution incredibly rewarding. The opportunity to influence their careers positively by learning from my own experiences is very satisfying.
Why I chose beaton
I must confess to a love of data. The insights that come from data and the story it can tell, is both hard to refute and valuable beyond measure - if implemented effectively. beaton has always been – in my mind – the pinnacle of both data integrity and insight-driven consulting in Australasian professional services. Having followed and worked with beaton for many years, I can personally attest to the value of driving strategic and client focused initiatives backed by beaton data.
The beaton team is also one of the strongest in the market from a talent perspective and I am excited to work with and learn from this impressive group of people.
What I hope to achieve as a member of beaton?
The beaton brand is very well known and relied upon by many larger – and increasingly medium-small – professional services firms. I believe that all firms could benefit from the insights that beaton offers on clients' buying behaviour and how to influence it. It is a highly competitive market and no firm can afford to disregard years of insights that could support their firm's differentiation. A good deal of my work is in this micro to medium market in Queensland. And I know that although relatively small, these firms are no less hungry for growth and success. I now look forward to working with them using beaton's data and supporting informed insight-driven decisions.
I also hope to bring a different perspective. I am a strong advocate for the power of diversity of thought and I hope to support clients and the beaton team alike with different ideas along the way.
Something I am passionate about
This will be no surprise to those who know me, but as a daughter of a strong-minded, talented woman and the mother of two similarly strong-minded girls, I am passionate about continuing the conversation on gender diversity and equality. This transcends equal numbers of men and women in the boardroom. For me, it is about normalising and celebrating the conversation that women have an equal voice. This is a conversation I think should be continued until it is no longer a shock that women are in positions of power or influence. When we can genuinely celebrate a female leader for reasons other than her gender, we will have arrived.
On joining beaton I was delighted to receive this note from Dr Margaret Beaton, the co-founder and a director of beaton: "Kim I can't tell how delighted I am – as is everyone in beaton – that you have joined us. It's been a long journey to find a woman to join our team of Partners! You won't be the last, but you are you are the first, the pioneer and trail blazer."