My work life
Let's get down to business.
It started with serving burgers and has taken me around the world. My passion for business strategy has fueled my career for more than 30 years.
As a child, only one thing could distract me from backyard adventures - the lure of pocket money. I hunted out every opportunity to have an extra 20 cents jangle in my pocket. I longed for the day when I could enter the workforce and make 'real money'.
I earned my first pay pack at 14 years' old, serving burgers at McDonald's for $3.12 an hour. While the new bank balance had my eyes-wide, I soon gained something far more valuable. I saw first-hand how systems drive scale in business. I learned the best way to make more money was to add value and then plotted a way to increase my value as an employee. Within 18 months, my hourly rate jumped by 600%. That made an impressive jangle.
Mastering business strategy has taken me on a global adventure. I've seen the challenges of market competition in North America, UK, Europe and Oceania. I've explored the mechanics of business in private and public companies, business-to-consumer, business-to-business and not-for-profit organisations. I've mastered building competitive advantage in agribusiness, construction, professional services, retail and health.
Then in 1999 I sat at the dining table in my apartment, frustrated. I had been consulting to large corporations for a while, but it no longer fed my hunger for learning. Internal politics burned too much time and energy.
I could see that mid-tier businesses often delivered better value to their customers. But they spent too much time doing business rather than building it. That resulted in big opportunities being missed. I mapped out a solution to their dilemma on a sheet of paper. The next day I resigned from my cushy job and visited the Fair Trading office to register the business name Eyes Wide Open. Since then, my team and I have supported more than 400 firms to set and achieve their business strategy.
I have continued to fuel my growth through taking on roles as a non-executive director. Recent positions include:
Co-founder - Run Against Violence, a member-based organisation engaging communities in family violence prevention
Non-executive director - The Australian Institute of Management (NSW/ACT)
Non-executive director - Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH)
Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
Kirrily Dear GAICD, FAIM