What is your career background?
I am a chartered accountant, so my career began in accounting and audit, qualifying at Macintyre Hudson, then working at KPMG. I left practice to join FTSE 100 company Associated British Foods on a senior finance fast track scheme, where I spent time placed in two subsidiaries (Ryvita and AB Agri). I then spent 7 years at Auto Trader where I did a number of roles building up to the Director of Finance and Pricing, seeing the business through the transition to 100% digital and an IPO. I also spent a maximum nine-year tenure as a trustee on the Board of the National Centre for Circus Arts, a performing arts charity based in Hackney. I chaired the audit committee for much of this time.
How did you first learn about Open Blend?
As a working mother I struggled to feel satisfied with the shape of my life. I was trying the balance things in a way that implied I had to trade a happy home for a successful career. Through being coached by Anna, I was introduced to the concept of blend. It helped me to understand that enjoying my job and wanting to give it a lot of my energy is ok because it makes me a happier and more satisfied individual and consequently hopefully a better parent, wife and role model. This was all before Open Blend was a tool that could be rolled out in businesses. The evolution of the idea from a drawing of a blend wheel on a piece of paper into a software product is extremely exciting for allowing everyone to reach their potential.
What made you choose to work for Open Blend?
I deeply believe in the product. Companies understanding their employees better by having quality conversations is essential, and I have seen first hand the difference this can make. I was hugely excited to be given the opportunity to be a part of Open Blend.
What is your role in Open Blend?
I look after all of the numbers, adding formality, rigour and control to the decisions we make as well as helping to understand and drive our performance.
Personally, what makes you a happy and engaged employee?
I love to be busy and I am happiest when I am delivering lots of quality things at work as well as managing to have quality time with my lovely family.
What do you find most disengaging in a work environment?
I am uncomfortable with colleagues not understanding how different everyone’s lives and motivations are. It is sad to see people not given opportunities because they do not fit a mould.
Tell us about your blend.. What element choices were a no-brainer?
All of the ones I selected!... My children, fulfilment at work, being organised at home and at work, fun, my partner, recognition, flexible working culture.
What makes you most excited about Open Blend?
The ability to drive out people related problems in businesses by permitting everyone to talk about the things they need to in order to reach their maximum potential.
Welcome to the team Alison!