Guest Blog: Rhona Carmichael – Chief Commercial Officer - stepping up to an exec position
Opportunity & Growth
It’s now the second week of me being fully immersed in my new role as Group Chief Commercial Officer, and I wanted to properly introduce myself and highlight the role of the CCO and the value it brings to our business.
But before I do that, I thought I’d share a little of my own story.
I’ve been with Nash Squared for 15 years. I was originally headhunted from a competitor to establish and build our Harvey Nash business in Scotland, a country where we had no market presence. From being the very first person in the Edinburgh office with just a laptop and phone, our business grew to become a recognised market leader and the Scottish government’s largest talent supplier.
More recently I took responsibility for Harvey Nash across UK North & Ireland – a business that generated c£5 million contribution for the Group. I absolutely loved my role as MD, but when the opportunity to apply for the CCO role came up it felt the right time for a new challenge.
It’s a privilege to now be part of the ExCo team, and it’s exciting to be able to now work globally across all brands. It’s also a tiny bit terrifying as it’s a new role that I need to make my mark on and there is a lot to learn, but comfort is the enemy of growth!
I think my experience with one of our brands (particularly building a business at the height of the Global Financial Crisis) is invaluable in my new role. I’m not unrealistic about the challenges many of you face, but that’s where I can help – working with our sales leaders to share best practices, to provide the tools, training, insight and connections to outperform competitors in each of our markets and get in the best possible position to accelerate our growth as market conditions improve again.
There is so much opportunity, and part of my initial focus will be clarifying exactly where I can add most value and what the key areas of focus will be. I love connecting people and solving challenges. My first few weeks are filled with conversations that will help inform me of our shared growth goals and any barriers to success. I’ll be listening without judgement to really understand all our businesses.
As CCO, I’m in the perfect position to unravel some of the complexity, remove obstacles and help super-charge our growth. In very simple terms, I want to make things as easy and enjoyable as possible.
As CCO I’ll help drive Nash Squared towards the individual wants and needs of our customers. I’ll also give our CEO and ExCo another informed voice to help shape the organisation “big picture” from a commercial perspective.
In each of our brands, we have amazing talent, and we deliver great results for our customers. We don’t currently share these stories enough and have clear visibility of customer success stories outside each person’s own brand or geography. I want to help bring break down silos, connecting a community of ninja-like sales, marketing and bid experts that can learn from each other and move with greater pace and agility across brands and geographies.
I also believe that by sharing our success stories better we can generate interest from clients. With greater collaboration between our sales and marketing functions we can create even more compelling, discoverable content in digital and offline formats. I’d love to be a very visible face of Nash Squared – speaking at events or joining you at important internal and external meetings.
I will also be looking at our existing customer data to identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
Finally, I think we can improve the way we attract and then deliver to large Global Customers.
I’ve truly learnt more in 4 days in my new role about different regions and brands than I learned in my previous 15 years. I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to work with you all. I’ll come back with an update once I’ve settled in. In the meantime, I welcome any suggestions or feedback and I’m here to help.
I’m excited to get started.