As a trusted advisor, consultant and independent company director, Yvonne, has worked across different industries, as well as public, private and family companies to help coach and guide senior executives.
What’s your story?
I am the Managing Director of The Information Source in Australia and Singapore. Prior to The Information Source, I was CEO at the Australia Institute of Project Management (AIPM) which is the peak body for project management in Australia. Having started my career with the top 4 global Accounting Firms, two of the top 3 law firms, top 100 ASX listed companies, global consulting practices, not for profit organisations and industry association, I have led a loyal and dedicated group of stakeholders globally.
What excites you most about your industry?
There is a certain excitement I get from helping organisations to deliver results through proper strategy execution. Adding value is key – analysing what and how I can help clients to move forward with their business through good governance and risk management. As a trusted advisor, consultant and independent company director I have always worked across different industries, as well as public, private and family companies. I am always fascinated by new things I learn from clients.
What’s your connection to Asia?
My business is global. For many years I worked throughout Asia to help build capability and coach and guide senior executives. I’ve participated in OECD round tables, facilitated strategic planning sessions, designed and implemented strategies and undertaken mergers and acquisitions for companies throughout the region, My goal is to see Asian companies hold their own on the world stage – the stronger the organisation the better a country’s GDP and therefore they become better global trading partners. I am often asked to deliver conference presentations around Asia on my areas of expertise and I am a strong advocate of promoting high performing Boards through better Board composition, including gender diversity.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I’d say Singapore as it is the financial hub and pretty much easy to travel to other countries in the region for business. It is a melting pot, we can see how cultural diversity blends well in the society.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
A very wise military colleague said “Reflect on the past, so that you can act in the present in order to be relevant in the future.” Many organisations often forget that success is a combination of past, present and future thinking, and getting the balance right is a major key to success.
Who inspires you?
Those people who you don’t often hear about but who do great things. Their humility, resilience and dedication humbles me and makes me realise I can contribute so much more to our society.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The magnitude of the corporate governance failures highlighted through the Australian Royal Commission into the banking sector. The role of boards and directors in shaping and monitoring organisational culture and behaviours are under tremendous scrutiny and we must now ask some hard questions in every company, such as: How does your board shape and monitor culture? What’s happening in your organisation that isn’t meeting the expectations of your stakeholders? How quickly does bad news rise to the board, and how quickly does your board react?
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Hindsight is a wonderful thing but nothing can replace the joy of learning as you get older! If I would do one thing differently it would be to listen more closely to the advice of my parents when I was younger.
How do you unwind?
Reading and cooking is how I try to ease my mind and relax. There is nothing more rewarding than creating a beautiful meal to share with friends and family. Sometimes the food looks like the photos in the recipes, but being generous to good friends and family is what really matters.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Like many Australians, I really enjoy watching the sunset in Bali or taste amazing food in Bangkok.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Who Moved my Cheese” by Spencer Johnson. It’s a little fable on how to cope positively with change but delivers a big message.
Shameless plug for your business:
At The Information Source, we pride ourselves on helping clients to develop the potential of their staff in order to achieve their aspirations and business goals. We specialise in Risk Management, Compliance, Governance and Program Delivery. I advise boards and member of the senior management on how to deliver better results through ‘Strategy to Outcomes’ (S2O) across Asia Pacific.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.