There is no one-size-fits-all mold for what makes a great leader, and leadership can look very different when manifested in different personalities and circumstances. True leaders can see the world both as it really is and what it can become. They balance the tension between realism and dreaming big.
They understand the very real challenges they face and address them directly. They also see beyond the obstacles to what the world could look like if they keep on heading in the right direction, and they constantly champion that vision while seeking real-world solutions to help them get there.
Effective leaders invest in their team members. They are committed to growing and mentoring their staff. They realize that the goal isn’t having people impressed with your work; the goal is building new leaders who can accomplish more than you can. All these traits spotlight Kathy Golding, Procurement & Supplier Ecosystem Services Leader at EY Global Services Ltd.
In an interview with Insights Success, Kathy shares valuable facts highlighting her professional tenure and journey in the niche.
Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Kathy, please briefly describe your professional journey up until now. What challenges did you face along the way?
I started my professional journey with Celestica, a Canadian outsourced electronics manufacturing company, as a cost analyst for the Chief Procurement Officer, who then asked me to help start up a procurement office in Switzerland as a procurement manager.
As I worked my way up and was eventually promoted to director level, challenges that I faced included working in a “24 hours a day, seven days a week” environment and managing the cost and availability of critical manufacturing parts, especially during shortages or unforeseen supplier factory issues.
Upon relocation to the UK, I joined Tesco as a corporate procurement manager for technology, including retail hardware, software and services. In 2010, I realized I wanted to take my valuable experience and work for a global organization with a strong brand in the market…and the rest is history!
I have spent the entirety of my 10-year EY career in Supply Chain Services (SCS). I assumed my current role of Procurement & Supplier Ecosystem Services (PSES) Leader at EY Global Services Limited in July 2022, managing the global spend categories of Talent, Technology, Brand, Marketing and Communications (BMC) across the organization from sourcing inception to full contract life cycle management of our supplier relationships.
What significant impact have you brought to the procurement industry?
A crucial part of what PSES does is growing and maintaining an integrated and collaborative relationship with the business. To achieve this, PSES has implemented a Center of Excellence (CoE) model, made up of virtual teams of category experts in Automotive Mobility, Cybersecurity, Human Capital, Learning and Development, Managed Services, Professional Services, Software, Total Rewards and Telecoms that actively gather, develop, share and apply knowledge to a global category, collaborating with stakeholders and groups to drive long-term value and execution across the global EY organization.
These innovative team members continue to raise the bar for PSES and its stakeholders by providing value for the global EY organization and being recognized externally in the market for their future-focused mindsets.
How does the global EY organization promote workforce flexibility, and what is your role in it?
With over 600 professionals in 38 countries, SCS is the true definition of a global function. We leverage strategic workforce planning to build a diverse and agile workforce that includes onshore, nearshore and offshore people, contractors and managed services. This diversity allows us to manage the peak of the business through a flexible workforce model focused on consistent and high-quality service on a global scale.
We are also keen to support the mobility of the EY workforce through EY programs such as Mobility4U, which offers EY people the opportunity to work across geographies and service lines to broaden their global mindset and thrive both personally and professionally.
What is your take on technology’s importance, and how are you leveraging it?
Technological innovation is our North Star in PSES, driving our development and increase in efficiency. Two of our most recent technological developments areour SmartSpend app, an internal application built by the PSES Enablement team (led by Dan Jenkins and with the technical knowledge of Michael Roche) that allows sourcing managers to manage quickly and efficiently to Spend under Management data and an internal Commercials application, providing instant access to financial spend information and executing its continuous improvements to enhance the user experience.
What will be the next significant change in the procurement industry, and how are you preparing for it?
I expect to see rapid advancements in the technology space, allowing for a smoother and more innovative procurement experience for the business.
In PSES, we are continually raising our ambitions to become a world class digitally enabled function that attracts leading-class talent. Coupled with a recent simplification initiative to significantly reduce the administrative burden on PSES sourcing managers (resulting in an effort reduction of 80%), we are also preparing for a game-changing supplier experience portal that will dramatically simplify the way suppliers work with the complex global EY organization, reducing the number of forms and touchpoints currently required for onboarding and enhancing the growth and collaborative nature of EY supplier relationships.
What are your goals in the upcoming future?
Looking ahead to the near future, I am very excited about the potential EY organizational restructure and the opportunity to be a part of something that only happens once in a lifetime at this scale, all while maintaining the ability to craft my career path around my decades-long passion for procurement. I believe that this PSES team has all that it takes to help drive and provide continued results together, whatever the future may hold.
What advice would you like to give the next generation of aspiring business leaders?
The advice I have for budding entrepreneurs aspiring to excel in supply chain boils down to this: strive to be part of teams that support and drive change, make its team members feel like family and play a part in decisions made, create a safe environment to offer new ideas and process changes, encourage creativity and diversity, and most importantly, are okay with failure. Quick failures lead to quicker and stronger solutions!