Humans of Tech- Amy Waddell
Meet Amy Waddell!
A get-it-done finance leader who loves to challenge the status quo.
We talk about comfort zones (and getting out of them!), great management strategies, and process improvements versus blank slates.
Can you tell us a little bit about your role within In-House and Octopuz?
I was originally hired as Director of Finance at In-House to look after day to day accounting and strategic planning. In March, they approached me to help with sister-company, Octopuz, on a part-time basis, which I was really excited about as it’s more of a tech scale up.
I love the challenge - and differences - of both roles. In-House has been around for 30 years, so they have processes that I’ve streamlined and improved. With Octopuz, it’s more of a blank slate so I put my spin on things, developing processes, procedures and financial planning models. I like the diversity of working for both, they’re similar in some ways and very different in others.
What have you learned from mentors or managers, and how has that formed who you are and how you lead?
I’ve had both good managers and bad managers, and I’ve learned from both. My experiences with poor management taught me what not to do as a manager. I’ve also had great mentors who rewarded me for excellent work and helped me climb the ladder through promotions. Their recognition for my skills and effort helped me become a better manager today.
Tell us about a time where you stepped out of your comfort zone?
I’m always stepping out of my comfort zone only because I love to challenge the status quo. I love considering new, fresh ideas to drive the business forward. I know that makes some people uncomfortable, so they accept the comfortable day-to-day. They don't look at new approaches and how they could impact results. I'm always very direct and I don't hold back if I feel strongly about something. I can’t sit back and not change something, or challenge those around me. My favourite phrase is to, “think outside the box.” I push my team to constantly ask themselves “What am I doing?”; “Why am I doing it?”; “Does it make sense to do it this way?”; “Is there any other way to do it?” In finance, we’re not always on the front-lines, we’re behind the scenes, so I focus on improving decision making or processes. I want my team to be continuous-improvement minded.