Brodie Wilson

Identifying and delivering opportunities to drive top-line growth for a digital-native InsurTech start-up through partnerships and product innovation.
Revenue Manager (ANZ)
@
Open

What was your journey to joining your current company?

I started my journey as a Management Consultant (Strategy & Operations) with Monitor Deloitte, finishing in December 2022 as a Strategy Manager. I worked in Project Teams across a variety of industries, both Private and Public, with a focus in the last 6-12 months on strategy engagements within the Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) vertical in Australia. My time as a Management Consultant was an invaluable learning experience, and provided exposure to the kinds of business problems CEOs and COOs face on a daily basis. 

Nearing the end of my tenure I kept abreast of opportunities in the job market for Strategy and Transformation professionals, including roles in both large-scale organisations and small start-ups. Through this process I got to intimately understand the kinds of things professionally and personally that were important in my next role/ company; including team culture, career development, and opportunities to play an integral role in an organisation's growth story. I found throughout this journey that whilst a role in startups aligned to my interests and career ambitions, roles were generally not advertised at scale. 

I was quite lucky in the end to have been approached by Open. I interviewed throughout the process for two separate roles, which provided an opportunity to better understand the business and its ambitions, meet the Founders and senior leaders, and get a true sense of the values of the company and its people. I was really energised by the people and the conversations I had throughout the process, and have really bought in to the Open story.   

I’m now a Manager in the Revenue Team at Open, a team of 4 led by our Chief Revenue Officer, with a focus on identifying and delivering opportunities to provide sustainable revenue streams for the business. In my role I am responsible for building and managing our channel and underwriting partnerships across ANZ. This role includes identifying, designing and implementing solutions for new and existing product distribution partners by applying our commercial models, working with internal teams to drive product innovation, and leveraging data to drive strategic decision-making. 

What about it makes it your dream company?

When I was interviewing with Open, two things ultimately influenced my decision to join:

  1. The opportunity to play a key role in not just defining but also delivering/ implementing the top-line growth roadmap for the business in Australia and New Zealand. I feel a great sense of professional accomplishment from being critically involved in the end-to-end projects/ initiatives that drive growth for our business. 
  2. The people and teams at Open are some of the most driven and ambitious, intelligent, commercially savvy, yet humble and friendly I’ve worked with. Whilst Open is a fast paced environment fuelled by the pursuit of audacious goals, we ensure that each day is fun and full of collaboration and connection.  

What stands out the most about the culture? 

The business really lives up to its name as one underpinned by openness and transparency. It has been a breath of fresh air transitioning from a large and quite bureaucratic professional services firm, into an environment where no question is too ‘taboo’ with responses from our leaders that are clear, direct, and underpinned by honesty and care. In addition, it is very clear that the people and leaders at Open genuinely invest in creating an environment that is supportive, fun, and full of energy. 

How would you describe your role to a 5 year old?

You know how you live with mummy and daddy in a big house, and in that house are all your favourite toys, your amazing bedroom, and a kitchen where you eat yummy food? Well, I work for a company that makes sure that if anything was to go wrong and your house was damaged that mummy and daddy could afford to fix it, and fix it quickly! 

What does your day-to-day look like?

  1. Product & Partner Strategy - all of the blue-sky thinking and discovery activity required when identifying new products and partnerships across our target sector verticals. 
  2. Partnership Solution Design - Designing partnership solutions for new product distribution partners by applying our commercial models and existing use cases to create new opportunities.  
  3. Project Management - Working with multi-disciplinary, cross-functional teams to bring marketing, product, and partnership initiatives to life (from idea generation to delivery and implementation). 
  4. Problem-Solving - Taking on tricky commercial problems by applying strategic problem-solving frameworks, to both support the management of our key partnership accounts and to drive ongoing growth and improvements. 
  5. Marketing Strategy - Identifying and designing innovative marketing campaigns with our major partners to drive revenue growth and improvement. 

What does career progression/promotion look like for you?

Fast career progression and opportunities to take the lead on challenging work were a big draw card for transitioning into a startup environment. Within my team, the goal is to progress over the next couple of years into a ‘Principal’ or ‘General Manager’ role. This promotion would enable me to manage a team and a P&L, which means taking on responsibility and accountability for critical business decisions related to our top-line growth. This role also sets the strategy and implementation roadmap for partnership growth.  

For someone considering joining your company, what are a few things they can expect?

If you’re looking to move into startups:

Be patient, and take the time to both research and to enter into periods of introspection. Startups by nature can often demand long hours, be relentless on expectations, and lack those robust processes embedded in larger organisations that support delivery efficiency (e.g. constantly battling to identify, win and implement the next large-scale partnership) – so it becomes really important to understand what you’re signing up for.

On research – Research into both companies as well as specific roles within startups. One of the best ways to do this is to start reaching out within your own professional and personal networks to kick-off conversations, which will ultimately connect you with an even broader network. Ask lots of questions about people's experiences in startups, views of businesses/ teams they have been involved with, aspects of companies and roles they both enjoyed/ didn’t enjoy. These insights can really help your journey and inform your decision-making.

On introspection – this is about understanding what gives you energy professionally (i.e. helps you enter a flow state) vs. what zaps your energy. We spend a significant proportion of our weeks working, so it’s worth making sure the role, the team, and the company are the right fit for you. Dig deep, and identify those things that really interest you, that instil passion, and that get you up in the morning. I would also ask yourself whether the values, expectations, traits, and characteristics of startups align with your personal values and professional requirements. The startup environment is certainly not for everyone, and that is completely ok!

If you’re making the transition from consulting to startups:

The move can be quite confronting and challenging. Startups typically don’t have the same degree of process rigour that you might have come to expect in consulting. There isn’t always the luxury of a process or document to instruct on ‘how things are done/ or were done before’ for every situation. You’re often navigating a grey area as you work off a clean slate, and relying on first principles thinking to approach each new situation. You almost need to be energised by ambiguous and at times chaotic environments, and learn to be proactive about navigating this complexity. 

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