The Back Story – Caitilin Studdert

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The Back Story – Caitilin Studdert
Caitilin Studdert is one of our longest term employees and is now COO. Caitilin sat down with us in our The Back Story interview back in 2019.


Our Monthly interview with one of the ADAPTOVATE team. Each month we ask one of our team from around the world to answer 10 questions. While not in the same league as The Proust Questionnaire – we think it’s a great way to share our stories with you.

This month we are speaking with Caitilin Studdert, a project lead for Adaptovate, based in Sydney.

Ok! Our ten questions.

First up – how long have you worked with us?
Since 2017.

Why did you join us? Were you in the industry previously, or looking for a new career direction?

Looking for a new career direction and knew Doug Ross well and his company ambition.

How has your previous experience and career helped define where you are now? Would you have done things differently?

Absolutely. I use every single part of my career experience daily. I’ve had numerous temporary roles and some very long term positions as well. It’s the people I’ve interacted with in the roles that have taught me the most, not the function or the responsibility of that role. I’ve had some incredible bosses and for each of them I could recite their mantra and often do daily in my work still. What would I do differently ? I would recognise that my failures (in projects and in job applications) have taught me more than my successes. My first job as a 14 year old as a casual taught me as much as any professional job I’ve had since. No regrets on career: my choice of marketing initially was brilliant as it enabled me to focus on people and teams, and now in consulting I’m surrounded by people, teams and aspirational goals which I love.

How do you balance your work life with your ‘real’ life – Do you have a good balance and how important is it to you?

Let’s not pretend, all of us have times where work / life is completely out of whack but fortunately I’ve had great leaders who have acknowledged how important it is to seek it constantly. When I’m involved with a client I obsess over learning about the company and industry because I’m a big believer in the power of preparation. In my ‘real life’ -my family is the bees knees. I run with them, burn perfectly good food with them by mistake, watch great quality trashy TV with them and adore our generous extended family. Without them, I wouldn’t be as gritty and imperfect.

With so many of our team remote working, we always like to ask how do you have your home office/desk set up? Organised or chaos? Any top tips?

Chaos. Top tips: don’t follow my example.

Do you play music during your Agile workshops with clients? What do you recommend on your latest playlist?

I don’t play music often in workshops but if I did it would be the Indiana Jones movie soundtrack…(yep, the dah dah da da…dah da daaaaa version) or the Star Wars theme there’s something inspirational about having a familiar tune and full orchestral blast as you kick off learning something new.

How do you think technology has best helped humanity and do you have any concerns about our future?

Yep, technology which provides a ‘voice’ for those who don’t have one is incredible. Even social media I’m not afraid of as I’ve been exposed to it for so long and am aware of the messy parts and best bits. My concerns are mostly environmental and I’m hoping I’m supporting this as best I can.  I am appalled in rare scenarios where technology replaces interaction and empathy.

Strategic Foresight allows companies to detect changes early and ensure action is taken quickly. Which companies have you seen able to change and adapt quickly?(and hopefully using Agile methods to do so)

I’d actually love to list some of my recent clients, but we are under NDA. I see it regularly and am consistently inspired by it when they are adapting to the market and also to new agile ways of working. Although I’ve never worked within these organisations I’ve loved the global uptake of fitness fun runs with quirky takes (e.g. The Colour Run). I wouldn’t have predicted there would be such a huge market for ‘social’ fitness and am impressed how quickly these companies have reached massive audiences within Australia.

What does success mean to you personally?
Success for me is if any achievement is shared. A celebration on your own is downright boring.

Finally – You’ve time travelled back to your 10- year old self – What advice would you give?
Your imperfections are just perfect. Stick with them.