The Back Story – Brigitte Odgers-Jewell

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The Back Story – Brigitte Odgers-Jewell
In our monthly interview series The Back Story we sit down with a senior executive in our Singapore team, Brigitte Odgers-Jewell.

  1. First up – how long have you worked with us?
    3 months

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

I was looking for my next adventure and Adaptovate ticked all the boxes. Having spent the better part of 20 years in Australia I was raising 2 amazing children with my husband Brett and carving out a corporate career for myself. I have worked with many talented Agile teams across industries since 2007. I love what I do and Business Agility Coaches are in such demand so the career path has served me well.

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

My entire life has been about trying new things. Travel and adventure have been a passion from a very young age. I spent time in hospitality running restaurants and bars in my youth. I spent a couple of years running a dive resort and then went on to travel the world on cruise ships as a photographer and later a croupier. These jobs gave me great insight to people and culture all around the world. It was a wonderful time. In 2004 I was introduced to corporate life when I took on the roll of Webmaster for a Bank in Queensland. This organisation would introduce me to Agile and the rest is history. Learning and experimenting was expected and encouraged. The friends that I made at work are still my best friends today to the point where we still get together and have reunions around the world. It is true, the teams that play together stay together! I’ve seen what good looks like and it boils down to leadership at every level. Looking back, I think I made some good choices and took whatever opportunities I saw, I’m happy with that.

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

I’d describe it as work life integration. I’m a mother, wife, daughter, sister and have a full-time corporate career. It’s what I signed up to and it’s up to me to make it work. I work hard and I play hard, I love it! There are a few non-negotiables that get me down if skipped. I try to do 30 minutes of exercise and 10 minutes of meditation 5 days a week before touching any technology. I also try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Every now and then a demanding schedule throws a spanner in the works. Being disciplined to get back into routine is hard sometimes but I feel so much better for it. I’m so privileged to be able to go to some amazing holiday destinations around the world every year with my family. I make sure that the batteries are recharged and I’m ready for whatever opportunities await me. On the weekends when I’m home, I make sure I go for a run, long walks and cuddles with Roxy my dog and make time for romance.

  1. 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?

Since I’m only home on the weekends my home office is the dinning room table or kitchen bench. We have a very lovely home office with docking station and huge monitor and all the mod cons. Maybe I’m lazy or have FOMO but I just like to be in the middle of the house where I can be part of the action and have my sticky notes laid out, my laptop open and have a glass of wine.

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

I love to play music during workshops. I haven’t recently but it’s usually some classic disco remix for collaborative, fun activities [editors note – here’s a great Spotify Classics remix collection] and some laid back mellow instrumental tunes when deep thinking is needed.

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

It’s hard to keep up with technological advances and all that AI is doing for humanity. I am so grateful that I can connect with my family at any time, from anywhere and on any device. It has made my choice to move to Asia and leave my family in Australia so much easier. To know that I can not only talk to them but see them at the click of a button is very comforting. There are countless people around the world that have to leave their families to go and work in far off destinations this technology makes it a little easier. I am not really concerned about the future from a technology perspective. We are adaptive, creative and inquisitive creatures. What does worry me are our world leaders and governments keeping up. There needs to be a plan to keep people relevant and embrace technology at the same time.

  1. 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 think the way education is being disrupted is tremendous. Recently I did a course through MIT Sloan. It was an uncomplicated and enjoyable process. I was able to select a subject relevant to my current interest. I received course material, attended lectures, collaborated with peers around the world and submitted assignments from anywhere, at any time and for a reasonable price. Platforms like YouTube have been a one stop shop to learn pretty much anything over the past few years, but I certainly like that there are so many options to learning now and that Universities and other disruptions have embraced the need for options other than brick and mortar class rooms.

  1. What does success mean to you personally?

Being able to spend quality time with my family and friends and knowing that I have contributed in some way to the happiness or success of someone in the word.

  1. Finally – You’ve time travelled back to your 10- year old self – What advice would you give?

Keep up the French lessons, learn to play the piano, speak to your father in German, give up the ballet classes (you will never be coordinated), stand up for what you believe, it’s okay to disagree with the majority, not everyone will love you – it’s okay – the one’s that do, really do.

You can connect with Brigitte on Linkedin. 



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