Vanessa Douglas-Savage aka Simplifica

Which company do you work for?


What's your job and what do you like about it?

I like the variety of work that my job offers.  Sometimes I lead projects where I'm responsible for everything from assigning resources, tracking commercial documents and ensuring that work remains on track and meets client expectations (as well as internal standards).  Other times I'm only involved in projects at the very beginning or the end, providing advice on direction, what needs to be considered or reviewing final documents before they are delivered.  I do a lot of SME (subject matter expertise) roles for any projects that touch on information privacy, security, and architecture work, which means I have to keep up with what is happening in those areas as well. 
Another part of my role relates to sales.  I spend time with existing clients to help identify new opportunities, respond to tenders and attend industry events.  Each of our Directors looks after a certain market segment, and so I need to make sure I know what's happening in that space and spot any opportunities. 
I am also the CIO for our company, which means that I’m across what is happening with our information, systems and related procedures.  A typical CIO meeting will cover everything from video conferencing to Office365 tenancies, as well as how to apply metadata for internal discovery.

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How do you identify with your superhero identity?

One of my skills is to see though complex problems and come up with a solution.  It's not always the right solution first time, but being able to see possibilities quickly helps to keep everyone focused on moving forwards and staying out of a rut. But I don't do it well on my own - having a team of people behind me to tell me I'm wrong, or that my ideas aren't quite right, or to add extra detail is essential.  The problems we solve are complex and no one has all the information to come up with the right answer on their own. 

Do you have any favourite books?

So many! They range from Winnie-the-Pooh to 100 years of Solitude by Gabriel García Marquez.  I also love space opera and Fantasy novels. Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell) and Freakonomics (Steven Levitt and NewStephen J. Dubner) are two of my favourite non-fiction reads.  I don't find enough time to read, and fixing this is my goal for 2017. 

Final message:

Perfection is the enemy of good ... and Whatever the question, cake is the answer.