Cassandra Kelly is the Global Chair and founder of Pottinger, a global corporate advisory firm that embeds philanthropy into its culture. Thread Publishing asked Cassandra what gets her fired up, and how these frustrations can be aired more widely to make others better aware of what needs fixing in our world.
Generally I’m a very calm, thoughtful, measured person, and yet sometimes I feel so impatient. Why is that? I’ve realised over the years that my impatience is derived from a sense of urgency. My sense of urgency comes about because I feel that I have only got one shot at making a contribution, so I’d better get on and make it. The world is a difficult place and we don’t have the luxury of a lot of time.
The world will actually go on without us after we’re gone – just not likely in the way that we know it today. The world will survive without us. But the people may just be all dead. That point is not as far away as we might think. We’re destroying the planet at a rapid pace.
Short-term vision is the enemy of prosperity. Cassandra Kelly
As I’ve got older, I’ve realised that we are truly not preserving the world for others, for the future. And I am not exaggerating when I say that we don’t have the benefit of time. We don’t have the luxury. If there was one thing I could shout from the rooftops – if there’s one way I could demonstrate how we’re destroying the planet – it would be to make us all aware that we have finished eating all the fish in the sea. All the incremental fish that have been eaten in the last 20 years have been farmed. And we reached peak production of fish from the sea in the 1990s. Now we are destroying this planet. We’re past that tipping point.
Making an impact
These kinds of thoughts, and this impatience, make me really proud of building an organisation that is both a think tank and an advisory service, but it is also driven by a much higher purpose. This purpose sharpens our everyday focus and manifests itself through even better commercial results for our clients. Pottinger is brave, compassionate, courageous and caring; it’s collaborative, generously spirited, and profitable. While I’m proud of building it, there’s so much more to be done.
At Pottinger, we’re working with decision makers, leaders and influencers to reframe the way that they make decisions, so that they can take account of longer-term outcomes. What you do today defines your future. Short-term vision is the enemy of prosperity.
Pottinger is a global corporate advisory firm owned by its employees. This independence allows them to provide completely objective advice. Pottinger has won multiple awards in recognition of its contribution to staff and clients and was recently highlighted as a role model by the Australian Government’s Workforce & Productivity Agency.
Pottinger’s notable work includes advising on the 2007 AUD$7bn Suncorp-Metway/Promina merger and 2008 AUD$230m sale of its credit card portfolio to Citigroup, and the AUD$4.4bn water transaction and further development of Queensland Urban Utilities in 2010. Pottinger has also launched the Glass Elevator initiative to help connect, inspire and engage senior businesswomen so that they feel better supported as they continue their journey to greater impact and seniority.
Written by Thread Publishing (threadpublishing.com). Connecting the world one story at a time to bring humanity back into business. © 2015
Photo credit: The Glass Elevator