Digital CV

Strategist with 15+ years of proven experience

Naturally strategic and analytical thinker with a proven track record in complex industries

My Story

A Strategy and Intelligence professional based in France since 2015. Consulting full-time since 2020, which has included one 18-month contract working for an SME specialising in healthcare publishing and conferences. Prior to this worked for the international aerospace and defence company Leonardo for over 13 years.

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Analytical and strategically minded

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Strong stakeholder management

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Experience in Healthcare, aerospace, defence, maritime and offshore

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Empathetic motivational leader

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Creative problem-solver

Influential, organised, and results-driven professional with over 15 years of proven experience in market and competitor intelligence, strategy and marketing working closely with the C-suite and other stakeholders to maximise satisfaction. A naturally strategic thinker with an “astute analytical mind” who has enjoyed leading, designing and deploying analytical frameworks and analyses to generate insights, as well as translating qualitative and quantitative data into actionable intelligence and winning business strategies. Highly skilled at crafting creative and compelling stories tailored to meet the audience’s requirements. Adopted a motivational and empathetic leadership style to empower high-functioning multinational teams. 

Skills

  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Market Intelligence
  • Market research & analysis
  • Competitive intelligence
  • Data analysis
  • Modelling & reporting
  • Strategic management
  • Qualitative & quantitative research
  • Creative problem solving
  • Leadership and coaching
  • Trend analysis
  • Change management
  • Business planning

Language Skills

  • English – FLUENT NATIVE
  • French – Intermediate

Who I am

I absolutely love what I do, I enjoy analysing an issue and finding solutions either through research or design or even by changing the way something is done. Some of the most rewarding experiences though, have been teaching others these skills and seeing them continuing to be successfully deployed in organisations.  

I enjoy creative outlets and have spent time mastering portrait photography, as well as drawing and painting. But creativity doesn’t stop on the page as I love to dance – and sing as well. I have previously taught but currently attend dance classes, unfortunately a solo pursuit as my husband has two left feet!    

I also enjoy experimenting with technology and computing.  My family and close friends play an extremely important role in my life, and even though my family are in the UK and I am in France we are still very close. Lastly, walks and cuddles with my crazy puppy are my favourite times of the day.

Value 

Though strategic thinking and creating competitive advantage are the key to staying ahead in todays market, building a strategy based on gut instinct and experience is no longer good enough. Data and insights drive truly sustainable growth, but order to create real impact these need to be translated into actionable intelligence.

My expertise lies in transforming complex data into clear and concise information. By distilling key insights, I enable you to make informed decisions that drive your business forward. Whether it’s identifying market trends, understanding customer behaviours, or assessing competitor landscapes, actionable intelligence empowers you to stay agile and create competitive advantage.

Humans are natural storytellers and stories have a unique power to captivate and inspire. In the business world, crafting compelling stories is essential to communicate your strategies effectively.

I excel at turning data and insights into compelling narratives. I understand that different stakeholders have distinct needs, and I tailor my communication accordingly. By presenting your strategies as engaging stories, you can influence and align your teams, partners, and clients towards a shared vision of success.

Experience

Consulting

Charity – Providing expertise as the Global Lead for Membership Experience at PWN Global a global network of people accelerating gender-balanced leadership in business and society, through professional development and international, cross-industry, online and in-person networking.

Freelancing – Sharing a deep awareness of competitive intelligence, strategic planning, and market research to advise UK and European businesses on strategy and competitive advantage building.

Coaching & Training – Providing online, local and regional training and coaching workshops during Covid and beyond on strategy in business, how to use intelligence and building confidence.

Mentoring – Mentoring young professionals either to help at key decision points, or early in their careers.

05/2016 – 12/2023

Healthcare Business International

Interim Head of Intelligence (18-month contract) 

Head of product role driving strategic and tactical direction, transformed digital news+ product into an in-depth market intelligence product providing market analysis and forecasts, providing an objective and data-informed view of the healthcare sectors across EMEA. Readership grew by over 5x and 2023/24 renewal revenues reached a record 101% membership re-up rate.

Key highlights

  • Defined and developed strategy for intelligence business, championing data-informed approach echoing consumer requirements.
  • Utilised marketing insight, market and competitive analysis, alongside customer market research to build an updatable gap analysis and progress view.
  • Led and trained a talented team of reporters/analysts.
  • Led cross-company training on research, policy tracking, analytic frameworks and analyses.
  • Provided UX/CX mapping and redesign, training, detailed product roadmaps, and with user insights/feedback prioritised content, design and resources.
  • Authored sector-specific and cross-sector intelligence reports undertaking primary and secondary research and market/trend analyses.
  • Produced and edited news and intelligence content often deputising for the editorial director.
  • Built and presented successful Women in Healthcare networking event; showcasing and promoting industry diversity.

01/2022 – 07/2023

Leonardo Company (Formally SELEX Communications)

Senior Market Analyst (Capabilty and Strategy)

Engaged with key stakeholders and Board-level decision-makers to understand and extract requirements and presented them with business-critical information, allowing Leonardo to make intelligence-informed, high-impact business decisions. Crafted and presented audience-appropriate actionable insights and strategies. Designed and deployed bespoke market forecasting tools, collated, cleansed, and segmented data while benchmarking and identifying customer trends and competitor offerings.

Worked across diverse range of business units, from cyber security, communications, SaaS and sensors to avionics and helicopters.

Key highlights

  • Utilised various analyses to identify key areas for opportunities, turned these into actionable business strategies then acted as facilitator with targeted deployment teams to deliver tangible results.
  • Strategy outputs resulted in measurable profitability uplift, winning Excellence in Delivery Award for this work in this role.
  • Produced and presented sector/cross-sector market intelligence reports, which included research, analyses, forecasting, modelling and predictions, influencing the company’s investment strategy.
  • Provided pipeline for M&A targets and key insights to secure investment in geographic expansion programmes across various business units.
  • Created and maintained competitive benchmarking and intelligence systems.
  • Identified opportunities and provided competitive intelligence and scenario planning to support bidding process.
  • Organised a highly security-conscious cross-industry conference for UK-based Defence Market Analysts and delivered training 1:1 and 1:100 basis.

    06/2011 – 08/2020

    SELEX Communications

    Marketing Manager

    Grew Marine and Offshore business unit business revenues through sales and marketing strategy overhaul, utilising extensive research and insights, re-branding, events, PR, and digital in line with a £1.5m budget, gaining promotion in 2011, following the merger with sister company to become global high-tech player in aerospace, defence and security.

    Key highlights

    • Authored and implemented an innovative 10-year marketing strategy which included extensive change management programme, series of research projects, rebranding exercises and utilising expert agencies, resulting in £3M increase in business revenue
    • Pioneered SELEX’s data analysis team to deliver qualitative/quantitative data analysis, benchmarking, competitor analysis, financial planning and analysis, technological gap analysis, and country-specific analysis.
    • Generated new business leads by leveraging company knowledge and customer awareness, exploring new regions and areas of expertise to diversify offerings and proactively managing accounts within allocated market segments
    • Actively took on the role of Events Manager to lead celebrations of the high-profile closure of the famous Marconi Headquarters including a veteran’s day event for 400 former employees.

      02/2007 – 06/2011

      Education

      The Open University

      Bachelor of Arts Honors (BAC+4) – Media and Literature 2:2 – 2010

      Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

      Level 7 Diploma (BAC+5) – Consulting – Studying

      Personal Development

      • Digital Journalism, Reuters
      • Data Visualisation Specialist: Concepts
      • Macro Environmental Analysis and Business Strategy
      • Creating Advantage from Competitor Insight, CIM
      • Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) Methodology and Techniques, IHS Janes – Arno Reuser
      • SQL Programming
      • Gender Representation in the Media
      • Group Coaching and NLP Master Practitioner

      Technical Skills

      Productivity

      • Microsoft Office (Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Visio, Access, SharePoint),
      • Google Workspace

      Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

      • Salesforce
      • SAP

      Creative

      • Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator),
      • WordPress

      Business Intelligence and Analytics

      • PowerBI
      • Tableau

      Programming (Beginner)

      • SQL
      • Javascript
      TESTIMONIALS

      A selection of testimonials from Linkedin.

      Kirsty is an excellent manager skilled in not only creating and implementing a vision, but in working to adapt this vision to meet the needs of her team and facilitating discussion which makes this possible.

      She is also thoughtful and kind in a pastoral sense and can be trusted to listen, offer advice, and if needed intervene.

      Joe Quiruga

      Senior Reporter and Analyst, Healthcare Business International

      I know I speak for the team when I say Kirsty has been nothing but supportive and accommodating both pastorally and professionally since I joined HBI last year.

      Outside of leading the strategy and reinventing the structure of our intelligence reports for greater consistency and higher quality, at every turn she has been integral to the training, upskilling, and professional development of our team.

      Michaila Byrne

      Senior Reporter and Analyst, Healthcare Business International

      I worked for a number of years with Kirsty Withams and learned to value her sound analytical brain. She has a marked ability to add value to any team with her knowledge and experience, also contributing a talent for identifying flaws within premises that the majority have accepted. In my experience, she was invariably proved correct. Kirsty should prove an asset to any organisation that values intellect, ability during constructive debate; and capacity for hard work.

      Crispian Beattie CBE

      Key Account Manager Land, Leonardo Electronics UK

      Kirsty heads up our business intelligence service which is read by analysts, investors and operators – globally. It’s a savvy, questioning audience, and she’s delivering.

      She’s dedicated, hardworking, methodical, and genuinely cares about the product. Under her stewardship, membership revenue has soared, and through her suggestions our offering has become far more structured, and better presented.

      She’s taken a lead with staff training, taking an interest in both pastoral and academic development, and is a passionate advocate for quality and transparency in all she does.

      I don’t give out many endorsements on LinkedIn. I’m happy to endorse Kirsty unequivocally.

      David Farbrother

      Editorial Director, Healthcare Business International

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