Abigail Schoenheimer

ARCHITECT

Expertise

Behavioural change, risk culture, banking.

Business highlights

Risk Culture Consultant | Macquarie Group
Led a team that performed risk culture assessments in businesses and functions across the globe. Using surveys, interviews and focus groups to glean data-driven insight, I crafted narratives to build the case for change. Our work enabled leaders to understand their culture to harness their strengths manage unintended cultural consequences to enhance performance and minimise downside risk.

Consultant | Ernst & Young
Worked on a team that introduced a completely new service model for the Australian Defence Force, which now allows it to access its entire workforce in a more agile and integrated way. I performed an in-depth review of existing career management structures and practices across the Navy, Army and Air Force to inform the design of a more flexible value proposition to attract and retain talent.

Consultant | PwC
As a consultant in the People and Change team, I specialised in behaviour and culture change in financial services. I focussed on helping organisations translate their corporate values into specific behaviours to drive real change in the habits of staff. The implementation of these behavioural interventions led to improvement in business performance, including risk outcomes

Why I love what I do

I am a massive culture ‘geek’. I’m fascinated by how the work environment can have such a huge impact on someone’s choices and behaviours, leading to a completely different outcome for a business. In an increasingly roboticised and automated world, people are now, more than ever, the differentiator between organisations that flourish and those that flounder. So, to me it’s pretty clear - it’s culture, stupid!

A business result I'm proud of

When a near miss reporting error was discovered in a global insurer, a culture problem in the finance function was identified as the root cause. We innovated an approach to hardwiring newly agreed values into the everyday behaviours of employees, inspiring other parts of the organisation to replicate the programme. This real shift in the habits of staff led to the overall turnaround of the organisation; improved profitability, renewed shareholder confidence and raised credit ratings.

A business reinvention I admire

As a child of the 80’s I will always associate Disney with great children’s films - but focus on their ‘story telling’ purpose was beginning to dwindle in the early 2000s. The box office successes of the 90’s gave way to mass produced ‘straight-to-video’ sequels and led to a stagnant share price and threat of a hostile takeover. In 2005, an audacious new leader galvanised a strategy focussed on expanding the target market to include the profitable tween demographic, making bold acquisitions like Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilms - relentlessly pursuing franchise opportunities. This has restored health in the share price and returned Disney to the world’s second largest media company and iconic brand of my youth.