October 23, 2023

Episode 91: Elona Mortimer-Zhika, CEO of Iris

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The Story

When the leader of a business with 3000 team members across several countries, several continents, even, shares her insights on what’s working within the accountancy profession and how to make a business more successful, I’m all ears.

It was a great privilege and honour to have Elona Mortimer-Zhika, CEO of Iris, join me on this Humanise the Numbers podcast to share, from her perspective, insights on how important, how valuable, it is to humanise the numbers.

Dive into this podcast discussion and you may realise that you're already doing certain things well. You may also realise and appreciate the ways and means of improving one or two things that you're already doing. You’ll almost certainly go, ‘mmmmm, not even kickstarted that one – let's get into that because it can have a big impact on our team, our clients and the success of the firm.’

Scroll down this episode page for the contact information for Elona and for the additional, downloadable resources mentioned in this podcast.

The Solution:

I think it's even harder for a smaller firm because when you're first starting out there are a lot of foundations that need to be built, you're underground.

You live in a nice house today, but you want to build a bigger house, a better house, which means that you've got to go underground first and you’ve got to build pipes, etc., to hold your big house and that's not glamorous. Building foundations is not glamorous at all.

And the reason why it's not glamorous is that you can't see it, you can't touch it, you can't feel it and the numbers are all looking negative because all you see is cash going out. There's not a lot coming in and there's not a lot to show for it, but you've got to keep the faith.

The only way to keep the faith is to stay true to your ‘True North’. This is your purpose, the reason why you are doing this and you have to accept that these times are normal.

Then, eventually, you are going to come above ground and you are going to build kitchens, bedrooms and beautiful living rooms, and that's when it snowballs and it's great.

This is why having that great advisor next to you is important, because they remind you that the underground bits of the journey are normal, and as long as you're still heading in the right direction, then it's okay.





Connect with Elona

Connect with Paul

Resources relating to this podcast:

Paul and Elona discuss Purpose, Vision and Values all the way through this podcast. Elona's clarity on the direction of Iris and its 'True North' is very inspiring. You can also hear how important it is to her that the purpose and values of the business are not just a set of buzzwords, but that they are lived, believed and acted upon. People are held accountable through the OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) of, not only the business, but of their leaders, the managers and the team.

Elona talks about their purpose as their 'True North' - something that is stable, does not change and is where they want to be in 5 or 10 years’ time. The vision is how they get there without losing focus.

Relevant OKRs are how Elona and the team at Iris ensure that no one is distracted from the focus of the business.

Every single Iris employee has OKRs, and they are all linked back to the overall OKR for the business.

If you want to know more about how to lead your firm with focus using OKRs, then listen to this podcast - Elona provides practical gems in every sentence.

To learn more about the practicalities of how to lead your firm with a purpose which connects with your clients and your team, please read the 'Lead with Purpose' Business Breakthrough report.

To discover more about how to use OKRs in your firm to bring a quarterly focus to the achievement of your purpose, vision, goals and objectives, check out this Business Breakthrough report, 'Quarterly OKRs'.

Both of these reports are linked below:

Having a purpose and OKRs is great if you understand the strategic health of your firm - but just how healthy is it?

Do you have a strategic vision for your firm, connected to a core purpose?

Do you know where you want your firm to be in 5 years and, more importantly, do you know how you are going to get there?

What are you doing to secure a healthy future for your team, your firm and your firm’s clients?

Why not assess your firm’s strategic health to see how you measure up against other firms?

Click the button below to take the Strategic Health Questionnaire (you'll complete it in under 10 mins).

When you do, you'll be asked a number of questions connected with the 8 areas of strategy. You'll then get a personalised report to help you build strategic health into your firm from tomorrow!

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