Each month we highlight a different Dare to be Great employee who embodies the Uncommon Blend or Challenge Accepted attitude that makes West Monroe Partners and everyone that works here so unique! This month, meet Ragan White, a Manager in West Monroe’s Banking practice, based in Seattle.
How did you get started at West Monroe?
Oddly enough, I was recruited by a former West Monroe employee, Kelly Hamski, who I met through a common friend. At the time I had just won an award for work and Kelly kept telling me that I had to come and check out West Monroe. She said I was too smart to stay where I was. I suppose she was right, because she stayed in contact with me and I left about a year later!
What is your proudest/coolest accomplishment at West Monroe?
I was the Chief Recognition Officer in Seattle for two years. In that time, I piloted the “Consultant of the Year Award” and hosted a Recognition Dinner that has now become an annual event at Q4 meetings. The first time it was a Director Roast and last year was a West Monroe Superlative ceremony. Seeing how excited everyone gets and how much people enjoy and look forward to the event…well, that is the part of my West Monroe legacy of which I am most proud.
How would you explain the Uncommon Blend at West Monroe?
I am a banker by trade and training and a consultant by practice for several years now. I would consider myself part of the uncommon blend because when staffing banking projects, we have an incredible mix of people who have been in the industry (like myself) who understand the real challenges and problems that banks face, and then people who are trained consultants who understand the landscape of the industry and can think of “outside the box” solutions. I have seen this come to life time and time again: we come in and really think about the current state problem and potential solutions before recommending a “one- size- fits- all” technology implementation to band- aid a current problem.
I would describe this insight and approach across West Monroe and it is truly what I believe differentiates us. We are not a firm that will come in and just deliver a single strategy or vantage point that we might have used before. Instead, we come in as teammates and trusted advisors to our clients, and offer solutions based on their needs. We are people that will partner with clients directly and maintain our sense of humor and humanity. We do not come in as robots who pretend to know it all. We learn just as much from our clients and projects as they learn for us.
What is your Challenge Accepted moment? How has West Monroe challenged you?
I think my “Challenge Accepted” moment occurred when I was staffed on a long-term project outside of my industry and comfort zone as a new Manager. West Monroe put me in a stretch role because they knew I would be successful, but they also knew that I would have to grow in a lot of areas outside my arena of expertise. The project really helped me to sharpen my PM skills, as well as develop a lot of insight and knowledge into change management. Overall, it made me a better manager and more confident in my delivery when the scope of a project seems to be a little nebulous. West Monroe challenged me to define my own path of excellence and really assist and delight the client in my own style and delivery techniques.
If you were trapped on a deserted island, who from West Monroe would you bring and why?
I would bring a host of folks. It would be a newly revived Gilligan’s Island. I would bring Todd Cota first and foremost because he was my first ever project manager at West Monroe and I will forever be his groupie. (That – and he is hilarious). I would bring Lindsay Croke because she makes me laugh more than anyone. I would bring Mani Kumar because, hello, we would need a doctor. I would bring Stephanie Rex because of her positive and infectious optimism. And last, but certainly not least, I would bring Brent Miller because he would be the one person in that group to not only engineer a way home, but also create an algorithm to create efficiencies on his own plan. I am hoping I would get to be Mary- Ann if this was Gilligan’s Island revived.
How would you describe West Monroe in two words?