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Jo Fox

  • Programme: Finance for Non-Finance Executives
  • Nationality: Australian
  • Job Post-programme: Director of Brand Communications at NOW TV, BSkyB

Professional background

Jo holds a Science Degree and has worked extensively on sustainable development in indigenous communities. Before moving to London, she held a number of senior political positions in Australia – advising on policy and media across a wide range of areas. Prior to her position at BSkyB, Jo was Head of Corporate Communications for the Environment Agency. She has now been Director of The Bigger Picture for the last year. Her current role involves working on environmental responsibility, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and developing arts and sports partnerships. Jo completed the Financial Seminar for Senior Managers programme in 2011.

Adding value

In the field of sustainability and CSR we talk a lot about adding value, but not in a financial sense. Many people working in this area don’t deal with financials on a day-to-day basis, but CSR is no longer just a philanthropic exercise. It is now necessary to measure value in terms of the bottom line.

CSR will only grow and develop if we can prove its value to the business and shareholders. The more effective CSR programmes are aligned with the corporate mission and therefore it’s important to understand how to measure and interpret its monetary value. I was looking for a training programme that would give me a broader grasp of finance theory and practice, then a colleague recommended the Financial Seminar for Senior Managers programme at London Business School. I put forward a business case to BSkyB which allowed me to evaluate the gaps in my knowledge and put forward a proposal that highlighted how this programme would allow me to operate more effectively, as well as add value to the business.

Deeper understanding

The programme was intense and felt a little overwhelming at first. There are lots of acronyms and figures thrown around, but one thing that I quickly came to realise was that although finance is presented as a rigorous science, the real value lies in the interpretation of data.

The programme definitely added value to my understanding of the business and gave me a much deeper understanding of the workings of finance in an organisation.

A more well-rounded employee

Attending the programme has already helped me on a day-to-day basis – I now understand the terminology – and my learning have made me a more well-rounded employee who can move across the business with greater ease. It is too soon to say how much impact the programme will have longer term, but it is essential for people like me who manage large budgets.