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Stefanie Oakes, General Manager – Asia Pacific Services, Honeywell Building Technologies

Stefanie Oakes, General Manager – Asia Pacific Services, Honeywell Building Technologies

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Stefanie Oakes, General Manager – Asia Pacific Services, Honeywell Building Technologies, speaks to us about her management philosophy, investments in healthcare and her go-to productivity trick. 

What would you describe as your most memorable achievement? 

I would describe my most memorable professional achievement as when I led the retail market entry strategy into Indonesia for BP. Indonesia has a large population and presented a significant business development opportunity with significant challenges involved. I worked on the project from the grassroots strategy through to execution, allowing me to play a role in the entire development of the project.  

What style of management philosophy do you employ in your current position? 

I am a collaborative leader and believe in encouraging my team to develop the confidence and skills to contribute new ideas and processes to improve outcomes. My team has joint responsibility for Honeywell’s success and there is an expectation of participation going beyond your own swim lane.  

It’s also important to me to be an inclusive leader which celebrates differences and recognises the strength in others. I am committed to instilling a culture of continuous improvement across our team. Whether it be task-based or leadership skills, this ongoing education is critical to developing the next generation of leaders.  

If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be? 

Each career experience has been formative in its own way and because of that I don’t have any regrets over career decisions. Even in roles that I did not enjoy, I developed skills and learned new ways of working. I’ve worked with leaders and bosses who were not necessarily my cup of tea, but I did learn valuable lessons including resilience and the importance of a team mentality.  

How do you unwind outside of the office? 

Mental and physical health are both important to me, so I balance my time outside of work with things that keep me healthy and things that make me happy. I like to exercise and keep fit through running or my Peloton for a quick workout. My three-year-old is a great distraction from an exhausting workweek. She’s at a great age to get out and try new experiences and I love trying to see the world through her eyes. I also take time to do things for myself and I enjoy a nice glass of wine.   

What’s your go-to productivity trick? 

Engaged teams are so much more productive and make the work experience more enjoyable. It’s important not to underestimate the importance of connecting with your team. Understanding their needs and ambitions helps us all figure out how to improve and how to best work together. Based on my experience, engaged teams will go the extra mile.  

From a business perspective, invest in aligned strategy development and the tactical execution of that strategy. Spending the time to orient business values and goals with all stakeholders – including managers, supervisors and the broader team – will pay dividends. When everyone is working towards the same mission, it creates an environment where people can thrive.  

What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment within healthcare? 

COVID-19 changed the way the healthcare industry operates. It’s been a major catalyst for healthcare innovations. Telehealth has become the new norm in healthcare, with telehealth activities now a permanent arrangement under the Medicare Benefits Scheme.  

Healthcare providers are investing more in a variety of ways to not only provide care but to also manage their operations from expanded telehealth to more innovative cloud-based technologies and sensors to remotely support patients. We’re now seeing live remote monitoring and management of patient health, more connected and advanced fall detection alerts and remote rehabilitation management. As these technologies increase in use, we’re seeing an expanded view of the concept of a ‘converged network.’ Healthcare can now connect to home networks and personal devices, such as smartphones, for instant reporting and analysis between patients and healthcare providers.  

In hospitals, there is an increasing trend to integrate facility, clinical and cloud-based systems on converged networks. The way healthcare data is communicated between doctors and staff has gotten more advanced in recent years. Hospitals are adopting handheld devices to support diagnoses, inventory tracking, ordering medication and tracking patients’ medical treatments. Connecting these tools into one facility network means these disparate systems can talk to each other in real-time, delivering advanced analytics and Machine Learning for the most up-to-date and comprehensive experience.  

Hospitals which converge their networks may see improved clinical and operational efficiencies, enhanced visitor management and customer experience, reduced business interruptions due to predictive analysis, lower operational costs, accurate forecasting and management of capital expenditure and more optimised life cycle asset management. 

The increase in converged networks also creates the need for a specialised service provider called a ‘Master Systems Integrator’ (MSI). The MSI needs to be well versed with in-house skillsets, expertise and capability across both the IT and Buildings domains. In other words, it needs to have a deep understanding of both IT systems and the physical environment – including how buildings are constructed, maintained and operate and how the IT systems are secured.  

Honeywell’s vast experience and advanced technologies include cyberprotection, where we work with our customers to secure the OT (Operational Technology) environment. Our strong heritage in the development of Building Systems and smart edge devices, combined with our Cyber/ICT (Information and Communications Technology) capability uniquely positions Honeywell as a valuable MSI partner for our Healthcare customers. 

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