jessica melville

jessica melville
MEET LizLister

Global Head of Innovation and Product Strategy Natural Resources

Team Natural Resources

Segment  Corporate Risk and Broking

Location London, United Kingdom

Year hired 2012

Personal skills or interests:

People are my passion. My colleagues, clients, friends and family give my life and job a purpose. They are my motivation for getting things done.

I have a firm belief that if you want to be an positive leader you have to identify and understand the different skills that each colleague can bring. Influential leaders must also be aware of their own skill gaps and make a concerted effort to create diverse teams with the required consolidated skills. You can harness those skills to create innovative, future-thinking solutions that proactively lead change.

Can you tell us about your history with Willis Towers Watson?

I joined Willis Towers Watson in 2012 as Managing Director of the Great Britain Affinity business. Within this role, I had the opportunity to oversee 60 colleagues in a call center environment servicing small-medium enterprises. Afterwards, I spent five years leading the Leeds, Manchester and latterly the Birmingham Retail offices. I was responsible for the teams focused on delivering solutions to mid-size and major corporate clients. The experience gained in my previous role gave me a valuable, fresh lens that helped me design and execute strategies to deliver the growth needed across the regions.

In 2018 I wanted to focus on building my global experience. That’s when an opportunity came up for me to take a role in our Global Facultative Reinsurance business to lead Sales globally. This gave me the chance to utilize my previous sales experience to embed sales discipline across the business and create and execute global sales strategies.

After two years leading Sales, I was asked to take on a project to validate an innovation initiative. This gave me a platform to showcase my strategy and innovation skills, opening up the opportunity to move into the role I currently hold: Global Head of Innovation and Product Strategy.

Can you tell us about the day-to-day responsibilities of your job?

I am fortunate to be working in the exciting industry of natural resources. The industry is facing unprecedented change due to climate transition and the focus on driving a low carbon economy. My day-to-day responsibilities consist of working alongside our experts to understand the challenges clients may have now and in the future, and identify, create, validate and bring to life new solutions.

What are the key challenges of your role? How have you overcome them?

In my current role I have the same challenge as in previous roles, the need to get up to speed quickly to understand the industry and client needs. The key to address this challenge is to quickly build strong relationships with the team, to immerse yourself in the industry through broad research, and to always use client insight to validate understanding and ideas rather than second guess what is needed.

What training and development opportunities have you enjoyed as a result of your role at Willis Towers Watson?

Mentors have played a key part in my career progression at Willis Towers Watson. Having a number of different types of mentors across the business has helped me focus on my development needs and has also helped me understand the breadth of opportunities across the company.

What’s been one of your most exciting projects to date?

The project I am currently working on is the most exciting to date. It is focused on creating a solution that can help accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy – I can’t say anything more at this point but watch this space!

How would you describe the culture at Willis Towers Watson?

I am proud of Willis Towers Watson’s inclusive culture. I feel part of a very large team who are all pulling in the same direction, passionate about clients and supporting each other.

What do you like best about working at Willis Towers Watson?

I love working with interesting, talented and passionate colleagues. This coupled with the opportunities I have to keep developing my skills and take on new challenges, makes Willis Towers Watson a great place to work.

Was there anything that surprised you about your role or the company?

When I joined Willis Towers Watson in 2012, I envisaged that my career would stay within the Affinity business, which was where I had built my expertise. However, I was surprised by the breath of opportunities available to transfer my skills into other businesses and the encouragement I have received in terms of career progression.

What is your hope for your career in the future?

I want to continue working with great, talented colleagues and create innovative, future-thinking, solutions. I want to help shape the future and drive the change needed to create a more sustainable world.

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone considering employment with Willis Towers Watson?

Go for it! Willis Towers Watson is a great environment to grow, develop and succeed if you have the passion and ambition to build a fulfilling career.