Susie Braam O'Reilly
Susie has 19 years of public sector experience in a wide variety of roles. Between 2015 and 2021, she led efforts in parts of the UK Government to help them innovate at scale. In 2017, she established and ran a multi-agency Incubator to iteratively design and develop solutions to some of the country’s most challenging and complex national security problems.
Between 2018 and 2021, Susie was Head of Innovation at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Here, she turned her attention to designing and building an Innovation Ecosystem from scratch. This comprised developing a strategic innovation capability and designing and embedding entrepreneurial governance systems to manage innovation in a systematic and scalable way. Coaching senior leaders to break down and solve complex problems, manage the associated uncertainty and risk, and create a culture of curiosity where innovation can thrive, was part of her role.
Susie is a Strategyzer Innovation Facilitator and has certified as a LeanStack Mentor and FourSight Innovation Thinking Preferences Facilitator. She is also the Founder of Mulberry Retreats, a company providing restorative and holistic leadership experiences.
Susie is passionate about embracing new approaches and ideas, challenging assumptions, replacing ego with data to make decisions and, ultimately, making things better.
Katie Careless MBE
Katie has 14 years experience in the public sector in roles from data analysis, to policy, research, operations management, technical delivery management, project management and business change. Since 2016 she has been leading the charge to bring innovation and entrepreneurship to various Departments. She created U.K. Government’s first ever Innovation Methodologies Lead role and is currently continuing to mature innovation practise by focussing on developing people as Head of Profession for Entrepreneurship within UK Government.
A self-confessed learning addict she excels at helping leaders and teams to bring together and adapt different techniques and methods in order to accelerate and amplify innovation. She is a certified Strategyzer Innovation Facilitator, LeanStack Coach Certified, certified with FourSight in Creative Problem-Solving, Sociocracy Practitioner, Large Scale Scrum Practitioner, as well as remaining a certified Project Manager with the Association of Project Managers (APM).
Katie is on a mission to spark entrepreneurial spirit and bring disciplined innovation practises to people everywhere. She particularly loves tackling difficult problems with motivated people
Yellow Cat’s Founding Partners are Susie Braam O’Reilly and Katie Careless MBE. We set up Yellow Cat in 2020 having spent five years developing strategic and systematic innovation inside the UK Government. During this time, we had the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the greatest international thought leaders in corporate innovation, including Eric Ries, Steve Blank, Sonja Kresojevic and Strategyzer’s Alex Osterwalder, all of whom inspired us and informed our approach. Yet trying to innovate in a risk averse, established and hierarchical organisation remained back-breakingly hard and we found very few people (particularly in the UK) who genuinely had the combined experience of corporate transformation and knowledge of innovation approaches.
We have so much respect for anyone taking on a similar challenge inside their own organisation.
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