Angie Ison is not one to stay idle. As the COO and CFO of Stream Music, she holds a Bachelors in Commerce, a postgraduate diploma in economics, a Master of Business Administration and is a Justice of the Peace. Aside from that, Ison is also a qualified realtor.
Beyond her qualifications, Angie Ison’s day-to-day work involves working with stakeholders internationally and constantly learning on-the-go, adding to her repertoire of business experience.
A central part of Ison’s work is ensuring that businesses run and scale sustainably.
Throughout her career, Ison has been an advocate of corporate sustainability and has made it an integral part of how she optimizes the businesses she works with.
She says corporate sustainability is about a few fundamental pillars such as social economic and environmental factors that go into making a business viable over the long term.
Having worked across many different sectors such as start-ups, real estate, healthcare, sporting, finance, fashion and more, Ison notes that, “No matter what industry you work in, you always work from the governing principles of business.”
Angie Ison says one of the major principles of business is ensuring long-term sustainability within the company. To Ison, this means much more than sustainability from just a strategic and operations perspective. It means managing human capital effectively to position that company for growth.
Ison recommends asking questions like, “Who are our team? What qualifications do they have? What ongoing training do they need?,” and more. She says it’s important to question how people will integrate into the ongoing growth of the company as well.
“For me it has been an eye opening experience when staff or employees become the front line.”
Ison says she is always looking to close the gap to ensure that the businesses she works with have the highest standard of human capital. Part of ensuring this is weaving standards and principles into corporate policies and developing concrete strategies for sustainable growth.
In addition to considering human capital, there are several other factors to adhere to such as the legal and governance side of business, components Ison regularly oversees to help ensure sustainable corporate growth.
Corporate sustainability, of course, is not just about the internal factors that make a business sustainable, but the external factors as well. It’s important to consider the ripple effect a business has on the environment, community and the people, both where it operates and beyond.
Angie Ison has a process when it comes to enhancing the corporate sustainability of a business.
She recalls working with a company that was in receivership and was in need of intervention.
“My first step is always to look at the financial data,” says Ison. “I have a look at historical data and then start to drill down into each department depending on the structure of the company. I look at headcount, human resources and more.”
“The balance sheet gives me an overall idea of the good and the bad of a company.”
Ison also looks into the policies and procedures that are in place and questions whether they contribute to the corporate sustainability of the organization.
In the end, Ison was able to help bring the company out of receivership and turn a profit.
Another component of corporate sustainability and organizational success, according to Ison, is great leadership – a quality she believes is congenital.
“You can pick up certain skills from mentors, which I believe enhances what fundamental cognitive attributes you already have.”
Ison recommends working on your innate skills and always looking for opportunities to expand and improve.
“I’m lucky to have worked with very great people who have given me that.”