Member Spotlight: Kari Lamont from McCormick Shared Services

Shine a light...

Every month we “shine a light” on an SSON member, to find out who they are and what they do – and what makes them so good at it! This month, meet Kari Lamont, Director, Global Business Process Services and EMEA Shared Service Center Head at McCormick & Company.

How long have you been working in shared services and what was your path into the industry?

10 years. I joined McCormick Shared Services as a project & training manager. Prior to McCormick I had worked in Engineering and Continuous Improvement associated with production. My affinity for process drew me into a role that supported projects that developed and improved process. At the time, I did not recognize the significance of shared services, but I quickly grew to appreciate joining the ‘process engine’ of the company. 

What has been your biggest challenge in your Shared Services career and how did you overcome it? 

My last role was the Center Head of our new site in Lodz, Poland, in addition to maintaining my functional accountabilities for global project management, process improvement, knowledge management, etc. This was a big challenge, starting with the cultural shift as my family and I moved from our home of the US to Poland. We had to learn how to be comfortable with asking for help. Similarly, on the job, it was a big challenge to juggle the dual role and competing priorities. The solution to both was better, more frequent communication. Also, it helps to remember that you are only human, and you need to be realistic in what you can accomplish. 

What is the best aspect of your role? 

My role is quite dynamic and it allows me many interactions with different teams and projects. That unto itself is rather rewarding, but the best for me is when we successfully connect the people and the process. Often there is that lightbulb moment that happens when you connect the right stakeholders around a common goal, and together they work to resolve a process gap that has plagued them for ages. 

What are your three main goals for the next 12 months? 

As a center, we are focused on:

  • Improving process governance & discipline
  • Aligning and standardizing end-to-end processes 
  • Communications and connectivity

What motivates you and keeps you engaged in your role?

I am motivated by change and learning. Fortunately, my role largely involves process improvement and project management so it is a good balance of learning new things and solving new opportunities.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting on their company’s shared services journey, or their shared services career?

Don't constrain your thinking. Network in and out of the shared service industry to find solutions. In most cases, your challenges will not be unique and there is likely someone else’s experience, albeit in success or mistakes, that you can leverage.  

Connect with Kari via LInkedIn.