#260: Looking Around the Corner and Burning Platforms with John Barrett

Our Guest Mentor:

John Barrett currently holds the role of Vice President Finance EMEA for Medtronic and is located in Tolochenaz (near Lausanne) in Switzerland. In this role he is responsible for all aspects of the Finance function – including pricing, procurement and facilities- for Europe, Middle East and Africa. John joined Medtronic in Sydney 2001 and over the last 16 years has held various roles of increasing responsibility in both accounting and business finance. During that time he has lived in Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore and most currently Switzerland. Prior to Medtronic, John worked at Wyeth Medica Ireland and Wyeth Nutritionals Ireland.  

John is an Irish national and received a Bachelor of Business studies degree from the University of Limerick. He is a qualified CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management accountants) member and is based out of Lausanne, Switzerland. 

Key Quotes From the Episode: 

75% of accounting and finance should be looking forward.”[03:17] 

You have to know when to walk away.[10:24] 

If you will not innovate, your business will die.”[15:32] 

Take your time to understand them, but be who you are.” [28:10] 

 (Other resources and how to connect with John below). 

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Key Points From the Episode:

– Having a fantastic finance team that always looking forward 

– Know when to walk away  

– Opportunities for businesses amidst the COVID pandemic   

– Consistency vs. accuracy 

Time Stamped Show Notes 

[02:36 John shares his career journey in Accounting and Finance growing up as a farmers son that he carries with him the values of always looking forward. Went to college at the University of Limerick and took business degree that landed work at Wyeth Nutritional and Medica. Went to Australia to watch the 2000 Olympics and found a job at Medtronic. Worked at Japan at Asia Pacific Analyst where he also met his wife.  

[07:24] – Supporting the business growth by having a fantastic finance team that always looking forward. 

[08:59] – You have to know when to walk away-lessons that help John define his career. 

[11:51] – Directionally correct and the quest for accuracy in response to business expectations. 

[13:28]  John share his learnings from working in China and his next career move getting him closer to home.  

[16:08] – Opportunities for businesses to innovate their processes amidst the COVID pandemic will be the trend for matured companies.  

[22:02] – Burning platform create more time thinking about business strategy 

[22:38] – Consistency vs. accuracy, John shares his thoughts.  

[24:57] – Finance professionals should focus and put their attention on looking forward. 

[27:10] – Emerging in the Pandemic like the gardener does.  

[27:37] – The best advicJohn ever received by learning to understand people where they are coming from.  

[30:18] – John shares the resources our audience to read 

[32:08] – John’s parting thoughts 

Resources Mentioned: 



What the CEO Wants You to Know: How Your Company Really Works by Ram Charan  



Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by Stanley A. McChrystal 


Connect with today’s guest: 

LinkedIn Profile:

﷟HYPERLINK “https://www.linkedin.com/in/karlhkern/” https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-barrett-61a1a9/ 

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