Be yourself and be confident in who you are.
This is the message Vicki McArthur, Senior Director, Product Management at Teranet Inc., has for the leaders of tomorrow. This is also how she is.
Authentic and charismatic.
Over the past 23 years, Vicki has played a pivotal role in the growth and expansion of Teranet Inc.
Among other key projects, Vicki has worked on securing the extension of Teranet’s contract in Ontario as well as the acquisition and transition of The Property Registry in Manitoba.
We sat down for a chat (which was virtual, given the current circumstances), to ask Vicki how she does it all – from overseeing product management at Teranet to maintaining successful relationships with key senior government officials who are responsible for the policy and operations of the Land Registry and Writs Systems.
Q. What is your leadership style?
My style has evolved over time as I have grown as a leader.
I have an experienced and talented team that I trust to make the right decisions and be accountable for their products and services. I always like to encourage my team to get outside of their comfort zone, to learn, and to seek challenges! This is what will enable them to reach their full potential.
Additionally, I also strongly believe that when it comes to leadership, leading by example and being transparent are extremely important.
Q. How do you help your team members set and achieve their goals?
Our work and objectives are closely aligned to our corporate strategy and the strategies of our Ministry partners; so, when it comes to the career goals of my team members, I try to provide growth and development opportunities within that work and champion individuals to participate in special projects.
At Teranet, it’s great that employees are encouraged to ‘own’ their personal growth and development and the company acts as a catalyst. So, I always encourage my team to take advantage of this opportunity.
Q. What motivates you?
I feel fortunate to work in an area that I am passionate about and enjoy – Land Registry. It is essential to a healthy and strong economy.
Also, I work with an amazing group of people, in both business and IT, who believe in what we deliver and value the importance of what we do.
Q. What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
Integrity – you need to do what’s right.
Q. What are the key trends you see in the land registry space?
There are quite a few actually:
- Governments around the world are taking a more customer-centric approach to deliver their services to their citizens and that includes Land Registry services.
- There is a significant focus on digital transformation and moving services online to improve access and meet the changing expectations and needs of citizens. For instance, together with ServiceOntario, we have developed products such as OnLand, and Teraview to successfully deliver remote access to digitized property records and to submit and register documents.
- Moving forward, access to Land Registration services and data needs to be convenient, reliable, and secure. These services can also be integrated with other government services to provide a ‘one-stop’ experience for business and consumers. Additionally, citizens are also looking for transparency in the land registration data – some jurisdictions, for example, BC have established legislation to allow for the creation of a public registry for Beneficial ownership.
- Jurisdictions are beginning to realize the value of their property and mapping data in online data services outside of their statutory mandate of the Land Registry and are working to make their datasets more accessible while still protecting privacy.
- Cybersecurity is increasingly becoming more important, especially since 2020 has given rise to increased remote work.
Q. When it comes to product development, how do you determine what the customers need?
In the Registry Solutions area, we deliver statutory products and services on behalf of the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, so we work closely with our Ministry partners to elicit and understand their statutory and business requirements.
We have matured our Service Design practice to ensure we take a customer-centric approach to designing an optimal experience for our end users.
We maintain our user personas, undertake user journey mapping, complete user workshops and interviews, and leverage data analytics, in addition to the more traditional monitoring of feedback, to ensure that we really understand the need before we develop any solutions.
Q. What, in your opinion, are the key elements of a successful product strategy?
For me, four elements are absolutely essential:
- Aligning the product vision with the company’s vision and ensuring that your team understands this vision.
- Understanding your market.
- Defining your goals and outlining the work that needs to be done.
- Creating a strategy that feeds into the product roadmaps.
Q. Lastly, what advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
I’d say, advocate for yourself! Make your aspirations known, ask for feedback, be proud of your accomplishments, and initiate conversations about your growth.
Don’t ever be shy about speaking up and sharing your thoughts!
At Teranet we take pride in having brilliant, talented people on our team. Also, we are always on the lookout for more exceptional talent to join us. To become a part of our growing community and be mentored by some of the best in the business, keep an eye out for new roles here: https://www.teranet.ca/career-opportunities/.