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I’m a Navy veteran and self-proclaimed Booz Allen lifer overseeing financial forecasting, planning, predictive analytics, and reporting for the firm’s chief financial officer. But more than that, I transform data into information that supports the decision making of the entire leadership team.
My own career is driven in part by my embrace of Booz Allen’s entrepreneurial spirit.
You have to look for opportunities to take on new challenges, to stretch yourself, to put yourself in a position to fail or succeed.
And I strive to help my team do the same by being an accessible, approachable, and transparent leader: It’s all about building a high-performing team.
Tim Lawrence leads a workstream under the NextGen Finance Modernization (NGFM) Program. NGFM will analyze, select, and implement cost structure changes necessary to support Booz Allen businesses under current and prospective states, select and implement an industry-leading, integrated suite of financial applications as a replacement for the existing financial ecosystem, and ensure continued regulatory compliance.
Immediately prior to this role, Tim led Corporate Finance, including pricing, financial operations, and financial planning & analysis. In this role, he provided key advice to the CEO, CFO, and leadership team on business insights and operational analytics. He was responsible for oversight for firmwide forecasting and reporting, and guidance on budgeting, expense management, and financial planning and analysis to the firm’s leadership.
Tim transitioned into Corporate Finance after primarily serving in analytics-focused client-service roles supporting a wide spectrum of federal and commercial clients. His original charge in finance was to enhance Booz Allen’s business metrics and analytics capabilities, with a focus on improving the firm’s corporate planning, forecasting, and reporting capabilities. More recently, Tim is working closely with finance and business leaders to develop and execute a transformative financial strategy aimed at optimally balancing near-term financial performance, long-term value creation, and the firm’s purpose-driven culture, and resulting employee value proposition. This work is all underpinned by expanded data analytics and improved technology.
Tim joined Booz Allen in 1999 after serving in the U.S. Navy as a surface warfare officer. He is a member of the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association (ICEAA), and an ICEAA-Certified cost estimator and analyst. He is also a member of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science and the Navy League.
He has an M.B.A. in finance and an M.S. in management and operations research from the University of Maryland, College Park; and a B.A. in industrial and organizational psychology from North Carolina State University.
When you say you are a Booz Allen lifer, how long have you been with the firm? I’ve been with Booz Allen for 19 years. Prior to that, I was in the Navy, then went to business school for finance, as well as graduate school for essentially applied statistics. I had been in a client-facing role with Booz focused on analytics for several years, then was asked by the leadership team to take on a senior rotational role in finance for the last 36 months. Because of my analytics background, they asked me to focus on enhancing the financial analytics, metrics, reporting, forecasting, and working on some of the strategic initiatives we are trying to accomplish.
What do you see as an untapped opportunity in your space? Better use of data. Part of our challenge is, we can come up with the most sophisticated algorithms in the world, but I think the systems that we currently have and the way the data is housed in many cases makes it extremely difficult for us to harness the full power of the data we have. This is an area where I’m currently working a long-term strategy with the CFO to improve.
What is the best business advice you have ever received? I had one mentor talk about being yourself, really understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are, and trying to maximize your performance—your broad performance, whether it’s functional delivery, whether it’s client engagement, whether it’s staff management and career development, and using your strengths to be able to maximize against each of those. Similarly, how to recognize, mitigate and ultimately, improve upon your weaknesses. Another one, and in Booz Allen it’s particularly important that you need to take control of your own career.
The way you succeed in this firm is to be willing to take on those stretch opportunities, to take on challenges that perhaps move you out of your comfort zone, and be willing to sacrifice in the short term to ultimately be successful long term.
What did you want to be when you grew up? A truck driver. I wanted to drive big rigs. I grew up in a very rural area, no one in my family or extended family had ever been to college, a very blue-collar upbringing. We had family friends who were truck drivers, and I knew them and they were cool. Being a boy and driving a big rig seemed like a pretty awesome job.
Where do you see Booz Allen Hamilton in 100 years? I believe that service to the federal government will still be a cornerstone of what we do, though I suspect we may be much more diversified beyond government services. We’ll have a very healthy portfolio within North American commercial and the Middle East. And I could see us having a very robust, broader-based commercial business in perhaps Europe and Asia. I think we are positioned to do that. What will be really interesting to see will be some of the initiatives around products and other solutions that we have been focusing on over the last few years.
What drives you, what makes you passionate about your work at Booz Allen? I think the passion is frankly being able to have direct influence on our success and achieving our corporate goals. Being able to do really interesting work—that drives me. I enjoy digging into the numbers, I enjoy talking strategy, and I really enjoy bringing the two together so you can have data-backed strategy that is steeped in real quantitative analytics.