Umbrex is pleased to welcome Steve Rooks. Steve Rooks has spent the last 25 years driving value creation across many different industries as a private equity portfolio advisor to TorQuest Partners, AMP Capital, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), Sun Capital and TPG Capital, an executive at Avaya and Bell Canada, and a management consultant at Bain & Company. His most recent PE portfolio efforts were for TorQuest Partners and AMP Capital to lead value creation in their respective North American portfolios, for Ontario Teachers to drive a Lean/ Operational Excellence transformation at an marine container terminal operator, and for Sun Capital to drive a merger consolidation of the Canadian operations for a folding carton manufacturer.
At Avaya, Steve was the GM for the $3.8B Enterprise Segment and a major alliance with HP. Steve joined Avaya from TPG Capital (one of Avaya’s owners), where he worked for several years with management teams to drive value creation and turnarounds across a range of TPG’s portfolio companies globally, including rapid $85+ million increases in EBITDA at a coal power and mine business, a medical device manufacturer, and a casino and hospitality business. Prior to joining TPG, Steve drove a $250 million transformation of customer experience at Bell Canada across all channels.
Steve joined Bell Canada after working for 8 years at Bain & Company, a leading management consulting firm, helping to drive change across many different industries and on the full range of topline and bottomline business challenges. He began his career as an engineer in IBM’s manufacturing division.
Steve holds a BASc (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering from University of Toronto, an MASc (Honours) in Mechanical & Electrical Engineering from University of Toronto and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar. Steve also holds 3 patents in applied image processing.
With COVID-19 still plaguing the globe and the threat of a second wave looming, Kaihan Krippendorff has customized a strategy to address, prepare for, and build a strategy for the future.
We are dealing with unprecedented change invoked by the COVID-19 pandemic. What we need more than ever is a sense of hope. So, we’ve taken The Outthinker Process – a strategic process that helps business leaders step outside of conventional thinking to redesign their business models and strategies – and reformed it specifically for what we’re going through right now.
We distilled insights and advice from personal interviews with some of today’s foremost strategic thought leaders – Renee Mauborgne, Rita McGrath, Efosa Ojomo, Bharat Anand, Alex Osterwalder, and Scott Anthony – into a succinct set of steps you can follow to make sense of the future then design a strategy to help your business thrive through the crisis.
We have found that by following four steps, you can quickly apply emerging strategic concepts to your business strategy, rethink your business model, and redesign your business to be fit for the future. We have customized these specifically for the COVID-19 crisis. The entire process should take 3.5 hours to complete. You can do it in one sitting or spread over several thinking sessions.
The strategic steps identified in this article are:
- Imagine: Think through potential future scenarios.
- Dissect: Break down your business model to assess which parts you may want to change.
- Expand: Expand your strategic options by ideating potential strategies.
- Analyze: Assess and prioritize your options.
Read the full article, Four Steps to Outthink COVID, on Kaihan.net.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Rijul Takkar. Rijul Takkar is a Strategy and Operations Consultant specialising in the Metals and Mining sector. He worked with a boutique consulting firm, The Smart Cube, for four years where he led the business transformation programme for the largest steelmaker in the UK. He has extensive experience in setting up transformation offices, driving operations excellence and managing change in large-scale manufacturing organisations. He also worked as a Specialist Consultant with BCG in their Industrial Goods practice, helping drive operations improvement and cost reduction initiatives for the leading steel company in India.
He holds an Engineering degree in Manufacturing and is currently pursuing his MBA from INSEAD. Outside of work, Rijul is a Formula 1 fan and a fitness enthusiast. He is happy to discuss and collaborate on projects involving process and digital transformation, and operations improvement.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Rodney Speering with Primrose Strategy. Rodney Speering spent 3+ years at McKinsey as an Engagement Manager and has been running his own strategy consulting firm since 2019. Prior to McKinsey, he worked for 7 years as a management consultant on a variety of heavy industry strategic and operational improvement projects, and 5 years as a mechanical engineer designing and managing large scale mining and oil & gas projects.
Although originally from Australia, he now lives with his partner in Germany – they are both keen hikers and enjoy the outdoors. Rod is happy to collaborate on strategic projects globally.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Mike Mortensen with Tandem Analytics. Mike has advised business leaders at the intersection of strategy and technology for more than a decade. His experience in business transformation comes from three perspectives: business strategy at McKinsey & Company, machine learning implementation at IBM, and as a business executive responsible for growth at a global conglomerate.
Prior to Tandem Analytics, Mike led teams of business consultants and data scientists to support IBM clients in developing analytics and AI transformation programs. He partnered with clients from concept to realization, including algorithm development, pilot program design, technical integration support, and overall program management. Mike has advised business leaders on AI and analytics strategy across industries, including telecommunications, finance, industrials, retail, and health care.
Before joining IBM, Mike was a Director of Strategy & Innovation at Wolters Kluwer, where he led digital transformation for a B2B portfolio company. To improve customer centricity, he launched a portfolio of initiatives, including machine learning for segmentation and customer behavior insights. Early successes with pricing strategy and customer segmentation fueled transformation efforts across digital marketing, as well as increased personalization of sales and service.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Igor Buchatskiy. Igor is a Managing Partner of BGlobal Capital. Prior to joining BGlobal, Igor has run large farming companies in all the major sectors of agriculture – animal husbandry, row crops and sugar production – and worked as a consultant specializing in Strategy, Operational Improvement and Digital Innovation for McKinsey & Co in Brazil and for Bain & Company in CIS. Igor has also co-founded an FMCG company that today is the leading producer of hummus in Ukraine with over 75% market share.
Igor has over fifteen years of international business development, agricultural and entrepreneurial experience, is passionate about agriculture and food, and always goes an extra mile in order to help entrepreneurs build great companies. He is an active mentor to the startups at the Techstars Farm2Fork program sponsored by Cargill and Ecolab and at the Impulse Accelerator sponsored by OCP. Igor sits on the Advisory Board of Hummingbird Technologies, a UK-based precision Ag platform operating worldwide.
Igor lives in Boston with his wife and son, his daughter Catarina is already in college. He is hoping to get back to competitive tournament poker once the pandemic is over. Igor is happy to collaborate on projects on Strategy/Operations/Digital innovation in Agriculture/FMCG/Mining worldwide.
Luiz Zorzella takes an adventurous look at two choices innovation-based businesses may or may not choose to pursue to illustrate how emotion is an underlying driver of innovation.
Companies that decide to compete on innovation-based businesses have 2 potential paths to choose from: with or without “emotion”.
Years ago, my wife and I traveled to the NorthEast of Brazil. There, we went on a tour on the sand dunes on a buggy.
Fifteen minutes into the tour, I was convinced that that was going to be the high point of our trip. The dunes were beautiful, the tour was fun and the driver knew exactly where to stop to get the best pictures.
Then he turned to us and casually asked: ‘so… with or without ‘emotion’
He can speak in code because most tourists already know what it means: do you want to continue the rest of the tour like the first fifteen minutes (which were great) or do you want him to ride the dunes like a lunatic, flipping the buggy and sliding large dunes sideways? That is the “with emotion” option.
Companies that decide to compete on innovation-based businesses have 2 similar options:
Points covered in this article include:
- The two choices
- The pros and cons of each choice
- The most commonly preferred option
Read the full article, The Exciting Path Of Strategic Innovation, on the Amquant website.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Elias Boustani. Elias is a Strategy Consultant with 13 years of experience. He has led the design and implementation of Tech entrepreneurship programs for the World Bank, General Electric, the American University of Beirut (AUB), Expo 2020 Dubai, MCIT KSA, and Beirut Digital District among others.
Prior to that, Elias was a Senior Associate for Strategy& (previously booz&co) working in the Telecom practice on Corporate strategy, Marketing strategy, Demand analytics, Business Planning, Human Capital and SME strategies across clients in K.S.A., Indonesia and India.
Prior to Strategy&, Elias was a Consultant for Accenture France, where he worked as a system integration consultant for major French companies in different industries: Louis Vuitton Malletier and Shiseido in the luxury industry, Faurecia in the automotive industry and Paris City Hall in the public sector.
He is happy to collaborate on projects involving Strategy, Tech, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in France or the Middle East
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Brenna Rauw with Vulpine Strategies. Brendan Rauw was a project leader at BCG in the private equity and healthcare practices, and spent ten years after BCG leading technology commercialization for universities. Brendan has particular expertise in intellectual property, licensing, and entrepreneurship in the life sciences.
Brendan lives in Portland, OR, advising private equity investors and pre-revenue life science companies across the country on strategy, partnering, and market assessment. Brendan is particularly interested in healthcare and life sciences projects relating to market analysis and due diligence.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Jeff Boschwitz with JSB Consulting. Dr. Jeff Boschwitz has spent the last four years as an independent consultant focused on growth/new product and operations strategy for healthcare companies. Prior to that Jeff was COO of Personal Genome Diagnostics, EVP of Operations and Corporate Development at PLUS Diagnostics, VP Sales and Marketing for Orchid Cellmark and Director of Marketing Strategy and Analysis for Quest Diagnostics. Prior to going to industry, Jeff spent 10 years in consulting, the last five at Booz Allen Hamilton where he was a Principal in the healthcare practice.
Jeff received his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Cornell University and completed his Post-Doctoral work at Stanford University. He lives near Princeton NJ with his wife and spends his spare time with his racehorses. Jeff specializes in business unit, asset monetization, and cost reduction strategies and is happy to collaborate with anyone pursuing projects of this type for healthcare clients.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Mika Malin. Mika has broad experience in line management and business development roles, as a senior executive and as a management consultant. He’s tackled complex board level as well as factory floor level business problems as a consultant at the BCG, in a boutique consulting firm and as an independent consultant.
Mika has a track record of successfully leading businesses and people with a P&L responsibility, as well as planning and executing strategy and M&A transactions in a publicly listed media company as a member of the corporate leadership team. He’s sharpened his marketing and sales skills in world-class fast moving consumer goods companies, in both local and international roles.
MBA from Harvard Business School has provided him with a solid foundation for strategic thinking, an analytical mindset to problem solving and a structured approach towards business issues.
Mika is analytical but action-oriented, he believes in concrete strategy and brilliant execution, he like to structure complex issues into actionable concepts, he take challenges seriously but want to have fun in the team.
Mika lives in Helsinki with his wife and daughter. In his spare time he runs the Harvard Club of Finland as the President of a non-profit organization of 120 members, and what ever spare time he has left, he spends in the hockey rink or on the golf course.
Mika’s geographic focus is in the Nordics and Europe, but will be happy to discuss relevant opportunities beyond these regions as well.
During times of crises leaders must make the tough decisions, but choosing the right way to go is not always clear cut. Zaheera Soomar identifies three practical approaches to serve as guidelines for ethical decision-making.
During a recent conversation with a senior executive, she expressed a sentiment that many of us share: “When the pandemic has passed, I want to be able to say that, at the hardest of times, I did my best to do the right thing”. During this pandemic, leaders are expected to make difficult decisions with far-reaching consequences.
Ethical decision-making becomes even more important in times of crisis.
Leaders are constantly faced with ethical decisions, with all of the challenges associated with meeting the expectations of various stakeholders – investors, employees, customers, partners, regulators, local communities, and society at large. These decisions are rarely simple, bringing together financial considerations with deep-rooted beliefs about the right thing to do: Costco’s raising of its minimum wage, Woolworths’ decision to get out of liquor and gambling and Salesforce’s decision to bar certain firearms companies from using its services all represent tough decisions informed by ethics and values. Leaders must make decisions with limited knowledge, predicting their impact, and have confidence and trust that the compromises and trade-offs are the right ones.
Included in this article:
- Align your decisions with your purpose
- Follow agreed and actionable principles
- Prioritise and plan your decisions and actions
Read the full article, Making Good Decisions in times of Crisis, on the Principia website.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Swan Sit. wan Sit is an independent consultant specializing in digital, marketing and strategy. Having spent the past decade of her career accelerating digital into legacy companies, she held two key roles as a Vice President at Nike — overseeing Global Digital Marketing during the Emmy-winning “Dream Crazy” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, and running Digital Operations, Product, Supply Chain and Service for a $2B ecommerce business during the Air Jordan 11 Concord launch, the largest in online history. She led digital at Revlon and Elizabeth Arden, using it to pull them out of a turnaround, and ran online strategy for the Esteé Lauder Companies, increasing its digital footprint to 400+ sites across 50 countries in 5 years. From modernizing hundred-year-old brands and partnering with unexpected influencers like Chelsea Handler, Iris Apfel and Gigi Gorgeous, to launching augmented reality makeovers and driving double-digit growth, Swan has demonstrated both the left- and right-brain skills required for a marketer that drives revenue. She was selected as a Brand Innovators 40 under 40 and Marketing Woman to Watch, and took home both Best Social Campaign and Best in Show at the Glossy Awards. You might recognize her as one of the faces in Twitter’s national “She Inspires Me” campaign during the Oscars, or from judging the world’s largest hackathon in Saudi Arabia alongside Steve Wozniak.
Prior to beauty, Swan was a management consultant at Bain, owned an ad agency focused on emotional branding, was a product manager at Newell (she launched a factory in China during SARS) and created infamous marketing campaigns at Trilogy Software during the dotcom boom. Swan graduated with a BA in Economics from Harvard and an MBA from Columbia.
Swan does speaking engagements around the world on Marketing, Digital Transformation and Leadership in the Digital Age. She is a Board Director of a publicly-traded pharmaceuticals company, advises a variety of businesses and sits on the boards of industry and philanthropic organizations including AdWeek’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, L2 Digital Think Tank, Women in Retail, Consumer Goods Technology Council, Impact Network, Foundation Rwanda and Worldview’s space think tank. Having traveled to 85+ countries, her favorites include Antarctica, North Korea, Mongolia, Rwanda, Bhutan, Myanmar and Tanzania for Kilimanjaro. She can often be found smashing a volleyball and chasing restaurant openings, or flying around on skis and horses – her two newest hobbies.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome George Nahra with GZN Consulting. George spent four years in the Chicago office of McKinsey, in the retail and sales & marketing practices, serving predominantly retailers and other consumer-facing clients.
After leaving McKinsey, he spent several years as a Senior Management Associate at Bridgewater Associates. He then returned to retail, re-joining Abercrombie & Fitch (where he started his career several years earlier) and building the company’s first Strategic Planning function.
He then move to Chico’s FAS, a women’s apparel/accessories retailer with three principal brands: Chico’s, White House I Black Market, and Soma. At Chico’s FAS, George led Strategy, Business Development, and International.
George has been an independent consultant twice – once between working for Abercrombie and Chico’s, and most recently since roughly December 2019. He serves retailers across a wide range of topics.
George lives in Fort Myers, FL, with his wife and dog. He’d be happy to collaborate on any retail projects
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Brett Pentz. Brett has 12+ years of management consulting and client services experience, delivering a range of strategy engagements for corporate, private equity, and public sector clients across industry, mostly focused in Healthcare and Technology. Brett’s management consulting work spans formative skills and credentials developed at Bain & Company, followed by contributions to position Teneo’s management consulting capabilities to reflect its brand as the global CEO advisory firm. Brett also possesses strong implementation and value delivery credentials from his years as a healthcare software implementation specialist for leading electronic medical record vendor Epic.
Brett primarily focuses on roles and projects where his experience and educational background can add the most value, often serving health and wellness-focused services and technology platform-focused companies, but he has demonstrated successful outcomes as a generalist at Bain and Teneo across a range of industries and project types. Specialties include corporate/BU strategy and planning, sales and marketing effectiveness, commercial due diligence and post-acquisition value creation, and target operating model and organizational design.
Brett lives in Montreal, Canada with his wife, after moving there two years ago from London, England – all part of his American expat adventures. He is happy to collaborate on any projects, particularly in the northeast (of the US and Canada).
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Uma Sethi. Uma was a Founding member and Principal at BCG Digital Ventures, where she led multi-disciplinary teams to innovate and launch new startups, digital products or experiences.
Prior to that, she was at McKinsey for nearly 10 years. She served as the America’s Retail Practice Manager for 4 years and the remainder as a classic strategy consultant. Uma was also a Founding Member of globalgiving.com.
Uma currently lives in Redondo Beach, California with her husband and 2 young boys. Uma is looking to collaborate on innovation or strategy projects.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Brendan Kelly. Brendan Kelly has more than 15 years of professional experience across multiple sectors and industries including public affairs, top-tier consulting, and financial services.
Following an early career as a lobbyist for the Irish financial service industry, he joined the Dublin/London office of McKinsey in 2010 where he worked primarily on strategy and operations for clients in the banking and insurance sectors. On leaving McKinsey in 2014 he worked initially as an independent consultant before taking up a role as Head of Strategy for Credit Suisse’s private banking business in Europe based in Switzerland. He returned to independent consulting in early 2019 to have greater freedom to develop his own entrepreneurial ideas.
Brendan’s distinctive strengths include conceptual problem solving, communications, and team leadership and his working style combines the intellectual rigor of consulting with pragmatism and practicality.He is particularly interested in supporting projects in strategy development and implementation, change and transformation, and program management.
In addition to his strong background in financial services, Brendan has a proven track record in driving change and creating value across multiple industries including Food, e-commerce, publishing, and pharma. Brendan’s focus is on serving clients in the UK, Ireland, Switzerland and Western Europe.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Rezzan A Kose. Rezzan is an operations, organizational design, and strategy leader and the founder of Ares, a boutique advisory and consulting firm. Before starting her own practice, Rezzan was the business product owner of an AI-based technology platform at Citadel, a global hedge fund.
Prior to that, Rezzan was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co. focusing primarily on business transformation, process redesign and operations across different sectors including financial services, insurance and pharmaceuticals. Along with client services, she was also the deputy COO for McKinsey’s internal advanced analytics center, overseeing day-to-day operations and execution. Earlier in her career, Rezzan worked as a research fellow at Goldman Sachs covering energy sector and commodities.
She lives in New York City and plays polo competitively.
Luiz Zorzella shares a survival guide to Clay Christensen’s opus, including impressions, recommendations, and thoughts on how business leaders can use his ideas to drive success, growth and transformation.
If you work with innovation and strategy and are responsible for the future of your business, you probably read Clayton Christensen’s 2 most famous opi: The Innovator’s Dilemma and Competing Against Luck (aka the “Jobs To Be Done” book).
If you have not, do it and you will improve your chances of not going extinct.
Over the years, I had the chance to see some of the concepts described in these books applied in real-life situations. Some of these applications were successful and rigorous and confirmed my admiration for the amount of impact compacted in such simple concepts.
However, more often than not, I have seen the concepts, approaches, and terminology he formulated deformed, mutilated and distorted into grotesque parodies – both intentionally and unintentionally.
Content in this article includes:
- Competing against luck
- Agree on what is an useful insight
- Know thyself and avoid mirages
- Think 2 steps ahead
- Find the heart of darkness
Read the full article, Survival Guide to Clay Christensen’s Opus, on the Amquant website.
Gaelle Lamotte’s company blog identifies the issues that can stop the execution of strategies and provides a framework to drive alignment and focus.
How often do you win with your strategy? Strategy development is useful for defining long-term goals. A good strategy is only as good as the capability to implement it and how well it delivers the desired outcome. Various research concludes: Organizations on average realize only 50 – 63% of the financial performance promised by their strategies. Others suggest that the figure is in fact less than 30%. Regardless of the data reviewed, it is not good news.
Key points in the framework include:
- Action plans
- Connecting people
Download the free PDF, Improve Your Ability to Execute Your Strategies, on the Strategy Management Partners website.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Deepak Batra. Deepak was at Bain for 6 years, predominantly based out of India working on global projects, and had an opportunity to work out Amsterdam and Boston. While his work was sector agnostic, Deepak specialized “functionally” in Private Equity due diligence.
Post his consulting stint, Deepak worked with OLX, India’s leading online classified platform (Craigslist counterpart) in several roles ranging from Analytics, Strategy to General Management.
He is based out of New Delhi, India, working as an independent consultant. Deepak would love to collaborate on commercial due diligence, customer analytics, NPS and projects in digital businesses.
An evergreen post from Gaelle Lamotte to kickoff 2020 and help you prepare for what lies ahead.
In a world of disruptive businesses, overwhelming information and relentless change, companies have to master the art of strategy execution to be agile enough to capitalize on growth opportunities. Excellence in execution is what makes the difference between good strategies and success in the marketplace for your customers, partners and employees, and ultimately investors and shareholders.
Points covered include:
-Understanding the organization’s capabilities
-Discipline in managing strategy
Read the full article, How do you prepare for what’s ahead?, on LinkedIn.
Discover how Amazon’s battle with Netflix is teaching us to rethink competition and question how business should be defined in this article from Stephen Wunker’s company blog.
For many years now we’ve seen the dangers of defining your business too narrowly. Think about Borders, which pioneered the book megastore model. Rather than using the Internet’s rise to consider how new technologies or business models could allow it to better satisfy customers’ jobs to be done, it defined itself as a bookseller. When times got tough, it doubled down on trying to sell more of the items its customers happened to be buying — books, CDs, and DVDs. It last turned a profit in 2006 before ultimately declaring bankruptcy and closing its doors in 2011. Online retailer Amazon now reigns supreme in the space.
Read the full article, How Amazon’s Battle with Netflix is Teaching us to Rethink Competition, on Medium.
Three key points in ninety seconds from Amanda Setili on how to avoid strategy execution melt down.Strategy execution is where everything goes haywire.
We can always come up with a good strategy, a good plan for what we want to do, but when the rubber meets the road and you’re actually implementing, that’s where you find out all the things that you maybe didn’t plan for. Frankly, it’s impossible to anticipate everything. One of the keys to effective strategy execution is having clear goals in mind, but also having people empowered to make decisions along the way because you got to enable yourself to adjust course. It used to be that you could plan strategy cycles, every five years, or at least every year. Now you need to be continuously adjusting your strategy. At least every quarter you should be having strategic discussions about what have we done so far, what have we learned, what do we want to change? That process of constantly adjusting course is essential and it’s also essential to make sure that everyone understands where you’re headed so that they can all contribute because frankly, with the speed of change today, you can’t possibly tell everyone what to do. You need to have them clear about what the goal is so that they can anticipate on their own for their own part of the business, how they need to adjust.
Watch the video, How to Prevent Strategy Execution Meltdowns, on Youtube.