Umbrex is pleased to welcome Stepan Chrz. Before joining a data consultancy boutique as a Chief Commercial Officer, Stepan worked at McKinsey’s Prague office with a focus on strategy, transformations and B2B sales. He worked on 5 continents with clients spanning from light and heavy industry to telecoms and banks to online classifieds.
Stepan holds a doctoral degree in theoretical economics from Charles University and an MBA from Cambridge.
Outside work, Stepan is an outdoor enthusiast and a backpacker. During his travels, he tends to get himself into adventures that he later regrets. Sailing across the Atlantic ocean in an old 10m boat, running a 90km Vasalopet race without prior cross-country skiing experience, and crossing a rainforest on foot – these were all experiences that are fun only in hindsight. However, due to his selective memory he never seems to learn.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Alexander Savchuk. Alexander Savchuk started his career in Bain and subsequently has been running his own Moscow based telecom&IT consulting firm. Alexander developed entry strategy to the CIS markets and/or assisted in business development for a couple of dozens of hightech firms, to name a few: MCI, AT&T, Motorola, Siemens, Telenor, Ericsson, Microsoft, Cisco. All major Russian telecom companies were among clients of Alexander’s firm for strategy development for years.
In 2014 Alexander decided to take a midlife career change, sold his business and devoted his time to his 5 kids. Now he is developing his startup online platform to address the needs of distributed teams for online problem solving&decision making, strategy development and digital transformation programs’ coordination. However, Alexander would be happy to assist in any strategy development project on the territory of the former USSR.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Imoudu Alexander Osikhena. Imoudu is an ex-Bain consultant with deep consulting experience across several industries and functions including financial services, consumer goods, energy and telecoms etc. Prior to Bain, he worked with Procter & Gamble as a senior brand manager leading top brands in different geographies. Imoudu is also an expert in the development and public sector, having worked as a consultant to some government agencies/Ministers and with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations on some of its projects.
When interviewed on the P is for Profit podcast, Susan Meier exposes the biggest myths about branding, identifies what a small business can do to establish its brand and create a competitive advantage, and explains how to make your business relevant to your target audience.
A visual artist is just a fancy way of saying, I make art, like, sketching, drawing, sculptures. And that’s what I studied in my undergrad, visual art and making art as well as art history. So it’s a little bit of a zigzag path from there to strategist, isn’t it? But the way I, the path that I took started out with management consulting, which was really just a leap of faith, first job out of college.
And okay, I’ll try something new that I don’t know anything about, but sounds pretty interesting. The way the company described it, I worked for the Boston Consulting Group which is, you know, a terrific company and they really gave me a great education. And the way they described what they did and the job that I would be having was like solving puzzles, which is something I like to do.
And in general, I guess I’m a curious person, I like to try new things. And so that was how I jumped off into a completely new world, much of which I was totally unprepared for. But like I said, it was a great learning experience. And where I came out of that, with this really strong interest in branding because I had the opportunity to do a lot of customer research as part of their consumer goods practice.
And I found it fascinating how people had these really intimate emotional connections with the products or the brands that they were using. And I wanted to learn more about that and get involved in that. And when I discovered that there was this whole discipline or industry called branding, which looked at that connection, that relationship between humans and brands and also have this visual component because, you know, an important component of expressing your brand is design. I thought, wow, that’s for me.
Points covered in this article include:
- How Susan defines brand
- Branding myths busted
- Small business branding
Listen to the full podcast, Susan Meier | Small Business Branding, on the CFO Project website.
In a recent interview on The Transformative Leader Podcast, Susan Meier discusses the importance of integrating creativity at work even, and especially, in jobs not traditionally considered creative.
I always had these two very strong, for a long time, parallel and separate tracks of things that I was interested in. I was always interested in the arts, both in making art and studying the history of art, and then I was also really captivated by the problem solving analytical thinking piece that drew me into consulting. And that was my first job as an undergrad at the Boston Consulting group. So I loved the nature of my work, but that job by itself didn’t activate that visual piece for me, so for many years I had these two parallel worlds where I would go to my art studio, I would paint, I would exhibit my work, inhabit a space with a completely different set of people from this other world where I was in management consulting and working with Fortune 500 companies, making spreadsheets, thinking about operations and logistics. And then I discovered branding.
Key points include:
- Merging the creative with the analytical
- Why activating both sides of the brain is key to unlocking creativity
- How integrating creative and artistic practices into standard business processes can prime the brain for innovative thinking and solutions
- How creativity and fulfillment are related, at home and at work.
Listen to the podcast, “Embracing Creativity in the Workplace” on the Ghannad Group website.
Susan Hamilton Meier shares her thoughts on the merger of analytical and creative thinking and the processes and tools she has designed to help teams problem-solve more creatively.
I turned up at the Boston Consulting Group, probably as the only hire who had never opened a spreadsheet before, so that was interesting, and I ended up, by virtue of that, getting assigned to projects where I did a lot more people skills, so I did a lot of interviews, I gravitated towards their consumer goods practice, and it was actually after they put me through business school, and it was actually after business school, which was around the time when companies were trying to work out what their brands meant in an online environment that I discovered the discipline of branding and that very interesting question of what your brand means.
Points covered in this talk include:
- How she became interested in branding
- Discovering the discipline of branding online
- Consumer research and branding
- The driving forces behind brand loyalty
Listen to the full podcast, Brand Strategy with Susan Meier, on the Dream Business Radio podcast.
Susan Meier was recently interviewed on the Change Creator podcast on the fundamentals of building a brand.
In her nine years of helping companies build their brand identity, Susan has always set aside a portion of her portfolio for these smaller projects despite them being less lucrative for her. The payoff? They inspire her and she learns a lot from them. She enjoys contributing to entrepreneurs who are just starting out. That aha moment when the small, independent professional who has come to her for help realizes what their true identity is, who their audience is, and how they empathetically connect with them is something Susan finds truly rewarding. She refers to these elements as the three pieces of branding.
In this interview, Susan discusses:
- Discovering and leveraging uniqueness
- The pitfalls of social media
- Advice for early stage entrepreneurs
Listen to the full interview, Electrifying Your Brand Strategy to Amplify Your Impact, on the Change Creator’s website.