A weekly roundup of news about, and insights from, our global community of management consultants.


A Lesson from Facebook in Agility

How did Facebook increase ad revenue through mobile even when showing fewer ads?Author Amanda Setili reveals how they did and why you should, too.


Think Big and Broad to Generate Growth

Kaihan Krippendorff explains why companies should take more risks while measuring the diversified return of those risks and how to gain more traction by pursuing groups of ideas instead of individual ideas.


Is Your Industry in Flux? Check these 5 Solutions

An informative interview from Soyini Coke with CEO, Rich Beckman, and medical director, Dr. Kevin Dancy of Great Expressions Dental, one of the largest dental service organizations in the United States. They use their organization as a case study for industries that are in a state of flux and discuss steps that can be taken to maintain financial success during a period of instability.


Good Employees are Hard to Find – Here’s How to Keep Them

In a recent interview with Manager Mojo, Robbie Kellman Baxter explains how to hire and keep top-performing employees.  Robbie is author of the influential book, The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue.


Improve Your Delegation Skills

Susan Drumm provides an insightful article and free download with practical steps you can take to understand how to delegate tasks efficiently and effectively.


22 Ways to Improve Productivity

From the Burnie Group, find out how technology can improve company operations with  these 22 benefits of Robotic Process Automation.


Fishing Where the Fish Swim

Stellar tips from David A. Fields on sourcing work for your consulting firm. David is author of two popular books, The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients and The Executive’s Guide to Consultants.

A weekly roundup of news about, and insights from, our global community of management consultants.


Resilience: A Key Executive Skill – Two Steps to Help Develop Yours

In times of transition, growth or difficulty, emotional intelligence is a valuable asset. Srikumar Rao emphasizes the importance of resilience in both business and life in this recent article for the Harvard Business Review. Srikumar’s book, Happiness at Work, is available on Amazon.


How to Double Sales with Words

Insights from branding and design expert Susan Hamilton in this summarized case study review that highlights the key steps that led to sales doubling in the following quarter.


International Success – How Starbucks Did It

How do brands cross borders successfully? Martin Roll explains how Starbucks managed International expansion to reach new customers and cultures while maintaining brand values.


When “No Comment” Is Just Not Good Enough

Alistair Hodgett provides a few solid ground rules for responding to media requests, and offers a valuable tip for organizations that want to provoke a response from companies.


What You Can Learn From Employees Who Won’t Work For You

In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Ben Dattner provides a case for interviewing people who turn down a job offer at your company to gain insight into your own organization and valuable information about your industry competitors.


How to Improve Your Growth and Innovation Capabilities

David Bernal identifies eight key areas to study that will help management to accurately assess the current state of their capabilities, evaluate gaps and craft improvement plans.


Is Belief Stronger than Analysis?

Martin Pergler underscores the need for slow thinking to counteract the ease of following beliefs.

A weekly roundup of news about, and insights from, our global community of management consultants.


Tap into the Power of Low Income Consumers

Are you overlooking this large, and growing, demographic? Robbie Kellman Baxter, author of The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue reveals why this market is well worth serving.


Considering Freelancing? Valuable Information for You

Paul Millerd provides an informative article designed to help strategy consultants start freelancing.


The Benefits of Executive Coaching and Redefining Roles

What should you do when you have good people in the wrong position or the wrong people in a good position? When executive coaching reveals an employee is under performing, Ben Dattner and Elizabeth Wood offer a few solutions to this common problem.


Your Ideas Are Great – So What Are You Doing Wrong?

Short and straight to the point, with a few smiles on the way; this post from David A. Fields is designed to make good consultants great, beginning with how to make clients pay attention to your ideas, and a few pointers on where you may be going wrong.


Want to Grow Globally? Don’t Do This

As companies are increasingly encouraged to ‘go global’ to stay competitive, David Bernal provides insight into why even leading companies fail when expanding internationally.  


How to Deal with Crises Gracefully

Another illuminating article and podcast from Soyini Coke on how to deal with crises. In this interview Tom and Freda Rumph from Rumph and Associates, explain how they maintained service and integrity in the midst of the fast-moving Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone and provide excellent advice that reveals strategies to deal with crises in business.


Adjacency Strategy Pitfalls & How to Avoid Them

Informative article from Richard Kuang on  adjacency strategy pitfalls to avoid to maximize your company’s success.

Lauren Cole on media and entertainment consulting

Lauren Cole runs a boutique consulting firm specializing in strategy and operations for media-related businesses.

Lauren got her start in consulting at Bain & Co. After getting her MBA at Stanford, she entered the world of media and entertainment with a strategy role at Warner Brothers, where she worked for Umbrex member Steven Koltai, who has also been a guest on this show.

She had an impressive career in the media world, which included launching, investing in, and/or overseeing 35 cable networks around the world.

Then in 2002, she started her own consulting practice and has been a successful independent professional for the last 15 years, serving over 150 clients, covering everything from Broadway to sports to virtual reality.

You can read more about Lauren’s firm, Cole Media, at www.ColeMediaLA.com



Josh Spodek on leadership step by step

Our guest today is Josh Spodek, the author of Leadership Step by Step.

Josh is an independent professional who:

  • coaches individual clients
  • teaches leadership and entrepreneurship as an adjunct professor at NYU
  • does speaking engagements
  • runs online courses in leadership and entrepreneurship on SpodekAcademy.com

For the show we met at Josh’s apartment in Greenwich Village, and in the first part of our conversation we discuss the blackboard in his room and the new course he is currently developing, which is sketched out in chalk.

We also talk about what Josh has learned from blogging every single day since 2011, the impact on his fitness from doing 90,000 burpees over the past few years, and how he fits four months of garbage into one tote bag.

Josh’s approach to teaching leadership and entrepreneurship is very experiential and organized around a series of exercises. We discuss several of these, including what you can learn from three raisins.

You can learn more about Josh and take his online course at http://spodekacademy.com/

And buy his book here:



A weekly roundup of news about, and insights from, our global community of management consultants.


How to Solve Problems and Build Effective Presentations

Paul Millerd provides a practical six-step approach to solving problems as a professional consultant.


Your Business Can’t Afford to Ignore This

Globalization has already entered your back yard. So the question is likely not if or when, but where and how you should enter the international marketplace. André van Regenmortel provides valuable information on why, where, and how you should go into emerging markets.


Want to Grow by 30% Each Year? This is How it’s Done

This week’s guests on Soyini Coke’s CEO Exclusive have been on the Inc. 5000 or 500 five times in the last eight years, maintaining at least 30% growth each year. This podcast focuses on the strategy and cultural practices used to achieve such extraordinary (and consistent) growth.


What Lies Beneath the Obvious – Finding the Fourth Option

Great talk from Kaihan Krippendorff on how to think creatively with examples from leaders who break through barriers.


What Successful Subscription Companies Are Doing Right

In an article published on Youngupstarts, Robbie Kellman Baxter provides examples of successful subscription based companies to find out what has made them succeed in this competitive market.


Unleashed Podcast Tops the List of Best of Business Podcasts

Will Bachman‘s podcast, Unleashed – How to Thrive as an Independent Professional was recently included in a list of the “best business podcasts for independent consultants.”  Check out the full list here


Does Your Consulting Firm Make this Mistake?

David A. Fields illustrates a common marketing mistake many consulting companies make and offers an example on how to show that the proof is in the pudding.

Esther Kim on social sector consulting

Our guest today is Esther Kim, an independent consultant based in San Francisco who focuses on serving clients in the social sector, including non-profits, philanthropies, and social enterprises.

After getting her Masters degree in Environmental Engineering from MIT, Esther got her start in consulting at McKinsey, where she worked with energy, industrial, and nonprofit clients.

She then spent nine years at REDF, a venture philanthropy firm based in San Francisco. In 2014, Esther set up her own consulting practice focusing on the social sector.

In our discussion we talk about the similiarities and differences between serving for-profit and non-for-profit clients

We discuss what it takes to transition into the social sector, the difference in vocabulary from the for-profit sector, and how Esther tweaks frameworks such as the Business Model Canvas to apply them in her work.  She also shares an inspiring  story of a social enterprise Esther helped to establish- a staffing agency-  that has helped hundreds of formerly homeless individuals find stable jobs.

You can find Esther online at www.estherkimconsulting.com 


A weekly roundup of news about, and insights from, our global community of management consultants.


Is this the End of BuzzFeed as We Know It?

Peter Kreisky identifies what going public may mean for this media organization and why it may stymie innovation.


Make the Right Moves and Avoid 4 Wrong Ones

A study on adjacency growth from Bain & Company revealed that only one in four adjacency moves is successful. Richard Kuang succinctly identifies the four common pitfalls to avoid when creating a winning adjacency strategy.


How Avoid the Street Urchin Trap

Do you want to multiply your consulting firm revenue and margin? This chocolatasmic post from author, David A. Fields provides seven questions to help you get there.


Is Success All in Your Head?

Susan Drumm explains why it is and what you should do about it?


The 4 Key Questions that Guide Agile Organizations

How can you help your organization move faster to take advantage of new opportunities in the market, or to avert emerging threats? Amanda Setili, author of The Agility Advantage: How to Identify and Act on Opportunities in a Fast-Changing World, provides four questions that help guide agile companies in the right direction.  


How to Use the Internet of Things for Maximum Benefit

Soyini Coke provides another informative, entertaining and hugely valuable interview with CEO, Tarun Talwar, and CTO, Chris Curry of Mindspan Systems, Inc. on how to manage the Internet of things and move forward with strategy and vision.


4 Ways to Avoid Burnout

Today’s culture measures personal success in terms of professional status and financial gain. Unfortunately, the drive for success can lead to stress and burnout, which can hinder progress. From the Burnie Group a useful at-a-glance infographic to catch the signs before the fall.


Share. Review. Connect.

Peet van Biljon recently launched a book he co-authored with James C. Sprouse. The book Profit with a Higher Purpose – a Christian Guide to Business Leadership is now available on Amazon.


A weekly roundup of news about, and insights from, our global community of management consultants.


Kick-Start Creative Thinking

Getting your team to engage in creative thinking is not always easy, luckily there are steps you can take to kick-start the creative process. Amanda Setili provides 6 tried and tested methods to unshackle your team’s creativity.


Do You Have the Right Design for Your Consulting Firm?

David A. Fields provides a priceless, and humorous, post on how to develop the right consulting firm design to maximize profits.


Make the Most of Your Middle Management

Belden Menkus explains why middle management are often overlooked and why it is important to pay attention to this forgotten layer.


I’m Leaving – Best Practices to Exit a Business Relationship

Will Bachman was recently quoted in an article for the Huffington Post that provides advice on how to terminate a relationship amicably.  


Are Stock Options a Good Idea for Startups?

Sanjay Gandhi explains the top 5 pitfalls of options for startups from c-corps to LLC.


User Story Guide Book and a Valuable Resource

A useful book from Tirrell Payton on sourcing, creating, and managing user stories for maximum impact. Includes 15 example user stories from different industries.


Medical Product Strategy Wheelhouse

Winton Gibbons provides a detailed infographic that explains a practical, direct, and strategic framework for new product screening, assessment, and commercialization.

Chris Fox on strategy projects

Chris Fox, an alum of #McKinsey and Marakon, has held executive leadership roles at Xerox and MeadWestvaco.  Since 2014 he has been operating his own consulting practice, Meridian Strategic Consulting, based in Richmond, Virginia.  In this episode, we discuss the range of Chris’s practice, with a particular focus on strategy and due diligence assignments.  Read more about Chris on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/chrisjfox