Umbrex is pleased to welcome Mats Hugossonn with EpikOne Sweden AB. Mats has a passion for solving complex industry and business challenges in an international context. He has a background as a management consultant at McKinsey, CEO and business unit manager with a focus on developing new business and generating growth. He is very hands-on and goal-oriented with a strong track record in strategy / business development, sales leadership and creating results. His industry expertise is mostly from business services, IT/telecom/tech and industrial sector. He has special expertise in business and digital transformation.
Mats lives in Stockholm with his wife and two teenaged children and loves boating in the Swedish Archipelago. He is happy to collaborate on projects in Europe involving sales management, strategy development/execution, business and digital transformation within his industry expertise.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Jaime Preusche. Jaime is an independent consultant in the process of setting up his practice, leveraging his experience with the public and private sectors in the Americas, with an MBA from the University of Virginia, and over 10 years of experience, including a two-year stint at McKinsey. Jaime has helped start-ups get off the ground, large corporations design strategy turnarounds, and worked with the largest LATAM e-commerce company doing product management with a strategy consultant mindset. He has helped municipal governments become more efficient (in Argentina), and designed public policies that boost economic development leaving no one behind (in the USA). He is passionate about challenging the status quo in both the private and public sectors with a focus on social, environmental, and governance impact.
He is constantly curious and a life-long learner, and speaks multiple languages to varying degrees: English and Spanish natively, intermediate Portuguese, and French and German conversationally; which he continues to refine. Although EU-born, he currently resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is happy to collaborate on projects involving strategy development, public policy development and organizational transformations in the Americas and Europe.
Barry Horwitz explains why developing strategy is even more important when instability and uncertainty are the norm.
‘There has never been a time in which managers did not invoke the idea that the world is changing faster than it’s ever changed before.’
Nitin Nohria, just-retired Dean of Harvard Business School
Pandemic, rampant unemployment, economic uncertainty, climate change, political upheaval.
And that’s just what you’ll find above the fold in today’s newspaper. Given all the turmoil and confusion across the board — about today, let alone tomorrow — is there even any point in developing a strategic plan for your business?
Of course, as someone who trades in strategy, my position on this question is pretty easy to guess: The answer is a resounding YES.
First, because as Dean Nohria and many others have observed over the years, we humans are biased towards believing that change today is happening more rapidly and more broadly than ever before. It’s not. The specifics may be different, but rapid change has always been a given.
Second, it depends very much on what you envision when thinking of a “strategic plan.” If your answer is, “a fancy, dust-gathering binder full of financial projections and dozens of pages of text assembled to spell out specific plans for five years into the future,” then I agree, it’s a waste of time.
But that’s not what an effective strategic plan looks like.
Key points include:
- Strategy to determine purpose
- Strategy is direction
- Strategy recommendations
Read the full article, Is Strategy Still Relevant?, on HorwitzandCo.com.
Aneta Key shares a helpful video and a few doodles that gives insight into the story of strategy development projects. Enjoy!
After a final client workshop, I was inspired to hand draw a couple of characters, outline a comics-like dialogue, digitize my doodles, animate sequence and put to music for a fun retrospective prompt.
This ~2 min video served as a great opener for the project retrospective and a fun project capstone.
If you’ve ever been involved in a strategy project, you may recognize the sentiments — do you?
Key areas of the process include:
- The beginning
- The middle
- The end
Watch more videos, including, The Story of Strategy Development Projects, on the AedeaPartners website.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Luka Repansek. Luka Repansek worked as a management consultant in the financial institutions practice at McKinsey and gained experience in a number of European markets. He was Fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute in San Francisco were he conducted research on global capital markets. After McKinsey, Luka spent several years as a strategy and M&A advisor at large European financial institutions including KBC Group in Belgium and Sberbank in Austria. Luka has particular focus on strategy development and execution, corporate finance, capital markets and wealth management. He lives in Slovenia with his wife and a daughter. He is happy to work on strategy and corporate finance related projects in Europe and the Middle East
Luiz Zorzella takes a leap into the arbitrary world of luck to explain how unforeseen forces should be considered when shaping strategies.
8 months ago, I drafted an article explaining why you should do a sensitivity analysis of your strategy to luck.
I was planning to publish it in March of this year, because of St Patrick’s.
That draft started with “Now is the time to be bold.”. I pointed out that the largest Canadian banks were trading at 1.3x their book value – suggesting that investors believed that they were better off if banks kept their money as capital, rather than returning it (US banks were not as uniformly good but were doing just fine).
Then COVID happened and I abandoned my draft and now Canadian banks and the largest US banks are trading close to book value.
That is how Lady Luck works. She is a whimsical diva and she does not take sides.
Points discussed in this article include:
- When times are good
- When times are bad
- Applying luck break scenarios to strategies
Read the full article, SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS: LUCK, on the Amquant website.
From the archives of David Bernal’s company blog, timeless advice on how to build a competitive intelligence function that responds to business needs and informs an effective strategy.
Recently, I had a discussion with the VP of strategy for a major multinational retailer. Even a company with vast resources and highly capable management struggled with a common issue for top management: the lack of actionable, timely and relevant competitive information to make appropriate corporate strategy and performance-improvement decisions.
Many companies, like this one, have reams of data from multiple internal and external sources, but they lack the structure, focus and processes to turn that data into valuable insight to inform their strategy. Often there is too much data and little actionable information.
Relevant and timely insight can be the determining factor when making major strategy and implementation decisions affecting the direction and quality of multiple business activities including growth initiatives, new market entry, M&A strategy, pricing, product and technology roadmaps, JVs, partnerships, etc.
After spending years working with companies around the world to define, articulate and implement competitive insight programs to educate their business strategy, I have determined there are four key best practices that will help you and your team create a capable competitive intelligence function that not only responds to specific organizational needs and enhances decision making at multiple levels but that also can become a long-term source of competitive advantage in the future.
Four points included in this article are:
- Identifying the strategic context
- Comparing data with required insight
- Strategy > Structure > People > Process
- Testing and adjusting
Read the full article, Four best practices for building your internal competitive intelligence capabilities, on the Growth Decisions website.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Sumeet Sanghani. Sumeet Sanghani is a proven growth achieving sales and P&L leader in the outsourcing and shared services space, who is looking for a role in which he can amplify and accelerate growth for a fin tech company.
Sumeet brings the ability to advise and influence senior client executives to embrace solutions which can help them digitally transform their operating and business models for breakthrough performance. He combines advisory and consultative selling skills from his days as a top tier management consultant with McKinsey, EY and Deloitte, with deep domain knowledge in retail banking and lending, coupled with strategic, financial and operational expertise. He has a track record of closing large deals with top 25 banking clients in North America, managing high performing global sales and client management teams and has had P+L responsibility for running and growing business units with over $300M in revenues at Conduent and Cognizant.
Sumeet can help with initiatives to enhance returns from outsourcing and shared services initiatives, from strategy development and planning, to execution plan development and implementation, including assessment and selection of outsourcing partners, commercial negotiations and contracting and governance.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Mayowa Ubebe with Cardinal Cornerstone. Mayowa spent 2 years with McKinsey & Company as an Associate working on strategy development and implementation projects across across the public, private and third sectors. She was based in the Lagos office with wide-reaching experience working with global clients in the consumer, financial services and energy industries, national governments and multi-lateral development/donor organisations.
Prior to McKinsey, Mayowa had a 6-year career in the energy industry managing offshore EPC projects at ExxonMobil and performing hands-on wireline oilfield services as an Internationally-mobile Field Engineer with Schlumberger in Europe, Asia and Africa.
Mayowa currently lives in London, UK with her husband and son. She enjoys blogging and is passionate about mentoring female high school students in the developing world. She is available to collaborate on strategy development or implementation projects in any industry.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Astrid Marechal with Paraty 22 SA. Astrid Marechal began her career as a Tire Designer at Goodyear Technical Center in Luxembourg. Later, she was an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company where she worked for ten years in North America, Brazil, Russia and Western Europe. Astrid has extensive expertise in strategy development, transformation and go-to-market solutions across multiple B2B industries, including industrial, technology and materials sectors. She has held several interim management positions as P&L owner of BUs. Her clients refer to her as a very sharp and driven person, who is great at getting to the bottom of things and coming up with solutions. She is also recognized to connecting well with the organization at all levels.
When time allows, Astrid enjoys spending time with friends and family and going on motorcycle trips. Astrid speaks fluent French, English and Portuguese and has a good knowledge of German. Astrid lives in Luxembourg, and is fully mobile geographically.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Lindsey Pitt. Lindsey Pitt started her career as a strategy consultant at McKinsey, largely in retail, CPG and media; some strategy work, some implementation work. She subsequently joined Strategos, a boutique consultancy focused on organic growth in blue-chip organizations, where she collaborated with clients to design insight programs and develop and pitch opportunities for investment (think Shark Tank or Dragons’ Den). In contrast to McKinsey strategy work, these projects were mostly handled by clients themselves through facilitated workshops, which was great for building engagement/ownership. She freelanced as a consultant in UK for 8 years before moving to San Francisco in 2010. Since she wanted to get her hands dirty, she joined the managed services team at an alternative legal services provider, designing solutions and reengineering processes.
In normal times, Lindsey volunteers at 826 Valencia, a not-for-profit that supports under-resourced students with writing skills. She also talks about writing a crime novel, but doesn’t actually do it.
She’d love to collaborate on organic growth projects, process reengineering, and strategy development/execution work. She also has deep subject matter expertise in Legal Department redesign(!)
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Zac Peake with Constratego Ltd. Zac Peake has broad consulting and corporate experience, with work that spans strategy development, growth planning, performance improvement, cost reduction, organisation design, and transformation / change for a mix of consumer and retail, financial services, and private equity clients.
Zac has worked at Booz & Company (Consumer and Retail practice), The Parthenon Group (commercial due diligence) as well as independent consulting. Zac’s previous corporate work includes roles as strategy director at Mitchells & Butlers and marketing / growth director at PE backed A-Plan Insurance.
Zac lives in Cambridgeshire, UK. In his free time Zac plays board and card games, listens to audio books and podcasts, snowboards, and strives to occasionally produce a half decent watercolour painting.