Strategy

Welcoming new member Sanaz von Elsner

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Sanaz von Elsner with Von Elsner Coaching. Dr. Sanaz von Elsner is a certified systemic business coach and a certified career counselor.

As a coach she conducts workshops for a broad range of companies and non-profit organizations enabling them to improve teamwork, employee personal development of their employees and workplace atmosphere. She is specially focussed on all the leadership subjects and works with leaders on their struggles.

Beside Companies. She also coaches individual clients in these areas with a focus on regarding fields, especially to supporting them to take the next steps in their career and to follow progress along that path.

Additionally, she is an active Member of Panda Women Leadership Network and nushu female network, platforms offering a broad network to support women for in their personal development and to build up strengthen their career.

Sanaz worked before as a lobbyist for the Federal Association of Dentists in Germany, and previously worked as International Strategy Consultant for companies like PwC and B-Lue (a BCG-Spinoff and now Bain & Company). Prior to that she worked as a dentist in Germany and the Netherlands. She holds a PhD in dentistry.

Welcoming new member Maria Kinkina

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Maria Kinkina with One More Consulting. Maria spent four years as a strategy consultant at Bain London and has been running her own independent consulting firm – One More Consulting – since 2019. Prior to Bain, Maria was the Head of Impact Assessment and Strategy at Teach for Bulgaria. Maria’s areas of expertise include strategy, customer, commercial excellence and transformation management. She has been working primarily in the retail and consumer goods sector and with industrial clients.

Welcoming new member Andrea Ziegler

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Andrea Ziegler. Andrea spent five years as a Consultant with BCG and Bain, in Canada and South Africa. After leaving consulting, Andrea spent a couple of years doing in-house strategy work for Bell Canada. Since then she has been the President/CEO of three small to medium-sized digital media businesses, each of which she successfully sold. Andrea’s undergraduate degree in Systems Design Engineering combined with her MBA and extensive experience in strategy, operations and management enables her to efficiently identify, launch or improve new or existing digital businesses.

After Andrea’s most recent leadership role at Workopolis, Canada’s leading job board, she moved to Jasper, Alberta and transitioned to being an independent consultant. When she is not working, she is back-country skiing, hiking, mountain biking, or paddling. Andrea is happy to collaborate on projects involving strategy, new product development or other areas in the digital economy. She is also highly experienced and capable at preparing SMBs for a sale process.

Welcoming new member Cecile Bernheim

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Cecile Bernheim with S2E Partners. Cécile created S2E Partners consulting firm in 2014. She advises Boards, CEOs and executive teams of small and mid-cap companies on Strategy-to-Execution and Corporate Governance. Her action is guided by her conviction that “aligned strategy, disciplined execution and good governance lead to greater results”

Cecile put her deep understanding of consumers, customers and market dynamics at the service of her clients and delivers valued insights and recommendations.

Her professional experience prior to S2E Partners includes strategy consulting with Bain and Company as well as senior executive roles at Coca-Cola internationally in General Management, Strategy, Sales and Marketing and in Pharmaceutical Research and Development.

Welcoming new member Paul Browne

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Paul Browne with Lexington. Paul is combines a wealth of experience in international blue-chip companies with an intellectual drive, curiosity for data, and experience in helping high-performing complex executives get outstanding results. He has lived and worked extensively across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He lives with his author wife, (N.M. Browne) in Richmond-on-Thames, UK – useful for Heathrow.

Paul is an Associate at the Møller Institute at the University of Cambridge and also operates as an independent strategy consultant. Following a highly successful career within consulting then banking, he served in various law firm CEO and finance roles, and now focusses on consultancy to professional service firms.

After starting his strategy career with Bain & Company, Paul spent a decade in senior positions with Standard Chartered where he led the Board recommendation in the early 90s to exit the UK, US and Continental office network to focus on the fast growing markets of Asia Pacific and South Asia- a strategy that was not only ahead of its time, but resulted on SCB being the best performing FTSE 100 share in the year following the strategy’s announcement. He also led a global crisis team centred on India as well as being Regional Head, Sub-Saharan Africa. He then moved to Barclays Bank as Director for Group Strategy.

Paul completed his MBA jointly from Manchester Business School and HEC, Paris, also attending an executive programme at Harvard Business School which entailed study at Harvard, in China, and in Singapore as well as analyzing opportunities in India. His undergraduate degree was in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Trinity College, Oxford. In addition, he also has a first class Oxford University degree equivalent in Archaeology.

Paul takes a data-driven approach to solving problems, informed by his wide experience and a strong thirst for new insights and approaches to analysing and solving business and people challenges.

Welcoming new member Oliver Speier

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Oliver Speier with Proworks Consulting. Oliver is a senior transformation advisor with ~14 years of experience in Operations Management, Lean and strategy for large corporations within various industry sectors. I have been working in different roles (e.g. hands-on support to leadership & strategic coaching) and on multiple engagements predominantly in Europe and Asia. I was an Engagement Manager with McKinsey&Company’s Operations Practice in Singapore serving large banks and insurance companies specifically around challenges such as top-line growth & efficiency.

I apply my strengths to address typical challenges of change situations such as market shifts, strategic redirections or digital transformations, covering and integrating both, the market and operational view. My consulting approach is complementary, bridging the classic expert-driven and content-oriented perspective (giving answers/providing solutions) with a bottom-up process and coaching oriented perspective (asking question/providing a frame in which the organization delivers the solution itself). My engagements with the client are workshop based and highly interactive both onsite and off-site, deploying all current online video conferencing and team collaboration technologies.

Welcoming new member Derek Robinson

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Derek Robinson with Renegade. Derek is a hands-on Strategy advisor with a track record of developing high-impact new business ventures. Derek trained at Bain, Coca-Cola and Cox Media Group before launching Renegade – a boutique collective of ace consultants, built to drive explosive growth for their clients.

He lives in Atlanta with his husband, Eric, and can’t wait to travel again once the dust clears. Derek is always up for a collaboration, either in Atlanta or remotely, and is especially keen on the consumer goods + media sectors. Learn more about Derek (and his team) at www.renegade.llc.

Welcoming new member Xavier Lederer

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Xavier Lederer with Ambrose Growth. Xavier was a strategy consultant with Bain & Company for 4 years in Europe (Brussels & Amsterdam office). He is now a business coach, helping CEOs of mid-market companies, who are frustrated by the way their company is growing, redefine their growth strategy/execution and their management approach, so they can get back on track to profitable growth.

Prior to starting his own practice Xavier was the President of a chocolate manufacturer in NYC. Xavier has particular expertise in helping leadership teams define an actionable growth strategy, establish an execution discipline to hold people accountable, and build stronger, more cohesive leadership teams. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and three elementary-school age children. He is a trained chocolatier and a hobbyist beekeeper. Xavier is happy to collaborate on projects in North America and across Europe to help mid-market companies redefine their growth strategy/execution and their management approach to grow faster and with less pain.

Welcoming new member Maia Scher

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Maia Scher. Maia spent +7 years as Management Consultant at McKinsey and has been working as independent consultant and held executive corporate roles (SME companies and startups) since 2015. With broad and generalist background, she has developed particular expertise in general management & strategy, organizational issues, and company build/ biz.dev. She has undergrad degree in Economics and MSc. in Social Psychology.

She is passionate about delivering impact with purpose in a broad set of topics, industries, functions and geographies. During 2020, she cofounded a social, non for profit organization, designed as a “human collective intelligence network” which is focused on impacting to mitigate negative effects from Covid19 (health, education, economy) and seize the crisis as an opportunity for the aftermath. She is also passionate about helping leading women succeed in their professional careers. She mentors entrepreneurs in digital ecosystem and women in business, she writes and facilitates different workshops and capability building trainings.

She currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, close to her parents, friends, and shares her home with a lovely rescued greyhound.

Welcoming new member Paul Armstrong

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Paul Armstrong with Mcinco. Paul spent two years with Mercer Management Consulting based out of London and three years with Bain based out of Sydney. He has been running an independent consulting practice since 2009. Paul spent two years, from 2015 to 2017, working for George Weston Foods, a major food producer in Australia and New Zealand. Prior to consulting Paul was an engineer and project manager with Shell.

Paul has worked across many industries in Australia, New Zealand and across Asia, Europe and North America.

Paul lives near Sydney, Australia with his wife and alongside consulting is rehabilitating and developing a farming operation.

Paul is happy to collaborate on a broad range of projects.

Welcoming new member Eduard Saez

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Eduard Saez with Antifragile Solutions.  Eduard Sáez spent 3 years at Bain & Company, mainly focused in M&A and Private Equity practice.

After those years, Eduard co-founded a fashion ecommerce startup. He exited the company after selling his equity to an industrial investor, and decided to travel the world for a while.

He is currently living in Andorra, working as an independent consultant doing strategy & marketing projects mainly in the fintech space. He also founded Antifragile Solutions, an advisory firm with a top talent network of freelance strategy consultants specialized in delivering projects globally.

Welcoming new member Taoufik El Khazzani

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Taoufik El Khazzani.  Tao spent 2 years within the Operations practice at McKinsey working within the telecom, hi-tech and automotive sectors. Following this first consulting experience, he joined Vivendi to lead trend forecast and strategy projects in the telecom and media space.

He then decided to add another expertise focusing on the luxury and fashion industries : after a M.S. at Institut Français de la Mode (IFM), he has managed strategy and business development for various brands, large and small. He is always excited to collaborate on projects linked to creative industries

Welcoming new member Valerie Warland

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Valerie Warland with VW Management.  Valerie is an independent non executive director based in Luxembourg, with a strong focus on alternative investment structures. She has more than 25 years of experience in the finance industry, where she enjoyed several strategic positions, like PMO director at Alter Domus, leading global alternative fund administrator, financial planning and analysis director at Paypal Europe, management information vice-president in the Dexia Banking Groupe.

She started her career as a strategy consultant with Bain & Company Benelux, Brussels. She graduated in 1995 with a master degree of the Solvay Business School, Brussels. She is married and has three dynamic children. She would be happy to help develop luxembourg based business.

Welcoming new member Tomás Elewaut

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Tomás Elewaut with Hopen – Management Consulting.  Tomás spent seven years at McKinsey & Co., leading projects in South America, and has been running his own consulting firm focused on strategy, organization and business development since 2012.

Before starting his own consulting practice, he was founder and business development manager of and important agribusiness operation that raised capital from US institutional investors and the IFC (International Finance Corporation). Prior to McKinsey, he worked for the Techint Group and Banco Galicia. Tomás has particular expertise in strategy and general management advise, as well as board organization, as he currently serves in the board of a renowned non-profit hospital.

He lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina with his wife and three undergrad school age children. Tomás is happy to collaborate on projects involving strategy, organization, business development and general management advise.

Welcoming new member Heidi Beck

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Heidi Beck with Kuglin Beck Advisory.  C-Suite people focused executive who brings a unique skillset to align multiple stakeholders to challenging, transformative, and often difficult decisions across leading influential organisations (public and private).

Heidi has deep strategy, transformation, and organisational design experience and broad application of general management in both corporate functions and business roles (with P&L responsibility.)

Deeply passionate about creating high performing, diverse, and truly inclusive teams, Heidi is committed to improving leading organisations’ capabilities to embed change and realise their potential through supportive, inclusive, and non hierarchical leadership.

Functional specialties: organisation design, strategy and transformation, commercial negotiations (public and private sector), customer insights/analytics, and performance management

Significant industry expertise (who consults occasionally) in travel, transport (aviation, rail) and logistics industries across Australia and North America (with dual US-Australian citizenship).

Welcoming new member Nigel Dews

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Nigel Dews with GNG Partners in Growth. Nigel has experience in technology, finance, media, telecommunications, energy, FMCG and venture capital. This experience has spanned executive, board and consulting roles in both public and private companies. Nigel began his career as an Economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia before joining McKinsey & Company and working in Sydney, New York and London offices. Nigel has held leadership roles in many growth companies including as CEO of Fairfax Digital, 3 Mobile, Vodafone Australia, Message Media Group and UK based start up, Hue.

More recently, Nigel was a Partner and Director at Port Jackson Partners, a leading Australian boutique strategy firm founded by ex-McKinsey Partners. Nigel is also an Operating Partner with OneVentures, a leading Australian technology and healthcare venture capital firm with over A$500mil under management. Nigel and his business partner Graham Bougen established GNG Partners in Growth in late 2020 and are happy to collaborate on growth strategy consulting. We are based in Sydney and happy to work across Australia and New Zealand.

Welcoming new member Marco Piacentino

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Marco Piacentino with Soir Bleu. A blend of strategy, operations and M&A consulting activities are the characteristics of Soir Bleu srl, the firm that Marco founded in 2012. The aim is to provide clients with an advantage point through a comprehensive, generalist view of their business with a touch of specific industry knowledge.

Before 2012 Marco has been Senior Partner in charge of the ICT and Business Services Practices at Cross Border s.r.l., an M&A Boutique, member of Global M&A an International Network focused on Mid Market Transactions. His industrial professional career includes more than ten years at the Olivetti Group where he managed subsidiaries in Europe, Asia And Latin America. Marco also covered Corporate positions with international breadth, including VP Marketing EMEA at Unisys. International M&A projects, JVs and Corporate Counsel for Italy are the areas where Marco looks forward for collaboration with other professionals.

Welcoming new member Tanaka Chiimba

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Tanaka Chiimba with Impact Strategy Consulting.  Tanaka possesses 15 years of management consulting experience. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte and Touche, she cut her teeth in consulting at McKinsey and Company where she spent 7 years serving leaders of mining, energy, infrastructure and public sector (education and tax administration) institutions across a broad range of topics.

Tanaka likes to be considered as more of a generalist. She is drawn to opportunities where there is value add or turnaround potential. Her ability to sift through complexity very quickly to generate insights or tell the story coupled with her entrepreneurial spirit has resulted in an individual with the unique ability to network, transfer insights across sectors and geographies and deliver tangible value add. After leaving McKinsey, Tanaka successfully founded a professional services firm, (comprised 4 divisions: consulting, people (training and outsourcing), technology and engineering), which at her exit, 5 years later, was worth over £10 million with over 100 staff.

Welcoming new member Piotr Bendykowski

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Piotr Bendykowski. Piotr has led and participated in over a hundred consulting projects at McKinsey, Accenture, KPMG and on his own. He has also spent over 10 years as CFO, CEO, board member and chairman of the board. His industry experience is wide, with most time in financial services and manufacturing. His specialty is rapid and radical improvement of key metrics, for example revenue and income. A strategy expert, he has also worked in finance, marketing, operations, and IT. Projects have taken him to the US (East Coast, West Coast and some in between) and Europe (Western, Eastern, Northern, and Central).

Piotr has an MBA from Stanford, Engineering BS from MIT, and an IB from Atlantic College in the UK. He is fluent in English and Polish and familiar with five other languages. Piotr lives near Warsaw, with his wife and son. He is a certified pilot, scuba diver, lifeguard, and sailor. He leads an active lifestyle: hiking, cycling, kayaking, swimming, skiing, mountaineering, sailing, riding horses. He has travelled through dozens of countries on all continents except Australia. Interested in history, art, books, politics, and nature.

Welcoming new member Pontus Kristiansson

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Pontus Kristiansson with Altaverita. Pontus spent his early career with McKinsey & Co and Procter & Gamble. Then went on to spend 20+ years as serial entrepreneur and tech CEO before going back to management strategy consulting through his independent practice Altaverita, while also chairing his family office Realinvest.se.

Believes in saving the world through climate impact investing and scaling technological climate solutions. Thrives on helping others succeed. Secret super power: Strong problem solver, with an uncanny ability to explain complex problems and solutions in easy-to-understand yet highly engaging ways. Pontus is happy to collaborate on projects involving new product positioning strategies, business growth strategies and financial market communications – particularly if relating to projects or businesses with a positive climate impact opportunity.

Welcoming new member Peter Korponai

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Peter Korponai with Hungarian Enterprise Development Institute.  Peter has been running his strategy consulting practice since 2011. Peter started his career in consulting at McKinsey, where he spent 4 years working mainly for banking and energy sector clients in Hungary and neighboring countries. After McKinsey, he worked in line management as CFO in the medical device manufacturing and interactive media sectors.

In 2007, he returned to consulting and joined CEMI, a Central Eastern Europe focused strategy boutique founded by McKinsey alumni. Peter has extensive experience in the area of strategy, restructuring, M&A, and investment management. He has been serving VC and PE clients as well to enhance value creation at portfolio companies.

Peter lives in Budapest, Hungary and he is happy to collaborate on projects involving the above mentioned topics.

Welcoming new member Ulrich Riedel

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Ulrich Riedel with Dr. Ulrich Riedel Consulting.  Ulrich is a trusted senior manager and management board member with 21 years of leadership experience in industrial companies, and as McKinsey project manager. For 2 years (and his entire professional life) he has been supporting industrial companies to increase their likelihood of successful and full-value execution (‘Gold Vein’ approach: https://www.drulrichriedelconsulting.ch/).

Ulrich lives near Zurich, Switzerland, with his Sr. Logistics-IT Project Manager wife and two wonderful and strong primary school daughters. He plays piano with passion (rather poorly though). Ulrich is happy to collaborate on how to increase execution success of ready-to-implement projects/ strategies/ change situations, mainly for industrial companies, in Switzerland, Europe and beyond (English and German only).

Welcoming new member Jakob Skovgaard

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Jakob Skovgaard. Jakob is an international senior executive with 20 years of P&L, strategy and leadership experience from McKinsey & Co, Arla Foods (dairy) and Danish Crown (meat). Most recently Managing Director Denmark in Danish Crown with 450 mio EUR full P&L responsibility and Global Cheese SVP in Arla with 2+ bn EUR category P&L responsibility. Since last year (2020) Jakob has worked as an independent advisor, consultant and board member. Jakob has particular expertise in running and growing food/fmcg business with a spike in meat/dairy and in strategy as well as all commercial disciplines, i.e. sales, marketing, innovation. Jakob has led several change programs and been focused on growth and transformation throughout his career.

Jakob lives in Denmark with his wife and two high-school age children and enjoys all outdoor activity. Jakob is happy to collaborate on projects within strategy, organization, commercial excellence and optimization within food/fmcg and related industries.

Welcoming new member Nilesh Rajadhyax

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Nilesh Rajadhyax with Vyom Health.  Nilesh is a seasoned executive with 15+ years of experience in the Healthcare sector primary serving payers and providers. He was an Associate Partner at McKinsey and Company and advised clients on strategy, technology and acquisitions in healthcare. He served some large Health systems, a large national payer, a large healthcare technology company and many middle market private equity funds.

He then joined TransUnion’s Healthcare division and successfully, built a data business line from scratch. While at TransUnion he served as the GM for couple product lines, led the billing and sales operations functions and also led the merger and acquisitions team for the Healthcare division. He was part of TransUnion’s journey to IPO from a private equity ownership and understands the aspects of leading and operating under both ownership structures.

He most recently was with Heartland Dental, a large roll-up of ~1000 dental offices and was the Service line GM for Invisalign and Endodontics (root canals) across the organization. He led the marketing, training, payer management, financing and vendor management functions to grow the service lines and understands the mechanics of a multi-site provider network.

Nilesh would like to collaborate on projects of growth, process improvements, corporate development and strategy in the area of Healthcare providers, payers and Healthcare technology and services.

Welcoming new member Willem Koelewijn

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Willem Koelewijn. Willem is an independent healthcare services entrepreneur. After several years in management consulting (McKinsey) and telecoms, marketing 3G equipment to operators in Europe, Willem set a several Ambulatory Surgery Centres in the Netherland under the Alant Medical brand name. These clinics were merged with Bergman Clinics to become the largest chain of private clinics in the Netherlands. He served on the board as COO. He subsequently became an independent healthcare entrepreneur working in various parts of the Dutch healthcare system: from pain clinics, to midwife led maternity care to developing assisted living facilities for seniors.

Welcoming new member Jeffery Perry

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Jeffery Perry with Lead Mandates. Jeff is a dynamic thought leader and global strategic business advisor. After an impactful 30-year career in management consulting at notable firms Booz & Co., A.T. Kearney, and recently retiring from Ernst & Young (EY), as Founder & CEO, Lead Mandates LLC, he fulfills his passion as an independent advisor—to help organizations improve business and leadership performance.

Businesses are facing unprecedented disruption and uncertainty. Based on his years of advising clients through strategic growth, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, business transformations, and disruption, Jeff is uniquely positioned to help organizations achieve their strategic and operational goals.

Leaders need to demonstrate authenticity and courage and motivate others in their organization to bring their best every day. Jeff leverages lessons learned regarding how to harness leadership as a prerequisite to achieve organizational goals.

Jeff also serves on the Board of Directors of Fortune Brands (NYSE: FBHS).

Welcoming new member Emre Kara

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Emre Kara with Proludus. Emre is the founder of Proludus. He serves as a trainer and consultant.

Emre graduated from Bilkent University with BS and MS degrees in Industrial Engineering. During his master, he also studied business and economics in Aarhus Business School in Denmark.

He started his professional career as a finance specialist at Unilever. He worked in personal care and hair care categories for Turkey, North Africa, Middle East, and Russia.

Then, Emre joined Bain & Company’s Istanbul office. He worked as a management consultant for five years. He advised many clients in retail, consumer goods, household appliances, airlines, technology, and logistics from Turkey, Europe, and Middle East. His areas of expertise include strategy, digital transformation, operational turnaround, agile way of working, loyalty program redesign, contact center optimization, in-store sales push, and market entry strategy.

Emre has had interest on professional development and adult learning theory and applications. He served as a trainer in many occasions in his academic and professional career. He designed, developed, and delivered trainings on various topics in the companies where he worked and also for his clients based on their needs.

Emre is a professional scrum master with a PSM certificate – he is an expert in agile way of working. He is one of the pioneers in Turkey to apply agile principles and practices to solve problems in business functions – outside of IT domain. He trains and coaches professionals and agile project teams, help them crack business problems leveraging his industry and capability specific expertise.

Welcoming new member Andrew Lodge

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Andrew Lodge.  Andrew has been an independent consultant for a year working in financial services. He was an Associate Principal at McKinsey in London, a Head of Division in financial stability at the Bank of England and a senior policy adviser at HM Treasury in the United Kingdom.

Andrew has led major transformation projects in financial services, particularly in banking, and also in public sector organisations.  He is moving – coronavirus permitting – to the Greater Toronto area with his family to be closer to his wife’s parents. Andrew is very happy to collaborate on strategy or transformation projects in financial services or public sector in Canada or east coast U.S.

Welcoming new member Saad Sameer Abujubara

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Saad Sameer Abujubara with Impact Partners.  Saad was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey. Prior to McKinsey, he was a market planning manager  with Sunbulah group (FMCG sector). Currently is a Partner at Impact Partners local consulting firm in Riyadh. Saad has particular expertise in planning, strategy and initiatives delivery, and operation and organizational excellence ,and has lead major transformations projects with government sector. He lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with his wife and two kids. Saad is happy to collaborate on projects in the region and to discover partnership model with Impact Partners

Welcoming new member Peter Kovacs

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Peter Kovacs.  Peter spent almost nine years in various Strategic, Finance, and Business Unit roles at MUFG Union Bank in California. Prior to that, he spent four years in the FIG practice at McKinsey out of Budapest, Hungary. Since 2016, Peter has been balancing his time with independent consulting both as an individual and leading teams in a variety of engagements primarily for FIG and PE clients, as well as owning and operating several unrelated small businesses in the beauty, health, and wellness space. Peter’s passion is for strategy and execution work in the finance and banking space, but is always open to and excited to broaden his experience in an ever-changing market. He lives in Orange County, California with his wife and three young children and is either in the gym or mountain biking every morning. Peter particularly looks forward to collaborating on projects involving strategy, operations, and / or execution throughout the U.S.

Success Strategies for Parents

 

Eliette Krakora shares an article from her company’s website on how to help children become successful through positive parenting techniques. 

All parents want their children to be successful and happy. And it goes without saying that we encourage our kids to always try their best, while doing everything we can to support them. But often, much like adults, children are stressed and worried that they aren’t ‘good enough.’ And these challenges are only compounded as we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic. 

‘Many children are more anxious than ever before,’ Lorraine Thomas, Chief Executive of The Parent Coaching Academy, tells Thrive. “We can help them to manage difficult emotions by nurturing a values-based, problem-solving and adventurous spirit and attitude,” says Thomas, the author of books including Super Coach Arty Vs. The Shadow — Taking the Fear Out of Failure.    

Parents often assume their kids’ abilities (as well as their own skills) are innate and set in stone. If they’re not “good” at chemistry, they never will be. And if they can’t catch a ball, they will never be athletic. But this just isn’t true. As the science on the subject shows, those assumptions, known as a “fixed mindset” — the belief that you can’t get any smarter than you already are — are incorrect. In fact, parents can help their kids succeed and reduce stress by adopting a growth mindset. Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, the architect of the growth mindset and the author of Mindset, has demonstrated that we can all develop our abilities.

 

Key points in this article include:

  • Addressing mistakes
  • Word choice
  • Progress through praise 

 

Read the full article, 6 Strategies to Help You Develop a Growth Mindset So Your Kids Can Be More Successful and Less Stressed, on Thrive.com.

 

Welcoming new member Jeremy Muench

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Jeremy Muench with Infinity Growth Partners.  Jeremy Muench has worked the last ~20 years in the B2B software space and most recently with Vista Equity Partners (leading private equity software investor) as a Managing Director and member of Vista’s internal operating team (Vista Consulting Group). Prior to Vista, he worked at a Vista portfolio company as COO and at McKesson Corporation and General Electric in several operating roles (Lean Six Sigma, post-merger integration, corporate development and strategy, system implementation, go-to-market effectiveness). Earlier in his career, he was a Bain consultant.

Welcoming new member Shailendra Gupta

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Shailendra Gupta with SG Consulting.  Dr. Shailendra Gupta is an alum of McKinsey & Company, and has 25 years of experience in executive roles at large as well as pre-IPO technology companies. He specializes in Strategy, Business Development and Operations where he has a significant track record of achievement. Shailendra has an MBA from Wharton and a PhD from the University of Maryland in Mechanical Engineering. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two teenage children.

Aligning Perception, Production, and Point of Demand 

 

Using the rise and fall and rise again of the national public radio system as an example, Kaihan Krippendorff explains why a “betting on the past” strategy has caused the downfall of giants.

In March of 2008, the United States’ national public radio system (NPR) seemed to have a fatal and too common choice: to bet on the past rather than the future. It’s the kind of decision that has initiated the fall of many once-great companies: Toys “R” Us, Polaroid, Borders, Macy’s, RadioShack, and BlackBerry, to name a few.

The pattern often begins with a shift in the “point of demand” that the incumbent chooses to ignore. BlackBerry ignored that the point of demand of mobile phones was shifting from IT managers to working consumers who started to demand they be allowed to bring their own devices to work. For innumerable retailers it was the shift from stores to online. For Polaroid and Kodak, it was the shift of demand from paper to digital.

When the point of demand shifts, some companies cling hopefully to the possibility demand will shift back. Others follow the point of the demand, shifting how they produce and deliver value.

By 2008, NPR had been following an historical shift in how people were consuming radio. As podcasts started taking off, NPR was early to the game. They had launched their podcasts three years earlier, offering a collection of nearly 200 programs. They quickly could claim 5 million downloads. When an NPR fan, a college student, launched an NPR Facebook page in 2008, NPR quickly took over its management.

 

Key points in this article include:

  • The shifting point of demand
  • Walking the line between innovation and tradition
  • How media consumption has evolved over time
  • The spectrum of NPR’s strategy

 

Read the full article, How NPR Leapt Forward in Proximity, on the Outthinker website. 

 

How to Connect Technology to Strategy

 

Daune Capuano shares a whitepaper on how to turn your technology and strategic goals into action. 

Does your association struggle with data trapped in an outdated association management platform that does not interact with your current systems and restricts your organization’s ability to implement new software for  new products and services ?

Are you concerned that your current Learning Management System (LMS) has become antiquated and cannot add new features such as webinars and classes using stream video technology ? Are you considering making some or all of the sessions from your conferences available online?

Sound familiar? It’s no secret that to stay relevant and grow revenue levels, associations must utilize new technologies that engage their key audiences and deliver information and services in new ways. Yet many associations suffer from an internal struggle to find the intersection between strategy and technology.

 

Points covered in this article include: 

  • Conduct vendor research
  • Executing a request for proposal process
  • Negotiating contracts

 

Download the full whitepaper, 8 Steps for Navigating Successful Technology Projects, from the Success Roads Consulting website.

 

Welcoming new member Johannes Hoech

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Johannes Hoech with MarqetU. Johannes is a C-level Silicon Valley executive experienced in “Growth Architecting”, i.e. all aspects of state-of-the-art pipeline generation and revenue management. Expert analyst and motivational leader with strong skills in general management, strategy, product management, and customer success, as well. 25+ years of experience leading technology startups through early stage, high growth, and turnaround phases.

Having managed organizations ranging in size from a 3-person start-up to a 400-person business, Johannes drives revenue and scales fast growing organizations of all sizes. With his German half he executes efficiently with a highly analytical approach, and with his California half he innovates pragmatic solutions.

Welcoming new member Kareem Hall

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Kareem Hall with K Hall Consulting. Kareem is a management consultant and entrepreneur with 15 years of experience in market research, strategic planning, and workshop facilitation. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Morehouse College. Kareem runs K Hall Consulting, a strategy, qualitative analysis, and market research consulting firm. He also serves as the Program Lead for the Southside Atlanta and Eastlake / Kirkwood cohorts of Emory University’s Start:ME program, an intensive business training program for promising local small businesses. Before founding K Hall Consulting, Kareem led transformative client projects and implementations as an Engagement Manager at Mission Measurement, and as a Consultant at Bain & Company, Accenture, and ProInspire.

In addition to his professional pursuits, Kareem is passionate about community outreach and volunteer work. He currently serves on the board of the Harvard Business School Club of Atlanta and resides in Atlanta with his wife, Erika, and his daughter, Eila (who is excited for her brother due in November). Kareem also recently launched Soccer Shots Atlanta East, a premier soccer experience for children ages 2-8 in DeKalb County that he owns with his wife, Erika.

Welcoming new member Anthony Howe

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Anthony Howe.  Anthony has worked at three leading consultancies including McKinsey (strategy), AT Kearney (manufacturing/operations) and Accenture (Information Technology).  After leaving consulting, Anthony joined the financial services industry, initially launching a corporate development team for the CEO of a private payments company and then progressing to leadership roles at Wachovia, Wells Fargo and, most recently, USAA.

In his most recent role as Head of Strategic Intelligence at USAA, Anthony managed three teams including corporate strategy, enterprise competitive intelligence and strategy analytics.  Mr. Howe has the ability to integrate and coordinate complex transformation initiatives given his functional breadth spanning strategy, marketing, operations, information technology, data and analytics and corporate development.  Anthony has only recently decided to pursue independent consulting after USAA necessarily turned its focus from growth to risk and compliance given the current regulatory environment.

Welcoming new member Agnes Allotey

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Agnes Allotey with Stratosphere. Agnes is a Strategy, Innovation, Product and Organizational Development expert and a Management Consultant with 19 years of experience at firms including McKinsey and Company, Bloomberg L.P., Dow Jones & Company and Milvik (BIMA).  She has exposure to multiple industries and functions including the development of Public-Private Sector Partnerships, Insurance, Mining, Banking, Sustainable Enterprises and Media.  She is currently the Founder and Executive Director of Stratosphere, a management consulting firm focused on serving companies with interests in Africa.  Some of her recent work include working on a transformation for a sovereign wealth fund and helping a large international foundation decide on which sectors to invest in.  Agnes is also a Project Manager for CGAP, a think tank housed at the World Bank focusing on financial inclusion.

She also contributed to articles for the McKinsey Global Institute, carrying out key pieces of research into South Africa’s economy and McKinsey Women where she studied gender imbalances at work and the effect on company EBITDA.  She has also published hundreds of articles on the Bloomberg Terminal for consumption by traders in real-time and edited copy for the Wall Street Journal as a National Copyreader for Dow Jones & Company.

Agnes is also a career coach and served on the Boards of the Kuenyehia Prize for Contemporary Art and Unryddle, a technology-enabled educational development agency for university students. She has an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business where she specialized in Finance and Strategy and a Bachelor of Arts from Bryn Mawr College in English Literature with a minor in Physics.

Welcoming new member Melanie Espeland

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Melanie Espeland with Espeland Enterprises.  Melanie S. Espeland has over 13 years of professional experience across strategy and operations. She is the Founder of Espeland Enterprises, a boutique consulting firm.  Their services include executive voice coaching and business consulting.

Melanie has consulted for businesses for 5 exciting years, utilizing her MBA and toolkit from top tier management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

For her Executive Voice Coaching clients, she offers a unique mix of voice prowess (as a signed Voice Actor with CESD Talent) and prestigious business savvy.  Melanie believes there is an incredible opportunity for professionals to improve their careers and overall confidence through harnessing their voices.

Melanie has an MBA from Columbia Business School, a BS from Cornell University, and has studied voice acting with industry leaders Paul Liberti and Anna Garduno.

When not working with E E clients, she enjoys voice acting and painting.

Six Tips to Help Align Your Organization’s Go-to-market Approach from Strategy to Revenue

 

Stephen Redwood’s clients have been asking questions about how operating models will change post pandemic and how to accelerate time to market. He collaborated with Colin Taylor, to identify six priorities to focus on when rethinking your go-to-market (GTM) model.  

Cross-functional synchronization and alignment around a unified go-to-market approach is uncommon but has great value. Transforming your go-to-market approach can increase brand value, optimize growth investments, empower sales teams and accelerate time-to-revenue. This article discusses six tips to realizing this latent value in your organization:

 

Information in this article includes:

  • Minimize your limiters (decision making and hand-off hold-ups) and maximize your accelerators (streamlined processes, formal collaboration mechanisms, clear accountabilities)
  • Build a single company-wide model to establish a trusted and consensus view of all the interlocked go-to-market activities working together
  • Clarify accountabilities and devolve decision making closer to hand-offs across the business system
  • Build a company-wide, shared sense of accountability into processes and KPIs. Establish cross business communities that bring together critical silos at the intersections of hand-offs
  • Adjust goals, provide training, communicate continuously, and keep leaders on point
  • Establish oversight mechanisms to ensure the system is continuously updated to keep it relevant

 

Read the full article, Why is our go-to-market so inefficient and slow?, on LinkedIn.

 

Welcoming new member Christian Hager

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Christian Hager with Christian Hager Consulting. Christian Hager was a management advisor at McKinsey & Company from 2000 to 2010. In 2010 he started his own consulting practice. Christian focuses on growth topics, incl. strategy, business model development, sales initiatives, M&A, PMI, etc. and selectively supports restructuring and cost reduction projects. He serves clients in a broad range of industries, recently focusing on travel, logistics, insurance, and eCommerce. He lives in Zurich, Switzerland

Welcoming new member Shona Especkerman

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Shona Especkerman with Invictus Consulting.  Shona is an accomplished management consultant and senior adviser with 20+ years of experience in Top Tier consulting firms (Booz & Company, Schlumberger, Accenture) on complex strategic engagements for companies, governments and investors. She has been running her own firm since 2016.

She has extensive experience designing innovative solutions for strategy, business development, organisation, business operations and digital challenges. She is passionate about collaborating with senior executives, investors and government officials in Asia Pacific and the Middle East’s fast growing markets to cultivate new business opportunities and create competitive advantage. Her sector experience includes energy, petrochemicals, e-commerce, logistics & transportation, financial services and retail.

She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her fiance, 2 dogs and cat, and is an avid meditator and yoga practitioner. Shona is happy to collaborate on projects involving Strategy, Organisation and Operations

Strategic Steps to Deal with Looming Changes

 

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.

 

Welcoming new member Rijul Takkar

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.

Welcoming new member Rodney Speering

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.

Welcoming new member Mike Mortensen

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.

Welcoming new member Igor Buchatskiy

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.

Drive Forward with Emotion

 

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. 

 

Welcoming new member Elias Boustani

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.

Elias is a mentor of startups and a university lecturer at AUB and ESA Business Schools.

He is happy to collaborate on projects involving Strategy, Tech, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in France or the Middle East

Welcoming new member Brendan Rauw

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Brendan 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.

Welcoming new member Jeff Boschwitz

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.

Welcoming new member Mika Malin

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.

Helping Leaders Make Ethical Decisions

 

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. 

 

Welcoming new member Swan Sit

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.

Welcoming new member George Nahra

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

Welcoming new member Brett Pentz

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).

Welcoming new member Uma Sethi

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.

Welcoming new member Brendan Kelly

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.

Welcoming new member Rezzan A Kose

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.

A Survival Guide on How to Compete Against Luck

 

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.

 

A Framework to Execute Your Strategies

 

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:

  • Alignment
  • Action plans
  • Governance
  • Connecting people

 

Download the free PDF, Improve Your Ability to Execute Your Strategies, on the Strategy Management Partners website.

 

Welcoming new member Deepak Batra

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.

Master the Art of Strategy Execution

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.

What’s the Definition of Your Business?

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.

tags Strategy

When the Rubber Hits the Road

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.