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The Strategy Skills Podcast is the channel where strategy partners teach you the tools and techniques to solve mankind’s greatest problems. Learn all the skills of McKinsey and BCG consultants without having to work at a consulting firm. Our podcasts have been downloaded over 2 million times worldwide and we rank in the Top 10 career podcasts in most countries. Opt-in to our newsletter at www.firmsconsulting.com to receive free sample Insider content that we share nowhere else. Each year we pick one consulting study and narrate the analyses, client interactions and recommendations so you can understand how the strategy is developed. Detailed videos and power-points to accompany the podcasts can be found on our website. The podcast teaches both technical analyses and soft skills like communication. We discuss concepts to help listeners advance their strategy, operations and implementation skills, enhance their critical thinking ability and build their executive presence. www.firmsconsulting.com www.strategytraining.com

279: Dr. Richard Winters, What Makes You a Great Leader?
5d ago
279: Dr. Richard Winters, What Makes You a Great Leader?
Welcome to Strategy Skills episode 279, an episode with a practicing emergency physician at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Richard Winters. Get Dr. Richard’s book here.   As a physician, Dr. Richard shares how he managed, adapted, and remained calm during times of covid. He discussed some of the best practices that can be adapted from the medical field into the space of business. We speak about leadership, administration, and leveraging your expertise to be effective in your career.    In this episode, we also discussed one of the traps that most leaders face today where they strive to become successful in their career, and groom and develop new leaders while taking into account the fear of being replaced.    As director of Leadership Development for the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Dr. Winters facilitates retreats and delivers programs that train leaders at healthcare organizations worldwide.   Dr. Winters graduated from the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in 1994. He is board certified and residency trained in Emergency Medicine from the University of California, San Francisco at Fresno. He graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas Executive and Professional Coaching Program and is a professional certified coach through the International Coaching Federation. He completed a Healthcare Management Executive MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas and UT Southwestern Medical Center. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago.   Prior to his work at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Winters served as managing partner of a democratic physician group, chair of emergency medicine, president of an 800-physician medical staff, and CEO/founder of a managed care startup.   He lives in Rochester, Minnesota with his family.   Get Dr. Richard’s book here: You're the Leader. Now What? : Leadership Lessons from Mayo Clinic. Dr. Richard Winters   Enjoying our podcast? Get access to sample advanced training episode here: www.firmsconsulting.com/promo
275: Cassie Holmes, Living Life to the Fullest: How to Spend Your Time With No Regrets
07-09-2022
275: Cassie Holmes, Living Life to the Fullest: How to Spend Your Time With No Regrets
Welcome to Strategy Skills episode 275, an episode with Cassie Holmes, a professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and an award-winning teacher and researcher of time and happiness.   In society today, we generally equate productivity with the number of activities we do, regardless of the value it brings us and how it contributes to our well-being and happiness. We often feel “time-poor” for having too much to do and not having enough time to do it. As a result, we feel less happy and less fulfilled. On the contrary, people with too much free time feel unproductive and lack a sense of purpose. So how should we think about time and happiness?   In this episode, Cassie discusses how we can recreate our approach to time and transform every moment into a happier hour. She shares how we can spend time optimally, create moments of gratitude and fulfillment, and live life with no regrets.   Cassie earned her PhD at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and her BA at Columbia as a psychology major. Cassie’s research has been widely published in lead academic journals and featured in such outlets as NPR, The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post. Happier Hour is her first book.   Get Cassie’s book here: Happier Hour: How to Beat Distraction, Expand Your Time, and Focus on What Matters Most. Cassie Holmes   Enjoying our podcast? Get access to sample advanced training episodes here: www.firmsconsulting.com/promo
274: Bill George, Integrating Emerging Leaders With Purpose and Authenticity
05-09-2022
274: Bill George, Integrating Emerging Leaders With Purpose and Authenticity
Welcome to Strategy Skills episode 274, an episode with Bill George, former chairman and CEO of Medtronic and currently a professor at Harvard Business School. He has written two of the most enduring leadership classics of all time: Authentic Leadership and True North. Now, Bill has written a new book aimed at the next generation of leaders, the Emerging Leaders Edition of True North, coauthored with millennial entrepreneur Zach Clayton. Get Bill’s new book here.   This book is a clarion call to emerging leaders to step up to lead their organizations with their hearts, not just their heads, as authentic leaders who lead with purpose by inspiring and coaching their teammates. It heralds the end of the baby boomer era of Jack Welch, when too many leaders focused on maximizing shareholder value and taking shortcuts rather than building sustainable enterprises to serve all of their stakeholders. Our best hope for a better world is to empower the next generation of emerging leaders – not just those on top – to follow their True North to make this world better for everyone.   The stories in this book, which came from 220 interviews with exceptional leaders, illustrate that most authentic leaders first discovered their True North through their life stories and crucibles, developed self-awareness, and then found their North Star – the purpose of their leadership. Wisdom learned from leaders like Satya Nadella, Mary Barra, Ken Frazier, Indra Nooyi, Ursula Burns, and Hubert Joly will guide emerging leaders at all levels in their development.   Bill joined Medtronic in 1989 as president and chief operating officer, was chief executive officer from 1991-2001, and board chair from 1996-2002. He is currently a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, where he has taught leadership since 2004. He is the author of Discover Your True North and The Discover Your True North Field Book, Authentic Leadership, Seven Lessons for Leading in Crisis, Finding Your True North, and True North Groups. He has served on the boards of Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil, Novartis, Target, and Mayo Clinic.    He received his BSIE with high honors from Georgia Tech, his MBA with high distinction from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar, and honorary PhDs from Georgia Tech, Mayo Medical School, University of St. Thomas, Augsburg College, and Bryant University.    True North: Leading Authentically in Today's Workplace, Emerging Leader Edition. Bill George & Zach Clayton.   Enjoying our podcast? Get access to sample advanced training episodes here: www.firmsconsulting.com/promo
269: Gaurav Gupta, The Principles of Change Management
17-08-2022
269: Gaurav Gupta, The Principles of Change Management
Welcome to Strategy Skills episode 269, an episode with Gaurav Gupta, the Director at change management and strategy execution firm Kotter. Get Gaurav’s book here:   The level of complexity and the pace at which things are changing in modern society requires leaders and organizations to be more reactive to change. Companies can no longer depend on a linear, methodical, deliberate approach to change. Instead, the key is to rely on a more agile, organic approach where employees are engaged and motivated to participate. As Gaurav mentioned in this episode, “The more organizations, individuals, teams, and leaders can start to frame change as an opportunity, the more people are going to run towards it because there are changes we embrace.”   In this episode, we discussed the level of change that organizations face today and how they can effectively manage, adapt, and embrace the shifts required in the business. We discussed the kind of leader who thrives in situations where the organization goes through a fast-paced change.   Gaurav Gupta worked with clients in industries as diverse as food and beverage, oil and energy, healthcare, chemicals, and finance. Gaurav draws on his extensive global (having worked in over 10 countries) and diverse functional experience in collaborating with business leaders to develop and implement effective transformation efforts.    Prior to joining Kotter, Gaurav led the operations for the European office of Stroud International, a management and operations consulting firm. Gaurav combines his passion for international development and education by serving as an executive board member for a non-profit, Medic to Medic, that sponsors medical students in Uganda and Malawi.    Gaurav holds a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Middlebury College and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University.   Get Gaurav’s book here: Change: How Organizations Achieve Hard-to-Imagine Results in Uncertain and Volatile Times. John P. Kotter, Vanessa Akhtar, Gaurav Gupta.   Enjoying this episode? Get access to sample advanced training episodes here: www.firmsconsulting.com/promo
268: Ashley Menzies Babatunde, The Act of Wellness
15-08-2022
268: Ashley Menzies Babatunde, The Act of Wellness
Welcome to Strategy Skills episode 268, an episode with an attorney and the host of the No Straight Path Podcast, Ashley Menzies Babatunde. The pressure of keeping up with today’s competitive world is undeniably haunting. Most people spend a considerable amount of time at work and struggle to maintain their wellness and wellbeing. Many people are unhappy because they try to achieve too many things in life and lose track of the simple things that truly matter. In this episode, we speak about the gravity of maintaining wellness, prioritizing the time for taking care of yourself, finding your purpose, and living a life with a sense of completeness. We discussed how we can create a healthier and happier society while being successful in our careers and life. Ashley Menzies Babatunde was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Ashley is a litigation associate in O’Melveny’s Los Angeles office. Her practice focuses on Health Care and White Collar Defense & Corporate Investigations.    Ashley is a storyteller, optimist, professional heart-warmer, and hopeful romantic. She is passionate about the intersection of humanity and career. She has realized that her achievements or her failures do not define her. Instead, she is defined by the human qualities that have allowed her to achieve success and overcome challenges.    Check out Ashley’s podcast:No Straight Path aims to humanize success from the millennial perspective. The world often sees the shiny resumes, highlights shared on social media, and job titles associated with a person's LinkedIn profile. We rarely see the story behind it. And when we do, it's often in a memoir towards the end of someone's journey. The podcast aims to delve into the story behind the success with a closer to real-time approach.    Enjoying this episode? Get access to sample advanced training episodes here: www.firmsconsulting.com/promo
267: Christie Hunter Arscott, Redefining Risk: How to Build a Career Through Bold Actions
10-08-2022
267: Christie Hunter Arscott, Redefining Risk: How to Build a Career Through Bold Actions
Welcome to Strategy Skills episode 267, an episode with an award-winning advisor, speaker, and author, Christie Hunter Arscott. Get Christie’s book here:   Most of the time, the word risk is associated with fear and uncertainty. We tend to struggle with harnessing the power of risk-taking. But the first bold step sheds light on that. As Christie mentioned in this episode, “An intentional and strategic risk, even when the output is not what you desired, still can propel you further than if you made the consistent choice to play it safe.”   In this episode, we discussed the power of intentional risk-taking in building one’s career. We spoke about how to encourage women to take chances on themselves to face intentional, intelligent, and strategic risks.    Christie Hunter Arscott is a leading expert on how we can harness the power of intentional risk-taking to create more dynamic and vibrant careers and organizations. A Rhodes Scholar, Christie has been named by Thinkers50 as one of the top management thinkers likely to shape the future of business. Christie was also selected for the biannual Thinkers50 Talent Award shortlist of the top global thought leaders in the field of talent management.   Christie’s research and writing have been featured across international publications, including Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fortune, European Business Review, TIME, Fast Company, Business Insider, and more. Her article "Why So Many Thirtysomething Women Are Leaving Your Company" was selected for the Harvard Business Review collection of the top articles on diversity.   Christie has spoken worldwide to organizations and institutions, including the World Economic Forum, Harvard Business School, the University of Oxford, and the Global Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society. Her corporate clients include Bacardi, Deloitte, PWC, HSBC, and more.   Christie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Brown University, a certificate of Distinction in General Management from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and two Master’s degrees with a focus on gender research from the University of Oxford. She currently serves on the Women’s Leadership Board of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School.   Get Christie’s book here: Begin Boldly: How Women Can Reimagine Risk, Embrace Uncertainty, and Launch a Brilliant Career. Christie Hunter Arscott.   Enjoying this episode? Get access to sample advanced training episodes here: www.firmsconsulting.com/promo
265: Touraj Parang, Why You Should Plan an Exit Path
03-08-2022
265: Touraj Parang, Why You Should Plan an Exit Path
Welcome to Strategy Skills episode 265, an episode with a veteran Silicon Valley dealmaker, Touraj Parang. Get Touraj’s book here: In this episode, Touraj takes us through his unique, decades-long experiences as an entrepreneur and investor. He shares the lessons he learned when he sold his first startup – with no exit plan – for pennies on the dollar. It was then followed by great success with his next startup as he applied his learnings and prioritized executing an exit strategy. Touraj discussed the key things to consider and the red flags to avoid when selecting investors and co-founders.  Touraj Parang is a seasoned entrepreneur, investor, advisor, and M&A expert who has sat in every seat around the table, structuring and negotiating strategic transactions since the late 1990s, including as a corporate attorney at legal powerhouses WSGR and O’Melveny & Myers. Touraj has been a founder, executive, and trusted advisor to several fast-growing technology startups with exits to LinkedIn, Instacart, Vistaprint, Postmates, and Amplify, among others. He has also spent nearly a decade on the acquirer side of M&A deals as a corporate development executive at Webs and GoDaddy. Exit Path draws on Touraj’s unique, decades-long experience involving hundreds of M&A transactions, strategic partnerships, and venture capital investments totaling billions of dollars in aggregate value. He is currently the President and Chief Operating Officer at Serve Robotics, a startup shaping the future of sustainable, self-driving delivery that he helped spin out of Uber, and an Operating Advisor at Pear VC, an early-stage venture capital firm, where he enjoys collaborating with and providing strategic guidance to mission-driven entrepreneurs. He earned his JD from Yale Law School and his BA in Philosophy and Economics from Stanford University. Get Touraj’s book here:  Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game. Touraj Parang. Enjoying our podcast? Get access to sample advanced training episodes here: www.firmsconsulting.com/promo
264: Ash Ali & Hasan Kubba, Discover Your Unfair Advantage
01-08-2022
264: Ash Ali & Hasan Kubba, Discover Your Unfair Advantage
Welcome to Strategy Skills episode 264, an episode with startup entrepreneurs Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba. Get Ash and Hasan’s book here: In this episode, we speak about the concept of unfair advantage and the process of identifying and managing it so it’s your edge over any competition. Many people have the limiting belief that they don’t have something authentic to offer, but what they don’t realize is that we all have unique skill sets and talents. It only takes self-awareness to realize that the ingredients to success are already within you.  Ash Ali is an award-winning serial tech entrepreneur and angel investor. Ash sold his first internet business at just 19 years old (and most recently, his Dubai-based on-demand mobile app startup in 2018). As the first marketing director of Just Eat UK, which IPO’d for £1.5 billion, he was included in the Top 250 Growth Hackers, as well as the Top 100 Asian Tech Stars in the UK. With over 20 years of hands-on experience creating and growing startups, he has consulted, advised, and invested in hundreds of startups at various funding stages. Ash is a highly sought-after international speaker and expert on digital disruption and tech transformation, and has spoken at numerous global organizations and conferences, including Salesforce, Ernst & Young, and TEDx. He is currently co-founder of Uhubs, a new skills training platform that helps entrepreneurs and professionals upskill.   Hasan Kubba is an author, entrepreneur, and startup strategist. Hasan is a specialist in technology startups, marketing, and fundraising. With his own London-based digital marketing business and startup investment experience, Hasan is particularly strong at breaking down complex business concepts into simple and effective strategies and tactics. His recent TEDx talk titled Startups, Entrepreneurship, and Unfair Advantages was voted the highest ever on the official TED subreddit. He is passionate about the future of entrepreneurship and digital disruption globally and is an in-demand startup mentor to early-stage entrepreneurs, workshop trainer, and international speaker.  Get Ash & Hasan’s book here:  The Unfair Advantage: How You Already Have What It Takes to Succeed. Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba: Enjoying our podcast? Get access to sample advanced training episodes here: www.firmsconsulting.com/promo
263: Julio Mario Ottino, The Coexistence of Art, Technology, and Science
27-07-2022
263: Julio Mario Ottino, The Coexistence of Art, Technology, and Science
Welcome to Strategy Skills episode 263, an episode with an artist, researcher, author, and educator at Northwestern University, Julio Mario Ottino. Get Julio’s book here:   Individuals and organizations face complex problems and challenges today that demand a new way of thinking to grasp underlying solutions and opportunities. In this episode, Julio shares the beauty of the coexistence of art, science, and technology – rather than being separate disciplines – to navigate the complex world.   Julio was born in Argentina and grew up with twin interests in physical sciences and visual arts, finding beauty in math and art, and seeing creativity as being one thing, rather than something that lives in compartments. Art provided a cathartic means of expression while he grew up in turbulent times. He managed to create a solo art exhibit while drafted as an officer in the Argentinian Navy. When he moved to the United States to pursue a doctorate, his research achievements followed.     Most of the early attention Ottino received stemmed from pioneering work in chaos theory and a combination of scientific insight and visualization. His research work has been featured on the covers of Nature, Science, Scientific American, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, and other publications. He has supervised more than 65 Ph.D. theses, written over 250 papers and two books, and has given invited presentations at over 200 universities in the United States and around the world, as well as at organizations such as Accenture, Boeing, Google, 3M, and Unilever.    An academic entrepreneur, Ottino was the founding co-director of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems and educational and research initiatives in design, entrepreneurship, and energy and sustainability. As dean of the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, he founded educational and research partnerships with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Pritzker School of Law, Medill School of Journalism, Feinberg School of Medicine, School of Communication, and School of Education and Social Policy, as well as with external partners ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago to Argonne National Lab. In 2008, he was selected by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as one of the “One Hundred Engineers of the Modern Era.” In 2017, Ottino was awarded the Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education from the National Academy of Engineering for the concept of whole-brain engineering. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and is a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.   Get Julio’s book here:  The Nexus: Augmented Thinking for a Complex World–The New Convergence of Art, Technology, and Science. Julio Mario Ottino.   Enjoying our podcast? Get access to sample advanced training episodes here: www.firmsconsulting.com/promo
262: Amanda Lotz, Netflix With Ads: Is It a Good Strategy?
25-07-2022
262: Amanda Lotz, Netflix With Ads: Is It a Good Strategy?
Welcome to Strategy Skills episode 262, an episode with a professor at Queensland University of Technology, Amanda Lotz.   In this episode, Amanda shares her insights as a media expert about Netflix’s recent announcement that they are introducing an ad-supported version of their streaming service. She spoke about the challenges that Netflix may face as it goes down the advertising route. Amanda discussed the pros and cons of a subscription-based model versus an advertisement-based model and what it will be for Netflix as it launches its new strategy.   Amanda Lotz is a media scholar, professor, and industry consultant. Her expertise includes media industries, digital distribution, the future of television, the business of media, and net neutrality.    Amanda leads the Transforming Media Industries research project in the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology. She is the author, coauthor, or editor of eleven books that explore television and media industries, including Netflix and Streaming Video: The Business of Subscriber-Funded Video on Demand, Media Disrupted: Surviving Cannibals, Pirates and Streaming Wars, We Now Disrupt This Broadcast: How Cable Transformed Television and the Internet Revolutionized It All, The Television Will Be Revolutionized, and Portals: A Treatise on Internet-Distributed Television.    Her most recent books explore the connections between internet-distributed services such as Netflix and the legacy television industry, as well as the business strategies and revenue models that differ. Her award-winning book, The Television Will Be Revolutionized, now in its second edition, has been translated into Mandarin, Korean, Italian, and Polish. She is frequently interviewed by NPR’s Marketplace, has appeared on BBC, CNN's The Nineties, HuffPost Live, and ZDF (German television network), and has been interviewed for articles in the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Christian Science Monitor, the Associated Press, Wired, and Men’s Health among many others. She publishes articles about the business of television at Quartz, Salon, The New Republic, hosts the Media Business Matters podcast, and tweets about television and media @DrTVLotz.   Enjoying our podcast? Get access to sample advanced training episodes here: www.firmsconsulting.com/promo
261: Saleem Ali, The Power of Citizen Science
20-07-2022
261: Saleem Ali, The Power of Citizen Science
Welcome to Strategy Skills episode 261, an episode with the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware, Saleem Ali. Get Ali’s book here:   In this conversation, we discussed numerous examples of major problems around the world, from the resources industry, environmental conflicts, culture, and the system of order and control of many organizations, and how these issues come down to the need for literacy and proper education.    Environmental awareness is present today, however, we are lacking science or environmental literacy. Education is not an elite enterprise and someone even without formal education can be a citizen scientist who is seeing and observing the world and continuously gaining much more depth of knowledge and understanding to contribute to solving the problems of the world.    Prof. Ali previously served as chair in Sustainable Resource Development and professor of sustainability science and policy at University of Queensland in Australia. He also was a professor of environmental studies at the University of Vermont's Rubenstein School of Natural Resources and founding director of the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security. He was also formerly on the adjunct faculty of Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies and the visiting faculty for the United Nations mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica).   Prof. Ali's primary research interests have been in the causes and consequences of environmental conflicts in the mineral sector, and the process of using ecological factors to promote peace. Some of Prof. Ali’s former research appointments include a visiting fellowship at the Brookings Institution's research center in Doha, Qatar; a Public Policy Fellowship at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia; a Baker Foundation Research Fellowship at Harvard Business School; and a parliamentary internship at the U.K. House of Commons. He has teaching experience in courses on environmental planning, conflict resolution, industrial ecology, research methods, and technical writing.   Before embarking on an academic career, Prof. Ali worked as an environmental health and safety professional at General Electric, an Associate at the Boston-based consulting firm Industrial Economics Inc., as well as a consultant for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Health Canada.   Prof. Ali is a citizen of the United States of America by birth; Pakistan by parental lineage; and Australian by naturalization. He received his doctorate in Environmental Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an M.E.S. in environmental law and policy from Yale University, and his Bachelors in Chemistry from Tufts University.   Get Ali’s Book here: Earthly Order: How Natural Laws Define Human Life. Saleem Ali.   Enjoying our podcast? Get access to sample advanced training episodes here: www.firmsconsulting.com/promo