What The Future Of Consulting Looks Like with Nadya Zhexembayeva

hey everyone it’s michael zaperski uh here with you today and i’m very excited to have dr nadya jacksonville joining us nadia welcome my pleasure thank you for having me thank you for helping me to stress your your honour properly because uh that was certainly a challenge but i got the thumbs up so let’s dive in nadia um you’re the founder and main reinvention police officers of the reinvention academy where you help companies turn disruption into opportunity your purchasers include well-known symbols like coca-cola ibm cisco and many others you’re an generator and instructor a theme talker and enterprises store which i haven’t heard of before but they call you the queen of reinvention so let’s let’s dive into that because i really want to better understand how you got to where you are and hopefully through your travel and lessons learned uh everyone that’s tuning in with us right now can also benefit from that so why don’t we start off you know the term chief reinvention officer where did that come from oh that’s such a good story and it’s also a floor of another consultant so um exactly to back up a little bit i am a recovering academic like a recovering alcoholic “youve never” fairly recover you always have lapsings and you do research and you teach and you write and when i was still a full-time coca-cola chair professor i learnt policy lead and sustainability and i got this big honor shared professorship represents pretty much the highest honor i could possibly get in academia one of my students dared me he was an executive student and he was a ceo of a company and he said you speak so nicely i virtually believe you but “youve never” directed in business you have absolutely no business ordeal you’re just a business professor what do you are familiar with so how about you come do some real exertion and then i will see if what you say actually plays out in real life so we started the consulting business on adair and he was our first buyer and 2007 was the launch of the reinventure consultancy and by 2014 we couldn’t accept any more patients we became very clearly focused on figuring out how to educate beings how to fish rather than fish for them that was the move from pure consulting to a kind of mixed consulting education and we hired an amazing situating consultant announced brand impose “youre supposed to” know his greatest client is simon sinek uh he was also a business practitioner looking for an intellectual framework how to speak of his thinking and mark is a very tough person he retained pushing me and pushing me on calls like this and one time he said okay if your work that what you do in corporations would have a title what would be the title and i said well it’s not your programme patrolman because it’s scarcities implementation it’s not director change detective because it’s kind of doesn’t have this uplift it’s not this and that and i stopped calling different figures and then i said i think it’s chief reinvention officer that’s probably the closest i could call it and he was silent for a while and then he googled something and he said the url is not taken by it right now and that’s where that deed comes from uh before we dive deeper then into your narrative i actually want to go back just i’m interested uh because you you mentioned you’re initially from kazakhstan yes so can you walk us through when did you come to to the u.s what make that expedition look like for you yeah um all of my tours a tale of shocking people who bolstered me and pushed me and gave me amazing opportunities so i was born in the soviet organization in 91 soviet confederation collapsed without any advising and kazakhstan was so unprepared that it made us approximately three years to develop our own currency we had no consultants and no national bank to know what it means to have your own currency or what it looks like to have a treasury at the government level so i had a huge luxury i was part of a youth organization that brought me first in the us in 95 and 96. As a kid consultant to california association of student councils that’s where i got introduced to leadership and i came home first for my graduate school and then for my phd in managerial behaviour at bag western stockpile university so every step of the practice someone literally said you must do this i am pushing you and in terms of my doctorate for example i was very cocky young 22 year age-old and i was like i’m going to new york city i’m going to be on wall st. and my my profs crowdfunded coin to buy a ticket for me to go to the interview for a doctorate program and said you will say no when they say no now you go and they give me a ticket and i’m unusually terribly indebted we’re still in contacts with all of my colleagues why why do they do that i represent like first of all why did you even have the opportunity to come to the us because i’m sure there is likely countless uh you know young girls that that craved good opportunities like that but but didn’t receive it what was what do you think was special about you that allowed you to have that opportunity uh on one and it’s the possibilities of that was given to me so i came ever on scholarships i’m funding recipients of opennes support achievement fellowship which is a very competitive program that usually adopts person or persons per million of population from a country that needs support and every time i had somebody who pushed me but also i come from an astounding pedigree “we ii” household of descendants of um political prisoner of every kind the last one was my grandfather who killed herself in 75 after being tortured in prison and numerous beings before were performed for political activism and i think it’s my mothers who truly pushed education and thinking open-mindedness and so many other things so it’s a combination of opportunity meeting preparedness on one extremity is being super prepared and you know studying english and so on another mission is just the grace of so many mentors that really attended uh when i was so young and so kind of inexperienced and cocky and all of that “youre playing” sports no okay i necessitate i asked because for me um when i was young and i also i grew up uh well i was born in toronto i lived in israel from the ages of two to about six and a half then came back to canada i didn’t is english uh i felt like an foreigner my nature of really like professors i was i was terrible at but plays that’s where i excelled and and i is my finding that that mindset of you are familiar with really propagandizing yourself and uh always trying to be at the top of your sport i see that a lot with people who play plays that’s why i was wondering if that was your background but what what was channeling that for you i intend was it the your family the past ordeals like where where do you think you got that that drive from well um part of it was the environment everything was collapsing around you and you kind of have a choice to make at that point uh can you imagine one day you wake up and there is no government anymore no police no administrators no anything and nobody knows when they will show up and uh i started working at that point because we needed money my first task was at 13 i was selling life insurance i still remember read the word uh leasing time because in the soviet uniting there was no private economy so we never utilized economic terms so part of it was just the necessity that either you choose to die or you choose to live and that’s a pick um i became then their own families performed i did dance i danced professionally in the kazakh president’s troop for six out of nine years that i danced and that’s just um you know if you can imagine a soviet ballet institution that looks like an army and perhaps scarier than the army i love my dance educator to death and i discontinue the first moment i could quit because it’s insufferable quantity of subject but i think that was also precisely the sheer tenacity you really is an indication and you dance every single day and then you perform on a weekend and that that’s part of a excursion that i think did what sports did for you okay so thank you for sharing that now i have a little more background into you and kind of where you’ve you’ve come from uh let’s fast forward to what’s been happening in the world more recently uh so covid right um from february march of 2020 uh for a lot of people in the world right really started to to have um an impact in a in a very challenging way you are the queen of reinvention right as the periodical called you uh did you have to reinvent anything in how you operate as a consultant as an advisor in leading your business any reinvention that happened and if so what did that look like a lot of reinvention happened but i have to tell you uh the start of my year was very different from what you can imagine so we have two large-hearted arms of our business we have a traditional very high discontinue consulting so we are working in partnership with mckinsey and deloitte and boston consulting group and we are competitive in prices with them so we are very comfortable now consulting niche and then we have education where we do virtual courses principally sometimes face-to-face education and our educational branch was striving because we were selling uh reinvention which is very preventative it’s very a proactive approaching to interruption and everyone would say it’s excessive regard the economy is great there is no disruption what the heck are you talking about so in february accurately one year ago right before begrudge started certainly freezing the western world we had a big big course launch happening and we lost so much money on that launch uh because the investment didn’t pay off in terms of all the ads “were just” leading we had a good track we had a good number of students but it didn’t recoup there there was no return investment we were actually in the minus so in february i was this pretty sad person because i’m like okay the consulting business is enormou but the education we’re doing something wrong i need to rethink what’s going on march 2020 exactly 1 month later we went into overdrive with seeks we did a lot of pro bono uh events because people were just really losing their livelihood and everything and then by may we already had paid programs and we were just calculating this figure so um i will i will ask for uh allow merely to check exceedingly very quickly but i think we are at around 500 growing in our business in one year uh 500 400 something so i want to find where that crowd is but we’re just about 500 400 480 something percentage swelling yeah we started with a huge loss and we be brought to an end with a huge gain exclusively because our specialty is how do you deal with disruption in a moment and how do you prepare for the next one and if before 2020 nothing could believe us that interruptions will come again and again i think now everyone is in this of course it’s obvious it’s not going to be the brand-new ordinary it’s going to be constant progression and constant dislocation so we need to learn how to live in it and this was a turnout for us turn around so we had to reinvent we had to grow the team we had to put out tons of new products we’ve never done we had to speak in two languages abruptly we had to go to a few marketplaces and learn how to speak a few communications convert our products in different languages so that was an interesting passage but if you were to ask me a year ago i would be in tears and saying i’m a outage i don’t know what i’m doing and so on it’s amazing how things can change so quickly right like when you’re in that time aching or time fear it can roughly paralyze you but if you keep going the next day or the next week or the next month things could be completely different i think that’s a really good example of that um talk to me a little about the future right so so you wasted a lot of time working with your purchasers thinking about how preparations for possible disruption how to reinvent themselves when you look at especially the landscape for professional services providing advice coaching consulting even education to the marketplace is there anything that you determine right now that if if you were looking you know into 2020 or 2023 or 2024 that you think will be much more common then in comparison to now just a little bit of kind of tell me the future what you see i’ll speak specific for consulting industry trends and good report is that uh in the last year i actually did massive number of interrogations of owners of other consulting jobs that are across different openings so sell consulting i.t consulting super niche consulting and likewise general conduct consulting so we actually organized a big report on the key veers to understand what’s happening not only in this year but thinking about the next five years or so so 2020 uh the data shows that u.s alone consulting industry contracted virtually eight percent the largest contraction in the revenue by far and many many years at the same time the large-hearted powerhouses even the big ones are still stretching deloitte announced roughly six percent raise and as i said the medium-sized or boutique consultancies we would be in boutique consultancy category uh we are growing uh times not percentage we are almost five times growth so uh the information for you is that things are bad and things are great and it is very very important that you understand what is working and what is not working so this is what we detected tend number one is that even the past most of consulting was about specific subject matter expertise so you know the answer and you can deliver that expertise it can be very complex answer not just 10 stairs it was possible to 500 steps but it is a clear answer it is something it could be proprietary knowledge it could be past experience it could be your unique expertise but there is an answer if before we were expert matter families of expertise in a particular matter now it’s much more about process i don’t know the answer but i know how to find answer and i know how to organize very quickly and test and prototype and get feedback and get to the answer so there’s a alteration from material to process consulting number two is that we are seeing a very significant relationship to how we get paid so we are seeing many more business open to more creative partnerships and consulting including uh arise rewards so you have a small fixed and a more bet on result we are seeing more of a mixed variable and cooked we are seeing in sourcing and outsourcing of whole executive possessions we’re attend much more creativity and what it looks like to have a contract and then finally what is a big trend is collaborations if before we would be considered opponents to numerous we are genuinely do big projections with countless many consulting firms big and small because it allows us to be much more contemplative of the emergent and precariou challenge that we will face formerly we penetrate the situation and instead of propping fastened um content knowledge in our own team right having tons of employees who know different cases it’s easier to marriage and everyone share the expertise so this would be the three veers that i would speak about what are we consulting or what is the offer how we get paid and who are we doing it with talk to me a little bit more about the uh the partnership side because you know you mentioned that mckinsey deloitte these other large consulting conglomerates while you know could be viewed as adversaries to a degree you’re actually partnering with uh arrangements like these what does that look like in a little bit more detail why are you partnering with that type of organization and then how are you actually utilizing that to build your business sure reinvention is an umbrella framework that aims to connect undid often stillness functional areas so in a business strategists usually don’t like business parties and actions beings don’t like auctions and strategist then there are parties people this is managerial evolution communications hr they don’t like coin or counts and all of these beings represent widely differing class of think there is a theory of policy there is forecasting there is innovation there is uh design conjecture there’s cram agile here i am managerial evolution there is leadership and all of them are misaligned and they do not have a a kind of crucial focus on value creation everyone is focused on whatever their personal preference is so we most often how we started collaborating with big houses was not our pick it was the client choice so the client would hire the big name for the forecasts predict business modeling but when it comes to getting it done they would say hey they’re detached from reality sometimes what they propose you come on the soil it’s undo like it cannot be implemented it’s just a nice powerpoint we need to make sure in the process you serve as a bridge between the real business and the kind of theoretical framework in that the house of correction typically do and the past that was the start after a while we actually started liking each other so i was asked for example by boston consulting group by some of their partners to come back and school their mid-level principals and consultants and junior consultants some of the things around the change management around prototyping around scheme “ve been thinking about” more of this nitty-gritty messy part of business growth and transformation task that is not just something you can do in excel and putting into a delightful powerpoint so that’s how it started for us now we’re doing very different things we are doing merged planneds we are doing um the this year we are testing a lot a kind of tesla for consulting when we are thinking about creating a stage for consulting where we connect customers and potential providers and we restrain percentage points of the uh of non-respendable revenues of the contract so we have a couple of tests feeing right now so now we are going into crazy intuitions on what library looks like i’d love to explore a little bit more about the this idea so you are working with a patient the client is also working with a large consulting firm and i we hear this a lot from from our purchasers in our coaching planned that um you know they’ll often prevail business or go into work with a company because they they’ve brought in maybe one of those large consulting uh houses but exactly you said it’s it’s too high level or you know it’s great on the tactical kind of vision but the implementation doesn’t happen there’s there’s always uh various kinds of a a downfall in being able to take what the id you know those great ideas and and turn them into reality so that portion moves gumption but what would your admonition be or how do you think about or what are some best traditions for steering that relationship between you being brought in as kind of you know the small chaps into an environment where you have the client but then you too have this much larger organization like a mckinsey or a bcg or whoever it might be any best practices or tips-off that you found to be helpful in voyage that relationship so that are likely you are able deliver great value to the client but you’re not you know kind of stepping on each other’s toes or having uh potential you know struggles on on different positions well i think part of it is internal work on the mindset shift and part of it is external things around simply very open discussion on certain acceptances and bounds and so on the mindset part is stop thinking of yourself as small right now today because of the acceleration of change we have study after study that shows the past success the best practice of yesterday is not merely can be unuseful today it can be dangerous and what those big houses rely on they are dependent upon past successes i had a very cynical conversation with one of terribly major collaborators i won’t called the company but i remember they said um it was a conversation in london so one of their main office and the partners said that uh after had met with a client if we register the tax and we don’t know which template we’re gonna exploit from the past we don’t accept the client this is the actual quote so the big houses and i admire the effort they do they done a lot of brand-new scholastic production they are trying to reinvent and you are eligible to read the performance of their duties and respect their work and you too need to understand what are their strengths and their what are their frailties their defects today is unfortunately his trust over reliance on past success and you have a unique capability to be free from a lot of heavines of past success and the brand limitations and a lot of inflexibility that comes with that so um i work with my husband who is also ceo of a customer of our fellowship and he hinders telling me nadia we are only as good as our last-place composition he loves football and it was super bowl yesterday so we’re only as good as last value so it’s a great equalization right now we are all equalized uh big name small-scale identify we’re only as good as our last composition so first and foremost the mindset should be very clear that there’s no better or worse right now you’re only as good as what you can deliver right now so go ahead and deliver and that will be louder your reputation will be louder than anything you can imagine then there’s of course a details which is entering into a gossip there has to be very clear discussion on the scopes on the responsibility on the way of cooperating and likewise very clear discussion on how we work so we actually write a memorandum and it includes things like we are very very kind and soothing to the people and we are ruthless to ideas and decisions so if you get something from us know that we are speaking about the ideas and decisions and we love you affectionately and don’t take it personal but we’ll write a common memo that in a unusually plain language justifies when you see this kind of email or text or whatever from me this is how to interpret it is not an attack it’s i’m just being very ruthless to notions the route i would be ruthless to my plans but you as a person is never never under attempt and who do you transmit that to does it go to the client and let’s say to the partner or is it simply to the client or who ensures it uh it depends on who is involved in the process so sometimes if it’s a long-term buyer liaison and i know the client for many years uh whether it’s a board the whole board or special one patronize if we have a very long-standing relationship i don’t need to renegotiate anything with them it is negotiations and it’s a document co-created together with a new collaborator if it’s a whole new situation then we are genuinely do workshops at the beginning to align it can be virtual or physical at this time virtual but we actually have a workshop to align and make sure that this is very very transparent and that you are talking about it from the beginning hey this is gonna happen it’s like a brand-new relation we don’t know each other we need to figure out who is uh sleeping on which surface of the bunked and how the pillows uh prefer than blah blah all this time and we try to make it humorous and relaxed and so on and not walk around that issue be very open that this will happen this is normal and this is the way we plan to solve it as we go along i think that’s so important because so often communication is what breaks down relationships and people often conclude oh i please i would have said that or it’s too late now and so merely getting it out kind of all in the open in a way where you’re showing kindness i think is really powerful the other thing that really reverberated as you’re sharing this nadia is the idea of kind of like the david and goliath that a lot of smaller outlet or only you know independent solo consultants or small firms look at the big companies and go yeah but i can’t compete with them and so on and so on what you’re saying is uh you know think differently it’s look at what you can do now right don’t really compare yourself to this bigger organization how would you hint though how would you advise someone to communicate that so yes you know you can look at your score and not the whole past but how would someone actually turn that into actuality what would be the kind of the tactical implementation of that in terms of them being able to communicate more effectively that yeah like i actually have some enormous ideas i can help you to solve this problem is it in their messaging is it in material do they need to write a book how would you suggest that if i’m saying okay i have enormous ideas i help lots of people i know i can help you know these other group of organizations but right now they’re probably going contacted by some of the large consulting houses or much larger than my consulting house what the hell is you admonish you know me as the consultant to do to go and get in front of them and i’m just talking hypothetically here but what might that definitely sounds like well um i can only share what worked for us and by the way uh if anybody knew this answer like this i want to talk to that person as well because it’s been a long and interesting passage and it’s also a personal journey right so you need to figure out what’s genuine to your spokesperson because nothing inauthentic will work what is authentic to your style of working i just discovered i hate um trained registers if you clear me live i have no problems but plan preserves i just avoid them i drag them i drive my unit crazy rescheduling them and so on so you need to know what your nervous system prefers what you prefer and so on in my instance i think there’s two widely differing stories one tale is a long-term story and one fib is a short-term immediate what do you do in the moment of move so the long-term story should be there and the thing is very few stick at it very few this idea of demonstrating up “what youre doing” with your material whether displaying the podcast it doesn’t need to be postcast it can be blog it can be youtube videos it can be facebook livings it is feasible but they have to be consistent and you have to stick at it yeah the the key to that is really about long-term and consistent content that allows you to to demonstrate your quality to the ideal clients to the marketplace yes okay and as you know yourself staying sticking with it even when at the beginning there is no substantial response and you’re like what the heck am i doing and spending all this time this is why so few remain because adhering with it and delivering week after week is part of your brand it’s part of your credibility and trust because would you remain through a three months four months five years transformation process that is required for or even five months six months extremely challenging transforming or will you just say nah this is not for me this is something that clients are experimenting how pliable “youre ever” how much tenacity you have how much consistency and also what’s your thinking privilege what’s the contents that you induce if you don’t like consistent material in accordance with the arrangements of blogs weekly uh podcast or more of this kind of intense investment there is of course a route of volumes there is a route of keynotes and so on we’ve done all of it and it’s important to understand it doesn’t come overnight uh this year simply this year we’ve been featured in harvard business review cabled the wall st. journal and i don’t remember what else like um things i would wish 5 year that we were throwing up do you think that made a significant difference it was sweet uh yes more people know about us but did we abruptly only overnight became a success no it’s just yeah this is nice another thing confirmed that we’re doing something right but nothing magically will change in your life so this grit becomes very very important the second thing is what happens immediately once you have a chance to have a coffee once you have a chance uh to have any kind of conversation which is do not try to push any kind of content at that point just listen exactly just shut up and listen the most important thing that happens in the early dialogues is figuring out what is the pain of your purchaser and actually profoundly figuring out their mode of thinking what’s important to them what’s not important to them what are the rules of the game in this company not just scholastic competition but political activity psychological play culture if you don’t fit all of that and your proposal travels straight against the culture of your fellowship you all know the far-famed peter drucker mention that uh cultured programme for breakfast whatever it is you propose intellectually viable will be eaten by culture if you didn’t pick up on some of these clues so this is very important to first figure out listen to the client and that’s what i would advise so how would i combination both this is what i do all the time and i really advise it uh ask your potential patrons for an interview for an industry report and actually produce a report that you can do it in the pdf and no real cost of any kind but interview 5 6 10 25 possible patrons figure out an interesting piece of content getting and that allows you to both get the client get a great piece of content send it back to them and then pitch something then you have a foot in the door and you didn’t start with selling you started with listening you started with value yeah i couldn’t is agreement i think it’s a really great strategy and you can apply it to to podcasts or interrogations for a book or all different kinds of things but truly what where i see the significance in that is that it allows you to build a relationship with someone that you want to have a relationship for the long term and in many cases right that can turn into business but even though they are it doesn’t they at least now know who you are right know what you do and you can continue to kind of nurture that relationship going forward so i think that’s that’s really good advice nadia i want to make sure that people can learn more about you the employ that you’re doing the contents that you’re put forward by uh where is the best place for them to go the best place to go is learn to reinvent.com the two is a number uh i don’t know why we did that but that’s the best url we could find learn to reinvent.com you will get all kind of opportunities there which is um starting with the 85 page free download of our story volume the bos reinvention patrolman handbook which i’m very happy to put out because 3000 extra more than 3000 beings developed in partnership some tools and participate in writing that notebook so to reinvent.com and we have some cool material coming up uh so you’re welcome to land on the page detect brand-new phenomena uh do some free freebies and see if we are a good fit for you wonderful yeah thanks so much genuinely appreciate the conversation today thank you for having me

As found on YouTube

Book Now For Environmental Consultingl In Newcastle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.