Digital Transformation is still top of the strategy agenda for many businesses, and continues to require a range of skillsets that are in high demand and short supply. A lot of those skills reside with independent talent who, like Lei, want to use them to assess challenges in different organisations and work to solutions which deliver the desired outcomes for the company and their PE owners.
1. When you’re at a networking event, how do you describe your independent career status, and where you focus your work?
Transformation, due diligence and commercial strategy. I run a diagnostic process on the full commercial funnel including marketing and sales efficiency to identify growth and optimization opportunities.
2. What are the specific benefits that you, as an independent, offer to the operating teams/portfolio company leadership? How do you explain the value your expertise brings?
I bring a broad and unbiased perspective that is underpinned by the client's own data. I deliver actionable strategies with execution plans to achieve them.
3. Why do you think there is increasing demand for independent expertise with PE operating teams?
I think digital transformation has been a huge driver of the increasing demand for such expertise. The other reason is the internationalization expansion for many growth-stage businesses that are in need of independent experts to come in to support the growth of the business.
4. Describe a recent or successful assignment in terms of scope, duration and any particular highlights in the outcomes.
I successfully delivered a project with Talmix in Germany in 2021. The scope of the assignment was to build a highly efficient commercial growth engine for the business's next stage of growth. The assignment lasted six months during which time, I conducted analysis, interviews and workshops across the whole business and country organizations. I built a growth strategy alongside the client's senior leadership as well as designed the organization that will execute that strategy. The biggest highlight from this assignment was the client made me an offer to join in-house at the end of the assignment!
5. What advice would you give to anyone about to embark on an independent career as to how they can provide the best results for a client, while fulfilling their own career path?
For me, the biggest benefit of being an independent consultant is the fact that you are looking into a business from the outside. That gives you clarity in seeing challenges and opportunities. Data is your friend and your view isn't influenced by business dynamics an in-house employee might have. The best result achieved for a client is by presenting them with a new point of view that is supported by their own data, i.e. not just principles that are hard to take action on. Personally, I find this fulfilling as it gives me an opportunity to work with many businesses. After a while, you will notice, many different businesses have rather similar challenges. And when you are able to help them to solve that challenge, that gives me huge satisfaction and fulfilment!
Digital Transformation talent is sought after, and is one of the major categories on the global Talmix network. As Lei points out, internationalization often goes side by side with this change, so if you are looking for expertise to drive transformation locally and globally, then you can find talent like Lei by posting a project today. We can also create talent pools for you, and advise on how best to structure your independent requirements - contact us now!