My career started on the design side of business. I was one of 50 students (of 500 applicants) accepted into the school of design with my portfolio, and 1 of 25 or so students who graduated the demanding 3-year program. I made amazing friendships with people who are my colleagues today, and learned how people will pull together when under tremendous pressure.
That was my initial introduction to the world of advertising, marketing, digital, and business. Being under pressure to perform is a way of life now more than ever as the digital world has changed the way that we do business, and will continue to change at an even faster speed. But, that doesn’t mean that the old systems don’t work; it means that we need to adapt to change in order to continue to evolve in business.
I have been a life long learner as I combined my design background with an undergraduate and teaching degree, Master’s in Business Administration, and certifications in different areas of business.
I have taught marketing, business, and design courses at the post secondary level, and have been invited to speak at highly respected business schools and conferences for my work in the area of change. So, my unique perspective on change is not only helping today’s leaders but the next generation of leaders too.
I have also learned how to balance the pressures of being a busy executive through my passion for Yoga. In 2012, I completed my teaching certification so that I am truly focused on my reason for being on the planet at this time, to help make a difference in the world of business.
I have spent the past 25 years working across major industries, gleaning insights, and shaping my perspective, from client side to agency side, and working with a variety of teams and companies navigating change. Industry experience includes:
I am very fortunate to have garnered the experience and wisdom accumulated from a rich career in marketing and business, and combining that perspective with a youthful curiousity that I bring to my work.
After 25 years in business, there are too many accomplishments to list. The highlights that reflect the trends in business, and the need for my expertise include:
If I look at the long-term value of my career as well as M&A, the numbers look something like this…
For me it’s as much about the collaboration and working together, as it is about achieving results.
Throughout my career, I have noticed common themes emerging around change and human dynamics, and areas preventing success. Some of the themes include:
Fear of Change:
I have observed in my career, and particularly my work with clients, that the human side of business and change is the most neglected, and it’s a key area of focus for me. I have seen businesses miss opportunities because leaders didn’t feel supported or because they were too overwhelmed to focus on the right change initiatives (right for the people and the organization). I have seen change plans thwarted because people didn’t buy-in, and what happens to businesses and careers when fear sets in for people, and how fear prevents change and growth.
There are tremendous benefits to research, but the challenge is that research needs to be conducted on an ongoing basis and needs to include a constant feedback loop to all stakeholders. I have also noticed that marketing efforts are typically based on the current customer, but the prospective customer is not always the same target audience and they have a very different perspective that impacts the success of marketing efforts.
I have been in leadership roles where the CEO, CFO and COO came to me for numbers. I made decisions based on incomplete information or promoted based on numbers, but the tools available in even the most sophisticated businesses were limited in scope and certainly didn’t reflect a seasoned marketer’s perspective.
There is a need for traditional methodologies and modern technology to come together now and bridge the generation gap so all perspectives are included in the tools, approaches, and plans.
View of ROI:
My view of measuring the return on investment (ROI) and modernizing research studies stems from my experience in the trenches, working my way up the ladder, and being fortunate enough to be trained by people that I would call marketing masters. I have observed a knowledge gap when looking at strategies to increase effectiveness and efficiencies of marketing and other areas of organizations, and also a gap when it comes to making informed decisions about the marketing spend – often programs and resources are cut because there just isn’t valid proof of top and bottom line growth.
I have dedicated the next phase of my career to helping leaders to successfully navigate change, provide the tools and methodologies to support change, and help to answer questions that will keep businesses thriving and leaders sleeping at night.
In 2008, I started Medynsky & Associates (M&A) with a vision of helping leaders navigate change by bringing my background together with other experts to provide a suite of consulting services. Since then, leaders have hired M&A for our expertise in asking the tough questions, analyzing data, creating strategies that achieve results (rather than feed a machine), and genuine concern for people and business.
Areas of focus:
As a Strategy Executive, I bring a unique perspective to help businesses thrive in the midst of increased pressures. In addition to my experience, I have developed an innovative view of change and methodology to help businesses, leaders and teams, including:
After being on the client and consulting side for so many years, I am a believer that a one-size package doesn’t fit all companies and I recognize the need to remain flexible too.
I am the real deal. And, I am focused on helping people and businesses to be successful during change and ongoing.
I know that Strategy is such an over-used word in business, but it really sums up what I have been doing. While some of my highest grades in the MBA program were in Stats, Strategy, Finance and Human Capital, it also reflects what businesses really need today. Someone with a clear understanding of data, combined with the ability to extract the relevant insights, and being able to link to business strategy with clearly defined goals and measurable results.
I believe that people need to feel supported during change. And, there is so much change in the business world, both predictable and unpredictable, and change will continue to be a way of life for people in business.
Whether in the role of CEO or CFO or CMO or a team member, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs become priority for people. The need to feel safe during change while actually being able to bring their visions to reality in the business world are key areas that I have observed as preventing growth for people and businesses.
The common theme that I have witnessed in my consulting business is the need to help people at different stages of change. The typical nature of consulting is to hand off projects for teams to implement, and yet, I have seen an overwhelming difference in results when I am involved from the start and providing ongoing support. After all, there is no real end date to change.
My approach starts with a needs assessment with leaders and companies, followed by developing the best strategy for change that is specific to the people and the change initiative, and then working along side of teams to implement change successfully.
I recall in the early days of starting the consulting business, a colleague referred to me as being a hybrid because of my left and right brain thinking being equally strong, and that gives me a unique perspective as a leader. Combined with my Yoga philosophies, this comes together to help businesses address some of the pain points keeping leaders up at night.
I recognize that many people say they are doing this for businesses, but the truth is that I haven’t met anyone with the exact combination of credentials, experience, track record, and perspective that I bring to business.
Over the past 7 years, I have been working with leadership teams, from conducting research to understanding their audiences and market opportunities, to developing strategic plans for growth, and helping leaders to measure the results.
With omni-channel marketing (multi-platform) and the Internet of Things being here and now, I have spent the past 5 years dedicated to understanding how I can help. In addition to my usual calling card, my focus has been helping leaders leverage complex data, save time, and helping to get the “most bang” with shrinking budgets.
There is tremendous pressure to think faster and smarter and requires leaders like me with the experience and wisdom to think quickly and strategically with the data and leverage insights to implement change. I have developed a unique set of tools and methodologies, and work with teams to prepare for the big data surge that will be putting companies to the greatest test of sustainability.
I write a bi-weekly column on change in the CMO Filter of Marketing Magazine, and I am thrilled by the feedback and support for the column since starting in spring 2014. Also, I am excited to launch a new monthly column focused on change in the Canadian Grocer Magazine digital edition starting this spring.
My research study highlights are published in the 2015 Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) Fact Book.