Focusing on reach and relevance in my new role

Hi everyone,

It has been a very busy six months! In my last post, I mentioned that I’d been doing a good amount of Associate Partner-level work, and I am really excited to share that I have been officially promoted to Senior Knowledge Expert (an AP-equivalent role for us Knowledge colleagues)!

As a Senior Knowledge Expert, my focus will be on continuously adding to the firm’s knowledge in the procurement space. I will drive the firm’s tools forward and bring them to our clients and our client teams, continue acting as the Co-“ED” (engagement director) or CD (content director) for procurement-specific workstreams, and contribute to our reach and relevance activities. Reach and relevance includes publishing external articles, speaking at external events about our expertise, and otherwise contributing to McKinsey’s position as a knowledge leader in this space.

In the middle of a school of yellowtail snapper

On the topic of reach and relevance, I have two activities I can share. Earlier this year I was invited to speak at Interpack, a global packaging conference that took place in Germany in May. I gave a keynote speech at Amcor’s “Big Ideas” event about reducing packaging costs while increasing market appeal. Interpack is an amazing event that highlights all of the latest innovations around packaging. You can download my presentation from the website if you’re interested (registration required).

I also recently co-authored an article about indirect sourcing in retail, specifically addressing how retailers can optimize costs, be more efficient, and increase their competitiveness. This is a really timely article given all of the recent retail store closures and the big news about Amazon buying Whole Foods.

On the client work side, I have been supporting a wide array of clients and McKinsey client teams around the world. Over the past few months I ran numerous capability building programs, including some sessions for retail clients in the US, Canada, and mainland China. I often incorporate teardown exercises in these programs, where we tear down all of a client’s packaging (including everything from circulars to shopping bags to product packaging) and compare it to their competitors’ packaging. You can measure and compare all aspects of packaging, and clients really love seeing how the different components of their products compare to those of other companies. Reviewing our findings are always really impactful aspects of the workshops, and it’s incredibly interesting to learn how different clients around the globe think about their packaging.

Checking out an arrow crab

An update from me is never complete without some travel news! Of course I have enjoyed a couple of recent getaways: After I got the good news about the promotion, my boyfriend and I celebrated by spending a wonderful week in the US Virgin Islands, including lots of SCUBA diving—see the photos of some of our underwater adventures! And a few weeks ago, I visited Cape Cod, Massachusetts for the first time for a friend’s laid-back bachelorette weekend. We enjoyed the beaches and visiting Provincetown, the charming, artsy town at the northern tip of Cape Cod.

Enjoy your summer!