Even before COVID-19 hit, organizations were grappling with how to unlock new value and attain sustainable growth against accelerating markets and technological disruption. This past year has exponentially accelerated this disruption leaving no industry or sector unaffected.
Shifting consumer demands, disruptive opportunities, remote workforces and the drive to digital are all fundamentally reshaping the landscape and have left businesses and leadership looking for creative ways to navigate forward and continue to grow.
In this condensed interview, Michael Carter and Efram Lebovits, both new additions to the Level5 Strategy Managing Partner team, share the five ways that they are helping their clients find the opportunity in this moment of disruption, what other business leaders can do to help secure and scale their own market positions – and why they are looking forward to the year ahead at Level5.
Carter joins Level5 as a Managing Partner and brings the perspective of over 25 years as a C-suite management consultant and tech entrepreneur. He co-founded, managed and sold two emerging technology companies and held senior roles at two global management consulting firms.
Lebovits is also a new Managing Partner at Level5 but has been at the firm nearly six years focused on corporate strategy development. Additionally, he has almost 20 years of consulting experience across retail, government, professional and the financial services sectors. Previously, while based in the US, Lebovits served in management roles at a global consulting firm and in a management capacity at a major Canadian financial institution.
Here’s how they are helping their clients successfully navigate the moment.
1. Thinking Like A Founder:
MC: “Founders need to be nimble about their business strategy. It’s a pragmatic action driven approach. There’s no four year scenario planning without considering agility and adaptability. It’s about finding and implementing a business strategy that fits for the moment but sets you up for the future. This framework is what we are actively helping our clients to do, to nimbly adjust to the new landscape in order to thrive. This includes revisiting their business strategies and then helping them pivot and adapt on the fly. Most of our team has the experience and expertise of having been in the C-suite and made the hard decisions, and we collectively bring that to our clients.”
EL: “This year has really shown us that it’s important to go in with nothing set in stone or no one on the team married to a particular path. At Level5, we bring our clients an approach that’s experience based, directional and data driven. We are about helping our clients move forward and yes, take some chances – but with Level5 these are fact-based, calculated risks.”
2. Established Market Presence Doesn’t Make You Safe:
MC: “Many of our clients are established, dominant national players, with strong customer bases and entrenched reputations. And success like this can breed complacency. At Level5, we help our clients keep pace with the changing environment, because in moments of intense disruption, being established is not enough. The reality is that companies are either going to be disruptors or be continually reacting and managing disruption in some way. Even the firms in more conservative industries, such as banking or government are now feeling the urgency to be on the front foot with this.”
EL: “We work with some of the most successful brands in the country and it’s natural that at times, they might lean back and rest on laurels. But this is why they look to Level5. They bring us in to positively and constructively push them. This means pushing their assumptions. And pushing the status quo. To be their guides and take them outside of their comfort zone. This means highlighting trends and scenarios that they need to be mindful of and giving them constructive analysis, real insights and guidance into what we are really seeing.”
3. Focusing on Fundamentals:
MC: “During these moments of accelerated change, we’ve been helping our clients get back to the fundamentals – helping them focus in on what’s at the heart of their business, their customer needs and their own team and culture. We bring them back to the mission and purpose, their identity as a brand, because this north star clarity helps shape their strategy. It’s also the throughline of how we work and operate at Level5.”
EL: “I love helping my clients identify and distill what it is they want to be about as an organization – for their customers, employees and other stakeholders – and then working side-by-side with them to make it a reality. For me it’s about deconstructing challenges and spotting opportunities for clients to strategize on and operationalize. In a nutshell, I love helping clients get back to the business behind the business.”
4. Put People First:
MC: “A people first approach defines Level5 – both in terms how we work together and how we work with our clients. We’ve always focused on building genuine and deep relationships. The value of this approach really became clear this past year, when we all shifted to remote, these deep genuine connections, really helped.”
EL: “Our team really brings a personal, down-to-earth and professional approach that allows for casual and open hearted discussion with clients. We do this because this is who we are as individuals and it amplifies when we are working as a team. It helps that we’ve also found that this kind of relationship creates stronger outcomes for everybody. And this was the year that we were especially grateful that we had these points of empathy and genuine channels – so we could help clients really address their pain points and concerns.”
5. Cultivate A Growth Mindset:
MC: “There’s a real growth mindset at Level5. People want to grow, they want to learn and look to get and do better. This means that moments of change and transformation can become moments where teams thrive. We have been able to embrace that framework and help our clients find opportunities that let them grow – and often in ways or directions that they didn’t initially anticipate.”
EL: “Alongside helping our clients foster this growth mindset, we’re doing the same internally. Collectively taking a growth mindset and working together to take the firm to the next level.”
For more on how Level5 can help you navigate this moment, reach out to us here.