My career has taken me into many organizations, but at each stop you’d see my deep passion for making a difference, a sharp intellect that creates clarity out of complexity, enduring optimism for others, gratitude, and spiritual wonder.
Clients tell me that I’m an unusual blend of visionary and practical – able to see what’s possible in any situation but knowing what to do differently tomorrow to realize the possibility.
By education, I’m an economist (Penn State-BS and MIT-PhD) who left a University of Wisconsin Madison assistant professorship after two years because I’m an advocate more than an intellect. I relish applying knowledge rather than creating it. I started Plantes Company, LLC following the birth of my daughter Lauren, who is now 19. We help leaders create thriving businesses through business model innovation and sharpened strategic leadership skills. We work largely with B2B companies, but local B2C companies, higher education institutions and other non-profits are drawn to us.
Before starting Plantes Company I was a business development and marketing executive in a global medical products company. I learned that strategy without good execution gets you nowhere, but execution and teamwork are impossible without alignment of leaders around strategy. I was also a policy leader in Wisconsin’s government – there I learned how much fun it is to work on things that matter immensely. I want everyone to feel that way about his or her work.
I write poetry, love the outdoors, live in Norway part of every month (long story) and took a sabbatical in my 50th year. My book Beyond Price: Differentiate Your Company in Ways that Really Matter (Greenleaf Book Group, 2009) emerged from a refreshing sabbatical. I pen a monthly strategy column for the Capital Region Business Journal and the “New Progressives” column for Madison Magazine.
For insight on business model innovation and business model differentiation, read my recently released book, Beyond Price.