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CUPOLE — Business Bulletin | #1, 2013 —

The story about something new

employee spotlight

Meet two sharp minds our bookshelf of ideas

Are you up-to-date?


excel money into ebit

The fastest growing challenger in the Nordic Management Consulting industry

Jann Lipka

Our door is always open for new relations and endless possibilities


elcome to the premiere issue of Cupole Business Bulletin! For this first issue, we kindly ask for a few minutes of your time to set the stage and present our company, Cupole Consulting Group. We are proud that our firm is engaged by top management of leading Nordic companies to craft solutions to some of their most challenging issues, Cupole Business Bulletin will be used as a channel for us to offer key insights from these real life cases. We will share with you some external “food for thought” that we come across and consider to be of particular interest. Cupole Consulting Group was founded because we truly believe in entrepreneurship and that there is a market space for an innovative, high-end and value-driven Strategy and Management Consulting firm like ours. Since the firm’s inception, our consultants have been working togeth-

er with our clients each and every day to solve the complex and important challenges top executives are facing. We aim to build something unique which we believe does not exist today, and that over time will become a role model for highend consultancy firms. For us, the development of the firm itself is one of the key driving forces in our commitment. Reading the magazine you have in your hand you will get a closer introduction to our company as well as get inspired by learnings from real life experiences, references to insightful articles and books. We sincerely hope that you will enjoy this premiere issue of Cupole Business Bulletin. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you should have any thoughts, questions or comments related to our company or our Business Bulletin. Best Regards, jens täkte, Cupole Business Bulletin | #1, 2013 |


growing the idea

The story


about something


n idea was born in 2010 when the six founding partners of Cupole Consulting Group explored the idea of building a qualitative high-end management consulting alternative for major businesses in the Nordic market. The idea included a recognition that we would need to grow substantially over the first few years, and quite honestly, in the many years to follow. In its essence, however, growth would not be a goal of its own but rather the means of reaching the leading Nordic businesses and providing the range of skills and services that would support these companies’ most important challenges. There was, and still is, no lack of major competitors in the management consulting industry in the Nordics, so why even consider pursuing this idea? In our opinion, no other Nordic management consulting player had successfully done this before, and re-creating – or copying – something already existing was not deemed to be a feasible way forward. Instead, we are committed to growing the idea of Cupole Consulting Group! The foundation of Cupole Consulting Group relates to you, our targeted readers of current or possible future clients, as Customer Centricity is a key 4

| #1, 2013 | Cupole Business Bulletin

theme in our strategic agenda. This is why we have spent an overwhelming majority of our time and effort these first three years focusing on specific industry challenges, key value propositions, and on dissecting the very core issues of each of our clients. But how will we make this happen on a continuous basis? How do we intend to deliver on our bold customer promise of outstanding value? The answer might seem simplistic,

“How do we intend to deliver on our bold customer promise of outstanding value?” but nevertheless, it is our strong belief that the following three factors will be paramount in succeeding: » Entrepreneurial spirit that brings service innovation into a somewhat conformed and conservative market » Leading consulting teams with key expertise in close and long term collaboration with our clients » An approach truly tailored to each client's needs where a hands-on and no nonsense mentality will guide the effort to create best possible value. Almost three years after launching

our growth has outperformed the competition; and not simply growth, but profitable growth. The current and recent years’ business climate has quite dramatically effected the demand for management consulting services in the Nordics. We have seen our competition shrink their businesses, and with this, Cupole Consulting Group has gained market share.

A quick glance at the Cupole Consulting Group of today reveals an employer of over 40 top consultants who have largely come to us from our “recognized” management consulting competitors. We have welcomed more than 30 clients from ten different industry sectors. To that, an opportunistic and quite aggressive event and brand building agenda led to our sponsorship of Team Escape in the Volks­wagen X-35 Sailing Cup, and found us profiled in the weekend magazine ‘A Perfect Entrepreneur’. Finally, getting back to where we started, Cupole Consulting Group is fully committed to the idea that was born in 2010, and will continue its growth journey towards becoming the preferred management consulting partner for leading Nordic businesses.  christer björk,

Erika Stenlund/Scanpix

What was once born is now growing big

Cupole Business Bulletin | #1, 2013 |



The pilot project became a success story and a decision was therefore made to establish a global Strategic Sourcing organization


| #1, 2013 | Cupole Business Bulletin

a glimps of reality


excel money into ebit

by transforming a global organization in less than 15 months


A global Metals and Mining company experienced a substantial profit margin erosion. Their cost base had erupted combined with fierce competition resulting in significant price pressure.

queezed between suppliers and customers it became apparent that the client had to challenge the decentralized sourcing model in order to remain competitive in the market. Cupole Consulting Group was brought onboard and this is what we did… Our first step was to quantify saving potentials within a broad range of sourcing categories. The results were truly promising on paper but the political landscape for realizing the savings in practice became the biggest challenge. Already here we identified extensive and regular involvement with key business stakeholders as a critical success factor. We ran a pilot project as a proof-ofconcept to convince the organization that a centralized sourcing initiative

can be beneficial despite the decentralized model. The pilot project became a success story with substantial savings across all geographic regions. These results proved to be an efficient vehicle to promote new Strategic Sourcing initiative internally. Continuing the journey, we formulated the strategic direction and developed a hands-on Operating Model for a new Strategic Sourcing organization. We supported our client’s recruitment process so that resources could be brought onboard at an early stage to allow for an extensive and successful hand-over. As a final test, together with our client we successfully addressed the “holy cow” of sourcing categories which was our client’s most strategic

“As a final test, together with our client we successfully addressed the “holy cow” of sourcing categories.” category, both in terms of business impact and complexity. It is essential to have a holistic approach to Strategic Sourcing and not diminish it to contract negotiation to succeed with complex categories. The Senior Vice President best describe the results: “I am impressed with the bottom line savings we accomplished but even more impressed with the fact that my organization is now pushing me to start new sourcing initiatives”.  niklas roumeliotis,

Cupole Business Bulletin | #1, 2013 |


Hans von Corswant

our bookshelf of ideas

for you Recommended

Chris Owyoung

As mentioned, one purpose of Cupole Business Bulletin is to share some ‘food for thought’ – including references to inspiring and insightful articles, web-seminars, books – all from well renowned and forward looking sources.

Heavy metal management


How great leaders inspire action “People don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do it”


Inside-out Listen in to Simon not outside in Sinek’s insightful view on how inspiring leadership and means of communication can set successes apart from failures. When aiming at conducting business with, selling products to, and recruiting the right people, do it for the right cause. Target people who believe in what you believe, and not people who only need what you sell. The key is to appeal to people’s feelings rather than to their rationale, focus on winning their trust and loyalty not just catering to their demand. Simon Sinek, May 2010, TED Talks


| #1, 2013 | Cupole Business Bulletin


Our belief, purpose and cause for making business


Our way of execution and doing things

What Our offer, services and products

When structuring your business, do it inside-out not outside-in following the concept of The Golden Circle.

Do you aspire to be only slightly better than you have always been? Do you aim to have your customers like you just a little bit more? Do you think the winning approach is to spend days reading pretentious management literature based on academic theories and well analyzed statistics? If so, then this is not a book for you. But perhaps you are a leader with great ambitions and an understanding that you don’t really have people’s loyalty until they willingly pay you to get them to wave their arms above their heads to the beat of your music? Then you will acknowledge that this is probably the most important piece of management literature published in a long time. With concepts such as “The Heavy Metal Management Pentagram Model” and the analogy of going “From Good to Badass”, the authors make today’s reality crash smack into stale convictions of how to run your business. It leaves you refreshed and energized to do the self-evident things that will make people cheer and yell for an encore! Fancy wording or flashy presentations might make you appreciated, but sharing an epic experience with your customers will put you in the hall of fame as admired leaders and businessmen from hell! “A very entertaining and thought worthy book about the secret of successful leadership and entrepreneurship. Per- Jörgen and Hans Olov have written a re-thinking book which builds on many of the ideas from my own best-selling book – Moments of Truth” – Jan Carlzon Pär-Jörgen Pärson & Hans-Olov Öberg, 2012, Bullet Point Bublishing

Transient Advantage


The era of stable industry development and static competitive landscape is rapidly being replaced by an ever changing and fast moving business environment. Well known forces such as digitalization, a “flat world”, fewer barriers to entry and globalization are driving this change. McGrath points out that a more agile and flexible game plan for creating competitive advantage is required when coping with continuously changing preconditions: “To stay ahead, they (editor’s note: corporate leaders) need to constantly start new strategic initiatives, building and exploiting many transient competitive advantages at once.”

“The importance of speed and fast decision making must be emphasized at all times.” 5. B  uild strong relationships and networks – In an ever changing business environment, personal networks constitute a profound source of transient advantages. 6. A  void brutal restructuring, learn healthy disengagement – Reallocate resources rather than cutting them out through restructuring, downsizing or mass firing. 7. G  et systematic about early stage innovations – Ensure a well-managed, continuous innovation process using a governance structure encouraging and facilitating innovation. Allow dedicated “innovation budgets” to avoid conflicting interest with regular business. 8. E  xperiment, iterate, learn – Allow the early innovation and discovery phase to take time and focus on experimentation and learning. Maintain a high degree of flexibility to be able to swiftly shift focus and direction depending on new discoveries and insights. Organizations in pursuit of transient advantages require great leaders, leaders who can point out general guidelines and direct the flow of activities without limiting creativity and innovation. Status quo shall be questioned rather than reinforced, contrasting opinions shall be encouraged not held back, and the importance of speed and fast decision making must be emphasized at all times. Rita Gunther McGrath, June 2013, Harvad Business Review

David H. Wells/Scanpix

In pursuing a portfolio of transient competitive advantages, companies must shift mind sets, strategic perspective and operations. 1. Think about arenas, not industries – When setting your game plan for competitive advantage, do not limit your analysis to data on traditional competitors; rather, involve your whole arena including customer segments, your offers and the market in which the offers are delivered. 2. Set broad themes, and then let people experiment – Open up for alternative approaches, communicate broad themes and frameworks within which your employees are encouraged to creatively experiment and try on new business models. 3. Adopt metrics that support entrepreneurial growth – Ensure that evaluation criteria facilitate decision making for encouraging innovation. 4. Focus on experiences and solutions to problems – Always put your customer's experience first, provide a seamless customer journey from problem to solution.

Southeastern shift: The new leaders of global economic growth


It is time to challenge and scrutinize your historical assumptions in order to keep up with the high pace of global economic shifts and changes. Giles and Allen elaborate on how the world as we once knew it is about to drastically change. The focal point for global growth is shifting from developed to emerging economies. For the first time since the era of industrialization, developed economies no longer produce the majority of the world’s goods and services. The recent economic slowdown in emerging economies is just a minor bump on the road and by 2018, an estimated 55% of the world's output will come from such regions. This drastic shift becomes a game changer for companies operating in the global arena and that are dependent on cross border demand and supply. Act swiftly or the hunter becomes the hunted. Chris Giles & Kate Allen, June 2013, Financial Times

“Act swiftly or the hunter becomes the hunted.”

Cupole Business Bulletin | #1, 2013 |


Jann Lipka

employee spotlight

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce two of our colleagues along with their thoughts on future development in their respective areas of expertise and on Cupole Consulting Group.


Ahlgren What is your background? I started off as a strategy consultant at a global consulting firm. After seven years I choose to leave to take on general management positions (CFO and CEO) in the software telecom industry and thereafter partner of a venture capital firm. In my last position before joining Cupole Consulting Group, I was CEO for a listed media company, were we completed six M&A transactions in 24 months. I think the fact that I have been in a line manger’s shoes myself, and in that position bought professional services, has made me a better consultant. I’m more interested in long term results than slide decks… What’s your opinion on the M&A market outlook? The total number of corporate transactions beginning of

“I’m more interested in long term results than slide decks…”


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2013 has been down slightly compared to one year ago. Looking forward, our private equity market outlook is slightly positive, with recently raised funds and an unmet need for exits. At the moment, the focus is primarily on growing earnings by operational improvements, which make Cupole Consulting Group very relevant as a professional service partner to key players in the industry. Why did you join Cupole Consulting Group? I was attracted by Cupole Consulting Groups high ambitions, both related to our own growth agenda and the quality we deliver to our clients. It’s a privilege to be part of a team that has the capabilities to redefine how high-end management consulting services are delivered in the Nordic market. At Cupole Consulting Group we have an entrepreneurial spirit and a “can do” attitude which is a very good match with my personal belief and my background.  peter ahlgren,

Jann Lipka


Nürnberg What is your background? Until one year ago I was Principal at a Swedish Strategy and Management Consulting firm, focusing on customer insight driven strategy and business development. I have devoted most of my consulting career to growth strategy and customer strategy development and realization in the industrial manufacturing and the financial service sector. What’s your opinion on the financial market outlook? Most financial institutions are currently struggling to manage a substantial portfolio of initiatives to meet EU-level legislation requirements. At the same time, the hunt for new customers and larger share of their wallets leads to horizontal integration in products and services. Why did you join Cupole Consulting Group? The answer is simple – because I believe in this firm! I believe in the ideas and values on which this company was founded, I believe that we together with our clients can create superior value, but first and foremost, I believe in our team. At Cupole, I am constantly challenged and encouraged to challenge people around me. That is what makes me, my colleagues and our clients grow.  ida nürnberg,

“The answer is simple – because I believe in this firm!”

Cupole Business Bulletin | #1, 2013 |


Rich Lasalle/AGE

Cupole Consulting Group Birger Jarlsgatan 9 s-111 45 Stockholm Tel 08-410 812 30

Cupole business bulletin #1 2013  
Cupole business bulletin #1 2013