Issue #16 — Annual Letter 2022.

Hi there,

The past year has been nothing less than a rollercoaster journey, with many ups and downs and, most importantly, some impactful lessons learned.

At Mäd, we saw that many companies and the world had gone through a major shift. Our clients’ way of working and the need to quickly adapt to digital transformation due to the pandemic created both opportunities and difficulties.

Our mission remains to unlock strategic value in the world’s leading organizations. So in 2022, the overarching theme within Mäd was to streamline our service offerings to remain hyper-focused on this mission.

So, this year, in particular, we’ve been tweaking, learning, and refining our core offerings, which has opened the door to working with our clients in exciting new areas — such as business process design and product management. We are much looking forward to developing our consulting service offerings in the year ahead, taking the valuable knowledge and experience we’ve acquired over the past years, working on a multitude of digital products, and, in the process, developing a deep understanding of diverse businesses in nearly all sectors.

Zooming out, the coming year could continue to be challenging for most sectors as companies grapple with turbulent economic conditions. However, we remain optimistic as we work closely with our clients to identify and analyze ways to streamline work, often via digital products and services and driving value in innovative ways. Our optimism is also spurred on by the flurry of regional demand we’ve encountered, particularly with financial firms and the public sector.

All in all, as many of us take time with our friends and families and reflect on the past year (myself included), the message I’m taking with me is one of embracing inevitable change. To quote Epictetus,

“Don’t seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will - then your life will flow well.”

The past year has only amplified the pace of change in today’s world, and it’s important to have the courage to weather the storm.

An analogy I would like to leave you with is to think of your company as a sailing boat. Your financials are the hull that needs to be strong enough to keep you afloat, the rudder and keel are your market and strategic positioning — these need to keep you firmly in place, but agile enough to quickly maneuver choppy waters, — and your mainsail is your sales and marketing, which needs to be cast tall and wide to catch as much wind as possible to keep you moving forward.

Kieran Glover Managing Director

From the Founder.

After having the privilege of founding and leading Mäd through its early years to its current success as a consulting firm, I have decided to step down as Managing Director this year to pursue other opportunities. Although this was a difficult decision, I am confident that the talented team at Mäd will continue to take the company to new heights.

I am delighted with the successful transition to new leadership and I am proud of the smoothness of the process. I have had the privilege of working with Kieran for a number of years, and I am certain that the management team will bring imaginative solutions to the table. I am confident that, with their guidance, Mäd will continue to be successful and provide excellent service to our clients.

I am immensely thankful for the privileges and learning experiences I have gained during my tenure at Mäd. I am also thankful for the talented team who have been my companions throughout this journey, and for all the clients who have placed their faith in us. Mäd has always been a company with great potential, and I look forward to witnessing its future success. I will always be a staunch supporter of Mäd and its mission to unlock strategic value in leading organizations.

Emanuele Faja Founder of Mäd and Blue

Milestones & Achievements.

  • New clients. In 2022, we’ve had the privilege of working with dozens of clients across a huge variety of sectors. From digital banking experience design, and process design for a leading construction company, to product management for some of the world’s largest organizations, we’ve touched upon a huge diversity of projects. Moving into the next year, we are delighted to be able to continue working alongside nearly all of these firms, whilst already welcoming some new names to the roster.
  • Blue. We’d like to give a shout-out to our friends at Blue, who have achieved a few huge feats of their own this year. In 2022, Blue rebranded from Bloo to Blue and reached the milestone of being the choice project management platform for over 6,000 organizations! Blue has also (very recently) launched its brand-new website and revamped its desktop and mobile apps. You can now have a much faster and smoother experience using Blue, no matter where you are in the world — thanks to the platform’s upgraded infrastructure and database.

For a complete overview of Blue’s technical releases and updates, have a look at What’s New on Blue.

  • eBook. A big goal of Mäd this year was to launch a digital product. After exploring various options with the team, we settled on creating an eBook — Work Like Mäd. It compiles 10+ years of experiences, achievements, and mistakes into simple frameworks and models to help professional service firm founders build successful and thoughtful organizations. For our newsletter readers, you might know we’ve spent some time adding the finishing touches to our ebook — but it’s almost complete. So stay tuned for our release announcement!

If you’re interested in a preview before purchasing the whole eBook, we’ve shared a free, downloadable chapter of Work Like Mäd — you can access it here.

2022 in Insights.

We’re proud to share that in 2022, we have not only rebuilt our website but also published over 25 insights. Here are some of our readers’ favorites:

  • The Mäd Six-Pager. The six-pager, first introduced by Amazon, is a long-form document that helps communicate ideas with more clarity. We’ve been using this format for many of our project proposals and presentations over the years.
  • The 4-Day Work Week (and embracing it!). We’ve always been open to exploring how working less can help to achieve more — so this year, after running a three-month trial, we’ve decided to permanently implement the 4-day work week. If you’re interested in trying it out, check out some insights and lessons learned from our experience.  
  • The Landscape of Digital Banking in Cambodia.Cambodia has seen many important shifts in fintech development, particularly with the growing demand for mobile banking apps. Through our experience working with major local banks, we’ve observed firsthand how industry leaders have embraced new technology, developing outstanding digital banking solutions. (For a more detailed overview, read our white paper.)
  • How We Do Business Process Analyses. One of the key practices in consulting is auditing and improving the business processes of a client’s organization. In this insight, we delve into what a consultancy actually does and how we conduct our work with new clients.
  • The 4 Pillars of Digital Transformation. Digital transformation is a key goal for many modern businesses, although it’s often more challenging than any other change initiative. But while it requires significant investments of time and finances to execute, a shift toward digital can create ample opportunities for growth and success.
  • Management by Wandering Around. Management styles have evolved and diversified in recent years as more industries embrace flexible work options. One approach that has gained popularity is Management by Wandering Around (MBWA) — a unique management style that strengthens the bonds between managers and their teams.
  • The Advantages of Small Organizations. Mäd is a boutique consultancy with a team of fewer than 20 people. We’ve often faced the question of staying small versus expanding, but over time, we reached the perfect balance of being a small organization. This is how we found what works for us.
  • Project Management: First Principles. Many skilled project managers navigate and run projects intuitively, which is a great approach — although not always ideal for every project. Using our experience, we’ve defined some first principles of project management: the building blocks required to successfully handle a project.
  • Bridging the Gap Between Design and Development. The relationship between design and development can make or break the end product. If your goal is to build stunning products that resonate with the end-user, our advice is: communicate.
  • Change Management. Organizational change is essential for businesses to evolve, but company-wide transformation can be challenging and even disruptive. For successful change management to take place, business leaders need to define, plan and execute an effective strategy that supports the organization and its people.

Thank You.

Lastly, we would like to say thank you to all of you for helping us Make It Happen.™

We truly appreciate all of our clients, readers, friends, family, and the excellent partners from each company that we have had the pleasure of working with.

On behalf of the Mäd team, we are grateful for the trust and confidence you have put in us to continue to drive value to leading companies across the globe. Our mission is to help our clients make meaningful change, and we are committed to helping each and every one of you reach this goal.

We look forward to continuing our fruitful work together in the coming year.

We hope you had a magical December and all the best for the year ahead.

Have a wonderful holiday, and until next time!

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