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About Kris Safarova
Kris Safarova is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author. She is the founder and CEO of FIRMSconsulting.com and its OTT arm, StrategyTraining.com: the world’s largest strategy streaming channel. She works with a network of ex-McKinsey, BCG, et al. partners to produce original strategy/leadership training videos, podcasts, and books. She manages several of the top podcast channels worldwide for strategy and management consulting, ranked in the Top-10 for careers in many countries, and is the author of five books on business strategy.
Kris believes in the power of logic, critical thinking, and storytelling to help our clients solve mankind’s toughest problems.
FIRMSconsulting is a private equity firm that partners with governments and past clients to take ownership and operating control of businesses. We deploy seasoned ex-McKinsey, BCG, et al. partners to manage each business. This process is documented to produce original programming - books, analysis slides, videos, and podcasts - for the streaming platforms. Recent investments include digitizing a miner in Asia, an electric car business in China, a luxury brands boutique in Europe, and a new-age cosmetics start-up in California.
Kris Safarova received a Dipl. in Music with a concentration in Classical Piano from DG Shatalov Music College, a B.Comm from UNISA, cum laude with highest distinction and an MBA from Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario in Canada, on the dean's list with highest distinction, where she was President of the Public Sector Club and Editor of the Public Sector Journal. Prior to obtaining her business degrees, she worked in management consulting and post-MBA she was a banker and consulting engagement manager in Toronto, Canada.
Prior to consulting Kris was a master classical concert pianist and official music representative of the Russian Federation who toured Europe. She joined FIRMSconsulting.com as a Partner, Corporate Finance in 2015 and was appointed Presiding Partner in 2016.
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Books By Kris Safarova
You understand a leader must deliver results. You lead a team and want a step-by-step guide to the 6 tools needed to ensure your team delivers.
What if you had one journal that guided you step-by-step through each of the 6 tools with visual examples? Now you do. The Leadership Journal is the companion guide to our popular books Succeeding as a Management Consultant, Strategy Part 1 & 2, The Operations Management Journal, The Investment Journal, and The Strategy Journal, an Amazon bestseller.
This journal helps readers walk into any situation in any organization anywhere in the world and understand how to lead a team to results via to-do list prompts and guided examples. All based on the combined best-practices of the author and the ex-McKinsey, BCG, et al. partners who produce all the strategy training programs on StrategyTraining.com.
On StrategyTraining.com/FIRMSconsulting.com, you have seen us over the last 10 years, help numerous clients solve complex business problems: postal turnaround, merge tech giants, wellness strategy, operations turnaround, wealth management strategies, help a bank enter the US Market, launch several startups, etc.
Let’s take the examples of Richard, who is building an electric automotive business in China with funding from the Chinese government, and Peter, who is developing a precious metals project in South East Asia to diversify the family luxury hotels business. FIRMSconsulting Insiders can watch the videos on how we are developing these businesses on StrategyTraining.com and Strategy Training apps.
In every meeting with Peter, Richard, and with the other engagements on StrategyTraining.com, we use six tools to purposefully drive the projects along a critical path of activities to their overall goals. This book guides you through those six tools and how to use them.
As the leader of these engagements, we are measured by our ability to successfully complete the overall tasks. We do this in two ways.
First, we use these six tools in the meetings with the most senior members of the project team.
Second, while we use the tools, we are meticulous about ensuring that attendees understand the six tools and use them with their direct reports.
After all, the success of the initiative is not just dependent on the meetings we lead to drive the initiative forward. There are many more meetings that must happen that we cannot possibly attend and should not attend. This is a cascading process. We need to push these skills down into the team working on the initiative. Over time, everyone working on the initiative, even team members we will never meet or directly train, will use this process.
This is a consistent process in every initiative you will follow on StrategyTraining.com and FIRMSconsulting.com, from overhauling an aluminum facility to restructuring a port to optimizing the salesforce for a beverage company.
If you drill down to the meetings we run in the engagements, you will find we run few meetings but manage them tightly using this process. We never deviate from these tools, though we may sometimes adapt them or adjust them. We will stop meetings that don’t use the tools. They are tried, tested and proven as evidenced by all the programs you have seen us lead, and the ex-McKinsey, BCG et al. partners who produce all our content.
Running your meetings this way and teaching your direct reports to manage their direct reports with this approach, will help you become a better leader because you will help your teams ach
You need to run a strategy workshop to help a corporate team make a decision, understand the tools and processes to follow, and require a guide to help you plan and run the workshop.
The Strategy Visioning Workshop Journal is the companion guide to our popular books Succeeding as a Management Consultant, The Operations Management Journal, The Corporate Wellness Strategy Journal, The Digital & Information Technology Strategy Journal, The Investment Strategy Journal and The Strategy Journal, an Amazon bestseller.
Our books are different. It’s practically impossible to find examples of consulting studies, analyses, and proposals. There is clarity and value in seeing this. Reading descriptions of how consultants analyze problems, or write proposals, is not the same as seeing the work. This is what we offer. The process taught can be modified to fit most strategy workshop goals.
The journal is divided into 4 parts: (1) The workshop map, (2) Understanding the workshop, (3) The workshop begins, and (4) Output.
UNDERSTANDING THE WORKSHOP contains:
What is corporate strategy?
Visioning workshop to corporate strategy
What is the logic of the overall process?
How would you pull all the pieces together?
Let’s walk through a typical visioning workshop
What are the explicit objectives of each part of the workshop?
What is the objective of the overall workshop?
Do we always pre-presents?
What are the checklists/milestones/ early warning signs?
What happens if the wrong market/segment is selected?
Why doesn’t one elegant analysis provide the answer?
Why don’t we use SWOT analysis?
Why don’t we use Porter’s Five Forces?
Does this analysis replace a business plan?
Should the same logic + approach be used for all corporate strategy studies?
Must a workshop format always be used?
Why conduct the workshop so early?
Is this the entire corporate strategy process?
If not, what is there to come?
Who should be invited?
How should the room/event be organized?
Where should the workshop be held?
How important is the skill to facilitate the workshop?
Who makes the final decisions?
What happens if the client arrives at a different conclusion?
This journal helps readers walk into any situation in any organization anywhere in the world and run a strategy visioning workshop via to-do list prompts, guides, and a visual example. All based on the combined best-practices of the author and the ex-McKinsey, BCG, et al. partners who produce all the strategy training programs on StrategyTraining.com.
On StrategyTraining.com/FIRMSconsulting.com, you have seen us over the last 10 years help numerous clients solve complex business problems: postal turnaround, merge tech giants, help a bank enter the US Market, etc.
Clients who have used the Journal report:
A sense of purpose
Publisher Note: Exhibits in ebooks are pasted as images and do not have text that can be resized. Since most of the pages in our journals consist of text presented within graphical concepts, sample slides, analyses and tables, they are presented as images since resizing the text breaks the page. We, therefore, produce the Kindle version for readers who bought the softcover version and wanted a mobile reference tool, and encourage you to buy the softcover version.
You need to make a business investment decision, understand the tools and processes to follow, and require a guide to help you convince colleagues to make the investment.
The Investment Journal is the companion guide to our popular books Succeeding as a Management Consultant, The Operations Management Journal, The Pandemic & Disaster Strategy Journal and The Strategy Journal, an Amazon bestseller.
The heart of this journal revolves around the investment visual guide and pages to plan your investment: from clarifying the problem statement all the way to developing the presentation and quantifying the benefits case in $.
The journal is divided into 4 parts: (1) Investment Visual Guide, (2) Overview, (3) Guided Example, and (4) Your Study.
The INVESTMENT VISUAL GUIDE contains:
Summary of the process
Financial Analysis vs. Financial Modeling vs. Investment Cases
Investment Case Philosophy
Integrating Change Management
Difference in Investment Cases
CSFs to Leading an Investment Case
Expectations of an Investment Case Leader
Guiding the Team
Analyses Complexity Over Time
3 questions in strategic scoping
Sub-questions from 3 questions
Assertions from questions
Hypotheses from assertions
Strategic scoping example
Testing Hypotheses with Financial Analysis (Top-Down)
Financial Analysis Overview
3 Questions for all Financial Analysis
Q1 financial analysis
Q2 financial analysis
Q3 financial analysis
Data Collection in Financial Analysis
Drawing Insights from Financial Analysis
Financial Analysis to Financial Modeling
Creating the Investment Case
The OVERVIEW offers you a 1-page guide to the entire process we will use to create a highly customized solution for your client.
In the GUIDED EXAMPLE, we will work together through a study/project to show you how each page will be used.
Thereafter, we create blank templates and guides for you to use on YOUR STUDY.
The Daily Pages are split into 8 weeks with a page for Monday to Friday. The pages help you understand your goals each day with a timeline reminder of the deliverables before each client update. Reminders for the client updates are built into the sheets for you to complete.
This journal helps readers walk into any situation in any organization anywhere in the world and understand how to develop an investment case via to-do list prompts, self-assessments and strategy calendars. All based on the combined best-practices of the author and the ex-McKinsey, BCG, et al. partners who produce all the strategy training programs on StrategyTraining.com.
On StrategyTraining.com/FIRMSconsulting.com, you have seen us over the last 10 years help numerous clients solve complex business problems: postal turnaround, merge tech giants, help a bank enter the US Market, etc. Among other tools, this journal contains a 120-page visual guide to the overall process to develop an investment case.
Do you aspire for more than what society had intended for you?
Do you want to be a better leader?
Do you need a role model?
We often read books about the principles of leadership, about leaders who don’t look like us or have not been through our life experiences. Most leadership books are written after the fact, when the subject has retired or has reached the pinnacle of their career.
What if we could read a book about leadership in action to see the tools, techniques, mindsets and strategies leaders are using on their journey to the summit of their careers?
Nine Leaders in Action does just that. We profile a range of leaders from around the world, who have already achieved great success, yet remain on the path to even greater heights. Nine people who overcame adversity to achieve notable successes and have far bigger goals in mind.
Read how they do it. Role model their best practices. Don't give up and don't lower your ambitions. The world needs your leadership.
Mavis is assigned to a chemical plant to solve a productivity paradox and struggles with her colleagues as they race to meet the reparations deadline. Thrown into her new role, with little support, Mavis assembles a team and tries to understand why productivity is dropping. Mavis must figure out who her friends are, and how does Truman, a soldier who seems interested in her, fit into her life. Yet Mavis is burdened by having to leave her ill little sister behind. As Mavis investigates the problem, she discovers a conspiracy that threatens the nation just as unexplained sightings spike in the surrounding forest.
This young adult (YA) dystopian novel combines the teaching of science, critical thinking and problem-solving skills with wrenching decisions, betrayal, heartbreak, love and the bond between two sisters that will change the future of mankind.
Q&A with Author Kris Safarova
Q: Why did you write this book?
Safarova: I write what I know and what I wish people had written for me when I was starting out in life. The way strategy consultants solve problems is very different. Yet, this skill is not widely taught. Imagine if we taught these skills to everyone and at an earlier age? I know more people will find these topics interesting and learn these skills if I could find a way to weave them into an engaging story.
Q: What do you hope the books achieve?
Safarova: I want to get more people interested in business and teach them to solve problems in a better way. Readers who don’t have an interest in critical thinking, problem solving, and business may realize they learned a lot, and also enjoyed the journey. And readers who are intentionally building these skills will find this series helped them become better at solving problems.
Q: What inspired the story?
Safarova: I lived in the former USSR and I adapted events from my own life. When I was 3 my parents were evicted on a less than 12 hours notice, in the middle of Russian winter. I remember lifting my legs high enough to make each step because the snow was so deep that night, as we tried to find a place to stay. That is the first memory I have of physically suffering.
Mavis’s cappuccino scene is based on my own experience. I was 21 when I first tasted cappuccino and I was blown away by how tasty it was. At the time I barely had money to pay rent, so I was skipping lunch and dinner on most days.
Leaving my 12-year old sister in Russia was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Yet, it was the right thing because I am now fortunately able to help my family. My little sister and I now work together and I could not be prouder of her. The bond between Mavis and Corolla is autobiographical.
Q: Was the strong female characters and themes of class segregation and climate change intentional?
Safarova: I wrote what I knew, and it was easier to channel my emotions and ideas through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old girl because I had been one. Strip away the dystopian elements and everything in the story is happening today.
Q: What’s next for Mavis?
Safarova: The story of Mavis and her sister, Corolla, will continue. I am working on a prequel to explain the events that led to The Great Patriotic War.