Conduit Consulting

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Jillian Alexander

The below are responses to questions frequently asked of Conduit Consulting founder and Managing Director Jillian Alexander.

What led to forming Conduit Consulting?

Recognizing that neither large Consulting firms nor Public Corporations are the best venue for helping businesses profitably grow and compete in a global economy and creating jobs to bolster regional economies led me to creating Conduit Consulting. These activities not only leverage what I do best -- company & product positioning, development and restructuring -- but also are catalysts for developing cross-cultural understanding and cultivating peace, which are my goals.
 
In my Price Waterhouse/PricewaterhouseCoopers and SONY roles leading Corporate Development activities spanning Stategic Planning, Corporate & Business Transactions, Service & Product Development and Corporate Portfolio Management on behalf of external and internal clients, I frequently observed poor decision-making and value destruction due to conflicts of interest. It was
very evident that companies are SUBSTANTIALLY BETTER SERVED by strategic advisory teams comprised of and managed by INDEPENDENT EXPERTS ASSEMBLED to meet THAT SPECIFIC CLIENT’s needs rather than by the teams typically provided by large consulting firms or by company internal personnel. By building a team of qualified specialists and applying professional project management skills, Conduit Consulting can typically evaluate situations and data, devise strategies, design pragmatic solutions, develop implementation plans, and accomplish meaningful results faster, with fewer resources and generally less disruption and lower cost than most Consulting firms. Being independent expert Consultants, Conduit Consulting professionals focus on our clients’ best interest.

What are your qualifications?

More than 20 years in Management and Consulting roles helping clients grow revenue, bolster operational performance, increase profitability, improve customer satisfaction, gain market share as well as enhance their businesses’ intrinsic and shareholder value through successfully providing independent advice and leading and advising on company & product positioning, development, restructuring, and growth initiatives. Initiatives spanned Corporate Development, Strategic Planning, Finance, Procurement, Human Resources, Operations, Marketing, Sales and Distribution functions for clients in various industries. These efforts have resulted in award-winning marketing campaigns and business plans, start-ups achieving successful exits or remaining as going-concerns, plus clients realizing more than $3.4 billion via acquisitions and divestitures deals that I managed. My clients range from Fortune 100 corporations to private enterprises to non-profits to early-stage companies.
 
For more work history, read my professional profile and, in case you want even more details, read Jillian Alexander bio.

How do your clients benefit from your experience and methods?

By leveraging my broad knowledge and skills plus proven tools and techniques developed during 20+ years in Management and Consulting roles, clients are enabled to AVOID wasting time, effort and capital wandering down wrong paths. Clients who adopt my advice and/or obtain other services achieve desireable results expeditiously while mitigating risks. Some clients are even widely recognized as formidable competitors, trend setters and market leaders.
 
Most clients engage Conduit Consulting’s services to gain my insight about the competitive environment, advice on strategies which will position their organization for success, and guidance to transform the company from its current state into a desireable future state. As appropriate, I and other Conduit Consulting resources provide hands-on support, supplementing a client’s existing capabilities. So, not only am I the Lead Consultant on most engagements, but also act as Project Manager, using my skills to build and manage teams comprised specifically to meet each client’s needs. I maintain everyone’s focus on the client’s best interest.

To what do you owe your unique ability to quickly zero-in on clients’ real problem(s), then gain their buy-in to not only addressing the issue(s) but also using your proposed approach?

Throughout my life, I have continually cultivated not only my knowledge and abilities to think creatively, critically and strategically, but also my awareness. The lesson learned and insights gained through each experience; ongoing professional training; and interests in economics, capital markets, geopolitics, trade, commerce, cultural anthropology and other matters I have found enables me to think differently from most advisors. Due to the unique combination of my knowledge, skills and mindful approach, clients observe I am a quick-study, offer pragmatic advice and focus on what is in the client’s best interest.
 
Because I want my clients’ to be successful and recognize each situation is unique, we tailor our approach based on our clients goals, current capabilities and needs. Once the customized approach and alternatives are explained, clients agree.

Can you develop this ability within client organizations?

Yes, although it takes personal dedication and repeated practice.

What’s your experience creating a business plan for a start-up venture?

Throughout my career I have prepared numerous business cases and business plans -- ranging from market entry, to corporate asset (i.e., product, patent, business model) portfolio harmonization and diversification, to single product for inventor entrepreneurs to multinational business units for leading corporations. These have been crucial tools for my clients. 100% of the business cases I produced built consensus amongst decision makers. More than 95% of business plans I developed received at least as much capital as was sought within unusually short time periods. I attribute the consistency of these successes to producing robust cases and plans and communicating them effectively.

To what do you attribute your success in program management and managing multiple complex projects simultaneously?

Successfully managing multiple client projects to be delivered on-time and on-budget is second nature for me. Throughout my career, my role has included deadline-oriented management of multiple concurrent projects. My consistent success is largely attributed to my portfolio management approach and attitude, which include reprioritization and refocusing adeptness, flexible yet persistant character, plus customer satisfaction and goal-orientation.

When introduced to a new client, what products and services are you selling?

As every client is unique, rather than shoehorning all prospective clients into the same solution set as many other consultancies do, we tailor our approach based on our clients goals, current capabilities and needs. This customization expedites producing breakthrough innovations and breakaway strategies which result in catapulting clients toward success.
 
To do so, we offer our intellectual capital and to apply proven tools and proprietary methodologies derived from more than
20 years of managing and advising on successful initiatives to help clients overcome obstacles, accelerate growth and enhance enterprise value.

What is your proudest achievement?

The jobs created and regional economic development which have stemmed from my Corporate Development work -- identifying business opportunities, conceiving products and services, designing business models, developing fundable strategic plans, devising strategies to reach achievable goals and pragmatic implementation roadmaps, structuring and negotiating profitable deal terms -- that, once hired, management successfully executed as envisioned.

What do you like best about Consulting?

Successfully guiding clients toward their goal destinations by diagnosing complex problems, then designing "stuff" -- strategies, business models, products, services, tools (e.g., business plans, financial models, marketing collateral, incentive programs, business processes) -- which, once implemented, overcomes client challenges, improves profit, enhances enterprise value and enables the client to emerge from chaotic fog as a leader.
 
Such client situations require rapid left-brain : right-brain interplay and provide the opportunity to apply my skills, talents and expertise to solve complex business problems.

What you would do if you did not have to work?

This is it.

What are you passionate about?

My purpose is helping improve others’ socio-economic condition and quality of life through developing new products and services, regional economic development activities (i.e., building companies, creating jobs) and building cross-cultural bridges. I am passionate about the building blocks to do this -- quality education, developing critical thinking and creativity abilities, clean water, healthful food supply -- and the social responsibility we each have to make our best effort to not only take care of our own well-being, but also leave this place better than we found it.

In what ways do you volunteer or "give back"?

Mentoring members of my alma mater’s career network, students, colleagues, staff, friends.
 
Advising on and providing pro bono consulting services supporting regional socio-economic development and cross-cultural bridge building as member of the State of California Governor’s Small Business Advisory Board, Rotary International and other professional association and business networking groups.

What is your hands-on experience using your multidisciplinary skill-set?

In addition to repeatedly using these skills as a Corporate Development Consultant, previously I worked in companies in which my roles had a wide range of responsibilities spanning:

  1. business planning -- production scheduling, materials planning, equipment allocation, human resources staffing, budgeting;
  2. procurement and other deal-making -- sourcing and negotiating contract terms to secure highly-skilled workers, vendors, facilities, materials and other resources;
  3. marketing management -- scheduling, materials planning, equipment allocation, orchestrating logistics, human resources staffing, budgeting, developing proposals and pitch materials, guiding creative concept development, copywriting, directing development of marketing elements and marketing collateral, overseeing promotional and naturally-integrated product placement exposures;
  4. sales management -- customer education, merchandising, selling, customer service, sales coaching;
  5. production management -- managing production of custom-products on fixed-cost basis and under tight time contraints for Fortune 500 clients, and conducting finished product quality audit;
  6. financial management -- creating competitive bids to be incorporated into request for proposal (RFP) responses, valuing intellectual property assets (for rights buyers and owners), cash management, inventory management and audits, performing cost accounting, auditing time records, payroll accounting, reconciling expenses against budget, billing, collections;
  7. human resources management -- recruiting, screening, hiring, staffing, firing, benefits administration, incentive program development and administration; and
  8. contract management -- drafting agreements, executing licensing and copyright clearance, shipping goods per distribution schedule, contract performance audit, negotiating remediation when vendors failed to perform as contracted, and overseeing legal entity formation.

For more work history, read my professional profile and, in case you want even more details, read Jillian Alexander bio.
 

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Telephone: +1.310.260.9765  •  Email: info@conduitconsulting.com
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