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Large Multinational Biotechnology Company

Human Resources Director
Large Multinational Biotechnology Company

“We had a major corporate initiative being driven by one of our teams of PhD scientists. This team is incredibly smart, but less than incredibly appreciative of the importance of teaming and / or the impact of true organizational leadership. It was difficult to get this type of team to be open enough to be willing to learn something about the “soft skills” associated with a high performing team; however, the need to increase team performance was clear to all. When I was referred to Michael, I was impressed by his way of thinking, his experience in life sciences with this type of population, and his credentials.

Michael met with me and the leader of this team who was not yet convinced that “team building” would do any good. Michael framed his belief about team building to be more of a team development process….

Michael dispelled his beliefs about some kumbya session, or ropes courses, etc. Rather, Michael’s approach was based on assessment of the core issues, an agenda built upon inclusive dialogue, and objectives that were measure-able. The team development process changed many of the key leaders’ approach to teaming and leadership. Michael has a unique ability to communicate with highly educated and tough executives, so much so that we now leverage Michael for similar types of work with other groups. It is meaningful to me when a member of the team that we worked with over a year ago refers to something Michael covered with that team. I appreciate Michael and his firm, and they are a trusted partner for us. Michael’s facilitation skills and pragmatism helped many of our teams go from “performing to “high-performance.”

EVP of Corporate Development
Large Multinational Biotechnology Company

“We have had a great deal of success with mergers and acquisitions but in 2010 we sought to reduce some of the friction that our internal process seemed to be experiencing. While ultimately much of our work in Corporate Development was highly successful it was clear that we were not operating the deal process as efficiently or as effectively as we could. As the executive responsible for all aspects of M&A activity I have a great sense of urgency for the company to realize its value targets and for us to build scale-able and replicable process to the extent possible. Our transactions can range from tens of millions to multiple billions, be incredibly complex, have international components, and we often must navigate a complex regulatory and competitive environment.

Michael was referred to us based upon a prior experience a colleague had with Michael, his Corporate Development background as well as his Organizational Development expertise. We contracted with Brainard Strategy to assess our M&A processes, then deliver a series of reports and facilitated sessions with a variety of executives and other stakeholders. As one can imagine there were executives wed to certain aspects of the process and many of the people who were in the debrief sessions helped to create the very processes that were being assessed and potentially challenged.

It became crystal clear that Michael’s ability to pull together many data points and points of view in an honest, clear and objective manner led to instant credibility. It was also clear that Michael and his team had a vast amount of technical expertise in both doing transactions, and consulting on the process of completing transactions. In many instances Michael asserted known challenges for us and in many other cases he was able to articulate the implications of some of our challenges in such a way so as to limit defensiveness. His ability to communicate tough truths and facilitate various types of groups toward the best end for us as the client was immensely valuable to me. We were left with a concrete action plan for change that was eventually integrated by the board and the senior management team.

Our company is now partnering with Michael as a strategic consulting partner to assist us with a variety of process consulting initiatives. Michael’s unique background as a psychologist, business development executive who completed transactions, and facilitation capabilities, as well as interpersonal skills and pragmatism helped our team and company to gain value that may not have been gained without him. I estimate his contribution to be worth many millions of dollars for us.”