Partner & Associate Director, Innovation Analytics & IP, Toronto
At BCG, Explorers are unafraid to embark on new journeys. They try new solutions to untangle complex problems and drive transformational change. Wendi connects the dots to see the bigger picture.
The best thing about working at BCG is that I have the opportunity to push intellectual boundaries, to explore, and to question. It’s not just about finding a solution for our clients; it’s about finding the best solution, redefining the problem, and creating new paradigms.
I first joined BCG as a consultant almost two decades ago. Over the years, BCG has allowed me to excel in a variety of different roles while at the same time accommodating my unique personal situation. I spent several years on the generalist consulting track and then switched to part-time when my children were very young. While part-time, I had the chance to work with the equivalent of a strategy think tank group within BCG. Our mandate was to explore factors likely to impact the future of strategy.
I was fascinated by two topics—intellectual property and network analytics. BCG gave me the opportunity to join the expert career track. I have been able to focus and grow my interest in these two areas into a truly differentiated offering for our clients. Today I lead our intellectual property topic as well as BCG’s Center for Innovation Analytics. I have a growing team of expert analysts who use advanced analytics and big data to help our clients find and leverage external innovation ideas, emerging technology, leading talent, and startups.
Wendi has worked at BCG for almost 20 years in a variety of roles. Wendi has an MSc from Carleton University and a commerce degree from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: It is never the same. There is always something new to be learned, to be discovered. It is impossible to get bored.
Q: What international experiences at BCG have been the most interesting for you?
A: I spent three years working for BCG in our Kuala Lumpur office in Malaysia. It was a terrific experience. Even though we were a relatively small, new office, we quickly established a seat at the table with key leaders in Malaysia. As a consultant, then project leader, I had the opportunity to work on a national port strategy, led a reconfiguration of the plantation industries, worked with the prime minister’s daughter on a national AIDS strategy, and was seconded to the national agency that was set up to get the nation’s banks back on their feet after the Asian currency crisis.
Q: What trends are you following and why?
A: I follow the growing trend of companies looking outside organizational boundaries for innovation and emerging technology. I am fascinated by the fact that, increasingly, the companies that can effectively tap into this external ecosystem are the ones that are winning, that are avoiding disruption. I would like to better understand the dynamic patterns of establishing and refreshing connections and diversity in organizations that make some companies serial innovators. If we can understand this, we can really help our clients become, and remain, technology and innovation leaders.