In 2002 I left the role of Associate Director of Executive Programs at the Smeal College of Business (Penn State) to start my own business then called MDAE Consulting (Mad Dogs And Englishmen!). Part of the reason was that despite moving to Philadelphia I wanted to still coach the Penn State Women’ Rugby team which was a 3.5 hour commute twice a week. For the last 15 years the consulting business has thrived along side my coaching career. Last month I stepped down as the US Women’s Rugby coach and now my sole focus will be Innovative Thought.
In August I led the US Women to a 4th place finish at the World Cup in Irelad. The US had not made the semi-finals of the World Cup for 19 years and it was a very satisfying experience. It look a lot of people to help the team perform, but it was great to have a group of players buy-in to the plan. I also stepped up and made a statement about gender equity while in Ireland, which I was very proud of and is based on the work we have done on women’s leadership at Innovative Thought. Having led the team to the World Cup, along with an assistant coach role at the Olympics in Rio it was time for me to step down. It is unlikely that I will coach a team for a while, but I will remain in the game.
Having spent the last 15 years having really 2 full time jobs, the development of Innovative Thought is now my focus. The posts and updates on our website will improve. Areas of focus for me to develop are in our core areas of interest:
- Innovation Leadership – Take our model of implementation and continue to develop tools for our clients. We have a lot of research that we have not yet leveraged. I also believe that we will also be able to take this model from the CPG industry to other areas (I think that professional services is a fertile area for new product development approaches.
- Women’s Leadership – My work within elite women’s sport has led me to believe that the potential of women’s leadership is great. I also believe that there are both cultural and individual barriers to that potential being expressed. I will continue to work with my clients to reclassify gender issues as talent issues and then providing tools and support to their organization to unleash the potential of their people.
It is going to be an exciting time at Innovative Thought!