Media Coverage

The Art of Strategy Consulting by Kmind President Noah Xie

Source:The Wall Street Journal06-26 2023

By PR Newswire

“In today's highly developed society, competition is at its peak across all industries. I believe companies today still lack methods to cope with such an intense and ever-shifting environment of competition.” says Noah Xie, President of Kmind Strategy Consulting.

Xie believes he has the solution: a method which blends western management theory with eastern philosophical wisdom to tackle the rational while incorporating the intangibles. This June, Kmind introduced its methodology to academics and business leaders in a US tour encompassing Harvard, Brown and MIT Sloan.

Xie’s approach and results have attracted him and Kmind titles such as ‘Asia’s rising star’ and the ‘greatest mind in Asia,’ monikers he shrugs off with characteristic humility. Ultimately the success of any consultant can be measured by their clients’ results.

Kmind President Noah Xie’s Harvard VIP Strategic Panel.

In the last five years, Xie forged five clients into industry leaders in the notoriously competitive Chinese market, growing them into large-scale firms, their sum annual revenue growing from $4 billion to $21 billion. One such client, Bosideng, a down jacket producer founded nearly fifty years ago, overhauled its brand image with Kmind’s assistance to become No.1 globally in down jacket sales. Bosideng’s resulting revenue nearly doubled and net income more than tripled.

Such results haven’t gone unnoticed; and in 2023 Kmind grabbed two Vault APAC top 3 rankings for their work, a first for any Asian consultancy company and ranking it alongside well-known global peers such as McKinsey and Bain. In addition, nine Kmind practical cases are featured by Harvard Business Publishing.

One of the major issues plaguing the consulting industry according to Xie is that everyone relies on a similar playbook, creating predictable outcomes without ever managing to truly differentiate the offerings between one company from another. Traditional management ideas at their core tend to concentrate on producing a better product at a lower cost and with higher efficiency. Therefore, these ideas naturally revolve around provable, data-driven models, analyzing individual segments for improvement to create excellent products. However, Xie believes that a firm’s wholistic strategy necessitates three aspects: not just creating excellent products, but more critically managing the consumer's perception and recognition, and the proper combination of both to realize competitive advantages.

“Regarding issues of competition and consumers, we have unique insights and methods that consultants worldwide can learn much from. Instead of viewing a business in segments and departments, we grasp the big picture to realize competitive advantage.” Xie enlightens.

To achieve such results, companies need to manifest a strategy that can capture the hearts of consumers, in a manner akin to Mona Lisa’s smile. “This iconic smile is the result of combining science and art, rationality and emotion.” says Xie.

Eastern philosophy directly tackles these intangibles. Xie specifically cites ‘The Art of War’ as the essence of competition. While a doctrine of war may seem contradictory to the spiritual ideas espoused by Buddhism and Daoism, they share a commonality: a congruent philosophy focused on the hearts and minds of people.

The traditional modus operandi of consulting companies is to conduct a several-month deep dive into a company and its industry, culminating in a report some hundred pages long. There are a few critical pain points buried within this approach. Firstly, a lack of follow-up on the implementation of solutions, as the emphasis is on ‘optics’ rather than ‘practicality’. Furthermore, the consultancy tends to focus on only one aspect of the company rather than the overall picture. Most importantly, once the report is completed, it remains static — helpless to react to the dynamic global environment. “The gap between this report and actual implementation is enormous and extremely complicated,” explains Xie.

Kmind dedicates itself to implementing the solutions they present alongside their clients, working directly with the founder and C-suite team to launch transformative strategic campaigns, balancing East and West to create strategic marvels. “We are now looking toward the next decade as a period of expansion; to branch-out globally and continue to grow alongside our partners,” said Xie.