Please join us in welcoming the newest Exit Consulting Group team member, Joanna Tan.
Joanna brings a world of experience to her new role as Managing Director of Consulting at ECG, having worked at start-ups to Fortune 100 companies in the U.S. and Asia. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and both an MIA and MBA from Columbia University. Working alongside fellow Managing Director of Consulting Melissa Poler, Joanna adds breadth to the ECG team in unique and impactful ways.
Get to know Joanna in this short Q&A about her background and the importance of operations excellence.
How do you apply your professional experience to consulting with ECG clients?
I combine Fortune 100 experience with an entrepreneurial approach. I know how large organizations operate and excel, and I know how start-ups raise capital and scale—all from a financial and operations background. I advise business owners that not only do I know where they’re coming from with certain challenges, but I have also been there myself. Most importantly, from my time as a management consultant, I know how to be a good listener. You need to listen before you can advise and assist.
How do you view operations as a business function?
Every successful company invests in its operations, and there are three key pieces to operations excellence: people, processes and technology. Human capital is a company’s most important asset. You have to invest in your people to motivate, retain and reward them. Designing and implementing intelligent processes can allow your people to communicate and collaborate more efficiently. Asking the right questions and developing the appropriate metrics will empower and set them up for success. Finally, having the right systems and software connects your people and processes together.
The results of your people, processes and technology get translated into the company’s financial performance. Since operations and finance are the backbone of every business, investing in building the correct infrastructure is essential for achieving long-term success.
What is your understanding of ECG’s Exit Engineering™ process?
The engineering aspect really speaks to me because as consultants, our goal is to help transform our clients’ businesses. We don’t present an exit plan without smart engineering. For many business owners, the transformation process can be just as exciting as the transaction. We’re agents of change, helping to set up the business in a better position so the owner can enjoy a rewarding exit, a.k.a. Your Win.
What makes an entrepreneur successful?
Accountability. All of the leadership philosophies and methodologies out there involve holding yourself accountable in your role as a leader. It starts with recognizing your responsibility to your team and continues with listening to them and being open to feedback. Following through with measurable action completes the accountability loop.
Why is ECG the right fit for you?
I’ve known Andrea Steinbrenner (COO) from our previous consulting lives and met John Ovrom (CEO) at a networking group in San Diego. The three of us met together and the conversation evolved into what I could bring to the table in ECG’s growth. We all saw the potential to collaborate and I wanted to be part of a winning team. Business aside, everyone on the ECG team is smart, compassionate and genuinely committed to doing great work.
Welcome aboard, Joanna, and thank you for sharing your insights!