About

The Strategy Journal discusses the analyses, application, interpretation, and implementation of business strategy. Every article on this site discusses just one study. Articles on this website are free while some links may lead to the subscription-only content which influenced the article.

The Strategy Journal has readers in over 150 different countries, including executives in government, industry and consulting, and thousands of professionals interested in understanding how companies, countries, and organizations can discover a sustainable comparative advantage to create maximum value ethically.

The articles on StrategyJournal.com are developed from the advanced content, created by ex-McKinsey, BCG et al partners, on our subscription-only websites. I either write and/or edit the articles and serve as the publisher and agent to most of the partners.

If you would like updates on the programs we produce and our monthly strategy newsletter, please opt-in to the email list above on the top right. This is the only way to receive the material we share in the newsletter.

CEO & Owner. Who is Kris Safarova? 

My name is Kris Safarova and I am the editor of the StrategyJournal.com. I am the CEO and owner of The Strategy Media Group, a holding company for digital platforms teaching strategy in new and innovative ways.

Other properties include the streaming platforms StrategyTraining.com, StrategyTV.com, and TheConsultingOffer.com, the blog FIRMSconsulting.com, the Apps StrategyTraining, StrategyTV, Bill Matassoni A Memoir and two podcasts routinely ranked in the Top 10 for careers worldwide, Strategy Skills and Case Interviews & Management Consulting. We also stream content on ROKU and Apple TV.

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I do not claim to be a strategy expert. I run the overall business and our business design studio. I have the extreme good fortune and privilege of working with eminent ex-BCG, McKinsey et al senior partners who produce all the content on the sites above.

I help them curate and distill their ideas through articles, books, videos, documentaries, apps, podcasts, and other bespoke programming streamed 24/7 in >150 countries around the world that teach our clients to solve mankind’s toughest problems.

Our free podcasts have >2 million downloads.

Our subscription-only content has much higher engagement. In total, we have produced >35 training programs about strategy.

That’s >4,000 episodes of content and over 900 hours of subscription-only programming. We are the world’s largest dedicated strategy streaming platform.

At any given time we have >1,000 episodes of subscription-only content going through post-production.

We have an additional 450 free iTunes podcasts.

We are the #1 ranked channels for business strategy, management consulting and case interviews.

While I am proud of all the programs, I am particularly fond of the 3-year journey to produce The Bill Matassoni Show documentary series and Bill’s memoir Marketing Saves the World. Bill was McKinsey’s first marketing director, and a mentee and close friend of Marvin Bower. The memoir went to #1 on Amazon in several categories and was a bestseller.

We also produced a set of unique Apps, a unique limited edition Glass House memoir and a very effective social media campaign which used 300 images to describe the 3-year behind the scenes effort to complete the memoir, Apps, documentary and limited edition book. I really enjoyed working with Bill and his lovely wife Pamela. They are remarkable people who love each other and really try to change the world.

Below is a photo of the limited-edition version of the memoir that I designed within our design unit, Studiya Safarova. This is on loan as an exhibit.

Photo of Bill Matassoni's Limited Edition Memoir
Bill Matassoni’s Limited Edition Memoir.

One of our most popular strategy programs follows a team launching an electric car start-up in China. Another follows a digital luxury business, and another follows a new skincare business. Design drives the product, customer experience, and business model thinking for each of these programs. Studiya Safarova is our internal design studio leading this bespoke work. I also led the design and year-long remodeling of the Studiya’s offices in Los Angeles.

Our goal is to teach complex problem-solving skills through engaging, entertaining and realistic programs. We believe in the power of logic, reason and a compelling narrative to teach our clients to solve mankind’s toughest problems.

From restructuring a national power utility to building an electric car start-up to building the innovation division at a global professional services firm to building profitable banking products for the unbanked, and more. Motivated and armed with our detailed content and focus on ethical leadership, our clients are tackling problems that matter to the world.

I am very proud of the impact we have around the world, as seen in this interview with a client, Bill Graca.

Origin story. My formal biography

In my prior life, I held the unique distinction, and good fortune, of being hired as a business analyst at a major international management consulting firm, at age 26, despite not possessing a university degree at that time. I was thereafter promoted twice within 17 months of joining the firm.

I led strategy studies in Europe and Africa where I presented to CEOs, boards and billionaires, including a good friend of Nelson Mandela’s. After consulting, I completed a BComm from UNISA, cum laude, and a Richard Ivey MBA, with Distinction (of which I am a very proud alum and strongly recommend the school), where I founded and edited the Public Sector Review.

I thereafter became a banker on Toronto’s Bay Street where I was promoted within six months of being hired and eventually left as a Director within the corporate finance division.

I served as a master classical concert pianist and a music ambassador of the Russian Federation touring in Europe. I wrote and recorded a pop single in Russia and hold a diploma in classical piano from DG Shatalov State Musical College. You can also read my full life story about my journey from Russia.

It’s not about the money. This is my passion.

My full journey story covers this in much more detail but here are the highlights. When I moved to the west, my Russian credentials were ignored. At one point I could find no jobs and during my MBA I had just $76 in my bank account. I started my new undergraduate degree when I was 25. I finished my MBA when I was 29.

I was very lucky to work in management consulting and as a banker in corporate finance. I started late in life. I had the great fortune to meet and work with some amazing McKinsey partners even later in life.

I want to keep improving this service and that means reinvesting. Producing all the content, maintaining multiple websites, all the custom Apps, shooting in 4K, editing and researching new programs years before they come out is expensive.

I am a pretty frugal person – I do not eat out or order takeout. Thanks to our very successful 1-on-1 executive and case coaching programs, I can fund our expansive digital investments.

But I do enjoy my role and that’s the most important thing. I wake up and look forward to working with great, insightful and really wonderful partners. I want to help people all over the world learn from them and change the world.

On a typical day of traveling, I get into the back seat of my SUV and work while I am taken to meetings. My normal backseat routine is to listen to podcasts, take notes, edit episodes on my laptop and coordinate many ongoing projects via SMS. I review every piece of content the partners produce, I help with planning their programs, approving new programs and thinking about what our clients want.

You cannot see my laptop and work set-up in this photo, but they’re on the seat.

IMG_0708_Facetune_22-09-2018-11-38-18.jpg I am the bottleneck since I want to be sure of what we publish. I am immensely grateful for the life I have, the work I can do and the responsibility I have. That is why I do it.

Let’s try to be good people. The type of people we are matters.

From my time as an MBA student, and working in banking and consulting, I know we are all under tremendous pressure to solve problems for clients. It’s easy to get caught into a cycle of searching for an answer to just finish the work and get paid. Strategy should be fun, fulfilling and meaningful.

For most people, strategy has become a torturous activity that must be done to get a salary. It has stopped being an art form.

We should be trying to become better thinkers while helping clients. Let’s work together to not just produce a strategy that appears to be good, but actually works. What greater legacy could we leave than doing work which mattered to the world?

We should take enormous pride in the very real value we can bring to the world. Together, we can be economic missionaries who leave the world better off than when we arrived.

We are never perfect and I also have (many) bad days. But, let’s strive, together, to be good people who want to make the world a better place.

Ethics statement. It’s about integrity.

I take my personal integrity and the integrity of my sites very seriously. While I will make and have made mistakes, I will always strive to correct them quickly and honestly, and take proactive steps to ensure I don’t make similar mistakes in the future.

It’s not a perfect system but its the best system I have. On the flip side, these websites are my home. On the (rare) occasion I block access to someone its because you are being rude in my home.

Privacy Policy. It’s important too.

You may view the FIRMSconsulting, LLC Privacy Policy here.

By continuing to access, link to, or use this website and/or newsletter, you accept the FIRMSconsulting, LLC privacy policy in full. If you disagree with the privacy policy, you must not use the website or follow the links to our other websites.

Terms of Use. This is a good place to start.

You may view the FIRMSconsulting, LLC Terms of Service here.

By continuing to access, link to, or use this website and/or newsletter, you accept the FIRMSconsulting, LLC terms and conditions in full. If you disagree with the terms and conditions or any part of these terms and conditions, you must not use the website or follow the links to our other websites.

As you go through all my websites you will learn some things about me.

I love my grandma, Galiya. I was a happy child and am a happy person. I have a wonderful family and sister, my business partner. I have a great nephew. And 2 amazing brothers.

Galiya. The light of my life. I miss her every single day.Screen Shot 2018-09-08 at 12.37.13 PM.png

 

Me at 3.

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Me at 4.

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Me with my parents. Good people with a kind heart.

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Me in my Shirley Temple phase, and my parents.

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My remarkable, one in a billion, sister. The light of my life, my business partner and the best sister anyone could ever have. And her amazing husband.

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My nephew, Godson and future business partner. If you see us adding kids strategy training programming in the coming years, you will have this little gentleman to thank. Notice his thumbs-up vote of confidence!

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It’s never too late. Just start.

If you are still trying to learn strategy and change your thinking, career and life, it is never too late. Do not be overwhelmed. Pick one program and just work through it. The next 10 years of your life are going to happen. Time and space does not wait for anyone. So make it count.

My favorite programs to get you started are A McKinsey, BCG et al Strategy EngagementAndrew’s journey to Partner in 3 years and How to Develop Deep Insights. The latter two are only available to Insiders. I know time is an issue so just start with the Deep Insights program if you have access. It is just 21 days and 10 episodes so you can get results very quickly.

If that is too much we have more free content on strategy and problem solving than possibly anyone else. >450 episodes on iTunes and our YouTube channel contain our latest free videos. Those are good places to start.

There are no quick fixes in life. But there are real, sincere programs led by real and sincere people who do care.

Thanks for reading this. Please join my strategy newsletter on the top right corner.