Management consultant with 20+ years of experience working with executives to make difficult decisions and implement sustainable change.
Strong believer in the consulting process as the most effective way to tackle complex and ambiguous problems - turning data into insights, drawing out consensus, and driving change through pragmatic plans. Fighting complexity with simplicity
Enjoying the learning journey with 400+ business school students annually. Strategy, consulting, healthcare strategy. BBA, MBA, MSBA, Executive Education Programs.
Experience at Deloitte Consulting and Fortune 500 companies as an internal consultant to scope projects, lead teams, and develop competitive advantage. Extensive experience with B2B equipment manufacturers - Applied Materials, AGCO, Philips - to improve profitability through strategic planning, channel marketing, pricing optimization, and cost-reduction.
Areas of Expertise (6)
Emory University, Atlanta, GA: MBA, Strategy and Management Consulting 2005
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA: BA, Economics 1993
In the News (5)
2018 Top 50 Undergraduate Professors: John Kim, Emory University (Goizueta)
Poets & Quants online
Organization and Management professor John Kim says he knew he wanted to be a business school professor once he realized his extensive experience as a management consultant was really an undercover way of teaching business. The consulting professional turned business professor now teaches strategic management, management consulting, and healthcare strategy to Goizueta Business School undergrads. He also oversees Goizueta’s Business Institute, a three-week business bootcamp for non-business majors. When he’s not teaching undergrads, Kim can be found blogging about the role of a management consultant and related topics including tips and tricks for interviewing clients and how to solve complex business problems. Kim’s blog, “Consultant’s Mind,” is consistently rated as one of the top leading management consulting blogs and websites to follow.
Strategy is more important now than ever to be ahead of tomorrow’s business shifts
Emory Executive Education online
“Twenty or 30 years ago, having a strong brand or good products was enough. Not anymore, it’s hard to stay on top now,” said John Kim, a lecturer in organization and management at Goizueta Business School at Emory University. “It’s very difficult to have a sustainable competitive advantage.” We live in a copy-cat world. It’s easy to Google “best practices” online and make your business more operationally efficient. It’s never been easier to hire from the competition and outsource half of your business operations to third-party manufacturers, designers, marketers, consultants, and fulfilment companies. Benchmarking the competition is often the first step. Empirical studies indicate that few firms can perform well above average for a sustained period. However, those same studies find that a small subset of firms do consistently perform well above average for years or even decades. This profitability is attributable to finding an attractive segment of the market with high growth and few major competitors, as well as offering a unique value proposition to customers. However, it is more likely that today’s competing firms closely resemble one another, rather than offering a distinctive business model in a way that creates value, said Kim.
Strategy for a Messy Tomorrow
Beware of False Choices “One thing we try to teach here at the business school is to be careful of false choices,” says John Kim, Organization and Management faculty at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. “Business is incredibly dynamic. Every industry is now a technology business, and the corporate playbook that evolved to protect profits is quite outdated.” Kim notes that Thomas Friedman poetically described this new normal in his 2005 book The World is Flat, and over the last 15 years, competition has only accelerated because of the explosion of two resources: cheap money and data. “Strategy is no longer a choice of ‘this’ or ‘that’ but much more often ‘this and that’,” he says. It is looking beyond these false, over-simplified choices that set good managers apart and allow for more complexity and ambiguity. From his corporate experience, Kim sees two significant challenges to strategy implementation. First, senior leaders turn over quickly. “It’s hard to have consistency of vision and leadership and implementation when there is such a movement in the C-suite with someone moving in and someone moving out every 5–6 months. So, it's not a surprise that a lot of strategies either don't follow through or there are too many cooks in the kitchen, and strategy gets a little bit muddled as a result.” Secondly, when the strategy does eventually make it to the ground-floor and needs to be executed, things have often moved on, and the market responses are rarely the ones you expect. Riffing on Peter Drucker’s famous quote on uncertainty, Kim explains to his students that, “Instead of trying to think of something brilliant to do tomorrow, why don't you think of something very actionable today that prepares us for what we know will be a totally messy, crazy, unpredictable tomorrow.”
John Kim: Teacher, Blogger, Jedi Master
The Emory Wheel online
A quick Google search for “consulting blog” registers the blog of Emory Lecturer in Organization and Management John Kim (05B), “Consultant’s Mind,” as the first result. Kim created Consultant’s Mind in April 2012 to define the role of consultants and how they “think a bit differently” compared to employees in other business divisions, he said. “Increasingly, people want to know what your point of view is,” Kim said. “They really want to know that you have an opinion and [you are] able to back that up with data.” With over 400 blog posts in his repertoire, Kim provides commentary and videos on a multitude of business-focused topics, including tips and tricks for interviewing clients and solving complex business problems. He publishes five to seven times per month, and has been posting for over five years.
Goizueta Business School welcomes new faculty
Goizueta welcomes new faculty including (from left to right) Vilma Todri, assistant professor of information systems & operations management; Rohan Ganduri, assistant professor of finance; Jesse Bockstedt, associate professor of information systems & operations management; Cassandra Estep, assistant professor of accounting; Karl Schuhmacher, assistant professor of accounting; Inyoung Chae, assistant professor of marketing; Demetrius Lewis, assistant professor of organization & management; Morgan Ward, assistant professor of marketing; and Tian Heong Chan, assistant professor of information systems & operations management. John Kim, not pictured, is a lecturer in organization & management. “We are thrilled about these additions to our team,” says Kristy Towry, vice dean for faculty & research, Goizueta Term Chair in Accounting, and professor of accounting. “They are all innovators in their fields, and I can’t wait to see what new knowledge they’ll bring to the table here at Goizueta.”