I am a practitioner.
You will find, that I am digging deep into everything I do.
I am in the dirt, hands on.
To Identify what truly works.
And then, I'll head back to the blackboard to abstract from the obvious.
To determine the underlying, structural truths.
I always have both hands on the ground and an eye on the horizon.
My absolute passion is to dive deep into complexity, figure stuff out and then deduct broadly applicable concepts, principles and frameworks that I can share with others.
This love for exploring unchartered territory coupled with my strong drive has led me to a diverse career:
I am the founder and CEO of Wilson & Oskar, a start-up focused on helping companies to foster employee appreciation and create team spirit.
And I founded Gueth & Partner, a Management Consulting firm that helps leaders in understanding disruptive forces and emerging trends in their markets and developing organizations for sustained success.Before this, I was Chief of Staff at a Big4 Consultancy, spent half a decade as a Data Strategy Consultant in the fortune 500, and had a career as a professional Poker player and high-stakes coach.
I'm teaching in academia as an associate professor at the the Business School of the University of Applied Sciences Rhein-Main and as a visiting lecturer at the Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. I give lectures in Entrepreneurship, Business Strategy, Leadership and Innovation Management and frequently supervise research projects.
With Gueth.com, I am building a community for leaders in business. A source of knowledge for business strategy, corporate innovation, and building and leading organizations.
My goal is to help people to make better business decisions and communicate more effectively in order to advance their ambitions faster. Both in their careers as well as in their businesses.
How I got to where I am today:
Building the right mindset:
Professional poker player & high-stakes coach
In 2004, I came across the game of Poker. Studying math and learning to describe games of incomplete information, such as Poker, has had a tremendous influence on my life and my career.
The application of stochastics, combinatorics, game theory and calculus combined with a ruthless optimization of mindset and priming oneself to remove all emotional aspects of decision making and reverting back exclusively to expected value, turned out to be the exact skills required to later on decompose the mechanics of complex organizations and business models.
The rigorous training to trust in numbers, when intuitive decision-making is impossible due to multiple layers of counterintuitive ambiguity help in times of high market volatility.
Fun fact: Contrary to popular belief, psychology in Poker is vastly overrated. In fact, it plays no role at all.
After initial successes, I became an instructor at a Poker school in Gibraltar in 2008 and took up 1:1 Poker coaching in 2009. In 2012 I ended my active career as a Poker player but kept Coaching and teaching other players until 2015. By then I had coached more than 250 students on a 1:1 basis. And I felt like it was time to move on and apply the methods and skills that I learned in Poker in other areas.
Applying Leading Methods: Consulting Career
Digital Transformation & Strategy
I started out in a small student consultancy in late 2012. In 2015 I moved over to a large, global consultancy. Being a consultant at a global Big4 consultancy and helping enterprises in their digital transformation journey to becoming AI-driven businesses has taught me many things. And it significantly contributed to shaping my beliefs.
Most importantly I found: With all the advancements in technology, business is still about people.
I witnessed, that applying Artificial Intelligence at scale may shake entire industries, and redefining a value chain may require some jobs to be rethought. But my experience has shown, that the target operating models of the future need to be built around people, not processes. Communication is king and the ultimate success factor for shifting into a digital future is to take your people on board and give them the space to do what they are best at - augmented with new tools and possibilities.
And a final learning based on lots of time on the road:
Travelling is only and incentive for those who don't have to.
Chief of Staff
200+ People Team & Strategic Responsibility
After years of consulting clients 'in the field', I had the opportunity to become Chief of Staff. Being part of the divisional leadership of one of the most renowned global consultancies was not only an incredible opportunity to contribute to an organization at scale, it was also a humbling challenge being granted this position.
And it came with its own challenges. Being used to the consultants life of defining the strategy for an organization and then moving on to the next project, I was now in a position of not only laying out the grand plan, but then also steering its implementation and being held responsible for the outcomes. And I enjoyed that - a lot!
"Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art". I came to experience the meaning of this saying and realized, just how misunderstood strategy is. How the quality of a framework is not determined by its ingenuity, but by the balance it keeps between providing clear directions and giving people the largest possible degree of freedom to make tactical choices when bringing it to life.
Innovation and Rapid Execution: Founder & CEO
Bootstrapping my own start-up: Wilson & Oskar
In 2019, I founded Wilson and Oskar. It was my personal aspiration to build an organization from scratch, with no outside help.
Building this company to where it is today was a wild ride to say the least.
No investors. No agencies. No consultants. No outsourcing.
I wanted to see if I could do it. I wanted to go through all the steps and motions that are required to build an entire business from absolute zero to a point where the team runs it.
So that's what I set out to do. And then, Covid-19 hit.
Our business model was evaporated a total of three times. Every time we pivoted, shortly after there was a next stage of the pandemic. For over a year, we were operating with a runway of 2-6 weeks of cash reserves. But I managed to keep the business afloat, built the team, and by now we're around 12 people and growing.
What this taught me is two things: First, the importance of putting strategy over tactics when communicating with the team. Because our clear strategic objectives enabled the team to rapidly make tactical decisions that drove the business forward.
And second, the crucial necessity to focus on customer value instead of ideas for products and features. Because with just weeks of cash left, we were in a constant life-and-death situation. So it was of critical importance that everyone was working on things that were absolutely relevant for customers and clients.
Scaling my Experience
Gueth & Partner
Management Consulting & Community Building
In 2021, a couple of things started happening. All over my network, I began to see people becoming more and more frustrated with their jobs - or, at least, that's what their employers thought. In reality, they were becoming frustrated with the companies they worked for.
At the same time, Wilson & Oskar received more and more requests from our corporate clients for help in improving employee satisfaction and finding measures to increase productivity. They used what we offered at Wilson & Oskar as an immediate relief for these challenges. But, in order to address the underlying causes, we needed to dive into the conceptual realm.
So, we established our consulting practice.
Initially, we focused on redesigning organizational structures and collaboration models for our clients. However, they soon became interested in our approach for innovating around customer value, how we had enhanced and improved the established corporate strategy frameworks to build our extremely adaptive and resilient business strategy at Wilson & Oskar.
They wanted to know how we as a small, unfunded start-up were reacting to unexpected changes in the market quicker and more decisive than much larger corporations.
At that point, we decided that it made sense to separate our two organizations and Gueth & Partner was born.
We have built successful teams and organizations both in a large-scale corporate environments as well as in an entrepreneurial, scrappy start-up setups.
We are excited to share our contemporary approaches, methods and frameworks for interlinking business strategy, intentional innovation and organizational design in order to help our clients to build human-centric and business-focused organizations that lead their market.
A bit of pleasure:
Mountains & Oceans
Marathon running, climbing & blue-water sailing
People keep saying "it's not a sprint, it's a marathon". Clearly, most of them have never completed a 42km run. Or any race for that matter.
After a couple of finishes, one thing became extremely obvious to me: There is no way in which pacing yourself will get you any further when it comes to improving. Yes, you can turn your run into an extended walk.
But if you want to achieve a result that you will be proud of, there is exactly one thing to do, both in races and in life:
Running very fast, for a very long time.
Running, mountain-climbing and sailing keep me grounded in reality. Extended runs for several hours, climbing up mountains for several days and facing a proper gale are all excellent reminders of where our current boundaries are. And that extending them is a lifelong journey.