Over 30 years of working with CEO's

(touch gold[1] below to delve deeper)

Client Examples:

Board Strategy Process[2]

for Digital Healthcare Company

Strategy Re-alignment[3]

for Consumer Data and Services Company

Personal Strategy Advisor[4]

to CEO of Brand Data & Analytics Company

Weekly Strategy Advisor[5]

to CEO of Modelling Platform Company

Strategy & Execution Conference[6]

for Global Space Communications Company

CEO Strategy Conference[7]

for a Private Equity Firm's Portfolio Companies

Workshop on Strategic Innovation[8]

for Global Beverages Company

Workshop on Organizational Design[9]

for Leading European Bank

True Independence[10]

Zero-notice cancellation policy

Full roster of clients happy to share their experience

Rare Body of Experience[11]

With CEO's across multiple sectors and countries

Unique Combination of Expertise[12]

In strategy, innovation, and organization

Leading Insights on Strategy [13]

To enhance execution, top to bottom

Leading Insights on Innovation[14]

For when and where it's needed most

Leading Insights on Organization[15]

So leaders and teams do and feel their best

World-Class Network[16]

Of CEO’s, experts, researchers, and more

Thought Leadership[17]

Published regularly in leading periodicals

True Independence[18]

Both institutional and financial

347.416.2915 | kenfavarowork@gmail.com | Linkedin | My CV[19]


Click on any words in gold font to reveal more information

  • Opportunity: Great execution requires Board-level alignment on strategies designed to solve for a company’s most important issues & opportunities

  • Approach: five decision-oriented strategy discussions synchronized with – but separate from – Board’s regular bi-monthly meetings:

    Decision 1:
    top strategy issues & opportunities
    Decision 2:
    short-list of best strategy alternatives
    Decision 3:
    conditional strategy choice(s)
    Decision 4:
    confirmed strategy choices
    Decision 5:
    refreshed strategy statement; updated business plan; 3-year definition of success and custom metrics with targets for monitoring strategy progress

  • Impact: more focused, consistent, and consequential Board strategy discussions --> better use of Board's time on strategy, deeper understanding of company’s strategy, greater collective commitment to it, and stronger foundation for superior execution

  • Opportunity: ever-changing circumstances - and the daily grind of execution - occasionally requires top management teams to refresh their company’s strategy in order to avoid strategic drift, missed opportunities, and sub-optimal execution

  • Approach: start with what a "strategy" is and is not; what makes it different from a plan, business model, vision, mission, purpose, and goal; what a great strategy looks like; and why it's worth the effort to have and maintain one. Then: collect and synthesize management team's individual views on the company’s strategy issues & opportunities, and use that to get alignment on the most important ones to address now; guide team members to generate strategy alternatives that solve for the company's top strategy issues & opportunities; boil down the team’s input into true strategy choices and then enable the team to make deliberate strategy decisions; convert these decisions into a sharply articulated strategy about which the team can speak with one, consistent voice

  • Impact: a solidly aligned management team with a much stronger foundation for better, faster execution - and a greater acumen for on-going advancement of the company's strategy

  • Opportunity: few CEO’s have a world-class strategy expert with whom they can think out loud in a discrete, low-risk setting whenever they need it most.

  • Approach: establish a consistent, but fluid routine of private one-on-one challenge sessions guided by an agreed definition of “strategy” and an on-going agenda of strategy issues & opportunities

  • Impact: more deliberate, effective approach to the CEO’s strategic leadership of the company, unencumbered by competing agendas from various internal and external stakeholders

  • Opportunity: For earlier-stage companies, being clear and decisive about strategy is particularly difficult because you are still discovering what works in the real world

  • Approach: weekly coaching sessions to reflect on what’s working, and how to evolve the company's strategy accordingly

  • Impact: faster, better, more deliberate discovery of strategy, while also enabling sharper execution at the same time.

  • Opportunity: beyond their entertainment and bonding value, consequential, lasting impact is difficult to achieve in large-group conferences

  • Approach: establish shared strategy and execution framework; use framework to organize break-outs; use break-outs to isolate execution priorities; use plenary sessions to establish guidance on each execution priority and establish individual/team accountability for follow-through

  • Impact: Top 100 leaders establish stronger collective identity as the team charged with driving company’s strategy and execution; true impact of the conference on the company's strategy and execution is extended by an order of magnitude

  • Opportunity: CEO’s rarely get a chance to work with other CEO’s in an intimate, low-risk setting. Few PE firms bring together the CEO’s of their portfolio companies on a regular basis

  • Approach: Voluntary one-day, three-part conference preceded by a dinner the evening before:
    Part 1: CEO’s share their strategies with each other
    Part 2: act2-led session on what strategy is, what makes for a great strategy, and how great strategies enable better, faster execution
    Part 3: roundtable discussion on how each CEO could – and will – sharpen his/her strategy.

  • Impact: uniformly sharper portfolio company strategies (and great enthusiasm to annualize the conference), creating a stronger foundation for better, faster execution

  • Opportunity: most companies occasionally face existential challenges that demand strategic innovation

  • Approach: workshop on strategic innovation, informed by latest research and real-world examples on how it really happens and how to make it happen more effectively in any organization

  • Impact: stronger commitment to lead strategic innovation (vs. delegate it), and a practical, customized approach for doing so.

  • Opportunity: entropy affects all organizations and undermines their ability to run smoothly

  • Approach: workshop on what makes organizations work effectively – clarity and collaboration – and how to get more of both

  • Impact: custom approach to drive continuous improvement of organizational clarity and collaboration, and fight the natural entropy that afflicts all organizations


CEOs are surrounded by people willing and able to give them advice, including their direct reports, Chairperson, Lead Director, board, investors, partners, customers, and a multitude of service providers.  Each of these parties do so, however, according to the mandates of their institutions, role, and relationship to the CEO and company.

What CEOs truly need are expert business advisors who are willing and able to provide direct and honest counsel that is also:

- backed by relevant experience and expertise

- free of institutional affiliation, role, or relationship

This is why I set up act2.


  • Strategy: how to align your Board, team, and organization to foster better, faster execution with the best strategy you can have

  • Innovation: how business leaders lead innovation in the most innovative companies, and how to make better/faster innovation happen in your company

  • Organization: how to foster crystal clarity and smart collaboration to make your organization run smoothly and help you fight the natural entropy that slows every organization

  1. Great strategies enable better, faster execution - there's no such thing as great execution with a mediocre strategy

  2. Great strategies stand on the shoulders of a big idea - not a big, hairy vision, mission, purpose, or goal

  3. Great strategies put you in a positive-sum game, where customers are willing to pay for your growth

  4. Strategy is about winning customers, not beating competitors

  5. A plan is not a strategy; too many companies have too many plans and too little strategy

  6. Strategy should inform your goals, identity, and business model - these shouldn't be the tail that wags your strategy dog

  7. Strategy is about shaping your long-term future over the next 2-3 years

  8. Strategy development starts with specific issues & opportunities, not a vision, mission, purpose, or goal

  9. Strategies are like bicycles, if they aren't moving forward, they’re falling over

  10. As with children, you’ll never love someone else’s strategy as much as your own --> how you develop strategy is essential to how good it will be and how well it's implemented

  1. Great innovation requires great ideas that are personally owned by those who are ultimately responsible for making them happen

  2. Great ideas are novel, practical solutions to specific problems

  3. Innovation starts with problems, not process

  4. Great ideas come from creative combination of what already exists, not the ether, divine inspiration, or genius

  5. Great ideas come from anywhere, anytime - not domain expertise

  6. People generate ideas - not groups, teams, innovation departments, or brainstorming sessions

  7. Ideas are like children: you’ll never love someone else’s as much as your own

  8. Innovative leaders generate great ideas for their companies

  9. Leaders innovate, not companies - over-delegation is a primary barrier to breakthrough innovation

  10. Innovative companies have innovative leaders, not innovation strategies, departments, or processes

  1. Clarity and collaboration are the defining attributes of smoothly running organizations

  2. Every aspect of how your organization works should be judged by the clarity and collaboration it promotes

  3. Organizational innovations (e.g. holacracy, agile, flash organizations, blockchain) are only as good as the clarity and collaboration they produce

  4. No organizational structure is without blind spots, and only clarity and collaboration can fix them

  5. Organizational clarity starts with strategic clarity

  6. Smart collaboration requires organizational clarity - and enhances it, too

  7. There's good and bad hierarchy - good hierarchy creates clarity and facilitates collaboration

  8. Silos are good and bad - good silos sharpen clarity and promote smart collaboration

  9. Good organizations enable companies to operate as one and many at the same time

  10. Good people produce even in bad organizations, but great organizations make good people great



Click on any logo below to access my writing

See my regular column "Strategy Talk," where I answer questions from business leaders about strategy, innovation, and organization

Find here my feature-length articles for HBR's flagship periodical, plus over a dozen online pieces on growth, competition, and the intersection of strategy, execution, and technology

Here I take on real-world situations for specific companies to draw out principles and foresight on corporate strategy

This is a book I co-authored on the three great tensions that all companies must navigate - growth vs. profitability, short vs. long term, and whole vs. parts. It's about how to avoid the folly of "balancing" the twin demands of each tension, and instead get more of both at the same time


CEOs are surrounded by people willing and able to give them advice, including their direct reports, Chairperson, Lead Director, board, investors, partners, customers, and a multitude of service providers.  Each of these parties do so, however, according to the mandates of their institutions, role, and relationship to the CEO and company.

What CEOs truly need are expert business advisors who are willing and able to provide direct and honest counsel that is also:

- backed by relevant experience and expertise

- free of institutional affiliation, role, or relationship

This is why I set up act2.

  • Past or current advisor to over 25 chief executives and dozens of business leaders, executive teams, and corporate boards

  • Former leader of the global strategy practice for Booz & Company (now PwC Strategy&)

  • Former CEO of Marakon Associates

  • Past or current member of four corporate boards

  • Adjunct faculty member, Columbia Business School, 2012-2015, Strategic Innovation

  • Managing Director, Golden Seeds (an early-stage innovation investment firm)

  • Co-founder of Lucy, an online creativity assistant

  • Frequent author for Harvard Business Review, Strategy + Business, and Forbes.com

  • Co-author of The Three Tensions (Jossey-Bass, 2007)

  • Engineering degree and MBA, both with highest honors, from Stanford University