We Create Contagious Optimism
For the past 22 years our impact has come from helping business teams who are tasked with solving an urgent company problem – where failure is simply not an option
Our track record of consistent success has been earned by creating the alignment, collaboration and clarity of purpose that turns a team into an inventive problem-solving engine. Our proven and proprietary methodology is called Boiling Point™.
Is your team faced with solving an urgent company problem but lacks an efficient alignment process, effective collaboration tools or the guidance to ensure success?
We can help
Inspiring collaboration to drive new healthcare solutions
We partnered with Novartis to tackle a persistently stubborn branding challenge for an emerging healthcare business. We guided their cross-functional global team through our disciplined 6-week brand development process. The team was able to win management approval of a powerful new brand platform in time for its introduction at an important industry trade event.
The core challenge for Novartis was to develop a comprehensive brand platform for a group of existing products and services. Two prominent healthcare consulting companies had been unsuccessful in their attempts to successfully align the team members over the previous two years. An important trade show was looming and the company needed a diverse global team to quickly create a powerful solution.
We partnered with the product management team based at Novartis HQ in Basil, Switzerland. A cross-functional team of global experts was selected and guided through our alignment and collaboration process. We utilized Boiling Point™ on-site workshops to develop possible solutions and then our online review & ranking methodology to solicit feedback. This approach allowed Novartis to quickly develop a powerful recommendation that was supported by the global team.
The project team was able to successfully construct and win approval of a powerful brand platform. This was accomplished in time to introduce this new platform to the entire industry at an important upcoming trade event.
"An education and exhilarating experience. Encouraging to work with a firm that challenges your thinking. They get it".
Director of Product Management, Novartis
Creating vision in the world of information
To help IBM understand their customers' view of the future we guided them through an accelerated visioning process. They urgently needed to bring thoughts together from across the company, combine them into a powerful message and deliver a strategic recommendation that would be supported by the entire Global Services team.
The core challenge for IBM was to create a clear strategic picture of their customers' most pressing issues and concerns for the year ahead. This required involving a team of people spread across the globe and achieving a concise recommendation combining many points-of-view that would be supported by the entire team.
We partnered with the IBM Global Services research and insights group to create a cross-functional team from across the globe. We developed an easy and efficient process to nominate and screen potential customer issues and employed a Boiling Point™online review and ranking exercise that allowed the global team to identify the most pressing customer concerns.
IBM Global Services successfully developed a powerful and comprehensive customer strategy recommendation that was endorsed by the global team.
"The Boiling Point™ process demonstrated that it is possible to quickly and efficiently drive collaboration and recommendations from a team deployed around the world".
Karen Predow, VP Worldwide Market Intelligence, IBM
Inspiring teamwork to fund brand growth
Consumer Goods Innovation
To help Unilever find new funds to drive profitable growth we guided cross-functional teams in both North America and across Latin America through a 6-week margin improvement process. Unilever had to focus on identifying short-term savings and each project team had to deliver at least $25MM to fund their team's immediate growth initiatives.
The core challenge for Unilever North America and Latin America was to identify practical, short-term margin improvement initiatives so that the Unilever teams could re-invest those savings immediately back into their marketing efforts to drive business growth. This project required alignment and collaboration across many different functional silos within the company including departments that rarely, if ever, had worked together in the past.
We partnered with Unilever and created cross-functional teams, including sales and supply chain staff, in Chicago, Buenos Aires and Mexico City. Each of these 3 teams was led through our 6-week Boiling Point™ on-site and online process that first identified high opportunity areas for cost savings and then developed specific saving initiatives in each of the select opportunity areas of Unilever's supply chain.
Each Unilever team fully embraced their challenge and demonstrated their full commitment by delivering short-term cost savings initiatives which exceeded $25MM per team.
"The Boiling Point™ process created real involvement and high commitment. We achieved a strong program with clear, quick wins on the table".
Geert van Iwaarden, Director of Finance, Unilever
Alignment. Collaboration. Clarity of Purpose.
• Step-by-step we'll expertly guide your team through our proven and proprietary Boiling Point™ process.
• We'll provide you with our templates and collaboration tools that are designed to be easy to understand and simple to use.
• We'll inspire the best thinking and intellectual honesty from those closest to your business.
• We'll then guide your team in transforming that thinking into powerful solutions along with generating the strong sense of a shared team mission that is so vital to successful execution.
Brand Development Cost Savings Marketing & Sales Solutions Revenue Growth Visioning & Strategy
Industries we have partnered in...
Beverages Consumer Goods Energy & Utilities Financial Services Healthcare Media & Internet Not for Profit Publishing Technology
Enrich your company's practical understanding of the fundamentals of world-class inventive problem-solving through a Contag!ous Opt!m!sm™ training workshop, off-site enrichment event or keynote talk delivered by Jerry Shrair.
Meet Founder & CEO
Jerry still finds it thrilling that a few simple scribbles on an easel pad can change the course of business affairs.
One of his core beliefs is that the very best solutions to a problem can often be found right within arm's reach -- "the adjacent possible".
A singular point of pride has been the development and successful evolution of the Boiling Point™ teamwork methodology.
Jerry's sustaining inspiration comes from watching this methodology transform diverse business teams into successful inventive problem-solving engines.
Jerry began his career as part of the BBDO/New York account team that managed the flagship Pepsi-Cola business. He was invited to join Pepsi-Cola's HQ Leadership Team where they created a new role for him as their first head of creative brand development.
During his tenure at Pepsi, one of his core responsibilities was leading team collaboration toward the successful development of multiple national and international branding initiatives and marketing campaigns across all of their flagship products. The first seeds of the Boiling Point™ process were sown in that role.
Prior to founding Inventive Problem Solving and developing the Boiling Point™method, he served as a Managing Director at Marketing Corporation of America where he was a leader in their branding & marketing practice.
An accomplished musician and aspiring cook, Jerry resides in Weston, Connecticut with his wife, artist and arts educator Hazel Usher. They have two grown daughters (who are turning out to be quite remarkable).
All X-ray photography provided by David Arky
Photo of Jerry Shrair: Hazel Usher
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