CASE STUDY | CONSULTING
How Novarek Opens
New Doors in Mexico
by Partnering with
After several years of working in a large consulting company in Mexico, Javier Sevilla decided to venture out on his own and founded boutique consulting firm Novarek in 2010. In the beginning, Novarek mainly focused on strategy execution but soon branched out to work on strategy formulation.
“During the time, we were using the classic tools for developing strategy. However, as we helped our clients in an ever changing business landscape, we began to realize that there were no specific tools to help you lead that change,” said Javier.
In the beginning, their business was also very dependent on several divisions of an oil company. The main challenge then was to expand their network and open up new business opportunities.
“In Mexico, everyone was talking about the same things, having the same approach to strategy, we saw that we needed to set ourselves apart by having a different approach to strategy if we were to open new doors and expand our client base” Javier explained.
When reading up on new voices in strategy, Javier stumbled upon Strategy Tools.
“All the frameworks and canvases on Strategy Tools drew from the theories and methodologies of these new voices, and it felt like it was a perfect fit to what we were looking for,” said Javier.
He joined Strategy Tools Global Coaches in March 2019, and soon adopted the Strategy Tools canvases and frameworks at client meetings and workshops. He and his team also translated several of the canvases that they frequently used into Spanish in collaboration with Strategy Tools.
Towards the end of 2019, Javier flew from Mexico to Vienna to participate in the Strategy Simulation Discovery Session held by Christian Rangen and the team there.
“When Chris first introduced these simulations online, I was already very intrigued, so when the opportunity came up for me to see these simulations in person, I jumped on it.”
“As I experienced how these simulations were run, I could clearly see how we could use it with potential clients and have since incorporated it into our toolkit in Mexico,” Javier added.
After meeting Chris in person and learning about the simulations as well as the rest of the Strategy Tools ever-expanding toolkit, Javier joined the Strategy Tools Partner Network.
In March 2020, he also completed the Building the Transformational Company certification program to further equip himself with a strategy framework for transformation.
He later got certified in the Global Cluster Leadership Program in June 2020 – expanding Novarek’s skillset to include cluster strategy and management, which opened up a whole new segment of clients.
Towards the end of 2020, Javier joined the Transform! Strategy Simulation certification program and can now run strategy simulation workshops on his own.
Expanding to a Much Larger Client Base
Combining years of experience working within the field of strategy with new, updated strategy tools and learning, Novarek has successfully managed to reach beyond their existing client base. They now have clients in the cluster space, the startup space, as well as their existing corporate strategy clients.
During April – June 2020, Novarek launched a Transformation Webinar Series with guests from the Strategy Tools community, which has helped them reach new contacts in the Corporate and Cluster space, leading to projects and programs in Novarek’s pipeline.
Despite the challenges of Covid-19, Novarek had managed to run several digital pilot workshops around cluster leadership and management in 2020, which has now led to a large strategy project with Cluster de Herramentales in Mexico, where they’re working together to lay out the cluster’s five-year strategy.
They’re also working on a digital learning platform that is set to launch later this month for the Monterrey Aerocluster.
Novarek was one of the first partners to run a pilot Strategy Team project in Mexico, which saw some of the largest companies in the country participating.
“In the beginning, it was tough to get companies on board. The mentality was, ‘we’ve been doing this for so long, we’re not sure if we’re able to get anything new from you guys,’. But as the project progressed, the clients were incredibly happy. They were surprised to realize that even their own teams had different views on what was their strategy. They really liked the current cases used and identified with them. The tools were also on-point to their needs and the teams were really engaged despite all sessions being remote,” elaborated Javier.
“The companies that took part on the Strategy Team project were mindblown,”
In December 2020, Novarek ran two in-person simulation sessions, which led to a strategy formulation project with one of the clients – a regional branch of an insurance company – in February 2021. Javier is also having open conversations with another client on a transformation project.
During February and March 2021, Novarek ran an adapted version of Strategy Team with another cohort of companies (from clusters, referrals, and previous contacts), and is in talks to close a strategy project with one of the participants (finance sector).
Finally, Novarek is finalizing its last interviews with Chief Strategy Officers in Mexico to produce a Mexico-edition of the Strategy Tools report The Brazilian Strategist. The report will be used to introduce the rebirth of a strategy group of CSOs from Mexico – Strategy Club – and already has members from some of the CSOs who were part of Strategy Teams Mexico.
Startups & Scale-Ups
Adopting the Strategy Tools Solutions format, Javier and his team has also started running a Scale-Up Program for startups in Mexico called “Construyendo Scaleups” – which saw nine startups and scale-ups participating from large corporate venture capital programs, clusters and business school innovation labs.
A New Way of Working with Strategy – Both Digitally and In-Person
“One of the challenges we had was that we had a pretty limited solution to what we could offer. But now due to the fact that there are so many new elements we could bring to the table, we could take a completely different approach.” explained Javier.
“Instead of focusing on the solution, we focus on the problems to see if we can really help them solve them. It’s not about the tools and terminology, but the confidence you have that you can talk about any issue and be relevant to your clients in a straightforward way.”
Novarek can now deliver workshops and projects in person, as well as in a completely digital format, while still delivering the same impact.
Continuous Learning from a Global Community
As part of the Strategy Tools Partner Network, Javier is in multiple partner groups on both Telegram and LinkedIn – he is also invited to several partner-only events where he can pick up new facilitation techniques, updated tools and fresh insights on working with strategy.
“Being in this network is just amazing. I am constantly learning every time someone shares an article, an experience, a case.”
“It has really helped us in positioning ourselves. We’ve been having people reach out to us on LinkedIn due to our different approach to strategy,” he added.
“In the beginning, the main reason we wanted to have a relationship with Strategy Tools was due to the canvases and framework, but later we discovered the quality of the networking we get through Strategy Tools – there are so many smart people in the community that you continue to learn and keep up with everyone. Strategy Tools has been extremely helpful in positioning ourselves in Mexico.”
Managing Director, Novarek, Mexico
Javier Sevilla is the founder of Novarek, a boutique consulting firm that helps their clients in their growth efforts. He’s been involved in consulting, tech and management for over 20 years in projects across the US, Argentina, and Mexico in the private and public sectors. Engineer, wine enthusiast, salsa lover and entrepreneur. Always eager to question, help and learn.