Christopher Paquette, C Suite Exec, Digital Entrepreneur, Board Member, Fmr McKinsey Partner
C-suite executive with proven experience in strategy, innovation, and transformation. Focused on digital, data, and analytics levers to drive growth.
About Christopher Paquette
Christopher is a c-suite executive, a digital entrepreneur, a board member, a former Mckinsey partner and he did his MBA from Kellogg. He is also the chief digital and strategy officer for Trustmark Benefits.
Strategy in the context of large corporations
Christopher believes that strategy is nothing but a process of choosing where you going to compete and where you avoid competing and other things you are going to avoid, in short, how one plans to win. By where are you going to compete he means the allocation of capital and resources, what sectors you are going to focus on etc. He explains winning can be in different aspects like profit, growth, gaining experience, sustainability, etc.
The key components that build a good strategy
According to Christopher, there are mainly two types of strategies; one is the enterprise corporate strategy, which is about the resource allocation, areas that need the attention of management, fore planning, etc. another one is the business strategy is about how to win. The key components depend upon the size of the market, industry trends, competitors, etc., and how these things influence where to play and how to win.
Impact of new technology like Artificial Intelligence on Strategy
Christopher’s perspective on the above-mentioned statement is very clear. He feels technology has influenced strategy a lot. Things like automation, Artificial Intelligence for decision-making have influenced different sectors in different ways, but one thing in common is that they deliver productivity.
Impact of culture on strategy
On being asked by Ashutosh, about the role of culture in determining strategy, Christopher quotes a Peter Drucker and says, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. He interprets it as it is not that strategy is not important, it is important, but you have to have a strategy that works for your culture or you are going to fail. He believes, though culture is soft, you have to structure it a little bit. Christopher believes on a larger view every business has similar things to look on which is, where to compete and how to win, but if you go deeper into the businesses, there might be differences on the basis of culture and dynamics of a smaller business and their ability to invest in different areas. In a family business, the family dynamics do influence the strategy, it is harder for them to decide where to play.
How often should the strategy be reviewed?
Christopher believes that reviewing strategy depends on needs based on what is changed. Strategies of things that change frequently, need to be reviewed and updated frequently and vice versa.
How does a Start-up entrepreneur develop a strategy?
Christopher shares very good advice here with us, he says that entrepreneurs should talk to their customers as much as possible, be out in the market. He calls it the ultimate way of confirming you are in the right space.
Christopher believes that ESG strategy in an umbrella term would be Risk Management, which is very important for a business as it clears the way and removes barriers for growth which gives a more sustainable footprint in long run.
The three key milestones in Christopher’s career.
While sharing his experience, Christopher tells us that he would consider being elected a partner at McKinsey as his first milestone, whereas he considers leaving the firm as his second milestone. He considers helping a startup win their first customer was the third milestone in his career.
What are the core values Christopher believes in?
Christopher tells us that he wears a bracelet with “SNACC” written on it, which is an abbreviation for;
S- Support your family and friends
N- Never give up
A- Always try your hardest
C- Choose kind
C- Crush it.
What does success mean to Christopher?
For Christopher success is maintaining a balance among four areas of how he is spending time professionally, his hobbies and interests, devoting time to his family, and working for the community.
Advice to a young entrepreneur.
He advises young entrepreneurs to find a passion and a mentor and ask him whatever he wants without hesitation.
Christopher tells us he is inspired by two people; Elon Musk because he is very focused on his vision and Richard Branson.
Based in Chicago, I’m the Chief Digital and Strategy Officer for Trustmark, a benefits and insurance provider focused on health, fitness, and wellness.
Everyday, I drive Trustmark’s legacy of making a positive difference in the lives of our customers by helping them navigate the healthcare system and build healthy habits, which can be daunting. Trustmark is THE institution to help, with businesses and products spanning employee benefits, health plan administration, voluntary products, and corporate health and wellness management.
Our mission of helping employees engage, become smarter healthcare consumers, and achieve greater well being inspires me on a daily basis!
My background includes twelve years as a Partner with McKinsey & Company, with a deep expertise in financial services, driving transformational change, deploying deep digital and analytics technologies, and developing leading strategies. I’m passionate about digital and innovation and have served many of the top North American financial institutions over my career to drive cost, growth, and customer experience.
I’ve also led programs to transform technology architecture, implement Agile at scale, re-imagine customer and operational journeys, enhance digital sales and marketing processes, and re-invent culture to drive organization transformation.