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nterim Marketing Leader fahren
Business Drivers

By Susan Rylance

Have the titles Interim Marketing Leader or Fractional Marketing Leader come up as you’ve considered temporary support in marketing roles for your organization? They may sound similar, but the terms are not interchangeable. Implementing one when you need the other could end up costing your organization in the long run. You might need an Interim…

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Organizational Transition and leaderhsip fahren
Business Drivers

By Susan Rylance

  When it comes to organizational transition, not all leaders are created equal. If you don’t have the right person with the right skill set spearheading change, your organization probably won’t transform in a meaningful way (or at all). This can be a challenging reality as it sometimes means we need to replace existing leaders…

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product marketing leaders fahren
Business Drivers

By Kent McDonald

Companies are struggling to find top talent who have more choices and opportunities than ever before. Those companies are also struggling to keep talent within their four walls. Burnout and the great resignation are real. Hybrid work is still in its infancy.  Many product leaders are trying to figure out the current workforce economics and…

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product management and agile are not the same
Business Drivers

By Kent McDonald

Multiple leaders involved with digital transformations have asked us “what’s the difference between agile and product management? Aren’t they the same thing?”  When you explore things from the perspective of software product development, agile and product management are not the same thing, but they have a strong overlap. Teams often believe that if they adopt…

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Blue Light Bulb
Business Drivers

By Susan Rylance

I recently had the privilege of joining Michael Kithcart on her podcast Champions of RISK, where we talked about building future-proof teams, helping businesses achieve their goals and growing leadership talent. It was a rich conversation that could have lasted hours, and I encourage you to take a listen over at Michael’s website, or wherever…

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How to Onboard a New VP of Product Feature
Interviewing

By Kent McDonald

One trend driving people to move into a completely new VP of Product role is the increase in digital transformation and product transformations where organizations change their way of working from project-based to product-based. These organizations realize that in order for their product transformation to be successful, they need to have someone in the executive…

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Fahren product event
Leadership

By Kent McDonald

You want to make your teams more effective and you want to make sure everyone in your organization is focused on the right things. A sure fire way to do that is to change the model to organize your work from project based to product based. That seems easy to say, but it can be…

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Consumer Experience

By Jamie Tjornehoj

It happens a million times a day: A millennial consumer is tapping through Instagram stories during lunch. He sees a product, wants it, and with a few simple swipes and taps has it ordered and en route to his doorstep. With the rise of direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing, small and large businesses alike can get their…

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Leadership

By Jim Cuene

I recently posted a question on LinkedIn, asking whether organizations are still doing long range planning to guide their work. The answers were insightful, suggesting marketers aren’t thinking beyond the next 18 months and the concept of a long range plan (LRP) isn’t particularly useful to them.  The range of responses suggested there’s confusion between…

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Business Drivers

By Jim Cuene

I’m lucky that, due to my job, I get to spend a lot of time with people that are on the front edge of change in organizations. They’re driving new operating models, bringing new techniques into their orgs, introducing new strategies. I also spend a lot of time with senior leaders who are trying to…

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Innovation Culture Abstract Picture
Leadership

By Susan Rylance

Earlier this week, we had a conversation with a Fortune 50 healthcare company that is looking to be the leader of innovation in their industry. The head of HR shared that in order to be a leader in their industry, they need to have a culture of innovation in order to attract top talent. As…

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Digital Product Practice By Fahren
Fahren

By Joe Ruekert

Building digital products and experiences that customers love and use is really hard. Reaching customers has never been more difficult. Consumer attention has never been harder to gain, and Amazon and Apple of reshaped their expectations from your digital experiences. For new ventures and even existing ones that are struggling to drive growth, achieving product-market…

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What is a Product?
Leadership

By Brent Swanson

Companies that struggle with articulating why their products exist, what value they deliver for their audience, and how they are organized within the broader ecosystem will find themselves stalled at the starting line of innovation. I was recently brought in to establish an Agile-based product practice for such a company. They had previously undergone an…

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Leadership

By Jim Cuene

TL;DR: Middle leaders (Directors, VP’s) who are driving digital change have really tough jobs, and need support for building their own leadership skills . We’re doing some research into the support leaders need.  Over the last few years we’ve worked with and supported dozens of leaders who are at work inside companies large and small,…

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6 ways to optimize hybrid product teams
Leadership

By Joe Ruekert

Now that 2020 has shifted how and where the world works, it’s time to look at the things that can help digital product organizations thrive when everyone isn’t always together. It goes without saying – COVID-19 fundamentally changed how the global workforce operates when tens of millions of workers were forced to work from home,…

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Hiring an interim leader
Fahren

By Susan Rylance

Practicing our own way of working Fahren is going into its fourth year of business, which means we need to get real serious about creating scalable processes in all areas of our business in order to hit our 3, 5, and 10-year goals.  Scaling a business for high growth is hard work and requires focus…

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Fahren

By Jim Cuene

I learned the term “management debt” from Ben Horowitz, but I only genuinely understood it when I realized I was responsible for a small mountain of it. As we’re building Fahren, I’m extra sensitive to the downstream effects of pushing out decisions or avoiding them. We’re young, we’re growing, and we’re “leaving the garage” so…

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Marketing

By Jim Cuene

As more organizations are seeking ways to be more responsive and resilient to changes, lean/agile practices are moving beyond the IT department. Marketing, customer service and HR are changing the way they plan their work, prioritize their projects, and assess their workloads. We’ve been talking with marketers over the last year about their efforts to…

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2021 Winning Talent Strategies
Leadership

By Susan Rylance

Although 2020 wasn’t the year we expected, we learned a lot about ourselves, our teams, and what it means to be a true leader of our teams as we guided our teams through new ventures we haven’t experienced before.    As leaders, 2020 helped us understand what authentic leadership really means and helped guide us as…

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data slogan in neon sign
Data & Analytics

By Joe Ruekert

At Fahren, we have incredible data & analytics leaders that help our clients understand their customers, products, and the insights that data can provide. Being able to gather, process, interpret, and provide conclusions for decision-making are imperative skills for any analytics leader. For these leaders, it’s not enough to simply report the results, they have…

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Fahren product event
Leadership

By Joe Ruekert

No one will argue that 2020 has been a doozie on just about every dimension. Product leaders are starting to look to a fresh start in the new year, just like everyone else. What’s really ahead for teams, leaders, and our products in the coming year? How should we be thinking about our people, scaling…

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Business Drivers

By Jim Cuene

It’s an amazing time to be a marketer. With an incredible array of tools at our disposal, we can do so much to connect with new and existing audiences, creating brand meaning instead of simply collecting impressions. It’s never been easier to sustain your brand and keep it meaningful in the minds of your buyers/users.…

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Car stuck in snow
Leadership

By Joe Ruekert

I recently completed a ten-week product strategy engagement with a Fortune 100 client in the medical device space. We (Fahren) were hired to lead a 10-week voice-of-customer and product strategy engagement. The client was eager to become a customer-centric organization and we were excited to help. Within the project, we developed personas, journey maps, customer…

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Leadership

By Jim Cuene

If you’re working on your 2021 digital marketing plan, you how what a strange dilemma it is.  How can you plan that far ahead when there is so much uncertainty? Pandemic, social movements, election year anxiety, media fragmentation are some of the obvious external pressures that create the fog that marketers must manage. So, how…

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Leadership

By Jim Cuene

If you’ve ever been in any sort of leadership position, you’ve probably felt at least a twinge of the imposter syndrome. It’s that feeling where you don’t really know exactly how to do the job, you aren’t sure of how get good results, and you’re a little suspicious everyone sees you sweating a bit. You…

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Marketing

By William Sepesi

In our increasingly technological world, digital advertising has solidified itself as the norm for a  majority of marketers. It has experienced double digit increases year-to-year in the past decade, with a 17% year-to-year growth from 2018 to 2019. Alongside this boom comes more pervasive use of artificial intelligence (AI) in digital marketing — experts like…

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Fahren

By Jim Cuene

Working smarter and leaner, adopting new marketing techniques and moving your business online used to be called digital transformation. A few years ago, it was something team leaders did to adapt to the future. Now it’s just called business. If you’re managing a team, your attention is likely split: half the work is leading skill…

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Data & Analytics

By William Sepesi

Note: This list and the write up was done by our summer research associate, William Sepesi. William is studying Computer Science with a focus on Artificial Intelligence at Washington University in St. Louis. While there have been some pretty breathless predictions about the role artificial intelligence will play in the future of marketing, we believe…

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Leadership

By Jim Cuene

Kevin Bauer is, in some ways, a modern marketing unicorn. He has deep e-commerce experience, matched data and analytics experience, general management/P&L experience, plus intrapreneurial experience gained through starting new corporate ventures internationally. Now, he’s getting his entrepreneurial merit badge as the founder of Kessel Digital. It’s safe to say he’s been around the block,…

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Leadership

By Jim Cuene

Fahren was built to be a leadership solutions company that’s a key partner for organizations that are investing in, and innovating the ways they deploy their leadership. One of the planks of Fahren’s business plan is to focus on interim roles. It’s a tool that most organizations haven’t fully embraced yet, but interim roles can…

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Product

By Brent Swanson

How to Shift Your Funding Structure to Ensure You Don’t Run Out of Time and Money When leading your organization through an Agile-based product transformation, a key decision you’ll make early on in the process is determining how your products are funded. A project is not a product. Projects are intentionally finite and have a…

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Leadership

By Jim Cuene

Craig Pladson is a marketer and leader I’ve been following for years. I met him after he heckled me (in a good natured way!) at a MiMA talk years ago. We’ve been in an ongoing discussion about brands, digital, marketing and business ever since. These conversations happened during times when we worked together, times when…

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Product

By Brent Swanson

It’s highly likely that as you’ve worked through your transformation to an Agile-based product practice, you’ve been faced with this question: “what do we do with our project managers?” You likely have an experienced and talented group of people in your PMO, and given how much it costs — emotionally and financially — to recruit…

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Money for funding product teams
Product

By Brent Swanson

How to Shift Your Funding Structure to Ensure You Don’t Run Out of Time and Money As you continue to lead your organization through Agile-based product transformation, an important early decision that must be made is determining how your products are funded. A common pain point I’ve encountered in enterprises of every shape and size…

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Product

By Jen Swanson

Whether you’ve created a new role or this is a backfill hire, the state of executive talent in the product space has been evolving quickly. The person you’re hiring now is coming from a very different talent pool than existed even 18-24 months ago. Here are some things to think about and ask a candidate…

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Product

By Joe Ruekert

The project to product transformation is no different than any other change. It’s a multi-year journey, but one that is well worth the effort. Making this shift helps companies become more customer-centric, drives innovation, and accelerates speed to market. This evolution is necessary to keep up with rapidly changing consumers and markets. Traditional project management…

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Fahren

By Jim Cuene

It feels odd to think about work when we’re all worried about the health and safety of our families and our community,  But, it’s also good to have an outlet  that is productive and creative, right? We’re all experiencing real disruption; it’s not conceptual anymore. It’s a weird time, and it’s natural to feel like…

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Fahren

By Jim Cuene

We’re now a couple years into growing Fahren and we’ve got a real business. We’ve got the first quarter of our 2020 plan squared away and we’re just a one deal away from getting the second quarter into the “win” zone. We’ve got people calling us with projects, an important milestone. It’s gone so fast!…

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MSPBJ Healthcare forum
Leadership

By Susan Rylance

What a treat to attend the 2020 MSPBJ Healthcare Forum and hear from executives at some of the top healthcare providers in MN!   I’ve put together a recap of the common themes from the panelists including Children’s MN CEO, Mayo Clinic President, Fairview CEO, Allina CEO and Rally Health CEO. Each of these executives were…

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Fahren Product Leader Peer Group
Leadership

By Joe Ruekert

2nd Quarterly MSP Product Leader Peer Group On Wednesday, we were proud to host the 2nd quarterly Product Leader Peer Group. We were thrilled to be hosted by our friends at Livefront and had over 20 product leaders from companies including Polaris, Livefront, US Bank, Dispatch, Best Buy, UnitedHealthcare, Bright Health, Carrot, and several independent…

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Jen Swanson and Rich Sharp Headshots
Leadership

By Joe Ruekert

Fahren is thrilled to announce that Jen Swanson and Rich Sharp are joining its leadership team as Principal Consultants. “Be Better Together” is one of our founding values at Fahren, and we couldn’t be more excited to announce that we are living out that value, with the addition of Jen Swanson and Rich Sharp to…

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Fahren background image
Leadership

By Jim Cuene

At Fahren, we work with great senior leaders who have communicated clear, compelling visions for their organizations. They want  their organizations to be – need them to be – more agile, more responsive or customer centric. But, they also need their existing organizations to make a leap, to transform quickly.  Leaders that are trying to…

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Fahren

By Jim Cuene

This long weekend is set aside for reflection and thanksgiving. Even though there’s lot of traveling, plenty of movement and god knows too much consumption, it’s also a time to slow down and connect. So, it’s natural that the Fahren team looks back on how we got here and where we’re going in the new…

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Fahren November Marketing Leadership Group
Leadership

By Susan Rylance

During our recent marketing leader peer-group gathering, we had some great discussion with a multitude of marketing leaders ranging in size of companies and industries including; financial services, tech-start (backed by Bill Gates), manufacturing, consulting and SaaS. With a range of topics, the main challenges of companies and marketers included data & personalization, creative strategies…

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Leadership

By Susan Rylance

As I sit here and reflect upon the Leadercast Women event I find that I’m inspired by the theme of this event; Courage. It’s courage that makes us not only good leaders but great leaders! I had the opportunity to hear from local women leaders such as Shelly Ibach, Barbara Butts Williams, and Marilyn Carlson…

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Leadership

By Joe Ruekert

Product leadership has never been harder or more rewarding. Yesterday marked the first Product Leaders Peer Event in Minneapolis! The level of talent and conversation was fantastic. We wanted to help bring the product leader community together and have a safe place to talk openly about the challenges of leading product teams. We also wanted…

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Leadership

By Susan Rylance

A Sustainable Leadership Hire Starts with Creating an Ideal Candidate Profile As you contemplate your next marketing leader hire, take some time to understand what you truly need for the next phase of your organization. By creating an Ideal Candidate Profile, it will help you zero in on the perfect candidate, in turn, increase employee…

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Product

By Joe Ruekert

When it comes to meeting with marketing leaders, one thing is clear. There is never a shortage of things to talk about. This was certainly the case at Fahren’s first Marketing Leader Peer Group. Yesterday we sat down with 6 marketing leaders to discuss the changing marketing landscape, digital transformation, data & analytics, and keeping…

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Interviewing

By Jim Cuene

At Fahren, we’re building a business that connects digital experts to growing organizations. We believe that an experienced leader can help ambitious organizations accelerate their digital transformations and play to win.  But, in a time where change is happening so fast and new tools and methods are emerging all the time what makes someone an…

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Interviewing

By Susan Rylance

If you’re a growing organization and you’re not just looking for an average candidate, but someone who is going to make a major impact and contribution to your team and organization; check out our Top 5 tips to finding great talent! We recently completed an executive search, partnering with a large consumer product brand, which…

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Fahren

By Jim Cuene

As Fahren grows, we’re building the methods and routines in our key practices: Executive Search, Digital Product Leadership and Marketing Leadership. Our goal is to make it easy for our clients to get to results faster when they need interim leadership. It’s been a fun challenge to develop our tools and approaches from the ground…

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Fahren

By Jim Cuene

When we started Fahren, we set out to create a leadership company. Our goal was to help companies compete and win during a time of rapid digital change. We knew there was a market gap we could fill: Interim roles for Director/VP level leaders in the Marketing, User Experience, Product Development, and Digital Analytics space.…

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Design

By Jim Cuene

For folks in technology and digital marketing, it’s almost accepted wisdom that the smart devices like Homepod or Google Home are going to drive major change in how everyone (i.e. the mass market) will experience media, entertainment and get things done at home, in transit, and at work. It’s always been a matter of how…

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Design

By Jim Cuene

Fahren hosted a great lineup of speakers at our event on October 3, 2018, at the new Glen Nelson Center and Lunar Startups in St. Paul. Our speakers were sharing insights and lessons learned from designing voice apps for Amazon Echo, Google Home, Siri, and other platforms. Our speakers included: Jeff Freeland Nelson – Lunar…

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