Working alongside so many smart, driven people was awesome

Ken Aso - DIRECTOR OF CATEGORY MANAGEMENT, BOEING

In two years, Ken built a team of 70 people and a new $2 billion aftermarket parts enterprise inside Boeing, one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies.

What does it feel like to have that kind of impact?

Winning as a team is an electric experience. It feels like a start-up environment. Seeing business results, and the transformation of a business into a more formidable one is intensely satisfying.

What did you bring with you from OW to Boeing?

The ability to structure, analyze, problem solve, articulate ideas, and then influence. I feel like I can walk into most environments and contribute to the conversation in one way or another, whether it's through content leadership or process leadership. I owe a lot of that to my experiences at OW.

What’s different?

The rhythm of corporate life is different than consulting. There is less time for thinking deeply on important topics, and therefore you have to be quite deliberate about carving out time on your calendar to do that.

How did OW prepare you for life outside of the firm?

OW really prepared me think better; both in structuring business issues, and thinking hard about business strategy. My corporate colleagues are technically strong, and well-versed in operational and process issues. But I can add a ton of value as a systems thinker, and someone who looks across functional and organizational silos in an integrated way.

What do you miss?

Working alongside so many smart, driven people was awesome. ‎People at OW were by and large some of the most fun people to associate with. I count many as my closest friends today. 

Any advice for people joining Oliver Wyman?

Be willing to invest the time to build your skills, and try to capitalize on the culture of straight, candid feedback. You won't regret that experience of exposing yourself to gaps in your knowledge or skillset, closing those gaps, then repeating the process again and again.