Dennis, who joined Oliver Wyman after serving as a partner at McKinsey and then EY, focuses on organizational transformation projects across the financial services, high tech, telecom, defense, healthcare, and private equity sectors. “I help my clients improve the velocity with which they are able to put the right people in the right part of the market and to adapt as the market changes,” he explains.
I like to think that my professional purpose is to help heal broken situations by speaking the uncomfortable truths that people just don’t want to talk about. That has to be equally anchored in data and empathy—but helping people and organizations get to the other side of that is what I get up and go to work for every day.
He’s responsible for the Organizational Effectiveness practice’s development and internal learning programs, advising clients on strategy, organizational design, performance management, culture, and cost reduction. “I have an unusual background across sectors and in and out of consulting. Along the way, I was told many a time that I wasn’t focused enough,” says Dennis. “But that breadth now makes my ability to see the big picture easier and makes engaging with C-level clients across the breadth of their business issues easier.”
In addition to working as a consultant, he’s served as a successful venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, as well as a leader of corporate innovation while at IBM, a role that was a turning point in his career. “Working in corporate strategy at IBM taught me the value of being an independent counselor and the value of consulting,” Dennis says. “Consulting is a profession that is all about helping people and as long as you keep yourself anchored in that — and deliver on that — you will be both professionally successful and happy.”
Looking ahead, Dennis sees challenges for clients. “Our current biggest challenge is to help our clients maximize their participation in the economy, as we struggle through the next year of uncertainty and then deal with the massive financial hangover,” he says.