Keryn Gold, PhD, Founder and CEO, OTBi Solutions, FocalPoint Outcomes, & SNAFU Guide

Keryn Gold, PhD is an award-winning business and consulting leader, advisor, and certified business and executive coach. She empowers organizations to achieve the seemingly impossible and accelerate achievement of their multi-year plans by 3x or more within months, driving multiple-fold first-year ROI. Her clients say Keryn is a “resourceful, perceptive, trusted advisor” who “proactively delivers transformational value with relentless compassion — phenomenally fast.” Keryn has revolutionized divisions, systems, and processes at numerous organizations, from start-ups to FAANG companies and the Fortune 50. She enables partners to improve outcomes while reducing costs and accelerating innovation, better engage employees and unleash their potential, and achieve greater work-life balance while delivering transformative business value. Keryn enjoys empowering individuals and businesses to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and accomplish what they once believed to be out of reach. Undoubtedly, she serves as an inspiration to many.

Academic Background & Career Trajectory

Keryn had an atypical academic journey, starting college at 14 years old, and graduating summa cum laude from a Top 15 university at the age of 17. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences & Statistics at Washington University in St. Louis. Keryn was first exposed to consulting when she joined a newly-formed non-profit biotechnology and life science advisory group on its second project, and, after exemplary performance as a consultant, the founders ultimately elected her President of the group. Keryn scaled the group from 7 consultants on their second engagement to 100+ consultants with 25+ engagements over just 1.5 years. She also developed best practices, trained new consultants and managers, and secured strategic partnerships with key organizations to ensure the group’s ongoing success.

For the preceding 8 years, Keryn did cross-functional research aimed at improving health outcomes of at-risk populations, developing best practices, predicting adverse outcomes, and training others to do the same. Though she thoroughly enjoyed many aspects of this work, Keryn found the culture in academia was not for her, but that she loved consulting and empowering businesses.

The Inception Story

In working with her clients, a common theme emerged: during their business journey, many needed to secure funds to bring their transformational ideas or new products to market. As an avid continuous learner and optimizer who values seeing problems from all angles to more meaningfully help with all-the-things, Keryn sought to learn from the people who made funding decisions. This was out-of-scope for the non-profit biotechnology consulting group, so she handed over the reins of that organization, and formed her first business, OTBi Solutions (Outside the Box Innovative Solutions), in 2012.

Keryn’s first initiative with OTBi Solutions involved providing pro bono consulting services to local venture capital and private equity groups she sought to learn from first-hand. Impressed by her expertise, problem-solving approach, and the rapid value she delivered, these groups not only appreciated her work but also offered her employment, providing invaluable opportunities for growth and learning. Keryn was appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) for one of their education technology holdings when she was in her 20s. Additionally, she took on mergers and acquisitions responsibilities for them, while continuing to consult with others under the umbrella of OTBi Solutions.

OTBi Solutions offers many services, but the primary focus is on empowering clients to reduce costs without resorting to layoffs or negatively impacting their workforce, products, or customer service quality. Keryn now has an ecosystem of companies that deliver rapid, implementable, value-add solutions with significant near-, mid-, and long-term ROI. Keryn’s goal is to revolutionize how businesses operate and uncover hidden profits to foster cultures of empowerment, trust, and autonomy to accelerate innovation and organizational success.

What Sets OTBi Solutions Apart from Others

OTBi Solutions distinguishes itself from others through the breadth and depth of its business-empowering services, its unique approach, and its undeniable history of delivering tangible value, fast. Keryn firmly believes in aligned incentives: working on a contingency basis, if OTBi Solutions is unable to find savings, no fees are charged to clients. This guarantee reflects Keryn’s confidence in their ability to make a meaningful impact. Moreover, OTBi Solutions works swiftly and efficiently, and clients begin witnessing measurable results within weeks of engagement. This is because Keryn and her partners not only develop strategies but also implement holistic high-value solutions. There is no grand plan that remains confined to paper or takes years to execute, obsolete by the time it goes live. OTBi Solutions consistently delivers multiple-fold ROI within 3 months.

Another key aspect that sets OTBi Solutions apart is its people-focus, proficiency in data science, advanced analytics, and AI consulting, in addition to strategic partnerships with global partners capable of securing the best prices from suppliers. Keryn and her partners possess the exceptional ability to delve deep into data and uncover hidden opportunities and inefficiencies that, when addressed, both empower employees and generate millions in additional profit. This expertise enables them to deliver value across various domains and functional areas. Furthermore, when it comes to supplier and procurement optimization, Keryn’s strategic partners monitor prices across industries on a weekly basis (and have delivered 20%+ savings even to clients who thought they’d already optimized their supply chains, for over 20,000 clients). Appreciating the limited amount of time and energy leaders and procurement departments have to dedicate outside of their existing day-to-day responsibilities, Keryn and her partners manage all negotiations with vendors, suppliers, and requests for proposals (RFPs) on behalf of clients, securing significant cost savings of 20% or more within just a couple of months, without taking up an undue amount of client time with endless meetings. These savings are independent of the more strategic cost reduction, advisory, and advanced analytics services that OTBi Solutions offers, providing even greater, more holistic profit opportunities, ROI, and value to their clients.

Overall, the combination of OTBi Solutions’ results-oriented approach, quick implementation, data-driven expertise, focus on empowering leaders to accelerate multi-year plan achievement while improving balance and schedule flexibility, and strategic procurement capabilities set them apart as a trusted partner for businesses looking to enhance profitability to fund strategic initiatives.

Roadmap to Uncover Hidden Profits

The roadmap to uncover hidden profits begins with Keryn and partners actively listening to the needs of all stakeholders involved. They engage in discussions with end users and dive deep into the available data, research, and analysis. By approaching problems from a holistic perspective and considering all angles, they gain a comprehensive understanding of the current situation, why things are the way they are, and how clients operate, so they can identify opportunities to empower partners to improve outcomes at lower costs.

This unbiased and open-minded approach allows OTBi Solutions to identify both known and potentially unknown “levers” that can drive transformative value for clients. Keryn emphasizes the importance of exploratory data analysis, which helps uncover opportunities that may not be immediately apparent. By looking for hidden inefficiencies and identifying low-hanging fruit with high near-term impact, OTBi Solutions can quickly identify avenues for significant value generation.

Additionally, Keryn believes in designing and implementing lightweight solutions that empower employees to escape the constant state of “fire-drill hell” and crisis-mode commonly felt in many organizations. By streamlining workflows and creating enabling processes, employees can be more productive and achieve better work-life balance. This approach not only improves overall efficiency, but also empowers leaders to more confidently delegate tasks and achieve balance without burning out or overwhelming their teams.

Success Stories

Under Keryn’s exceptional leadership, the OTBi Solutions team has achieved remarkable outcomes and delivered outstanding value to their clients. They have consistently surpassed expectations and driven multiple-fold first-year ROI across various industries within months.

Select examples include enabling a start-up tech CEO to realize her 5-year vision within just one year, resulting in a staggering 100-fold increase in customer acquisition. Additionally, Keryn facilitated savings of over $10 million at four separate Fortune 50 and FAANG companies in a matter of months, demonstrating the ability to optimize costs and drive efficiency at large, highly-matrixed organizations.

Furthermore, Keryn empowered a Fortune 1000 SaaS company to exceed revenue targets by four times in less than a year, all while reducing costs by more than 20%.

In addition to these accomplishments, Keryn has developed real-time tools that revolutionized sales and marketing organizations by automating data analysis and reducing time-to-insights from weeks to mere seconds. This strategic automation empowered sales and marketing teams to secure over $10 million in new business within a span of four months.

Moreover, she successfully designed and implemented a product that was initially estimated by others to take over $2 million and 1.5+ years to complete. However, under Keryn’s leadership, the product was delivered within just four months, with a remarkable cost savings of 90%. The client leveraged this offering to generate additional revenue of over $500 million.

Keryn has touched the lives of many employees and organizations. She has also trained and mentored over 100 professionals throughout the years, equipping them with tools and strategies to achieve what they once believed out of reach, and has built and run billion-dollar divisions and centers of excellence at multiple Fortune 50 companies.

Pearls of Wisdom

Keryn’s advice for aspiring business leaders centers around maximizing empowerment and autonomy for all. “We should strive to always remember the Golden Rule we learned in kindergarten, or, better yet, the Platinum Rule: treat people the way they want to be treated,” Keryn shares. “We never know all of what’s going on in someone’s life on any given day, but providing others with a sense of flexibility and control is critical for healthy balance and trust.” As mother of a five-year old son, though Keryn has often worked long hours, she highly values schedule flexibility, so she can be present for key moments of her son’s life while simultaneously delivering transformational value for her clients.

Work/life balance means something different to everyone, and remote work is wonderful for some but not others. Keryn feels that the debate shouldn’t be about work/life balance or remote work in general, but rather, we should strive to provide employees with autonomy and control over their destinies. When leaders strive to provide their workers with autonomy and schedule flexibility, they earn their loyalty. Keryn shares: “I strive to give my all to everything I do and be everything to everyone, all the time. I’m driven by empowering people, enacting real, lasting, high-value solutions, and solving all-the-problems. When I was younger and still an individual contributor, I would just hyperfocus for 15-18 hours at a time, pull all-nighters and knock things out, but that doesn’t work when you’re leading people or have a child. I had to learn how to effectively empower people, rapidly deliver value, and have personal balance all at the same time, which was not something I figured out overnight.”

Keryn always demonstrates genuine compassion and the drive to empower everyone she works with, client or direct report, manager or leader, to have autonomy and schedule flexibility and live the lives they want. Keryn shares: “Treating people like adults, and showing them trust by giving them autonomy, leads to them trusting you in return. It may be scary for some leaders, but it’s what enables transformational value generation and the development of a healthy culture of empowered employees – leaders and individual contributors alike.” Keryn’s career history demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach, and it’s why many of her direct reports at Keryn’s past corporate jobs followed her when she changed roles.

Driving Change to Make Things Better for Everyone

Keryn is viscerally driven to address and improve anything that she perceives as not being right, or in need of optimization. She has a career history enabling positive change and seeks to make things better for everyone.

Over the years, due the types of roles and magnitude of money Keryn was responsible for, she was thoroughly assessed. The assessments consistently revealed her exceptional strengths in strategy, tactics, ideation, empathy, logical analysis, adaptability, and drive. One of the things that always perplexed her colleagues, but that they saw in her interactions with others, is that, despite her history playing multiple competitive sports, Keryn’s “competitiveness” score was a mere 2 out of 100 (something markedly different than her male colleagues in venture capital and private equity).

Keryn shares that this was explained to her as manifesting as her being driven to help others, and having a strong aptitude for generating strategic ideas and determining the best course of action, but that her core priority is not personally “winning,” but rather ensuring everyone is heard and understood so the ultimate solution addresses everyone’s unmet needs. She doesn’t push for the chosen path or outcome to be her original suggestion; rather, she enjoys constructing hybrid solutions that everyone feels are “their babies” to achieve the best outcomes.

By combining her strategic thinking, empathy, drive to deliver value, and proactive, collaborative resourcefulness, Keryn exemplifies her commitment to fostering an environment where all voices are heard and valued. Where people are “met where they are” and understood, so that a hybrid solution that benefits the most people, not just the loudest or most assertive, is achieved. Her approach reflects a genuine desire to drive change and create solutions that benefit the broader community.

Take on Leadership & Business Success

Keryn holds a strong belief in the potential of every individual to thrive when provided with the right environment. She is dedicated to empowering and unlocking the potential of her partners, client leaders and individual contributors alike. For Keryn, academic degrees or credentials are not as important as individuals taking ownership of their work and demonstrating empathy towards others.

According to Keryn, effective leadership is built on establishing trust. According to Keryn, “This trust is fostered through clarity of communication, understanding people’s needs, goals, and blockers both inside and outside of the workplace, and empowering them to achieve and to be in the driver’s seat in pursuing those goals.” She recognizes the importance of supporting individuals holistically and acknowledging their personal aspirations and challenges, and most enjoys partnering with them accomplish what the once believed to be impossible or out of reach.

One of the most fulfilling experiences for Keryn is empowering organizations where people feel trapped, hopeless, or burned out and driving transformative change, where those same people, within a month, are thriving, happy, engaged, and innovating. This ability to positively impact people’s lives is a core motivator for Keryn, and fuels her passion for revolutionizing operations within such organizations.

Through her leadership approach, Keryn aims to create environments where individuals can thrive, find fulfillment, and reach their full potential. She values the well-being and growth of her partners, clients, and employees, prioritizing their empowerment and autonomy, and fostering a sense of happiness and engagement within the workplace.

Future Plans

Keryn has a career history of enabling clients to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges and achieve goals that they once considered unattainable, all while delivering significant returns on investment within months. Through her ecosystem of businesses, she aims to empower clients on an even greater scale, via her recent strategic partnerships with Expense Reduction Analysts and FocalPoint International.

In addition to her work with clients, Keryn has other exciting endeavors on the horizon, including the release of her forthcoming book, The Leadership Playbook, Revisited. Over 100,000 hours of research, testing, and refinement went into the strategies outlined in this book, and it provides explicit implementable tools, systems, and processes Keryn has implemented successfully at start-ups through FAANG companies to achieve the same remarkable results that she has facilitated for her clients.

Over the years, Keryn has developed strategies to overcome daunting obstacles and is passionate about helping others achieve the same, without having to work the 100+ hour weeks she did for so much of her career. She’s driven by empowering others and creating win-wins, and is excited to enable businesses to uncover hidden profits to accelerate innovation and better serve their customers, unlock the potential of their employees, and achieve greater balance and autonomy for all – leaders and individual contributors alike – at even greater scale.

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