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Chad LuskManaging Director

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Building and Using Versatility

From the time I was young, it has always been important to me to demonstrate a high degree of versatility in my interests, pursuits and abilities. At A&M Consumer and Retail Group, I am encouraged to use that daily, leveraging my prior consulting and operator role experiences to positively transform both our clients’ performance, as well as the way we operate within CRG.

I think we can all agree that Middle School yearbook superlatives are the clearest indicator of future success. I managed to snag the title of Most Versatile in 8th grade and, while college scholarships and job offers did not immediately come pouring in, versatility always represented a trait I both sought and took pride in exhibiting. However, very often one’s greatest strength can be their biggest weakness.

My interest, ability and enjoyment to undertake different pursuits and functional disciplines over my career made me a bit of an anomaly.

I began my career as a chemical engineering graduate in business roles in procurement and supply chain logistics for a global behemoth. When that felt functionally and creatively limiting, business school led me to consulting where my horizons were very much opened, and I began to lean in heavily against customer-facing industries and a focus on operationalizing phenomenal customer experiences.

After a couple of Chief Strategy Officer roles that were roughly equal parts both commercial / and marketing transformations and operational initiatives, I felt like I was personally building a versatile toolbox that enabled me to help solve any business challenge. At the same time, recruiters could not figure out where I fit and struggled to define me professionally. “Are you a Chief Marketing Officer or a Chief Operating Officer,” they would ask. Typically, when I would answer, “Yes,” the conversation stymied.

The fact is, I have always refused the labels, boxes and constraints of a linear career. Instead, I have always chased opportunities to make a meaningful difference both in the experiences customers have with the products and services I sell and the way the organization of which I’m part provides them. That’s my personal passion and I have spent my career building the knowledge, skills and experience to drive transformational change and disruptive solutions, in whatever consumer sector or functional area that they resided.

After 10 years in industry, returning to consulting at A&M Consumer and Retail Group, I have the full ability to put my versatility to use every day. Our clients need and deserve professional advisory that looks at end-to-end problems and opportunities from multiple perspectives, that can both thoughtfully articulate a strategy as well as drive the execution, and has the ability to learn quickly, diagnose accurately, and solve efficiently. Every day I put my skills to use and continue to build a broader knowledge base and toolkit from the clients with whom I work, my CRG teammates, and the types of problems on which I get to engage. My 8th grade self would be proud of me now, continuing to use versatility as a means to help my clients, my firm, and myself reach our collective maximum potential.

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