Leaving A Medical Career to Thrive in Entrepreneurship with Frédéric Brunner, CEO & Founder of Genioo

Introduction (Frédéric Brunner, from medical career to entrepreneurship)

In this interview, Alan Olsen, CPA, MBA discusses leaving his medical career to become an entrepreneur.  Mr. Brunner is the CEO & Founder of Genioo.


Alan Olsen

Welcome to American Dreams. My guest today is Frederick Bruner. Frederick, welcome to today’s show.

Frederic Brunner

Thank you pleasure to be here, Alan

Alan Olsen

Frederic you have a remarkable career path. And in such a short period of time, your company has grown. And it’s a big demand. So I really look forward to our interview today of you know, getting to know you better and have our listeners also follow what you did to get to where you are today.

So it’s we start out, maybe can you share your career path.

Frederic Brunner

For with with pleasure, my career path is probably everything but but a straight line, if you look at my CV, because I started as a medical doctor became a certified Pedactric Surgeon. So I’m a doctor, then went to McKinsey and Company, which is a consulting company, management consulting.

Then I went to Novartis where I was an executive and discovered I wanted to become an entrepreneur. So if you look at that, this way, it looks very much like a series of of different things. But what all of these things have in common was my passion and obsession to create a better future.

So that’s really what these things what is behind what the CV doesn’t tell is really, that’s my CV, he’s pursuing ways to create better futures for people.

Alan Olsen

How did you discover your passion? And like Frederick? Was there any particular event or aha moment that came to you?

Frederic Brunner

It was actually, very early, as I was literally, a young child, my preoccupation, when I was with adults conversation was asking them, how to have a great future. And I was always part of adult conversations.

And as I went through my, my childhood and teenage years, it never left me it was it was partially a passion, partially an obsession difficult to tell, sometimes you know, the difference. And I didn’t know what to do with it. So I felt, you know, this is one of the things that you have.

And it’s really until much later, that I discovered there, there are jobs that are about creating a better future. Not every job is lending itself to that, but some jobs are. And I realize, really, this is what really gets me in terms of energy, it’s, I love to have the impression that we can make things much better than they are today.

And rally people around this idea that we could improve things by a great degree. And then going after these improvements, that’s really what gives me energy.

It also discovered it gave a lot of energy to some people, it’s not for everybody. And it’s by doing it more and more that I discovered that the more I did it, the more people enjoyed this kind of let’s go big. And and get the satisfaction of improving something substantially versus making small improvements

Alan Olsen

is interesting. You have a remarkable career path you were schooled as, as a doctor or a surgeon. And then lastly, you became that entrepreneur, right? So very, very unique. I want to roll through this, this career path of this big transition from every medical surgeon to entrepreneur. Why did you do it?

Frederic Brunner

So the I think the question is not so much when or why I do it this way. But why I didn’t do that in the first place. So I guess I was already intrapreneurial in nature when I was young, and I was not probably ready to do it. And when I became a doctor, I felt very constrained. I felt and this is what you expect from your doctor, right?

When you go to your doctor you expect you don’t expect the person to be creative, you expect the person to be really good at what they do. And I felt trapped. I felt trapped in in a system that has been created where I needed to repeat day over day better and better things.

But I really discovered in me this need to create in our like, as we discuss oftentimes with Dan Sullivan is the make it up make it happen make it recur. I’m gonna make it up guy. I get my energy from that and I really discovered that they make it recur, drains my energy. And when I was at when I was a surgeon, I was really good at school.

But when I became a practicing surgeon, I realized that my energy was not there. And and and I would literally go home Tired, were not tired because of the work because tired that I realized that what I was doing was not giving me the energy I was hoping for.

And I realized that the best place to be creating things is when you own things, because then you can really, you know, you are your own boss, you’re a master of your own destiny. And the market will tell you if your ideas are good or bad, right?

If there is a client that likes what you do, but at least you have the freedom to propose things exactly how you would want them to be. So it’s, I really felt at that time that I’m a very creative person. And the entrepreneurship was a way to make sure I can fully fulfill that creativity that I have inside of me.

Alan Olsen

You know, I want to roll into your current passion projects to give us a little understanding about what are you currently currently working on? What type of industries what is a project look like for you? Yep.

Frederic Brunner

So I can tell you that the, the current industry, I mean, is the what people call the idea, realization industry, which some people call that consulting. But I was a consultant at McKinsey. And I was also a client of consultants when I went to Novartis before I created my own company.

And I started to realize that, that there is lots of good things in the console industry the way it is now, but there’s so many shortcomings. And what I realized is, the problem of the consulting industry today is that the client is not the hero of their own destiny. And what I really realized was missing was how do you turn the model on its head.

And as opposed to go out and consult to clients and to tell them what they need to do, you create a new approach, a very different approach, where very much like if you go to the mountains, in the Himalayas, and you will take Sherpas, right, if you want to climb a mountain, the Sherpas will help you to get to the top of the mountain.

But you have to go yourself, you have to work yourself, they don’t do it for you, they guide you, they help you make the steps, they break it down into stages. And realize that the the turning big ideas into reality for clients is always project based, because you need the project as a vehicle.

And if you make the client, the hero, and you help the client to do to the the step themselves, a lot of positive things happen. The first one is obviously the client is engaged and have ownership because they are essentially creating their own future. The energy is better. And the results are much better because they want it.

And it’s pretty fundamental. So we are my passion project is creating a new project, a new platform where client can create their their future together. So initially, typically the leader of the organization, somebody in the executive committee together with their team, and we help them to do essentially three things.

We help them to think big, we help them to plan big, and then we help them to go big, but it’s always they own the steps. And we are more there as the the enablers

Alan Olsen

in this day and age that we live in technology is advancing rapidly. So looking at the past, it’s hard to predict the future. How does artificial intelligence play into your model?

Frederic Brunner

So it’s getting a it’s, it’s transformative for sure. Because you, you know, 30 years ago, we were struggling to access information. So if you had access to information, you had an advantage. More recently, we have had an abundance of information. And what became very difficult is synthesis.

Right now you have things like Chad GPT, where you ask a question, and it does a live synthesis in the form of a conversation. And so what is very important for us is what is the value, the distinct value add we bring to the client versus technology. So we embed technology in what we do.

Our our real value add is always to help the client be honest on what they want. You know, one of the biggest thing when you want to transform your organization is how clear are you about what you want. And I typically try to ask the client the difference between what they want and what they really want.

Because what I found is if I ask people what they want, they give me a rational answer. And when I ask them what they really want, then comes on the table you know the thing For that matter, the things for which they have energy. And this is what technology struggle to do, right.

So so so usually, we see technology as an enabler, it reduces the cost of what we do make it more accessible for the client. And we think of what is our distinct value add.

And we try to combine technology plus our value add as a superior outcome for client, but clearly, it’s going to change is going to change the nature of the industry, you know, research, all of these kinds of jobs, that used to be very valuable can be done by technology, right? syntheses, first drafts all of these things, so you know, big need to adapt.

Alan Olsen

Now, when rolling two lessons of life, you know, every entrepreneur, they’re constantly trying to set out to solve problems in, you know, looking at different, different ways to implement solutions. But what are some of the biggest lessons in life that you’ve learned to running your own company,

Frederic Brunner

there’s quite a few as I start with, probably the biggest is the, it took me a while to really, there’s a difference between what you think clients want, and what clients really want.

And that that difference is really putting yourself in the client’s shoes, and really deeply understanding what clients want, because you can be 70 to 80%, close, but that’s not good enough. And when when you really find out what clients really want, versus their problems or their needs, et cetera, et cetera, you have a much better way to serve them.

And one of the things that I found was, as opposed to isolate myself too much. And thinking that in, in a room with my team is have the conversation with the client, like, you know, the insecurities of starting a business is, you want things to be perfect, and you think a lot and then you go out to the clients.

And what I found is engaging the clients on their realities, and what would help that they don’t have today, what exactly would make a difference? That’s a very important notion, because I found that you can talk about clients of what is important, and you know, what is important.

So that is a first thing that we did quite well, I think what we had to learn is within the what is important, what makes a true difference.

And then you can be very specific, if you know, these three things would make the biggest difference, then you can adapt your service or product, you can really make sure that the client says okay, this is like night and day with what I used to write.

And so it took us a while to be more organized to always understand what matters, and then to deep dive, and really isolate what makes a difference and to realign our services. And it’s mostly services that we have real and our services around what makes a difference.

Alan Olsen

When a client’s looking at, do I use Fredrik or do I use another consulting firm? What how does your approach differ from what they do?

Frederic Brunner

I would say to a traditional consulting firm, come with a couple of differences versus what we do. Usually, they are the hero of the project, not the client. And usually, you have to buy the whole package or the project etc. To get access to thinking and planning and execution of the project.

What we do is we believe that a lot of the battle lies before the project. So we believe that the client need help to really have the time to think what should we really do before they do the project, like a consulting firm would probably spend a couple of hours to understand what you’re trying to do. And then you come with the outside in solution.

We will say listen, let’s take a couple of weeks to really understand what you want to understand what your team believes. And then, together design a very clear picture of what success looks like. Because oftentimes clients have a very short description of success.

It’s a one sentence when you ask them, tell me how success really looks like and tell me why. how it should look like in reality, and why does it matter to you? You realize that they don’t know. And what we do essentially is to clarify all of these things before the project starts. So you are really selling yourself on the future you want.

Your team really also can paint the picture and say, Oh, wow, if this is really going to look like that. I’m totally motivated and The project is much more tailor made, it’s much more designed. So it’s essentially going slow to go fast. Right? So and and the pre work we do before the project starts pays off 10 times or more on the project. So that’s unique in how we approach things.

Alan Olsen

How is business demand changed since the pandemic?

Frederic Brunner

So we are in the good fortune to be in lifesigns. So, we had a huge spike, especially with the COVID related thing. So we have we are serving one of the big vaccines player. So we were instrumental to, you know, we could help this company to develop and launcher COVID in record time. So for us, it’s been a big growth accelerator.

But I would say also, in general, people are became much more health aware between different things, you know, the, there’s a lot now of self diagnostic technologies, self monitoring, etc. So I would say the life science, industry is booming. The tech industry is entering the life science industry, the private equities entering life science industry.

So for us, it’s been a tremendous growth. And these are clients usually that. capitalized and clients that are also I would say, investing in dance, economical, Delta, and etc. So we are, I would say lucky in that sense that we’re there. The second thing that has changed is the supply chains, right?

So what we see every client is they have the need to rethink what is done locally versus what the source from low cost countries. So we have a lot, a lot of work to help clients to rethink how we, especially global players, how are we organized worldwide, it used to be a no brainer to have things in India and China.

And now you have a lot of companies that say, Well, we actually need to have certain things on us ground. Because we want to avoid like being trapped a second time. Right, so so that we see quite a change of the how to organize oneself, especially the supply chain.

Alan Olsen

You know, Frederick, I really appreciate you being with us today. I got one final question for you, though. Okay. When everything is said and done in your life, and as people evaluate your pathway, what do you want to be known for?

Frederic Brunner

I would love to be known for for the person who has democratized the science of project. So everybody who has a big idea can go on gnu.com. And find a way to bring that idea to life. Because I believe that improvements come from ideas and ideas need to project to be realized.

And too many ideas are good, but die because the project is not well executed. And so if we could create a consumer client friendly platform where everybody can realize their ideas, I think the world would be a way better place. And if I could contribute to that, I will be very proud.

Alan Olsen

Frederic It’s been a pleasure having you with us today.

Frederic Brunner

Likewise, Thank you, Alan. Real pleasure. Thank you very much.

To view more content like this, click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel

And click here to receive our FREE Newsletter.

Sponsored by:

Thank You!

    Frédéric Brunner on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Frédéric Brunner

    As CEO & Founder of Genioo, Frédéric helps global corporations, and their senior executives to innovate, transform and grow more rapidly. Frédéric and his teams work together to augment the way that their clients think, plan and execute on big ideas; creating better futures for companies, as well as their employees and shareholders.

    Frédéric founded Genioo in 2012 to help ambitious leaders realize their visions. Today, Genioo is the leading project platform and one of the fastest growing professional service companies in Healthcare/Life Sciences in the EU and the USA. Genioo serves the most prestigious clients in more than 34 countries with over 1,600 top consultants, to enable clients to get more out of their workforce and projects for superior results.

    Before Genioo, Frédéric was an Executive at the Novartis Group where he held several top management and executive positions. He led Group Strategy, before becoming CEO of the high-growth BioSimilar Business Unit (EUR 150 m revenues then, EUR >1.5 bn revenues today). In his last position, Frédéric helped grow and transform Novartis as the Chief of Staff to the Group CEO and Chairman.

    Frédéric started his career as an Orthopedic Surgeon at Balgrist University Hospital, Zurich. He soon realized his desire to explore entrepreneurial paths and decided to pursue the business side of Life Sciences and Healthcare. Frédéric’s business career began at McKinsey & Company, where he advised the top companies in Healthcare, OTC, Pharma, and MedTech in all major markets for six years.

    Alan Olsen on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Alan Olsen

    Alan is managing partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP, (GROCO) and is a respected leader in his field. He is also the radio show host to American Dreams. Alan’s CPA firm resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves some of the most influential Venture Capitalist in the world. GROCO’s affluent CPA core competency is advising High Net Worth individual clients in tax and financial strategies. Alan is a current member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (S.I.E.P.R.) SIEPR’s goal is to improve long-term economic policy. Alan has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting and develops innovative financial strategies for business enterprises. Alan also serves on President Kim Clark’s BYU-Idaho Advancement council. (President Clark lead the Harvard Business School programs for 30 years prior to joining BYU-idaho. As a specialist in income tax, Alan frequently lectures and writes articles about tax issues for professional organizations and community groups. He also teaches accounting as a member of the adjunct faculty at Ohlone College.

Posted in