The CFI Institute

The CFI Institute initially started out as a joint project of Vendbridge and Roger Chevalier, who partnered with Tony Ulwick from Strategyn as early as 1995 to develop Outcome Driven Innovation (ODI) internationally. Since then, more than 100 innovation projects have been completed, involving thousands of user exploration sessions across the world. All based on the CFI jobs-to-be-done principles, having led to many business-building innovations. Today, a core team of in-house practitioners and external experts are applying and advancing CFI in client projects every day.

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International scope

CFI worldwide reach

Locations where CFI experts have conducted face-to-face exploration sessions based on CFI Jobs-to-be-done

CFI core team

Alice Sachova
Alice Sachova
Alice Šáchová has more than 25 years’ experience of working in international companies, including 14 years as a Managing Director and CEO.

Born in the Czech Republic, Alice grew up in Germany and studied business administration in Cologne before beginning her career in brand management at Procter & Gamble (P&G). She worked for P&G in Germany, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. Alice was responsible for a variety of product launches and the repositioning of numerous brands. From 1994 until 1998, Alice worked as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in London and Zurich. Her role focused on corporate strategy and post-merger integration for companies in the retail, consumer goods and financial services industries. During this time, she was also an active member of the BCG Consumer & Retail Practice Group.

From 1998 until 2001, Alice Šáchová was CEO of Tela AG. She restructured the company, which was subsequently sold to Kimberly-Clark, and led its integration into the new parent corporation. For her managerial efforts and competence, she was awarded the LadyWaterman Prize in 1999. Alongside her leadership role at Tela AG, she established the European own brand business for Kimberly-Clark.

In 2002 Alice bought the Swiss advertising agency FAVO and became an entrepreneur in this creative sector. The following six years were dedicated to strategic brand communication, customer insights and the implementation of creative concepts in communication materials. Alice first worked with Vendbridge during her time at FAVO.

In 2008, Alice Šáchová sold FAVO to the European agency network Scholz & Friends and became CEO and shareholder of the DE SEDE Group (DSG) in 2008. She was attracted to the brand portfolio, which includes the premium de Sede brand, and the challenge to develop DSG into a powerful European furniture manufacturer. Following the financial crisis, she had to drastically restructure the company, and in 2012 DSG’s operating companies were sold to a private investor.

Alongside her operating responsibilities, Alice has been actively contributing to various supervisory boards for more than 10 years. She was on the boards of B.A.T. Switzerland in Lausanne and laboratory equipment manufacturer Integra Bioscience in Landquart until 2008. Currently, Alice is a board member of SRG SSR Swiss Radio and TV Association, of Scholz & Friends, a European advertising network, of shutter manufacturer Griesser AG and as a chairman of the board at ASE Technik AG in Lucerne, a plant construction firm specialising in gravel quarries.

Alice Šáchová is also active in a variety of business networks. She is the founding member of the Griffith Club in Zurich, and since 2010 has been on the management board of the Swiss Association for Marketing (GfM). Since 2012 she has held the position of president of the prestigious Swiss Management Association (SMG), where she has been a board member since 2009.

Alice Šáchová has always enjoyed working in the areas of innovation, customer insights, positioning and the evaluation of new business areas, so she joined Vendbridge as a partner in summer 2013.

Beat Walther
Beat Walther
Beat Walther has 25 years experience in business strategy, innovation and marketing & sales.

Having finished his Master of Business Administration studies at the Graduate School St. Gallen, Beat started his business career as an executive assistant at Grey Advertising, New York. In 1989 he joined Procter & Gamble (P&G) in Geneva to develop fast moving consumer good brands. Working out of Geneva, London and Zurich, he was responsible for a large number of product launches in different product categories and left P&G after six successful years as a Marketing Director of the Paper Division Switzerland. In 1995, Beat joined McKinsey & Company as a management consultant supporting clients in the pharmaceutical, retail and financial services industry on strategy and operational performance projects.

In 1999, he founded The Growth Architects, an accelerator concept for high-tech startups based in Zurich. In 2002, the firm became Vendbridge Growth Architects AG, a boutique consultancy specializing in supporting international companies of different industries to develop growth strategies based on a more profound understanding of end customer needs.

In addition, since 2003 Beat works with the «Swiss Federal Office of Technology and Innovation» to support highly innovative technology start-ups in defining compelling value propositions and winning market entry strategies. More than 100 start-ups benefitted since from our coaching support to sharpen the value proposition from an outside-in customer perspective.

Beat has experimented with various methodologies to understand customer needs and is a certified expert in Strategyn’s Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI). Together with Roger Chevalier, he has been conducting more than 30 ODI Outcome-Driven Innovation projects between 2005 – 2009, spreading the ODI approach through Strategyn Services GmbH, Zug to various bluechip companies.

In 2009 the two partners left the ODI network and founded the CFI Institute for Customer Focused Innovation in Lucerne/Switzerland, a best practice organization with the mission to increase innovation success via a stronger customer focus. Since then, the CFI framework has been developed and constantly improved, thanks to the help of CFI’s client companies and their innovation teams and of leading experts in different field like behavioral psychology, mathematics and social science.

Beside his consulting and coaching focus, Beat has been a board member of technology companies like Reishauer Group – a supplier of high precision machine tool solutions for the automotive industry – or tech start-ups like Stimmt AG – a leading Swiss customer-centricity consultancy.

Petra England
Petra England
Petra England has more than 25 years of experience in market research, competitive intelligence and project management.

Petra England is a project manager at Vendbridge. She has more than 25 years experience in market research, knowledge management, competitive intelligence and project management.
Petra acquired her expertise in her roles as Business Information Specialist and Manager of Research and Information Services at McKinsey & Company in Germany and Switzerland and during her Certificate of Advanced Studies in Consumer Behavior and Insights. Among others, she is a qualified MBTI© trainer and project manager of ThinkStoryline!© programs.

Yann Wermuth
Yann Wermuth
Yann Wermuth has more than 6 years of experience working with the CFI Methodology and JTBD.

Yann Wermuth has been closely involved in developing CFI knowledge and conducting CFI projects since more than 6 years.

He holds a Masters degree in Philosophy and is working on his PhD at the moment (On Truth, Lie and Perspectivism in Nietzsche’s thinking, for more click here). This enables him to have an in-depth understanding of the philosophy behind both JTBD and CFI.
He broadened his skill set with courses in ThinkStoryline!© and Design Thinking workshops.

Roger Chevalier
Roger Chevalier has more than 20 years experience in logistics, project and change management, as well as in innovation, marketing and information technology.

Roger started his career as a software expert for Digitron and Sprecher & Schuh (now Swisslog) where he focused on logistics and project management for large distribution centers. He later joined Tandem Computers as a Major Account Manager being responsible for the Swiss Post Finance project. From 1992 on, he worked as a senior consultant at Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers) leading business process reengineering projects as well as time-based and total quality management projects.
In 1995 he founded his own consulting company Diwings AG with focus on change management. In the same year he met Tony Ulwick, CEO of Strategyn US, and together they continuously enhanced the Outcome-Driven Innovation methodology (ODI). Jointly they adapted it to European standards and multilingual use as well as for the application in smaller companies – finally leading to the foundation of Stratinno AG in 2002, a Lucerne-based company focusing on innovation management. Being bilingual and moderating in three languages, Roger has conducted more than 800 interviews personally based on CFI Jobs-to-be-done. He has an extensive experience in a variety of sectors including electronical equipment, medical devices, power plants, packaging material, financial services, software, agriculture, and construction equipment.

Together with Beat Walther, Roger Chevalier founded in 2007 the CFI Institute for Customer-focused Innovation. The CFI Institute is leading in recognizing new customer insights and turning them into innovation based on the job-to-be-done logic, a powerful concept used in innovation and business modeling.

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