Excellence in Leadership
Denis McFarlane is Founder and CEO of Infinitive, where he has consulted for Fortune 500 and start-up clients for over 20 years, specializing in solving complex problems in challenging business environments. He has led large-scale implementation efforts, as well as smaller strategic efforts, and has overseen and supported large transformation initiatives for a number of clients.
Ask him about his proudest achievements and accomplishments over the last 12 months and he’ll say: “Our continued growth and expertise in Digital Advertising and Marketing, Enterprise Risk Management, and Customer Intelligence. And the launch of our London office.”
Expand that question out to since he launched the firm back in 2007, and he says the firm’s continued ranking in Consulting Magazine’s Best Firms to Work For. “And I’m not just saying this… I really mean it,” he says. “We didn’t make the list one year and I remember how disappointed Infinitive and I were.”
McFarlane will also point to making it through the 2008 financial/economic crisis as one of those things that he can look back on with pride. “However, going through it was extremely challenging,” he says. “Our business and our people, like many others, was greatly impacted. Surviving, and even growing, during that time is a great accomplishment.”
Learning to leverage the specific talents of each member of the team, McFarlane says is the biggest factor to his success so far. “It took me a while to realize that if you let people focus on their strengths, success is sure to come,” McFarlane says. “Consulting is not an easy profession. If you can encourage your team to have fun and enjoy themselves while working on long, complex projects, they have a higher chance for success.”
He says he loves to compete and work hard. “And I only enjoy doing both when I am surrounded by a team of fun and smart people that thrive when working on complex initiatives and projects,” he says. “I do my best to create a fun, enjoyable, and collaborative work environment.”
As far as the consulting profession, McFarlane says he enjoys the variety of experiences and opportunities that the profession provides. “Each client culture is unique and presents their own challenges and opportunities regardless of whether it is a repeatable type of project, such as systems implementation,” he says. “Second, I really enjoy getting to know and help smart and talented business leaders. Often times, as consultants, we are brought to teach and help our clients but more often than not, I benefit from the experience, as well.”
What does winning the Top 25 Consultants Award mean to you, your firm and your clients?
“First, it’s an honor. In the consulting industry, this is recognized as one of the highest awards to get. And I have a mentor of mine that won it a few years ago. I remember thinking what a great honor it was for him and how hard it would be to be recognized myself. For Infinitive, it shows a high degree of trust from our Infinitivians—that’s what we call our team members—that we are going in the right direction both strategically and culturally.”