Blythe McGarvie

Global Business Leader

Blythe J. McGarvie is a Senior Lecturer and teaches the MBA required curriculum course Financial Reporting and Control at Harvard Business School. McGarvie has operated profitable business units and managed employees in business endeavors from China to Chile, France to Finland. She serves as a member of the boards of directors of Accenture, Viacom, Wawa and LKQ and formerly served on the boards of Travelers Insurance, Pepsi Bottling Group and Lafarge NA.  During the prior ten years, Ms. McGarvie served as Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Leadership for International Finance (LIF Group), offering a global perspective to clients seeking profitable growth. LIF Group offers tailor-made consulting services and leadership seminars for corporate and academic groups. She was a pioneering CFO, and in 1995, was one of only 10 female CFOs in the Fortune 500.

She speaks worldwide to audiences on consumer markets, worldwide economic trends, and leadership strategy. Blythe McGarvie is a professional speaker who loves to reach audiences large or small. Her vision is that business is a positive force for strengthening the global community. She executes her vision with companies and individuals through her speeches, writings, board service and coaching.

In addition, she has developed a unique senior management consortium at LIF Group who, individually and collectively, provide selected companies with essential strategic and practical solutions for profitable growth. We invite you to explore the videos and the website. Her motto is to provide insight, influence and leadership to create high performance.

See Below for Full Bio

  • Speaking Topics:

    Business Culture, Business Ethics, Executive Speaker, Global, Global Leadership, Globalization, Leadership, Management, Peak Performance, Vision, Women's Issues

  • Travels From:

    New York

  • Price:

    $15,000 - $20,000

    Notes on Fees

  • Videos
  • Full Bio
  • Speech Topics
  • Books
  • Testimonials
  • News

Blythe McGarvie on Globalization and Leadership

What Matters-Blythe McGarvie: Global Business Leadership

Blythe J. McGarvie is a Senior Lecturer and teaches the MBA required curriculum course Financial Reporting and Control at Harvard Business School. McGarvie has operated profitable business units and managed employees in business endeavors from China to Chile, France to Finland. She serves as a member of the boards of directors of Accenture, Viacom, Wawa and LKQ and formerly served on the boards of Travelers Insurance, Pepsi Bottling Group and Lafarge NA.  During the prior ten years, Ms. McGarvie served as Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Leadership for International Finance (LIF Group), offering a global perspective to clients seeking profitable growth. LIF Group offers tailor-made consulting services and leadership seminars for corporate and academic groups. She was a pioneering CFO, and in 1995, was one of only 10 female CFOs in the Fortune 500.

She speaks worldwide to audiences on consumer markets, worldwide economic trends, and leadership strategy. Blythe McGarvie is a professional speaker who loves to reach audiences large or small. Her vision is that business is a positive force for strengthening the global community. She executes her vision with companies and individuals through her speeches, writings, board service and coaching.

In addition, she has developed a unique senior management consortium at LIF Group who, individually and collectively, provide selected companies with essential strategic and practical solutions for profitable growth. We invite you to explore the videos and the website. Her motto is to provide insight, influence and leadership to create high performance.

Global Citizenship: Succeeding in a new Culture

Two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power and 95% of the world’s consumers reside outside US national borders. The top 25 US companies made 43% of their revenues abroad in 2004. Globalization is happening with or without you. As a leader, you must learn how to take advantage of this opportunity. Understanding the truth about American jobs and who are the business winners and losers will allow you to navigate your career and your company. At this seminar, you will learn:

  • how to transcend your biases and prepare for the new world in order to keep your business growing and retain employees who will help guide you through new territory to profitable success;
  • strategies to develop transformational global leadership skills in order to grow your business and to establish beachheads for future growth opportunities;
  • how to stimulate coordination and cooperation across national borders in order to create a lasting and rewarding relationship with people who will grow your business as if it were their own.

Financial Acuity Matters

Finance is the language of business, in any industry. You can turn opportunity into strategic insight if you have financial acuity. Clearly, this is an under-developed skill given the financial scandals and disruptions of recent times. Keying into Google the phrase “financial scandals” yields 175,000 hits; the word “bankruptcies” yields 500,000 hits; and “accounting fraud” yields nearly 1 million hits. You must know what attributes define a company that will sustain profitable growth and be a great place to invest your time or your money. You must develop your own financial acuity even if your job is in marketing, operations, sales, or human resources if you want to thrive in business today. At this seminar, you will learn:

  • the three steps for building your fluency in the language of finance in order to excel in your organization and help it meet its financial targets;
  • habits of financially acute leaders that drive organizational growth and profits;
  • how mastering this skill builds confidence and strategic insight to help you meet your personal objectives and grow your business.

Courageous Decision-Making

Many Americans fear that the global economy will cost them their jobs and purchasing power and that, in turn, will force a reconsideration of American values. It is one thing to lose jobs to Indochina because employers located there can hire 14-year old children and women cheaply, provide no health care, avoid safe workplace standards, hire and fire at will, and face no liability for environmental depredation. Yet, it is another to consider a twenty-first century America that must scale back its labor practices and deregulate to make America competitive once again. These fears are based on legitimate concerns but, I hope to lessen them, and the reactionary protectionist policies they engender, by demonstrating that global business changes offers opportunities to Americans. At this seminar, you will learn:

  • the six stops to connect the globe in a changing world;
  • how to redefine success in an interconnected world;
  • to make better decisions by using untapped resources and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in organizations of any size.

Additional Topics -

Blythe McGarvie delivers instructive and entertaining speeches uniquely tailored for your organization. Half-day or full day sessions can be presented on a variety of topics, including:

* Leadership: Increasingly competitive business environments, ever-growing government oversight, and rapid changes in consumer tastes require today’s companies to employ innovative and aligned leaders. Blythe uses her FISO Factor (Fit In Stand Out) approach to help companies build and develop this type of leadership team.

* Best Practices: This program describes how to build shareholder value while staying ahead of the competition and retaining your best employees. In a five-year period as CFO at Hannaford Bros., Blythe oversaw the company’s share price increase from $16 to $73. As the CFO, she was also responsible for all Information Technology with more than 150 direct employees.

* International business: Seeing opportunities instead of risks: Making acquisitions and establishing partners to source products in countries like China, Japan or Finland can be challenging. McGarvie shares her experiences to help your management consider some of the pitfalls and opportunities.

* The Board of Directors Matters: McGarvie provides a compelling speech on how you can see signs that your board members are working well or are not effective when the company—or your team—confronts a crucible and critical decision point in the business.

* Investing for growth: Management has to deal with more uncertainty and complexity than ever before. McGarvie helps other executives explore how to assess and manage risk, validate priorities and move to successful implementation. She speaks on this topic using cutting edge examples from confidential sources.

* Transforming business performance management: McGarvie writes, speaks and consults about ways to energize management to improve business processes for the goal of financial success. Having confronted a negative cash position while CFO of BIC, Blythe recommended and received board approval to cut the dividend in half in her first six months on the job and turn performance around. She shares insights on how you can improve your business.

* Financial acuity for success: The shoemaker’s children never get a new pair of shoes. Learn ways to build a winning finance team. Blythe’s dynamic approach to leadership is described in Fit In, Stand Out: Mastering the FISO Factor for Success in Business and Life.

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