WHO WE ARE
Helen Mumford Sole
Founder & CEO
Helen Mumford Sole has had a successful career as a senior executive of both large and startup companies. She was the CEO of LexisNexis UK, and prior to that she was SVP of Gartner where she led Gartner’s Executive Programs Worldwide and then became General Manager of EMEA. She was co-founder and COO of Wentworth Research – a VC-backed startup that was acquired by Gartner. Previously, she was CEO of two other startups. She was CIO of a GE Capital company, and held various roles in Financial Services companies and consultancies including Ernst & Young and Andersen Consulting. Helen started her career as a software engineer and her degrees are from the University of Oxford.
Helen is the CEO of the Mumford Sole companies, including:
- Mumford Sole LLC, a successful consulting and executive coaching organization operating in the US and Europe
- Mumford Sole Partners Inc., a content and consulting company, delivering knowledge, insights, best practice and events supporting the digital innovation ecosystem
- Mumford Sole Advisors LLC, offering world class Enterprise Advisory Boards as a Service
Peter Sole has had a distinguished career as a C-suite executive in public companies and as an entrepreneur, advisor and coach.
For 17 years he was CEO of Gartner subsidiary, The Research Board Inc., the world’s premier Global CIO think tank. There he orchestrated a global ecosystem of Fortune 500 company CIOs, major tech company CEOs, leading academics, VC firms, and entrepreneurs. The collective goal was value creation through research insight, facilitated conversation and innovative deployment of technology.
He was also an entrepreneur as founder and CEO of Wentworth Research, a VC backed start-up that was acquired by Gartner, the world’s leading Technology research and advisory firm.
For 20 years prior to that, Peter was a CIO with international experience, working in a variety of industries including Manufacturing, Food, Brewing, Retail, and Financial Services.
Chief Content Officer
Julie Rufo is the chief content officer at Mumford Sole where she heads research strategy and content. Previously she was a principal research analyst at the Gartner Research Board where she led studies that addressed the pressing strategic issues of Fortune 500 chief information officers.
Julie holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in neuroscience from Ursinus College. She is passionate about how our understanding of systems – biological, ecological, technological, social and economic systems – can help transform how business leaders think about and execute strategy.
Chris Goodhue is Program Director for Mumford Sole responsible for the delivery of world-class community programs and services for members.
Prior to joining Mumford Sole, Chris spent over 20 years in the IT Research and Advisory Services industry in a variety of leadership roles including SVP of Research for AMR Research, Managing Vice President for Gartner Executive Programs, VP & Program Director for Gartner Research Board, and VP Gartner Research.
Managing Director of Community Development
Don Sader is Managing Director of Community Development, at Mumford Sole and is responsible for serving members on their journey as part of the digital ecosystem.
Don has 25 years’ experience inspiring, supporting and delivering innovative ways to collaborate for many of the world’s most respected CIOs. As co-founder of Evanta, now a Gartner company, Don served as a member of the executive team and was responsible for their Global CIO Executive Summit. Before Evanta, Don spent 10 years with ASM (acquired by Imark Communications) where he held a number of senior positions, including Director of U.S. Major Markets where he created the CIO events division. An accomplished sales leader, Don was the first member of Imark’s Million Dollar Club.
“Startups need more than just an introduction and a foot in the door to an enterprise. What they really need is a high-level champion of change who can stick with the project and say, ‘let’s keep this thing going—we understand there will be bumps along the way, but we want it to work and are committed to it.’”
“It’s the trend that things get validated and then mature in consumer markets. But now that this model is established, enterprises will start to turn data strategies into the nucleus of new business models that we haven’t seen before.”
“I have three rules for hiring: acuity for action , knowing which rules to break, and not being unpleasant when you break them.”
“Competitive advantage is often more about agility and speed than coming up with unique concepts.”
“You can’t incubate innovation anymore. In a world where tech is so accessible, R&D no longer happens in a lab. Real innovation happens in the field, at the edges of your existing business.”
“Serving as a reference customer for an early stage startup typically yields unique and better solutions. That’s the main value. They’re pioneering something the larger companies don’t have.”
“Many of the companies that I advise today are trying to execute digital transformation all by themselves. They don’t see that there is enormous power in the ecosystem to help them solve problems. But being a big company doesn’t mean that you can do it all yourself. Taking help from outside of the company is a strength, not a weakness.”
“We always centralized IT to get scale. Same with operations. Did we ever achieve the scale we wanted? Recently, the scale is possibly no longer an advantage.”
“On financial results play the short game and on culture play the long game. Step across, and then step up.”
“Most firms will talk about innovation… but what they have in mind isn’t innovation or transformation, it’s more business process re-engineering. Most firms see true innovation as corporate dissent—because it goes against the current strategy. Otherwise it would be a continuation.”
“In the Web 2.0 era companies were basically introducing technology and digital channels to what they were already doing. With mobile, it was largely about doing what you currently do but made accessible with web-based applications. But none of that required a fundamental change to their existing business models. The core component of digital business models—subscription- based and pay-by-usage pricing—it’s a very different paradigm on for both vendors and enterprises. Successful SaaS companies have to go into an enterprise before the sale and help them to devise a state of the future, because the enterprises cannot see it for themselves. Enterprises don’t know what the platforms are fully capable of and they are stuck in the way that they have always done things. SaaS companies have to create the whitespace for them, then deliver on it, and then stay in it after the fact to ensure that the customer realizes the value they envisioned at the outset.”
“Most founders make a big mistake by taking too little money during their Series B rounds. They don’t want to give too much of their company away, so they only raise $5 million when they really need $10 million to get where they’re going and also have a cushion for the inevitable mistakes along the way. Often if a startup raised 1.5 to 2 times what they thought they needed in the Series B round and gave up 45% equity rather than 40%, they would have ended up with a greater payday. It’s not about the equity they maintain, it’s about rocket-fuel they put in the tank to make the right moves and to correct wrong ones.”
“The concept of the network is critical: the world is littered with amazing tech that went nowhere. The best tech doesn’t win. Intel wasn’t the best microprocessor but it made a winning deal with Windows.”