Professor Bunch and his students begin every class with this mantra: “The world needs more entrepreneurs!” Bunch uses this phrase to refer to those who are in de novo startups and to those who are intrapreneurs within corporations and consultancies. The entrepreneurial mindset combined with strategic acumen are more important than ever for executives. The business world is continuously changing and vulnerable to unforeseen circumstances. Countless technological and digital revolutions have eradicated once-successful products; customer segments seem to be a moving target, and organizations are often paralyzed with the ability to move ahead. It is during these times that visionary and entrepreneurial leaders can discover new opportunities that provide glints of hope to their organization.
Since 2009, Greg Bunch has been teaching a vast portfolio of strategic thinking and entrepreneurship programs to MBA and executive students at Chicago Booth. Bunch's expertise has helped hundreds of Booth leaders develop a strategic mindset to approach organizational challenges. Leaders emerge from Bunch's teachings with a new ability to be agile in their behavioral approach to solving complex challenges, and with a motivation to think outside of their box to try new methods.
Having myriad experiences as an entrepreneur, manager, consultant, and alderman, Bunch is in high demand for his robust industry knowledge and is a thought leader within the realm of continuous learning.
"Working with mid-level to very senior-level executives is especially exciting because I can articulate what they are thinking and provide them with practical tools and frameworks for managing their future business function."
Former student Kelly Dittmann, Senior Advisor, Principal - Digital Advisory and Transformation: Strategy, IoT, and Analytics at Hitachi Vantara, said participating in a cohort taught by Bunch and professors Jim Schrager and Harry Davis was the perfect trifecta in terms of content and teaching style.
"As a strategist, my biggest challenge is understanding complex issues, building solutions and explaining it to senior leadership in plain English … Booth not only provided a data-driven approach, but created a collaborative environment that brought out the best from us," says Dittmann. "Professor Bunch - along with the other professors - had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end."
Bunch regularly works with Fortune 50 companies, family businesses, and startups focusing on innovation and strategy. He's worked with a variety of companies such as Abbott Labs, American Express, Danaher, Dover, ETS, Harley-Davidson, Hewlett-Packard, and Kimberly-Clark, McDonald's, PepsiCo, State Farm, and Yum! Brands.
He is also the founder of Masterplan International Corporation, a strategy consulting firm, and was also a partner in a brand strategy consultant firm, Brandtrust. Bunch also co-founded Oration, a health startup that helps consumers and employers save money on prescription drugs.
While many corporations are reeling from the effects of COVID-19, Bunch has embraced the situation and adopted a "feet first" approach to dealing with the uncertainty.
"Despite the peril the pandemic has brought, I'm finding this to be one of the most exciting times of my adult life. I've been hyper-productive. I'm collaborating with more people, taking online classes, writing papers, and fully immersing myself in learning new ideas – especially better ways to connect with my students," he says. "It's helped me cope with uncertainty and stay solution-oriented."
Due diligence and keeping a pulse on his students, Bunch says, is more important than ever at this time. "I am in touch with several students, and I find collectively they are worried about safety for their families and employees, but also worried about how to get everyone back to work and resume flourishing," Bunch says.
Bunch notes with senior executives, especially, there's a lot of multi-tasking and troubleshooting taking place about what the future holds and how they can defend against incursions from competitors and maintain their market share.