Whether you’re trying to crack the code of your kids’ behavior or glean insights into customers’ business goals, there’s power in knowing how to ask “why?” U.Group Director of Strategy, Anissa Keating, has mastered the art of “why?” in both her professional and personal life. Keep reading to learn more about Anissa’s approach to crafting strategies that solve our customers’ toughest challenges, her experience acting for the police academy, and more.
Describe what you do at U.Group in 3 words or less.
AK: Uncover insights.
How did you discover your passion for strategy?
AK: I’d say it’s more of a passion for asking unexpected questions and trying to understand why humans make a given decision. These have been traits I’ve possessed since childhood.
Do your strategy skills/preferences trickle into other aspects of your life, besides work?
AK: Sometimes! I think it’s mostly when I start asking “why”—the adage for discovering a strategic insight is to ask “why” three times—and I’ve been known to do that with my kids.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen or read lately?
AK: I read this post about the Curiosity rover singing “Happy Birthday” on Mars with soil testing equipment—and how this represents the imagination and sheer determination of humans. Because, why not have a rover sing “Happy Birthday?”
Before working at U.Group, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
AK: When I temped during college, I got a gig acting as a civilian/criminal/what have you at a police academy. It was a fun couple of weeks. A ton of the other folks were semi-amateur actors who took it pretty seriously—and were regulars! The academy training took place at an entire business park—it was a huge affair.
My favorite memory was when we were just supposed to be your everyday (alleged) criminals being booked, but one of the super-into-it actors decided her part required freaking out and resisting arrest. She shrieked bloody murder and upended a tray into the police cadet’s face. Way more intense than I ever thought necessary, but I suppose it was good practice for them for real life?
What is something few people know about you?
AK: I can’t stand pesto. Love all the ingredients, hate the result.
Where is your favorite place in the world, and why?
AK: Ischia, a tiny island right by Naples.
Wonder what other fascinating stories U.Group teammates have to share? Let us know on Twitter who you’d like to get to know next.