Nnenna Ilomechina is a Managing Director with Accenture Strategy, currently running the practice for Communications, Media and High Technology clients in the UK. Her focus is on helping executive teams tackle cross-functional and industry strategic issues from growth and innovation to operational efficiency in this era of massive disruption and convergence. Prior to Accenture Strategy, Nnenna spent several years in the restructuring and turnaround industry working for Corporates and Private Equity owned businesses.
Nnenna earned her MBA, focused on strategy and marketing from London Business School & Columbia Business School and her Bachelor in Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Nnenna lives in Little Venice, London, and enjoys being a city dweller. Her hobbies include mentoring, writing, exploring different cultures and luxuries through travel, reading, experience journalism and photography. She enjoys spending time with her family and a close network of friends.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given
I go through phases where different pieces of advice become front of mind. Currently, I am spending much time thinking about this piece of advice given to me much earlier in my career: Focus on your improving your strengths, you can work on your weaknesses too, but do that by building your team to compensate for them. You are unlikely to excel at your weaknesses, but by working on your strengths, you will be genius.
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given
The truth is, that any advice that I may have deigned to be “bad advice” I must have dismissed and therefore have forgotten. If I followed any advice that did not work out, I cannot be sure if the failing was in the advice or in the context and execution. Knowing the person I am, I would assume the failing was in the execution or some subtlety in the context. Which brings me to another piece of good advice rather: take every piece of advice given with appreciation, and your own context (versus that of the advisor). As a wise gentleman once said to me: Only you know the waters in which you swim.
3. What would you tell your younger self?
Experiment more, try many things, trust yourself, remain true to yourself, you will always survive – I think I could have taken more risks in my career, much more than I have.
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
The technology, media and telecoms (TMT) industry possibilities are limitless, and I like that our industry is increasingly more convergent, multidisciplinary and pervasive. Early in my career I said every company needed to become a tech company. The telecoms companies are becoming tech-cos, the media companies are needing to be digital /data/tech driven to compete. Where engineering mindsets led, there is now a seat at the leadership table for more disciplines to lead , customer/user experience designers, data engineers, psychologists, sociologists, and more. Every company is increasingly a technology company and this industry, as we have seen through the pandemic, is the fabric of our everyday life. This is truly exciting and cutting edge.
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
It occurred to me recently that growing up, and even up to recently, most of my inspiration came from fictional characters! I have always loved stories of people who persevered against all odds, hard-working, and reached the top of their profession while being very principled all the while. Recently, as events unfold around us, I have been thinking a lot about principles, and how important they are to me. I think my parents were incredibly principled individuals, and therefore they are my biggest inspiration.