Strengthening an organization's effectiveness: Acumen

acumen-logo-new Acumen's mission is to change the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. They have invested more than $80 million in companies around the world, creating and supporting more than 50,000 jobs and impacting 100 million lives.

Bain first partnered with Acumen in 2012 through our pro bono consulting support. Our initial project focused on organizational effectiveness, working to better align Acumen’s global operating model to meet next-stage growth objectives. The resulting change program helped clarify and improve some of Acumen’s most critical processes and structures including: a new partnership model for their Portfolio Leadership Team, a more transparent investment process and post-investment governance, a more integrated platform for cross-country best practice sharing, as well as improved processes for annual goal-setting and overall talent management.

Building upon the success of our initial effort, we have since continued to collaborate on other strategic topics and IP development. We also continue to work with Acumen to shape high-impact opportunities for Bainies, including externships with GADCO, an agri-food company focusing on African consumer markets and one of Acumen’s very exciting investees in Ghana.

"Bain has been an extraordinary partner to Acumen. The Bain team developed a trusting relationship very quickly with our team, created a bottom-up exploration of what was working and where we could strengthen systems, and involved key members across the team in strategy work. Consequently, we were able to embrace a change process with a sense of ownership, clarity of purpose and commitment. I personally learned a great deal, and feel grateful for and inspired by the kind of partnership that the Bain team made possible. I very much look forward to the future."

- Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO and founder, Acumen Fund