Maxim’s got a few honor badges that make him an excellent trainer and coach: He’s overcome hardship, he thinks creatively and he knows how to solve challenging problems.
For starters, Maxim survived the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. He had a thriving R&D career in the chemical industry when his employer lost funding. “It was a scary time,” he clearly remembers, “but I turned it into an opportunity to become an international consultant which got me out of Russia.”
Also during and before this time, to improve himself and be as sharp as possible, Maxim was an amateur actor. “I was very shy once,” he says. “That all changed as I found my place and voice on the stage, but it didn’t happen overnight and it took a lot of work and dedication.”
As a point of interest he remembers being interrogated by the KGB, presumably for his part in a play in which he was involved. These deeply rooted experiences taught Maxim that creativity and autonomy are part of the human spirit; they can’t be repressed or denied.
That’s why Maxim says that as change agents in companies, we should only strive for control where control is truly needed. That way we can tap into people’s innate drive to outdo themselves and innovate a new process or product.
For instance, Maxim lead a BMGI project with Philips Consumer Lifestyle (CL) that started with a vague aim to improve the quality of decision making in marketing, making it more data driven. We can’t reveal the project details, but we can say that the result was a brand new Philips training course called Smartistics.
The course received a standing ovation when originally presented to the Philips CL board of directors, and it was subsequently delivered to over 1,000 marketers at 20 different locations around the world; not to mention, it received the highest student rating for any training ever delivered at Philips CL.
Would you be surprised to know that, when not working, Maxim treks into the jungle to practice the art of photography? Clearly, courage and creativity are embedded traits that pervade his whole being, not just his consulting work.
With more than 10 years of experience, Maxim has led performance excellence initiatives for a wide variety of companies in Europe, Asia and former Soviet Union countries. He is an award-winning Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Maxim holds a master's in mechanical engineering from the Moscow University of Chemical Machine Building. He also spent a year studying marketing at the American Institute of Business.