Innovation Strategy Blue Icon

Innovation

strategy

CX

strategy

EX

strategy

AI

strategy

Our team

We are a team of strategists who relish a challenge. Our sharp-minded team utilises innovation, customer-centricity and business model strategies to help support you and deliver value to your organisation. Founded by Dr. Jeffrey Tobias, our team has a combined total of more than 100 years of industry experience. Read on to discover our combined experience or visit our careers page to learn how you can join our expert team.

Team, Team
Headshot of Dr Jeffrey Tobias

Dr. Jeffrey Tobias

Managing Director

Jeffrey is an accomplished innovation thought leader and strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, government, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s experience includes growing and leading major Australian corporation, seven years spearheading innovation globally in Cisco’s thought-leadership team and leading The Strategy Group since 2003. Jeffrey is one of Australia’s most prominent experts in the field of Innovation, customer-centricity and business model transformation, regularly presenting to boards and leadership teams across the country.

Jeffrey is also Adjunct Professor and Fellow at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey Tobias is on the boards of various well-known startups.

Jeffrey’s corporate background includes engaging strategically with large corporates such as ANZ bank, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, Baker McKenzie, Mirvac, Stryker and Perpetual. He has extensive experience with both state and federal governments in Australia and overseas.

Jeffrey holds a B.Sc (Hons), University Medal and Ph.D from the University of New South Wales.

Team, Team

Pierre Schaupp

Director

Pierre is a senior strategy, CX & innovation strategist. His main area of expertise lies in leveraging customer & market insights to help build better products, services and experiences for organisations. He has in-depth experience creating and embedding customer experience and innovation capabilities within organisations, including new frameworks, tools, talent, governance & funding mechanisms.

Pierre has more than 10 years of experience in business strategy, customer experience and innovation working for major Australian and international organisations in financial services, utilities, the public sector and media.

Pierre is passionate about managing cross-functional teams of people with different backgrounds (researchers, UX/UI designers, engineers, strategists, business consultants, etc.) and reconciling customer desirability with technical feasibility and commercial viability.

Katherine Larish

Katherine Larish

Head of AI and Founder of InsightWise

Katherine has spent the past decade blending digital intelligence with human intelligence to deliver value for organisations and communities. Previously, Katherine led KPMG’s Smart Cities Practice after completing a Master’s at the University of Oxford. Katherine worked with all levels of government and a range of private sector players to develop Smart City strategies, implementation roadmaps and viable business cases. Subsequently, she joined me&u, an Australian start-up as the Global Director of Growth, leading the company’s successful launch in the UK and US. Then, after spending a year managing multi-million dollar projects in the NSW Government’s Smart Places team, Katherine joined The Strategy Group as Head of AI and founded and built the start-up InsightWise. Katherine adopts a human-centred approach to AI, focused on blending the power of people and AI to solve complex problems. InsightWise is an AI-powered research platform turning data into wisdom and generating insights on demand. 

Headshot of Marcus Naoum

Marcus Naoum

Manager

Marcus has a background in Strategy, Service Design, Employee Experience and Experience Design having worked within both the technology sector and financial services. He also has an entrepreneurial flair having co-founded a clothing brand.

Marcus has a deep passion for strategic thinking, exploring customer goals and needs, and working with others to solve complex problems through the adoption of a human-centred approach, ensuring all stakeholders involved have a voice in order to create easy, effortless experiences.

With a diverse educational background, having graduated from the University of New South Wales with both an Architecture and Commerce degree, he is well-placed to develop creative solutions whilst maintaining a deeper business acumen by integrating an empathetic and deconstructive approach to problem solving.

Headshot of Liam Hoffman

Liam Hoffman

Delivery Manager

Liam has an adaptive, analytical and creative skillset that combines a deep understanding of human psychology with experience design and strategy. He excels at solving complex problems and creatively communicating strategies that deliver valuable, scalable, and desirable experiences for customers and employees, and more efficient and effective processes for organisations. Liam has led a range of projects with many diverse organisations of varying sizes, including Medical Technology, Mental Health, Retail, Local and State Government, Education, Telecommunications, Financial Services, Aged Care, Construction and Media.
Specialised in user research, UX, service design and strategy, Liam always approaches engagements with a human-centred design approach and an empathetic mindset, ensuring clients feel understood and their customers and employees feel heard and valued. Liam’s depth of experience in qualitative and quantitative research and his eye for creativity and design provide organisations with a robust and pragmatic way to make evidence-based decisions that create lasting change and value. Liam strongly believes in the power of iteration and co-creation and always strives to bring key stakeholders along the journey to create buy-in and alignment.
Ultimately, Liam’s motivation is to deliver valuable experiences and innovative strategies that align customer needs with organisational aspirations in a way that’s easily communicated, sustainable, scalable, and memorable for all parties.

Desiree Melendez

Desiree Melendez

Senior Design Strategist

Desiree has led optimisation and transformation projects across diverse sectors like finance, aged care, and government. Desiree’s distinct approach blends her expertise in design thinking with her keen business sense, skilfully bridging the gap between complex business requirements and human-centred needs. As a steadfast advocate for customer and employee voices, she ensures their insights directly shape strategic decisions.
 
Whether modernising legacy systems, pioneering greenfield opportunities, or empowering teams to uplift their capability, Desiree excels at engaging stakeholders and senior leaders. She facilitates cross-departmental collaboration and secures critical buy-in along the way. This collaborative leadership style creates seamless customer experiences whilst enabling clients to become genuinely customer-led. When leading other designers and product teams, Desiree instils confidence and fosters a shared vision that unites diverse expertise. Her leadership consistently demonstrates how integrating customer insights with business goals can lead to transformative outcomes for all.
 
During her MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management, Desiree was introduced to human-centred design (HCD). Captivated by its ability to inject empathy and creativity into business problem-solving, she actively sought practical HCD experiences, complementing her theoretical insights with hands-on project work for leading organisations like Airbnb, CHOICE, and Surfline. Desiree’s professional path post-MBA has seen her solving problems in-house at Macquarie and, most recently, as a Senior Design Strategist at The Strategy Group.
Headshot of Jessica Wu

Jessica Wu

Senior Design Strategist

Jess is an up-and-coming service designer who provides a specialised value-add to The Strategy Group using her knowledge in service design methodologies and a generalist background in public sector consulting. She is proficient at navigating through ambiguous and complex problems, where she has supported clients with her research and analysis skills to produce concise and actionable insights while liaising with internal and external stakeholders. Jess has worked with a range of clients across numerous subject matter domains.

Jess is a highly adaptable and capable consultant who will fit into any space she is placed into to create value.  She leverages her T-shaped combination of specialist human-centered design expertise and her varied base of client experience to tailor highly contextualised solutions so that they are fit-for-purpose, evidence-based and innovative. As a designer, she is driven by her deep curiosity to discover the unknown and to explore outside the confinements of traditional thinking and ways of working. She strongly believes in bringing her clients along through this highly engaging experience to enable them in achieving their desired objectives.

Jess possesses a double major in Finance and Management and holds a Certificate in Service Design.

Headshot of Ellie Wierum

Ellie Wierum

Design Strategist

Ellie has a background in UX and product design, with a highly practical skillset. She is passionate about user-centred design and innovative problem solving, utilising strong skills in research and development. Her approach to design and development is research-led, considering the whole customer journey. Ellie has worked within the innovation space for a range of industries, including start-ups, not-for-profits, and large corporations.

Ellie has expertise in developing an idea into a final solution, taking the design brief and transforming it through applying creative methods. She analyses the needs of the client empathetically, utilising design thinking to drive personalised solutions.

Her educational background in Product Design and Creative Intelligence and Innovation positions her to break down a problem, think strategically and imaginatively, and present ideas professionally.

Team, Team

Poppy Triscott

Senior Strategist

Poppy is passionate about human-centred design and its potential to create huge value for our clients. She has delivered a variety of digital transformation programmes across multiple industries, taking a design-led approach to help businesses create customer-centric experiences and help solve strategic business problems. Her strong communication and storytelling skills enable her to guide clients along the experience strategy journey and engage and empathise with their customers. Poppy began her career in London as an analyst at Cognizant before moving into the design world at US-based creative agency Wongdoody, and subsequently Accenture Interactive. She brings her 6+ years of professional experience to help The Strategy Group’s clients define their customer experience strategy and reach their strategic goals. Poppy is driven by her interest in human behaviour and psychology to enhance customer experiences and improve people’s lives through digital design. She enjoys employing a curious, creative and people-focused lens to her work to deeply understand our client’s customers and design innovative solutions to meet their needs. Poppy possesses a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Southampton.
Team, Team

Alycia Wolf

Strategist

Alycia has experience in business management and consulting, bringing a creative and pragmatic approach to her role. Having studied design thinking throughout her academic life, her human-centric focus allows her to immerse herself in problem solving and to find value in diverse contexts. Alycia has a strong skillset in data analysis and transformation and a passion for innovation and consulting.

Alycia is experienced in navigating problem areas and creating actionable and feasible solutions, using human centred design methods to reinforce her approach. Her academic background in Business and Creative Intelligence and Innovation has given her unique experience in co-design and solution implementation.

Team, Team

Jasmine Zammit

Strategist

Jasmine has experience in data analytics, project management and strategic problem-solving, leveraging a unique set of valuable skills and knowledge. She is driven by her empathetic mindset and desire to integrate valuable change for all stakeholders in her position at the Strategy Group.

She is passionate about crafting solutions that are underpinned by human-focused design, creativity, and innovation. Jasmine offers the capability to translate complex trends and comprehensive research into actionable insights and recommendations.

She has an academic background with a Bachelor of Business (Management and Finance) and a Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation, studying at the University of Technology, Sydney and Oxford Brookes, England. She has engaged with a diverse range of industries, including government, start-ups, small-medium enterprises, and larger corporations. Thereby, providing Jasmine with practical experience in co-creation and proficiency in story-telling communication.

Headshot of Karen Goodman

Karen Goodman

Chief Financial Officer

Karen is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years of experience in tax & management accounting. She brings a wealth of experience from both a commercial and tax perspective, providing strategic leadership in all aspects of financial and business management.

Karen’s strength comes from her ability to apply provide insight, driving key strategies and decisions that maximise company values. She operates as a collaborative partner with the executive team in planning, refining & implementing corporate growth strategies & policies.

Karen has a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from the University of New South Wales.

Headshot of Stacey Morava

Stacey Morava

Operations Manager

Stacey comes from a family of entrepreneurs and has been involved in the start-up and the successful selling of many businesses she has created in different industries together with assisting a number of businesses reach their full potential.

Stacey’s strength lies within growth and development and building solid relationships with all her clients together with her ability to manage strategic partnerships whilst building a strong and credible reputation within the industry and amongst her peers.

Stacey holds her Cert IV in Small Business Management, Diploma in Business Real Estate Management and a Certificate IV in Marketing Essentials and Public Relations.

Contact us so we can assist you

Have any questions? Perhaps you’d like to know how we can help you and your organisation? please feel free to reach out to us below with any questions that you might have:

Scroll to Top

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Every month we share industry news, updates and more!