Christian Ihre
Co-founder and Partner

One of the most satisfying phenomena with our work is when we are part of helping companies discover how they can play a much bigger role in people’s lives and then being there as they transform to play that role.

I co-founded Lynxeye consultants in 1999 with Johan Ekelin, after we both had spent close to 7 years managing brands within Procter & Gamble. In 2013, I started our Asia business, that today has a growing team from many parts of East Asia, working with regional clients out of Singapore.

A lot of my career has been focused on the automotive industry with clients such as Volvo, VW, Lynk & Co, Lotus. I’ve also done a lot of work for banking and finance, and global spirit brands.

—In today’s world, where stake holders are more than just customers and share holders, you need to be clear about what role you play in people’s lives and in society to stay consistent and reliable. A clear purpose is the starting point for this. Christian Ihre

What imminent challenges do you see for companies today?

We have a situation right now that forces radical thinking both short term and long term – we have a pandemic to deal with on a weekly basis while we have industries and environments that are being fundamentally transformed, with deep strategic and long term consequences. The urgent has a tendency to overshadow the important so not to lose sight of how to win long term is the most imminent challenge for many companies today.

What do companies get wrong about purpose?

Many purposes are developed without any underlying commitment but a purpose is powerful only once it becomes the bridge between a company’s core belief and the core values of the people it serves. This requires some deep digging to find something that is fundamental enough to build the bridge on. This takes time and spending a year to define a purpose and then work out its consequences is something many companies are not prepared to invest in.

—I love working with people who want to change and who love to take on questions with potential to change things in a big way. We have many of those in Lynxeye and we are fortunate to have many such clients. Christian Ihre

Do you have a favorite purposeful company?

Frankly – I’m still looking. My favored brand would be a brand that mixes its integrity with an agility that makes them intriguing also when their customers habits and preferences are changing. Luxury brands often master the balancing act of maintaining great integrity with an agility that makes them timelessly relevant. Shang-Xia is one of these brands that brings the excellence of Chinese craftsmanship into contemporary lifestyle in a magical way.

What the biggest business impact you have helped create?

I am very proud of the impact that our contribution to Volvo’s new positioning and consequential transformation of cars, design, communication had on their business. From 400.000 cars and alarming deficit to almost double the volume and very healthy margins, 10 years later behind a clear purpose. That is satisfying.