MarTech Interview with Kat Gref, Managing Director at Cronus

Know about Cronus’s cutting-edge solutions and strategic insights for organizational success.
Kat Gref

Kat, can you share more about your journey and experiences that led you to become the Managing Director at Cronus? What aspects of your background prepared you for this role?
At the intersection of business and technology, my journey began in the realms of construction and sustainability, laying the foundation for strategic thinking. My transition to consulting roles with banking and aviation magnates exposed me to the nuances of tech-driven business transformations.

My MBA served as a pivotal turning point in my career and after its completion, I co-founded Cronus, where I now serve as Managing Director.

Innovative Solutions and Technologies:
Cronus is known for harnessing cutting-edge technologies to drive innovation. Could you provide examples of some of the most impactful technological solutions you’ve implemented at Cronus?
At Cronus, we’ve tapped into the potential of Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI) and Machine Learning (ML), to develop a strategy execution algorithm. By leveraging Gen AI and ML, our algorithm can process data and detect patterns to generate actionable insights specifically tailored for leadership decision-making. This ensures leaders have forward-thinking guidance for strategic decisions, giving Cronus a distinct advantage in the marketplace.

Strategy Execution and Performance Management:
Strategy execution is a core focus at Cronus. Can you elaborate on how your platform facilitates aligned goal setting, measurable performance management, and its impact on organisational outcomes?
At Cronus, our platform’s strength is in blending traditional long-range strategy tools with modern performance metrics. We incorporated tried-and-tested methods like strategy maps, strategic objectives and KPIs before seamlessly aligning them with contemporary tools such as OKRs. This integration not only ensures the realisation of long-range goals, but also the delivery of measurable strategic value quarterly across all organisational levels. By balancing time-tested strategies with agile performance indicators, Cronus is adept at transforming broad visions into tangible, successful outcomes on a consistent basis.

Business Observability and Intelligent Insights:
Could you explain how Cronus leverages business observability to provide intelligent insights for decision-making? Can you share an example of a situation where this approach led to a significant improvement or outcome?
At Cronus, we merge business and operational metrics with dynamic Objectives and Key Result (OKR) measurements. This not only provides a comprehensive snapshot of a company’s overall health and performance, but also empowers businesses to frequently check in and make timely adjustments. Consider a digital marketing agency, by integrating their campaign metrics, operational insights, and OKR evaluations, we can reveal inefficiencies in their marketing strategies. With our insights, they can refine their targeting, regularly assess and optimise their campaigns, leading to an elevated ROI and client satisfaction. Cronus’s methodology enables businesses to maintain a consistent pulse on performance, fostering agility in decision-making.

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Team and Culture Building:
Many businesses talk about the importance of cultivating high-performance teams and fostering a collaborative culture, but how can you go about achieving this, and what strategies are the most effective?
At Cronus, our emphasis on building harmonised, high-performing teams has always been unwavering. We hire for attitude, then nurture the skill, and welcome individuals who resonate with our core values. A testament to this approach is our recent internship initiative. This year, we onboarded two interns, one of whom had never ventured into the world of tech before. With Cronus, she uncovered a newfound passion for testing, exemplifying our commitment to unlocking hidden potential.

Our flat organisational structure ensures prompt decision-making, but what truly underscores our culture is the open platform we offer every team member, irrespective of their position. Everyone is encouraged to present their ideas directly to the leadership team. A recent example of this was when a junior developer pitched his innovative ideas on an AI project, which we are now working to validate with a Proof of Concept (PoC).

Metis and AI Integration:
Could you provide more details about Cronus AI – Metis, and how it enhances the overall capabilities of the platform? What are some specific applications or industries where Metis has shown remarkable results?
Metis is the AI engine behind Cronus, fine-tuning our strategy execution platform.
Through machine learning, Metis analyses data to ensure businesses remain aligned with their strategic objectives and can work against them. Here is how:

Predictive Analytics & Recommendations: Metis delves into historical performance metrics, generating forecasts that empower businesses to discern upcoming challenges or opportunities. Beyond mere prediction, Metis also provides actionable recommendations, suggesting optimal execution paths tailored to meet business targets. This dual capability of forecasting and recommending ensures businesses not only anticipate the future, but also have clear, data-backed directives to align their strategies proactively.

Personalised Dashboards: The integration of generative AI allows Metis to curate bespoke dashboards. These interfaces ensure that users are presented with data that’s most pertinent to their roles and objectives, fostering efficiency and clarity.

By incorporating these features, businesses can maintain unwavering alignment with their core objectives, using a platform that’s both intuitive and tailored to the user’s needs. As we further develop Metis, we’re integrating benchmarking capabilities, a tool made especially for dynamic sectors, for example the retail sector. With Metis as an ally, retail businesses can establish a distinct competitive edge, continuously adapting their strategies based on real-time insights compared against prevailing industry benchmarks.

Market Capture and Revenue Growth:
Cronus has a proven track record of designing and building exceptional digital products that capture markets and drive revenue. Could you share an example of a particularly successful product or initiative, and what factors contributed to its success?
At Cronus, our commitment has always been to design products that not only solve business challenges, but also create a competitive advantage, either through fostering efficiencies or ensuring the right opportunities are captured. A testament to this commitment is our Execution Kanban product.

The Execution Kanban was born out of an observation: in the hustle of daily operations, businesses often lose sight of their strategic direction. Our tool offers a real-time view of all ongoing strategic initiatives, ensuring alignment with the broader organisational vision.

But beyond alignment, it provides businesses with the agility to adapt. They can promptly identify non-value-generating initiatives and reallocate resources, achieving a balanced portfolio tailored for growth. One of the standout features of the Execution Kanban is its ability to spot and highlight non-value-generating initiatives, allowing businesses to divert their focus and investment towards more impactful projects. This re-evaluation and pivot capability translate to tangible growth, enabling organisations to maximise their market presence and growth.

Challenges and Adaptability:
In a rapidly evolving tech landscape, what are some of the key challenges you’ve faced as a Managing Director, and how have you and your team adapted to overcome them?
Navigating the ever-changing tech landscape as the Managing Director of Cronus has brought its fair share of challenges. One of the most pressing has been the integration of AI into our platform, a process that extends far beyond technology. It is essential for us to ensure that AI not only makes sense in the business domain, but is also introduced responsibly and ethically.

To achieve this, we had extensive conversations with our customers and segments of our clientele. These conversations were pivotal in understanding what would genuinely add value to their operations. Our approach recognises that technology, while crucial, must be seamlessly aligned with the practical needs and aspirations of our users, guarding against unintended consequences tied to data protection or potential biases.

Another significant challenge has been securing top talent in such a competitive tech world. To address this, Cronus goes beyond just competitive compensation. We’ve crafted a unique approach centred on mentorship, avenues for personal growth, and cultivating an inclusive workspace that champions creativity and innovation. Such an environment not only draws in the industry’s best but also creates a setting where they aspire to grow and innovate.

Future Vision for Cronus:
Looking ahead, what is your vision for the future of Cronus? Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives that you’re particularly excited about?
Looking ahead, the future of Cronus holds exciting prospects and expansion. Currently, our primary focus is on scaling our operations, with a particular emphasis on targeting the European and Middle Eastern markets. These regions offer immense growth potential, and we are excited to extend our footprint there.

We are also venturing into a new licensing tier that extends beyond our traditional enterprise clients. In this new phase, we are expanding our horizons to serve a broader spectrum of organisations, including smaller businesses. We’re excited to offer a more accessible and intuitive platform experience, allowing these organisations to sign up directly and seamlessly start using our Core version from day one. This strategic move opens up an entirely new market for us, representing a significant growth opportunity.

Looking ahead, our vision for Cronus is crystal clear – to become the frontline of the new generation AI strategy execution platform. As we continue to evolve and expand, we are dedicated to pioneering innovative solutions that redefine how businesses align their strategies and execute them seamlessly.

Closing Thoughts:
Is there anything else you would like to share about your role, Cronus, or your approach to leadership and innovation?
I want to emphasise that diversity is a cornerstone of our success at Cronus. Our team comprises individuals from over 10 different nationalities, representing continents worldwide, and we take pride in the fact that 50% of our team members are women. We genuinely believe that our company thrives due to the dedication, expertise, and passion of our exceptional team, valuing each member’s unique perspective and contributions.

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Kat Gref, Managing Director at Cronus

Kat Gref combines strong leadership with innovative thinking to drive the venture forward. Her focus is on turning ambitious ideas into commercial successes, harnessing the latest technology to drive innovation and achieve impactful business outcomes. She has a strong track record in launching digital products that capture the market and drive revenue growth. Building high performing teams is her forte. Creating a space where collaboration, shared enthusiasm, and a unified drive are the cornerstones of our growth. LinkedIn.
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