Kimberly Watson-Hemphill

Kimberly Watson-Hemphill, a globally recognized leader in the field of Innovation and Operational Excellence, founded Firefly Consulting in 2009. She is responsible for the vision, management, and long-term strategy of the company and is committed to driving high-impact, sustainable results for clients.

Kimberly has had the opportunity to work with business leaders at Fortune 500 companies in the US, Europe, and Asia where she has led engagements within a broad range of industries, from the automotive industry to the US space program. Her career has been defined by major successes helping leaders set and achieve their strategic objectives, navigate large-scale transformations, implement productivity improvements, and re-position themselves in a rapidly changing competitive landscape.

Previously, she served as a partner with Accenture and a Vice President of George Group Consulting. Kimberly is frequently invited to speak on topics related to leadership and continuous improvement both nationally and abroad, and has authored several books and publications. Her first book, Fast Innovation (McGraw-Hill, 2005), hit Business Week’s Top 10 business booklist. Her most recent book, Innovating Lean Six Sigma (McGraw-Hill, 2016), shares insights from her 20+ years of hands-on experience in operational excellence.

As an active leader beyond Firefly Consulting, Kimberly has served on the faculty of the Acton School of Business MBA program in entrepreneurship for 9 years, where she teaches operations. She is a board member for Impact India 360 and acts as Technical Chair for the annual Lean and Six Sigma World Conference Committee.

Kimberly is proud of Firefly’s success at driving game-changing results for leading companies in multiple industries. Firefly Consulting has been awarded one of the “Top Women-Owned Businesses” in Austin, Texas, by the Austin Business Journal for three years in a row.

Publications

Notable Achievements

  • Led Lean Six Sigma programs in multiple manufacturing and service industries, including a deployment with a global Fortune 500 company that generated over $1B in savings.
  • Identified $300M in improvement opportunities for an assessment of a Berkshire Hathaway company.
  • Implemented new innovation processes that cut time to market by 50% and product cost by 26%, while increasing market share and customer satisfaction.
  • Led a consulting project to reduce manufacturing cycle times by over 40%, without increasing costs, allowing our client to become the premier supplier in their industry.
  • Partnered with a Fortune 500 retail company to drive innovation. Projects were completed in less than 6 months, each with an average benefit of greater than $1M. Additionally, clients were able to internalize the innovation methodologies.
  • Developed and implemented a Customer-Centric Business Design methodology at a large insurance company. Projects improved the customer experience for more than 80M policy holders.

Education

University of Texas at Austin
MSE Engineering Mechanics

University of Michigan

BSE Aerospace Engineering
BA French

Certified Master Black Belt