Behave consulting director: “Adaptability is a key skill”

5 mins with…Lea Karam, consulting director at Behave.

by Éilis Cronin

Karam has been central to the development of Behave, Europe’s first behavioural consultancy in media, through her work at media agency Total Media. She has spearheaded the growth of the team from three people to more than 20, crafted now best-in-class strategies by combining behavioural science, data science and artificial intelligence, and contributed to countless (almost uncountable) client acquisitions for the company.

Named a pioneer in the field of behavioural science, Lea has grown the industry’s adoption of behavioural science by developing Behave’s unique IP, leading up its strategic advisory and asset-based solutions. She has unique expertise in making the complex simple and designing tangible behavioural interventions designed to tap into true human understanding, in turn improving strategies and driving healthier commercial and "people" outcomes for brands. Outside of her role, she has mentored young Lebanese women in their early education and career, landing them opportunities around the world. She is currently planning external training schemes that develop practical applications of behavioural science in business.

What’s been the biggest challenge in your rise to the top - and how did you overcome it?

To put it in simple words, my Lebanese nationality, and therefore something as simple as my right to work in the UK for instance when I first moved here, meant that my identity mechanically came attached with numerous biases I had to overcome to get to where I am today. I overcame them by accepting it first, and then proactively paving my way through these limitations, for instance by deeply (very deeply) understanding the processes I had to follow, not listening to any negativity surrounding the difficulty of it, and staying true to the vision I had for the marketing industry which entailed the fact that London was the right place for me to innovate. That feels like decades ago now, but by taking little steps every single day, shooting and launching ideas, and innovating new solutions for the industry, I saw my capabilities turned into significant tangible results; with these capabilities then turned into confidence. That confidence then turned into a rise to the top.

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