Fox Executive DBA student receives business leadership award

March 17th, 2015 //
Diana Kyser
Diana Kyser

Diana Kyser’s management style involves intricately fitting together a company’s puzzle pieces. Sometimes, a few pieces are missing. In most cases, the pieces are there and simply need to be arranged.

It’s a skill Kyser said she has always possessed.

“In our Navigating the Global Marketplace class, Professor (Ram) Mudambi talks about orchestrators – the kinds of people who can take a product that’s already in place and improve upon it,” Kyser said. “Professionally, that’s how I see myself. I’m a builder, a fixer.”

Kyser is a doctoral candidate in the inaugural cohort of the Executive Doctorate of Business Administration program at the Fox School of Business.

She’s also one of the leading businesswomen in New Jersey.

NJBIZ has named Kyser one of its Best 50 Women in Business for 2015.  The weekly business journal selects women who reside or maintain employment in New Jersey, and must hold a senior management position within their organization. Honorees are either self-nominated or nominated by others. (Click here for NJBIZ’s 2015 honorees.)

“This is the 10th-annual award for NJBIZ. I’ve been nominated before, but I’d never been selected, so it’s rewarding,” said Kyser, of Summit, N.J.

Kyser’s professional background is rich with leadership experience. She’s the founding partner of COO on Demand, assisting companies in tailoring their execution strategies and formalizing their operations to scale for continued growth. Kyser’s company, which was founded nearly three years ago, offers operational experts to handle bookkeeping, human resources, management communications, business strategizing, and more for companies of all sizes.

“Maybe you’re a small business that needs help with the operations side, so the owner can focus on running the product side,” Kyser said. “Maybe you have a mid-size business that needs help refining its operations or strengthening its overall business plan. Maybe you manage a big business and you need a chief operations officer on an interim basis until you can hire one. These are some of the services we offer.

“Some of these companies could really benefit from high-level, experienced talent but, at the moment, can’t afford it. We think COO on Demand is quite revolutionary.”

Ultimately, Kyser said, she envisions bringing all of COO on Demand’s employees and offerings under one roof in a call-center-like setting, with management services being rendered by phone.

“It all comes back to reducing small-business failure rate, and it’s a goal that can be achieved,” she said.

A lifelong entrepreneur, Kyser in the early 1990s helped found C3i, which blossomed into a worldwide leader in technical support services for life sciences companies. She and two other C3i cofounders sold the $75 million venture funded global technology solutions firm within the last year to Telerx, a division of Merck.

Looking for another challenge, Kyser enrolled in Fox’s Executive DBA program, which launched in Fall 2014. She’s surrounded by others like her, who hold high-level, senior leadership positions as researchers, executives or entrepreneurs. The program, which is offered by only a handful of business schools nationwide, combines research with real-world experience.

“I can’t tell you how amazingly skilled the people in this program are,” Kyser said. “Their wealth of experience and knowledge is unbelievable. I’ve always loved academics and learning, and this program puts the business piece right there with the research and learning pieces.”

Just like in Kyser’s professional career, it’s all about fitting the pieces together.

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