Meet the Team: Sehr Thadhani
Sehr is a Partner at Silicon Foundry after spending her career at the intersection of strategy, partnerships, and transformation. Most recently, Sehr co-founded and ran an executive advisory firm that worked with global brands, best-selling authors, family offices, and C-suite executives to develop brand strategy, build strategic partnerships, and launch new ventures. Prior to that, she held senior leadership roles at NBC, MTV, Paramount, and Edelman Digital where she worked with brands like Samsung, Unilever, and J&J. Sehr began her career at L’Oréal.
Sehr is a classically-trained opera singer, started a non-profit for physically handicapped women in Bombay, helped architect The White House Initiative for Asian American and Pacific Islanders Anti-Bullying Campaign, and has built mentorship, diversity, and leadership programs within every company she’s worked at to create access, opportunity, and elevate platforms for under-represented groups. Sehr holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MS in Global Affairs from NYU, and a BA in Marketing and Vocal Performance from Indiana University.
What brought you to Silicon Foundry?
Throughout my career, I’ve been an intrapreneur — building and transforming inside of big corporations while focusing on what’s new and what’s next. I’ve had the privilege of working alongside world class C-suite executives across industry and function — from some of the best customer experience and marketing execs at L’Oréal, Samsung, and NBC to some of the most innovative, creative technologists and strategists at Google.
When I met Liz Keen at Silicon Foundry, we spent the better part of six months talking about the challenges that corporations face and the internal conditions that make it nearly impossible to change at the pace they need to in order to stay competitive. In getting to know her, I knew I had discovered a like-minded change agent. As I got to know the broader team at Silicon Foundry, I found the group to be a collection of big picture thinkers with the ability to help the most well-known global companies transform from the outside in — so it felt like a great place to be.
What keeps you at Silicon Foundry?
I love this question. I don’t stay in one lane, so working with a variety of members such as Ford, Estée Lauder, BP, and EY to help them build the future of mobility, retail, customer experience, and sustainability is such a gift for an insanely curious person like myself. I’ve always thought in “we” terms and love connecting people and ideas to create opportunities, which makes Foundry a great place for me because the nature of our work keeps us at the center of a variety of stakeholders as well as new and emerging technologies.
How has your background impacted your approach?
My father was an executive for a global company, which meant we moved a lot. By the time I was in high school, my family had lived in about 10 countries and cities and I was exposed to a variety of cultures, customs, ideas, and systems. As an example, I spent fifth through seventh grade at the American Embassy School in New Delhi, where my class had representation from 95 countries. Swim meets were in Bangladesh, seva (community service) trips were to Mother Teresa’s orphanage, and the political climate often informed whether we had to evacuate class at a moment’s notice. All that to say, I’m a third culture kid who is a product of complex experiences — I thrive at the pace of change, think in broad systems, and am not limited by (artificial) borders or boundaries.
I’m also a classically trained musician, which prepared and stretched me in obvious ways — musicians are disciplined and prepared endurance athletes with very high standards. But since I don’t like to stay in one lane, I sang with a gospel choir, had a jazz band, and did a (short) stint on Broadway. My background in music taught me how and when to own the spotlight and when to blend into the chorus. I learned how to improvise (mostly because I was never really great at bass clef sight-reading, so had no choice but to make things up that were adjacent to what was on the page) and I learned how to simultaneously excel at my craft while still connecting and transporting an audience. Lastly, I learned how to hustle, because all good musicians know you have to create your own opportunities.
What podcast book article have you listened to that changed your perspective?
I’m obsessed with people who have overcome seemingly impossible circumstances and reinforce that you alone have the power and ability to create your lived experience. Books like Becoming Supernatural by Joe Dispenza and Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins make the impossible seem possible. Also, Words that Work by Frank Luntz is a book that changed my perspective on communication and reminded me that it’s not about what you say, but about what other people hear.