Approach & Methodology
Based on my experience, and using the best approaches of the large multinational consulting firms, I’ve developed an approach based on the following principles:
Focus on CHANGE right from the start!
Most firms consider strategy and change/implementation to be different. My understanding is that you need to consider the practical aspects of implementation upfront as part of strategy, otherwise its simply a theoretical exercise. Accordingly, right from the first kickoff conversation, my approach builds on the likelihood of developing a future-oriented solution to its issues, which will require changing aspects of the organization.
Engage with EVERYBODY
Involving only senior leadership and senior management in the strategy development process can lead to bottlenecks and similar/siloed thinking. Instead I have seen better results by involving entire teams through workshops with different service lines/functions, etc. to discuss what strategy is required. Using a rapid rollout of half-day workshops with samples of people from different teams, I involve everybody – across all levels, functions and business lines – in defining issues and developing solutions +strategies to ensure everybody feels that they have been heard, all operating problems come into the open, and that at the end of the exercise everybody has agreed on the overall direction.
The SAME people Plan and Execute
Strategy development is best done by the people responsible for its execution.The team developing the strategy should evaluate all courses of action to create value – and that means challenging all the assumptions that may be holding them back.
People are more capable than they think themselves and perform outstandingly if you give them the chance. A key part of my approach is to ensure that client teams achieve higher performance through changed mindsets, goal-seeking behavior, and greater self-management.
Get real – insist on the use of NUMBERS
Its not enough to simply use ambitions and aspirations as the basis for action – strategy involves making trade-off choices. I therefore ask for the use of business numbers to develop a base for all discussions even at very junior level; and in all functions, even in areas which traditionally don’t see a focus on business metrics. This ensures that the initial enthusiasm for suggesting interesting strategies gets assessed against the likely impact on the business, and at the end of the process all teams have an understanding of the basis of selection of a strategy.
Develop DUAL vision
Strategy consulting starts with understanding trends, which needs a wider focus than just on your own industry. Social changes, demographics, technologies, political positions, disasters – all need to be considered. Strategy therefore needs both wide-angle vision across several sectors AND a micro-focus to develop company-level and function-specific initiatives.
Using these principles, I’ve developed a 4-layer methodology, where I first address basic questions of vision/mission/goals, and then work through developing business strategies and a business model. This then dovetails seamlessly into addressing implementation aspects such as the required operating model, and the governance structure.