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Andrew Hone shares a step-by-step guide to applying top-tier strategic consulting techniques.

What is a strategy review?

A strategy review is a process to identify new value-creating opportunities within a business. It could be about improving the performance of an existing division. Or it could be about taking advantage of a new market adjacency opportunity.

It is also an opportunity to step back from day-to-day operations. You can assess the strategic foundations on which the business is built.

It, therefore, needs to be a clear fact-based analysis of the business opportunity or issue.

When should you undertake a strategy review?

Many companies undertake strategic reviews on an annual basis as part of their strategic planning process.

Other businesses will undertake them on a more ad hoc basis. For instance, when presented with a specific opportunity or problem within the business.

Furthermore, a change of ownership or appointment of a new CEO can often trigger the need for a strategic review of the business. It can be a great way to clarify key areas of opportunity and challenges within the business.

What are the outcomes of a strategic review?

It should lead to a clear set of strategic recommendations. The review should also set out a future roadmap for the business. This roadmap charts the course for the business. This helps enable increased and sustained performance now and for the future.

Delivering a strategic review

Start with the answer

Strategic reviews are often undertaken under considerable pressure to get to an answer rapidly. Every day needs to count. Moreover, you can’t afford to spend time on research or analysis that doesn’t make the final cut.

 The leading strategy firms therefore adopt a hypothesis-led approach to strategy formulation. For instance McKinsey’s Decision Tree or Bain’s Answer First approaches.

Be 80/20

When operating under a severe time constraint, it is critical to be 80/20 in undertaking new analysis.

You should be targeted in your data gathering and research. You can achieve a lot in a short space of time. An online survey to your key customers can be quick to set up. But can yield valuable insights.

You probably can’t build an in-depth financial model in 4 weeks. But you can do some high-level modelling of the main financial levers of your business.

Key points include:

  • Allocating dedicated project resources
  • Documenting the key findings
  • Time to implementation

Access the full guide, The Four Week Strategy Review, on ZenithStrategy.com.

 

Andrew Hone shares a post that highlights the reasons strategies fail and what to do to implement them successfully. 

Developing the strategy is the easy part

You’ve just put the finishing touches to your business strategy. You’ve spoken to customers, researched the key market segments, and projected the financials.

The Board and shareholders are aligned and agree on the priorities to take the business forward.

That was the easy part!

Translating a strategy into action is a significant challenge. All too often, the benefits that were promised are delivered late, or fail to materialise at all.

Management teams get distracted by the day-to-day challenges of running the business. Cross-functional initiatives fall between operating silos, budgets get reallocated and the initial momentum is lost.

High failure rates

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.

Despite strategy implementation being seen as a key priority by most senior executives, fewer than 15% of organisations consider themselves to be successful when it comes to executing strategy.

Estimates for strategy implementation failure rates range from 50% to 90%.

Our experience in implementing strategy

We have spent over twenty years helping clients translate strategy into action, working with a range of clients from start-ups through to large corporations and public sector organisations.

Through this, we have identified a number of key principles that can help you to avoid common implementation pitfalls.

By applying these principles, strategy implementation can be a more predictable, transparent and repeatable process.

 

Key points include:

  • Why do strategies fail?
  • Strategy Implementation Framework
  • Underpinning strategy implementation

 

Read the full article, Implementing Strategy, on ZenithStrategy.com.

 

 

From his company website, Andrew Hone offers a guide on how to conduct a rapid strategic review and identify new value-creating opportunities for your business. 

A strategic review is a structured process to identify new value-creating opportunities within a business. This could be about improving the performance of an existing division, or taking advantage of a new market adjacency opportunity. Many companies undertake strategic reviews on an annual basis as part of their strategic planning process. Other businesses will undertake them on a more ad hoc basis when presented with a specific opportunity or problem within the business. A change of ownership or appointment of a new CEO can often trigger the need for a strategic review of the business as a way to clarify the key areas of opportunity and challenges within the existing portfolio.

Whatever its origins, a strategic review should be a clear fact-based analysis of the business opportunity or issue. It provides an opportunity to step back from day-to-day operations to assess the strategic foundations on which a business is built. The outcome of a strategic review should be a clear set of strategic recommendations and a future roadmap for the business that charts its course and enables increased and sustained performance now and for the future.

Benefits of a strategic review

When conducted well, a strategic review can deliver significant benefits to a business. In addition to the direct financial benefits of improving performance and targeting new growth opportunities, the process itself can improve alignment between employees, senior management teams and other key stakeholders, helping to drive a high performance culture and clarity on the future direction of the business.

 

Key points include:

  • Benefits of a structured approach to strategy development
  • Typical scope of a strategic review
  • Key principles to follow when undertaking a strategic review
  • Indicative timeline and workplan for completing a strategic review in 4 weeks

 

Access the full guide, The four week strategic review, on the ZenithStrategy.com website.

 

 

In this short video from Andrew Hone’s company identifies why only one in 25 cost-cutting programs work.

 

 

The video can also be accessed on Zenithstrategy.com 

 

If your team has difficulty moving strategies from thought to action, take advantage of 20 years of experience in strategy consulting from Andrew Hone’s company by clicking through to this comprehensive guide on strategy implementation.

You’ve just put the finishing touches to your business strategy. You’ve spoken to customers, researched the key market segments, and projected the financials. The Board and shareholders are aligned and agree on the priorities to take the business forward. That was the easy part!

Translating a strategy into action is a significant challenge. All too often, the benefits that were promised are delivered late, or fail to materialize at all. Management teams get distracted by the day-to-day challenges of running the business. Cross-functional initiatives fall between operating silos, budgets get reallocated and the initial momentum is lost.

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Despite strategy implementation being seen as a key priority by most senior executives, fewer than 15% of organizations consider themselves to be successful when it comes to executing strategy. Estimates for strategy implementation failure rates range from 50% to 90%.

We have spent over twenty years helping clients translate strategy into action, working with a range of clients from start-ups through to large corporations and public sector organizations. Through this, we have identified a number of key principles that can help you to avoid common implementation pitfalls. By applying these principles, strategy implementation can be a more predictable, transparent and repeatable process, improving both the speed and certainty of the outcome.

 

Information in this article includes:

  • Why strategies fail
  • A strategy implementation framework
  • FAQs

 

Access the guide and full report, Implementing Strategy, on the Zenith Strategy Associates’ website. 

 

 

Andrew Hone’s company provides a comprehensive report designed to position your business for success in the post Covid-19 environment.

Achieving rapid and sustainable cost reduction is a critical business objective, especially in the current environment. The near-term economic outlook is bleak, with the IMF projecting the world’s worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

At a time when most businesses are likely to see deteriorating market conditions and declining revenue, rebalancing the cost base to reflect the new operating environment could be the difference between riding out the current crisis or becoming another business casualty.

The Agile Cost Advantage is the culmination of 20 years’ of working with business leaders on cost reduction.

 

Areas covered in this report include:

  • A systematic four-stage approach to designing and executing a cost reduction program
  • Common causes of failure (and how to avoid them) 
  • Techniques for identifying cost reduction opportunities
  • How to set your program up for success

 

Download the full report, The Agile Cost Advantage, on the Zenith Strategy website.

 

 

Andrew Hone’s company blog explains why cost reduction programs often fail. 

Although cost reduction programs can deliver a powerful mix of financial, strategic, and organisational benefits, the failure rates of these types of programs are very high. A recent survey of C-Suite executives, for example, found that while 90% of businesses had attempted to implement a cost reduction program, 75% failed to meet their targets, and 44% missed them by more than half.

Drawing on some of the key insights from our new report, the Agile Cost Advantage, in this article we consider some of the main reasons why cost reduction programs are so difficult to get right.

The reasons for cost reduction program failure can be complex, and of course depend of the specific circumstances of each cost reduction program. In general though, we see a number of recurring themes behind these causes of failure.

 

Points covered in this article include:

  • Unrealistic targets
  • Cost cuts
  • Execution challenges
  • Loss of momentum

 

Read the full article,  Why do cost reduction programs fail so often? on the Zenith Strategy Associates website. 

 

 

Andrew Hone’s company has developed a 6-week program which takes businesses through each step of our three-stage framework for responding to COVID-19.

COVID-19 represents a formidable challenge to businesses of all sizes. Necessary policy responses have caused significant disruption to the global economy, with simultaneous demand, supply and financial shocks. Most businesses are experiencing a sharp decline in near-term revenue, requiring actions to mitigate the impact on cash flows and potentially to secure additional funding.

Based on our own experiences with clients on turnaround and performance improvement programs, we have developed a strategic framework to assist businesses in working through their response to COVID-19. There are three key elements to this framework:

 

  • Ensuring immediate business continuity
  • Securing the near-term financial viability of the business
  • Positioning the business for medium-term strategic opportunities

 

Read the full article, Responding to COVID-19, on Zenith Strategy Associates’ website.

 

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Andrew Hone with Zenith Strategy Associates.  Andrew Hone spent three years as a Principal in the Strategy and Private equity practices at Bain & Company. Prior to Bain, he was a Partner at L.E.K. Consulting, where he specialised in corporate strategy and private equity advisory services. For the last eight years he has been running his own consulting firm and operates across ANZ and the UK. He focuses on strategy development, performance improvement and transaction services.

Andrew is based in Sydney with his wife and two children and is a keen golfer. Andrew is happy to collaborate on projects across ANZ and the UK involving strategy development and implementation, cost reduction and performance improvement.