Consulting Strategies

Consulting Strategies

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.

 

Set sail with Chris Rooney as he explains what a bosun is and why your business needs one. 

The Bosun is the deck boss of a ship, also known as the “Chief of the Boat.”  The most experienced and trustworthy operator, they have charted the world and mastered every role.  They are the human conduit through which the vision of the Captain becomes realized action and the patient teacher by which an inexperienced crew can become an exceptional, effective team.  And often, they are the wizened thought partner who helps enable the Captain to mature from being visionary to becoming a visionary leader.

CEO’s and business owners have similar challenges to Ship Captains: they have a bigger vision of what is over the horizon, and what world-changing bounty is to be gained from the journey there and back.  But without a very experienced Bosun — a partner who has seen it all, can build and elevate teams, can weather unexpected storms and lack of resources, and inspire others during hardships they have endured before — a successful journey can be exponentially harder.  Most importantly, Bosuns have the experience and foresight to see problems before they arise, recognize opportunities and execute them more quickly, and re-imagine solutions with the confidence of someone who has done it before.

In today’s specialist-oriented business world, true Bosuns are hard to find.  Most executives (including CEO’s) are deeply functional in their experience, domain, and resulting world-view.

 

Key points include:

  • The problem with the CEO silo
  • The limitations of investors and board members
  • Skills needed to navigate unpredictable business environments

 

Read the full article, What is “Bosun”​? And why do you need one?, on LinkedIn.

 

 

Kaihan Krippendorff shares several online strategy and innovation tools and resources that can be downloaded from his website. 

The tools include:

 

  • Strategy Bot: So far, Kaihan’s strategic coaching has generated over $2.5b in new revenue for his clients. Use this strategy bot to experience a virtual coaching session with him. 
  • A Manual for Outthinking the Competition: A white paper that walks you through a step-by-step process for surmounting the seven critical hurdles that prevent companies from responding rapidly and creatively to new strategic challenges. 
  • Jack Welch – Passion Workbook – A collection of 14 exercises you and your team can use to connect with the passion and purpose of what you do. 
  • Building Creative Strategies with Patterns: An article originally published in Harvard Business Review. 
  • Seven Surprise Openings:  An article originally published in Harvard Business Review. 
  • 30 Minute Strategy Workbook: Five steps to rapidly – in 30 minutes or less – design a strategic narrative for achieving your goals in work or life. 
  • Reverse Engineering Your Destiny – an even shorter version of my “30 Minute Strategy” workbook designed by Izzy Greenberg of Tekiyah Creative. 
  • Beliefs Workbook: Belief is Contagious. It wins supporters. It’s self-fulfilling. Here’s how to get there when nagging, negative thoughts are holding you back. 
  • Personal Strategy Tracking Tool: a simple matrix and daily practice to help keep you on the path to realizing your one-year strategy. 
  • Personal Strategy Refresh Tool – A 10 minute exercise to assess whether you are on track and identify what parts of your strategy you want to adjust to re energize, refresh, and reclaim strategic clarity. 

 

Access the tools, articles, and whitepapers from Kaihan’s website.

 

 

David A. Fields posts a positive reminder that everyone can promote purposeful change, including consultants.

 

Today’s an excellent day to briefly remind you of the good your consulting firm does, and the importance of understanding the “Why” behind your consulting firm’s engagements.

In all likelihood, your consulting firm doesn’t directly address widespread injustice, relieve oppression, or combat systemic prejudice.

Yet, your everyday actions leading a consulting firm are still a vital, positive contribution to the world.

A Force for Good

Amidst once-in-a-generation societal storms, your consulting firm’s work may sometimes feel inconsequential.

It’s not. You have every right to be proud of your consulting firm’s work, promote your offerings and continue to pursue consulting projects.

 

Read the full article, How Your Consulting Firm Can Be A Force For Good, on David’s website.

 

 

David A. Fields identifies two issues consulting firms must overcome to win projects and asks four pertinent questions that can help you take the action needed to move forward.

Your consulting firm has probably encountered more resistance from prospective clients than usual over the past eight weeks. Fortunately, you can understand and overcome the elevated stumbling blocks.

The basics of winning consulting projects haven’t changed. Keep them moist and use lots of butter. No, wait. That’s for sheets of phyllo dough. To win consulting projects, your consulting firm still needs to outperform every alternative on The Six Pillars of Consulting Success.

However, the change and uncertainty that have swept the globe have also spawned two shifts in how prospects evaluate your consulting firm’s offerings.

 

Points covered in this article include:

  • Heightened Risk Sensitivity
  • Extended Time Horizon

 

Read the full article, Two Issues Your Consulting Firm Must Confront to Win Projects in Uncertain Times, on David’s website. 

 

 

David A. Fields shares a post that identifies the benefit of extending your reach and imagination to find partners and connections that can help your business grow.

Many of your consulting firm’s prospects are caught in the eddies of crisis and battling to stay afloat. While they appreciate your relationship-building calls, unfortunately, they’re too preoccupied to fully engage in deep conversations with you.

On the other hand, you know who’s in the same boat as your consulting firm and casting about for new ideas and connections?

Fly fishermen. Partners.

Plus, the right partner can contribute more to your consulting firm’s health over the long term than any one client.

A partner is any individual or firm that helps you with your consulting cycle (Winning Engagements and Profitably Creating Value), and/or whom you can help.**

 

The five categories (and examples) of partners are:

  • IP Creators
  • Influencers
  • Connectors
  • Value Extenders
  • Distributors

 

Read the full article, 5 Partners Your Consulting Firm Should Call This Week, on David’s website. 

 

 

In this timely post, David A. Fields provides ten strategies consulting firms can implement to help navigate through difficult times. 

You’re swimming in a vast sea of stressful news and, given today’s reality, you’re well within your rights to feel anxious, nervous and uncertain about how your consulting firm should proceed.

Clients are shutting down their operations; workshops and meetings are being called off; in fact, the entire economy appears to be headed for an abrupt, if temporary, halt. What does that mean for your consulting firm and how should you respond?

I pulled together a couple dozen “to dos” for my consulting firm clients. Nine of them are presented below, leaving a space for you to fill in your recommendation for your own consulting firm and for other readers.

 

Areas covered in this article include:

  • Client relations
  • Budget management
  • Partnership opportunities
  • Remote work and delivery

 

Read the full article, 10 Tough-times Strategies For Consulting Firms, on David’s website.

 

 

In this timely post, David A. Fields provides ten strategies consulting firms can implement to help navigate through difficult times. 

You’re swimming in a vast sea of stressful news and, given today’s reality, you’re well within your rights to feel anxious, nervous and uncertain about how your consulting firm should proceed.

Clients are shutting down their operations; workshops and meetings are being called off; in fact, the entire economy appears to be headed for an abrupt, if temporary, halt. What does that mean for your consulting firm and how should you respond?

I pulled together a couple dozen “to dos” for my consulting firm clients. Nine of them are presented below, leaving a space for you to fill in your recommendation for your own consulting firm and for other readers.

 

Areas covered in this article include:

  • Client relations
  • Budget management
  • Partnership opportunities
  • Remote work and delivery

 

Read the full article, 10 Tough-times Strategies For Consulting Firms, on David’s website.