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.
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.