The purpose of any business is to create a customer. While there are many sophisticated strategy formulation and analysis frameworks, I believe in keeping strategy simple by staying faithful to that purpose.
“Simple” is not to say “easy.” My most successful clients understand that the first step in developing a growth strategy is not deciding where and how to grow, but rather deciding what business to abandon. A business must make room for new growth.
Few people would argue against systematically getting rid of the outgrown, the obsolete and the unproductive. However, abandoning yesterday’s cash cow before one really wants to–let alone has to–requires courage and resolve, and it is this part with which many managers struggle the most.
For strategy to be successful, difficult issues must be dealt with honestly, and consensus among the leadership and those who will carry out execution is essential. Strategy effectively becomes an organic template for how the company operates.
We help clients develop a strategy formulation capability to enable growth. This means understanding the real driving forces behind their business, identifying opportunities to create customers in new ways, and having the courage and resolve to seize those opportunities without fear or resistance. We help our clients make this a habit in the way they think, talk and act. People involved in strategy formulation become willing to learn and go outside their comfort zone. They build strategy top-down based on bold visions of what they want to achieve rather than building bottom-up from what they already can do. They avoid using simplistic frameworks that assume the world is static, and anticipate market moves. They ask provocative questions to reframe the business and help it grow.