In a world moving this fast, it’s critical to understand where you fit in your industry and to clearly define your direction.
- Answer specific questions sought by top management about the current business
- Update/ratify a plan already in use at the company
- Resolve shareholder issues that may be impacting the company’s future direction
- Assess the short and long-term strategic choices available to the company (e.g. capital needs, potential liquidity events, etc.)
- Gain alignment and a shared understanding on “who are we (as a company) and where do we need to go” (i.e. sort through the current issues/opportunities, establish a future direction)
- Emphasize the ‘how': drive the formulation of specific operating plans and goals needed to successfully execute the go-forward plan
What We Offer
Each “strategy project” is tailored to client circumstances and objectives. We believe the foundation of the strategic plan needs to be data-driven and not based on fluff. Our strategy development process is broken into seven major components. We have a considerable amount of material on each of these steps; this page presents the highlights.
One: Who are you?
This step is an objective, internal assessment of the business today. It may be completed with just a short SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) exercise or, depending on how the company is performing, a more detailed organizational assessment. There are some simple, but important questions that guide this step.
- What is the “business model” today and what is the business model of the future?
- Is the company properly organized (ownership, management, people, systems, policies) to deliver this business model?
- Is the company executing effectively (costs, services)?
- How can the financial performance be optimized?
Two: External Assessment
This step examines:
- Industry Structure and Attractiveness
- The Industry Value Chain
- Market Size and Growth Patterns
- Competitor Market Share and Market Position
- Competitor Strategies
- Distribution Channels
- Customer Needs
Three: Articulate the organization’s mission, vision, values and major goals
This step is focused on the big picture of what you want your company to achieve…in the marketplace, for your employees, for the community and for your shareholders. What are the significant goals you want to realize in terms of growth, size, value, etc.?
Four: Evaluating growth alternatives and choices
What are the best and most realistic growth paths? Should growth be internal only or through acquisition? The various alternatives need to be reviewed in the context of the external environment analysis, the internal strengths and weaknesses, and the constraints and resources (see next step).
Five: An objective look at constraints and resources
One factor that could contribute to potential failures in planning comes from the “poor fit between the external environment and organizational resources”. There needs to be a broader look at overall resources (e.g. people, people skills, technology, facilities and equipment, capital) to determine if there are gaps with respect to the future plan’s goals and programs.
Six: Pulling the plan together
This step turns the ‘what’ into the ‘how’. A clear operating plan (see next page) should be built that identifies action steps, accountability by person, and metrics to evaluate progress.
Seven: Continuous monitoring
We recommend that the broader strategy plan be reviewed at least annually (more frequently for emerging growth companies); the operating plan should be reviewed at least quarterly and ideally monthly.
Involvement and integration
Senior management needs to be actively involved with the planning process. The overall process must be probing and inclusive to get the ideas flowing and to get the buy-in for later implementation. The rollout of the plan down through the organization has to be well communicated and tied to company-wide and departmental operating plans.
Contact us for more information on how we can help with Strategy Development.