Strategy & Organization Corporate strategy boils down to understanding a business’ value to society and articulating what the firm needs to do to deliver that value over a relevant time horizon. Strategic expression is most general at the enterprise level and increasingly specific and customized when describing plans for individual business units and market segments served by them. Strategic plans for each of these layers need to be mutually supportive and provide the necessary framework for the interim annual operating plans of the business. A good strategic plan is like a story told from the ending backwards. It should have enough detail to guide the future choices that will lead to the mission being realized.
Once a company knows what it intends to do, it must organize appropriately. Relevant considerations include having a coherent business model that is capable of delivering the value proposition to customers, ensuring that mechanisms for sensing and responding to market dynamics are effective, and governing with a measurement system that provides focus to ensure the right things get done without adding complexity.
Acquisitions and divestitures can be useful tools for accelerating corporate strategic development. Acquisitions can be means of achieving scale in target markets, repositioning to exploit the potentials of adjacent markets, or buying rather than building new competencies. Divestment can bring sharper business focus while lowering complexity, and it can be a source of cash. Effective corporate development in either case starts with strategic clarity that must be supported by a robust M&A process to mitigate risk and ensure value capture.
Not all companies are in a position to maintain dedicated resources for corporate development, and many lack formalized playbooks to reduce investment risk.
Effective marketing strategy thoroughly dissects the external environment facing a company. Megatrends and economic cycles drive big picture demand, influencing competitive intensity, while market and customer segments determine winners and losers. Companies need to address both ends of this continuum, yet many limit their focus to the broad macro factors.
Deep analyses of markets and customer transactions are what enable rich, solutions-oriented strategies that can position a business to capitalize on market shifts for growth, increase customer loyalty, and dictate competitive developments. They also lead to discoveries about unmet customer needs, creating new options for the firm to grow by selling more to existing customers, penetrating new geographies or product adjacencies, or migrating along the value chain with innovative solutions.
Great strategies need great commercial follow through comprised of the right go-to-market models, skills in communicating value concepts, and measurement systems for tracking results and market developments. We have installed successful, collaborative approaches across direct and indirect selling platforms, and we have improved front-line selling capabilities in consumer and industrial markets worldwide.
We know that territory and account management, call planning, delivering compelling presentations, handling objections and closing sales depend on specific skills that can be learned. Moreover, capabilities in these areas can be measured and steadily improved through in-field training and monitoring processes.
There may be times when family or other closely held companies are having difficulty finding a consensus over one or more issues critical to the future health and prosperity of their business. During such times, it may be helpful to employ a trained, experienced mediator with a long and rich background in both dispute resolution and commercial matters to help the parties find their own solution. Jack Neely, an attorney for thirty eight years and a trained mediator, may be able to help people reach a resolution in a constructive, cost effective and neutral manner. These services are available as part of another engagement, or on a stand-alone basis.