What is strategy? The word "strategy" is used is many way and has different meanings for many of our clients. It is important to have a common language and therefore when we work with clients "strategy": “The set of decisions that define the nature and direction of an organization”
Strategy Development: Private Sector Client:
National restaurant chain
- Move from anemic growth to robust growth.
- Enhance services and locations to address changing market demographics, lifestyles, and dine-out eating habits.
- Maintain brand equity and current base of loyal customers.
A series of executive team strategic decision-making meetings.
- Provided a framework for decision-making.
- Challenged thinking and current practices.
- Facilitated meetings that achieved consensus on strategic issues.
- Guided the development and execution of a strategy implementation plan.
- Identified and pursued new target markets (e.g., young consumers), continued to serve some legacy markets, and exited some geographic markets.
- Expanded menu offerings (e.g., ethnic foods in certain regions) and customer access options (e.g.,drive-through).
- Updated brand without sacrificing its strengths or abandoning its base.
- Established stronger business process and IT infrastructure to support strategy.
- Returned to strong growth, even in tough economic times.
Strategy Development: Public Sector Client:
Municipal environmental protection agency
- Organization spread too thin and serving too many masters.
- External communication cast it in an unfavorable light.
- Lacked a strategy that: 1) ensured environmental stewardship; 2) reconciled the demands placed on it by federal and state regulators, local political leaders, the business community, and the public; and, 3) positioned it as a contributor, not an impediment, to a healthy and economically vibrant community.
A series of meetings in which the executive team and various stakeholder representatives determined: the range and priorities of its services; the actions it would take to provide those services; and, the ways in which it would communicate to all of its constituents.
- Tailored the strategy process to fit the unique situation.
- Guided the team as it made front-of-the-bus, back-of-the-bus, and off-the-bus decisions regarding its services.
- Challenged conventional wisdom. Helped the team understand its mandates and where it had discretion in terms of what it did and how it did it.
- Helped the team understand that a government body has competition and helped it forge competitive advantages.
- Facilitated the development of an implementation plan that included a proactive "marketing"/ communication plan (e.g.,through the sponsorship of community recreational activities).
- Agency is run as a business, not as a bureaucracy or merely a policing function.
- When budget cuts are required, it cuts in the right places and in the right ways.
- It clearly communicates to its varied constituencies.
- The public, the business community, and political leaders at all levels see it as a valued tile in the regional mosaic.
This book is not an academic text, an entertainment, or an "idea dump" that forces readers to figure out how to translate concepts into action. It is a workbook with practical tools and questions that help readers identify the unique needs of their businesses and guide them to the actions they should take to address those needs.
The book can be used by an individual or--often even more powerfully--by a select group chosen by the executive or business owner. The team may include not only managers and other creative thinkers in the business but also customers, outside advisers, and investors. The goal is to have the best heads and the primary stakeholders focused on this all-important diagnosis and action planning.