#1 Favour experience Young, brainy consultants end up doing what young brainy consultants can do: information trawling and number crunching Better to employ the seen-it-all maverick with an ability to cut-through the crap and get to the killer insights
#2 Top down The craziest idea? Having advisors reporting into an inexperienced strategy team Strategy is far too important for anyoneother than the CEO and the management team to take on It follows that strategy consultants should only take briefs from this C Suite
#3 Find the problem The problem is not always what it seems A client may be defining a want but not the underlying need Strategy consultants must develop the art of being super blunt whilst telling the truth in an acceptable way Humour helps!
#4 Narrow the options In recent work, a client had 15 different strategic pathways on the table Filtering options begins, not by facts, but by framing Structuring the analysis strengthens thinking and supports hypotheses
#5 Use MECE McKinseys fact-based problem-solving process uses MECE thinking Standing for Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive, its about separating a problem into distinct, non-overlapping issues whilst making sure nothing is overlooked
#6 Avoid data overload Collect data with a purpose Set up hypotheses early in the process & collect only data which will prove or disprove them Focus on: what assumptions need to be true for my hypothesis to be correct Seek answers which are directionally correct
#7 No excuses Pre-internet, it was OK not to know Todays business plans must take advantage of all available intelligence Strategists can no longer rely on the ignorance of a motivated audience
#8 Dont sweat the forecasts Business Plans need numbers – just dont get carried away Complex discouted cash-flow spreadsheets are next to worthless when 5 year assumptions have no basis other than management hope The truth is that no one is going to believe the forecasts so stick to an overview of the economics of the business and capturing its potential
#9 Go fast In the good old days, a scenario planning exercise could take companies like Shell 2 years to complete Today, speedy strategy is possible but requires a separation of process and task Take time to develop the right process and the tasks will go very fast indeed 10 weeks for a business strategy, anyone?
#10 Evaluate fit Whats right & what can be implemented by a client are two different things entirely “Consulting is knowing how to tailor your advice to the optimum of what the organization will take on board & implement” (Sir John Harvey Jones)
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Futures Coaching in October 2012Helping a Dutch agency identify growthopportunities & plan its strategyWorking with an international company to embedbest practices in consulting into their strategyContinuing to define how trends will impact futurebank branch design and rolePlanning a new report on trends in consumerhealthcareAiding my co-author with a TEDx presentation onYoung Brains
About Futures Coaching Celebrating 5 years!Working for great clients Doing great things Planning * corporate SWOT analysis * filtering business opportunities * building Business Cases Anticipating * the future of retail * the future of offices * the future of global banking * the future of Asian women Innovating * new fund-raising offers * consumer healthcare NPD Coaching * trends training for insight teams * personal rejuvenation training Speaking * engagements from Taipei to Toronto