Consulting

I consult to organisations in both the profit and not-for-profit sectors. My starting point is always to understand the issues and challenges facing the organisation and its leadership, and then to develop an approach to move forward. I will try to balance the current needs and capabilities of the organisation with the challenges and opportunities it faces in the future.

In general, my consulting assignments fall into one of the following categories:

How to develop strategy in conditions of uncertainty and change – using scenario planning

Conventional planning approaches are incapable of accommodating the uncertainty and change found in many of the markets you face. I will introduce a different process into your organisation – one that can achieve competitive advantage despite the challenges of uncertainty and high levels of change.

Rather than making predictions about the future state of a market or customer needs, we develop a series of alternative futures that allow you to understand the range of realistic possibilities in your market. We can then focus on building the organisational capabilities that are needed to cope with these different futures. And, you are then better equipped to understand how the future is unfolding – and how to respond proactively.

How to improve your strategic thinking and decision making – in complex environments

Complex environments are characterised by unpredictability, the “butterfly” effect and emergent behaviour. Because of this, our conventional planning approaches are much less effective. We use a deep understanding of the human brain – itself a complex adaptive system – to identify new processes and practices to generate strategic insight. In essence, we build an approach that combines the rational analytical approach with the reflective insight process to produce a more robust framework for strategic thinking and decision making.

Often, this can include new processes such as foresight and scenario thinking that will enhance your existing approaches to corporate and business strategy.

How to manage change and successfully execute strategy

The design and form of your organisation is responsible for some 50% of the success (or failure) of your strategy. By designing and building your organisation around the strategy and key value propositions you have, you can significantly improve overall performance. And structure is only a small part of this solution!

I begin by understanding and clarifying your value propositions, and then designing the key business processes and structures necessary to deliver these. we are then able to configure the whole organisation so that it is focused on the effective implementation of your strategy. And we can then work on an effective change strategy to successfully transition the organisation from its current to future state.

How to lead your organisation “over the horizon” 

Leading your organisation during great uncertainty and change requires both great foresight as well as an understanding of the tensions that exist inside the organisation. I will assist your leadership to understand the external challenges and gain insight into the way the future is unfolding. Strategic thinking is key to this understanding and also to developing the necessary foresight to remain calm and confident in these conditions.

We will also address the need for communicating and engaging with staff about the challenges and necessary changes. How much detail to provide and what to do when you don’t know the answers to their questions. And what style of leadership is required while you are navigating your way through these disruptive times.

How to align your organisation with its market

Strategic alignment requires a close fit between the market, your strategy, the organisation culture and leadership style. I will assist you in understanding the “logic” of the market, and then developing the appropriate strategy and organisation design. The design of the organisation must allow for flexibility and responsiveness to market conditions, but at the same time produce the control and efficiencies required for success in these tough conditions.

Our strategic alignment framework provides a way of matching and aligning these key elements and improving the overall effectiveness of the organisation.

How to win and keep your customers

I work with the leadership team to understand the needs of the various customers groups and then to develop appropriate value propositions for each of these groups. We use innovative approaches to segment and understand the market – techniques that seek to recognise the real needs and preferences of customers by observing their patterns of behaviour when purchasing or using your product / service.

This often results in quite different ways of attracting and retaining your customers. Ways that can provide you with an important competitive advantage in highly competitive markets.