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Tuckman’s 5 Stages of Group Development

5 Apr

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Studies on Team Motivation and Building Effective Teams stem from the research carried out in Psychology and Sociology.  Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920), the Founder of Modern Psychology, is credited with conducting the 1st research on the subject.

The Social Psychologist Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) is credited with introducing the term “Group Dynamics.” The term defined the constructive and destructive forces within Groups of people.  Lewin pioneered the Group Dynamics Research Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, first of its kind dedicated to the study of Group Dynamics and how it could be applied to real-world and social issues.

The latter half of the 20th century saw attention shifted more towards studying how Group Performance could be improved in the workplace to foster an Organizational Culture of cohesiveness, and Tuckman’s study proved significant in this regard.

Bruce Tuckman’s Model on Group Development became one of the most influential studies on the subject.  Originally conducted in 1965, the Model was further improved by Tuckman and his colleague in 1977.

Tuckman’s assertion was that each of the phases of the model is indispensable and unavoidable for the team to grow, face up to challenges, tackle problems, find solutions, plan strategically, and deliver results.  Tuckman’s model has become the foundation for following models and commonly used by management consultants for Team Management and Client Management.  For the model to be applicable in the work place, it is vital to comprehend the process at each stage and its concepts.

Tuckman’s Group Development Model comprises the following 5 stages:

  1. Forming
  2. Storming
  3. Norming
  4. Performing
  5. Adjourning

The 5th stage of Group Development called “Adjourning” was added in 1977, by Tuckman and his colleague Mary Ann Jensen.

Let us examine some of the stages of Tuckman’s model for Group Development in a little more detail.

Forming

The key dynamic of the first stage is Orientation.  This is the stage where people are brought together in a Group.  How quickly the group’s transition to the 2nd stage takes place depends on the clarity and complexity of the goal and members’ previous experience of working in groups.  Some of the key characteristics of this stage include:

  • An upbeat outlook of group members about what is to be accomplished.
  • Anxiousness on part of members about what the other team members will be like.

Managers of the group at this stage have to be directly and intimately involved.  Clear guidelines and structure by the manager are necessary to ensure that the team builds strong relationships.

Storming

The key dynamic of this stage is Power Struggle.  At this 2nd stage team members feel more at ease voicing and questioning opinions, and that is when internal conflict flares up.  Channeling this conflict in a positive direction will make for a cohesive team.  Some of the key characteristics of this stage are:

  • Perception formation about other team members’ abilities.
  • Alliance formation among team members and discussions regarding the goal and the approach to achieve it.

The group leader has to show a Problem Solving Mindset at this stage, swiftly channel conflict between teams in order to avoid demoralization.  Among many other actions at this stage, the leader also has to guide the team in decision-making and proffering explanations on how decisions transpired.

Norming

The key dynamic of the 3rd stage of team development is Cooperation.  The members concentrate on settling differences to make way for clear definition of organizational mission and objectives.  Manager’s role within the team transforms from that of leader to that of a team member.

Interested in learning more about Tuckman’s 5-Stage Group Development Model?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Tuckman’s 5 Stages of Group Development here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

Successful Business Transformation—5 Critical Success Factors

29 Mar

Stock Image 2 - Business Transfromation CSFs

Business Transformations have become a necessity in the fast-changing technological and competitive business environment.  Transformation is characterized by significant and risk-laden Restructuring of a company, with the objective of accomplishing Operational Excellence and changing its future course.

Business Transformation is a priority for many top executives but it is usually a reaction to challenging circumstances rather than being a preemptive measure.

Business Transformation is prompted by a combination of 2 situations:

  • Need to address inherent problems causing organizational drag—these problems may be internal and/or external.
  • Aspiration by the top management and other senior stakeholders to seize the occasion of addressing these problems, in ways that deeply alter the Business Model of the organization including Value Creation.

Business Transformation entails not just making incremental changes but fundamentally changing all or some of the following:

  • Organizational Structure
  • Core Product or Service Portfolio
  • Systems
  • Processes
  • People—the way employees work
  • Technology

Undertaking such arduous effort requires approaching the task in a structured way.  Research shows that quite a few of such undertakings are based on anecdotal beliefs instead of being based on empirical data.

Countering this trend, the Boston Consulting Group conducted an empirical study of financial and non-financial data-set comprising 300 U.S. public companies.  The data spanned a period of 12 years from 2004 to 2016.  Selection was based on the following criteria:

  • Companies that had a $10 billion or more market capitalization between 2004 and 2016.
  • Of these, companies with an annualized deterioration in Total Share-holder Return (TSR) of 10% or more relative to their industry average (2 years running or more) were identified.

Based on extensive analysis—that included use of methodologies like trained proprietary algorithms, prediction models, and Multivariate Regression Analysis—a pattern pertaining to Business Transformation emerged.  The pattern depicted the following themes:

  1. Frequency of Failure
  2. Impact of Digital Disruption
  3. Impact of Downturn
  4. Competitive Volatility

The study also suggested the following 5 evidence-based Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for achieving Transformation Success.

  1. Cost Management (drives short-term success)
  2. Revenue Growth (drives long-term success)
  3. Long-term Strategy and R&D Investment
  4. New, External Leadership
  5. Holistic Transformation Programs

Let us examine in a bit more detail some of the CSFs.

Cost Management

In order to launch the Transformation effort on the correct footing, Cost Management is key, in the short term especially.  Predictably, empirical analysis suggests that the leading driver for organizations recovering from severe TSR deterioration is a determined Cost-cutting effort during the 1st year of Turnaround.  By year 3, Cost Reduction is accountable for the major share of TSR growth as companies divert their portfolios and make available funding for growth investments.

Revenue Growth

Merely short-term operational improvements do not augur well for a sustainable Transformation.  There has to be a long-term Growth Strategy put in place.  For this to happen, leaders have to challenge the foundations of the company’s Business Model.

Research divulges that Revenue Growth progressively becomes the driver for TSR recovery after year 1 in all the successful Transformation efforts.  Revenue Growth overshadows, by far, all the initial drivers for TSR recovery by year 5 of all successful Turnaround efforts.

Long-term Strategy and R&D Investment

Turbulent competitive environments, particularly, require long-term Strategic Planning and investment in Research and Development for fruitful Business Transformations.  Empirical research and analysis demonstrates:

  • A 4.8% difference between Transforming companies showing above-average long-term strategic direction compared to companies with a below-average orientation.
  • More pronounced findings in transforming companies operating in turbulent competitive environments—long-term orientation linked with a TSR increase of 7%.
  • Companies with above-average R&D investments had upwards of 5.1% TSR impact in contrast to those with below-average spending.

These CSFs strengthen the odds of success in Business Transformation individually.  When used together, most of them produce an impact that is larger than the totality of their individual parts.

Interested in learning more about the 5 Critical Success Factors for Successful Business Transformation?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 5 Critical Success Factors for Successful Business Transformation here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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“If you don’t transform your company, you’re stuck.” – Ursula Burns, Chairperson and CEO of VEON; former Chairperson and CEO of Xerox

Business Transformation is the process of fundamentally changing the systems, processes, people, and technology across an entire organization, business unit, or corporate function with the intention of achieving significant improvements in Revenue Growth, Cost Reduction, and/or Customer Satisfaction.

Transformation is pervasive across industries, particularly during times of disruption, as we are witnessing now as a result of COVID-19. However, despite how common these large scale efforts are, research shows that about 75% of these initiatives fail.

Leverage our frameworks to increase your chances of a successful Transformation by following best practices and avoiding failure-causing “Transformation Traps.”

Learn about our Business Transformation Best Practice Frameworks here.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

Employee Onboarding: How to Get Off to the Right Start

21 Nov

The single most pressing challenge for an organization in this knowledge economy is attracting and retaining talented people.  This can be a make or break challenge for the organization and warrants careful consideration during Strategic Planning.

Starting on the right foot is absolutely essential to overcoming this challenge.  Organizations, particularly HR, need to have an Organizational Culture that boasts of an effective Employee Onboarding process.  In order to accomplish this, present-day HR needs to be clear regarding the challenges of modern-day Onboarding and develop a strategy to establish an onboarding process that yields a rewarding experience for the employees.

At many organizations the Employee Onboarding process follows a customary theme—a run down on “how things are done here”—with the traditional HR view that if the employee can be made to commit to the Organizational Culture from the get-go, they are easier to retain.

Such an Onboarding process does not help the new employee adjust to the company or the role, become an Engaged Employee, and meet the expectations of the organization.  Experts have identified various challenges with this conventional Onboarding approach.  Here is a list of 8 most frequent challenges:

  1. Poor Socialization of Organizational Values
  2. Lack of Role Clarity
  3. Challenges with Expectations and Results
  4. Managing Change
  5. Issues with Time Management
  6. Issues with the Manager
  7. Navigating the Culture
  8. Handling Personal Transition and Relocation

By addressing these challenges appropriately, organizations can establish a rewarding Employee Onboarding experience that results in Employee Retention, quality output in the short-term, and enhanced productivity in the longer run.

Let us delve a little deeper into the challenges.

1. Poor Socialization of Organizational Values

It is presumed that Organizational Values are a thing to be imparted and accepted by the new employee.  This is, indeed, essential knowledge, but it is not sacrosanct.  Studies suggest acceptance of organizational values in contravention of one’s own identity may be counter-productive in that it may exhaust the employee psychologically, restrict full engagement, hinder creativity, and create work dissatisfaction.  This can be overcome by allowing employee to express their unique perspective on the job from the beginning and welcoming them to incorporate what they do best in their work.

2. Lack of Role Clarity

Lack of clear understanding of one’s role is a widespread problem in organizations.  After spending some time in the new organization, the employee realizes that the expectation of the role is conflicting with what the employee thought he/she accepted.  Encouraging the new employee to identify the gaps in the expectation / perception and discussing it with their managers enables the employees to have a clear perspective and understanding of their roles and responsibilities, enhances employee satisfaction levels, and improves their efficiency and productivity.

3. Challenges with Expectations and Results

New employees are often unable to realize their workload.  In order to meet the perceived expectation of managers or peers, they take on too much of work resulting in overload, which diminishes their performance.  Informal discussions of new employees with managers and peers regarding their expectations eases the pressure and enables them to take on what is manageable and deliver quality results.

Interested in learning more about various aspects of Employee Onboarding, guiding principles, challenges, and approaches?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Employee Onboarding here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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Having Problems Maintaining a Stable Talent Pipeline? Apply the 6 Pillars of Talent Management to Master the Art

13 Oct

Enterprises worldwide face problems selecting, staffing, developing, compensating, motivating, and sustaining their key talent.  Building a sustainable Talent pipeline is quite strenuous even for large multinationals.

Replicating best practices from somewhere and applying them alone isn’t sufficient for organizations to build a Talent pipeline and achieve Competitive Advantage.  This warrants overcoming arduous challenges associated with this digital age, including:

  • Adjusting to varying dynamics in global markets
  • Handling the expectations of varied customer segments in different geographies
  • Managing the preferences of key Talent
  • Acquiring new technologies
  • Building novel capabilities
  • Achieving Operational Excellence by streamlining operations and improving processes
  • Exploring new markets
  • Devising strategies to attract, select, develop, assess, and reward top Talent.

Developing Talent Management practices helps the organizations build and retain talented people available in the job market.  The term was first used by McKinsey & Company in 1997, and it pertains to planning and managing strategic Human Capital through activities, i.e. attracting, selecting, developing, evaluating, rewarding, and retaining key people.

Executives use diverse Talent Management strategies and career pathways based on various departments, levels, and roles in their Talent pool.  Multi-year research on Talent Management practices conducted by an international team of researchers from INSEAD, Cornell, Cambridge, and Tillburg universities studied 33 multi-national corporations, headquartered in 11 countries.  The study revealed that successful Human Capital practitioners and workforce planners adopted 6 core principles.  These principles act as the 6 pillars to effective Talent Management implementation:

  1. Alignment with Corporate Strategy
  2. Consistency of Talent Management Practices
  3. Integration with Corporate Culture
  4. Involvement of Leadership
  5. Global Strategy with Localization
  6. Branding and Differentiation

Let’s discuss the first 3 pillars in detail, for now.

Alignment with Corporate Strategy

Integrating Talent Management with Corporate Strategy is imperative as the need for future Talent depends on the company’s long-term strategy.  Corporate Strategy should guide the identification of Talent required to accomplish organizational goals, since it’s the right Talent that drives the key strategic initiatives rather than strategic planning.

For example, GE’s Talent Management practices have been a great assistance in implementing their strategic initiatives.  The organization regards its Talent Management system as their most potent execution tool and has integrated TM processes into their strategic planning process.  To sustain its image as an innovation leader, GE targets technical skills as a priority in its annual Strategic Planning sessions.  Individual business units lay out their business as well as the Human Capital objectives in GE’s annual strategic planning sessions.  Significant time is spent on reviewing its Innovation pipeline, its engineering function’s structure, and Talent requirements.  To achieve its vision, GE promotes more engineers in its senior management than its rivals.

Consistency of Talent Management Practices

Talent Management practices must be consistent and synchronous with each other.  It is critical not only to invest in advancing the careers of key Talent but also to invest in processes to empower, compensate, and retain them.  Human Capital practitioners utilize various tools to ensure consistency of Talent Management practices, including Human Resources satisfaction surveys and qualitative and quantitative data on TM practices implementation.

For example, the success of Siemens is based on consistent monitoring of its systems, processes, and key performance metrics across its subsidiaries.  Every element of Human Capital Management is connected, continuously assessed, and linked to rewards.  This goes from recruitment of graduates each year, to their orientation, to mentoring and development, to performance evaluation and management, and compensation and benefits.

Integration with Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is regarded as important as vision and mission by renowned global organizations. These companies hold their core values and behavioral standards very high and promote them among their employees through coaching and mentoring.  They strive to embed this into their hiring, leadership development, performance management, remuneration, and reward processes / programs.  So much so that they consider cultural adaptability a crucial element of their recruitment process—as personality traits and mindsets are hard to develop than technical skills—and evaluate applicants’ behaviors and values rigorously.

For example, among other leading companies, IBM has a special emphasis on values while selecting and promoting people.  To ensure consistent values across the board, it organizes regular values jam sessions and employee health index surveys.  These sessions encourage open communication and debate on values and organizational culture and their importance among employees.

Interested in learning more about the other pillars of Talent Management, the various approaches to TM? You can download an editable PowerPoint on 6 Pillars of Talent Management here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a Management Consultant?

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Strategic Goals Grid (SGG) – Another tool for Strategic Planning

2 Oct

One of the most popular Strategic Planning tool among executives is the SWOT analysis (or SWOT matrix).  However, sometimes assessing the organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats is not enough to set the direction for the planning process or to implement Business Transformation.

An alternative framework to SWOT analysis is the Strategic Goals Grid (SGG).  The SGG gives planners a different perspective to view the organization, the direction it has taken, the course that the collective wisdom of the organization wants to take, and to set goals.  SGG is an extremely effective overall Organizational Analysis tool for senior leaders responsible for Planning, Strategy Development, Transformation, Growth, and Profitability.

SGG is a 2×2 matrix, fashioned by examining the “Yes” and “No” answers to 2 critical questions:

  • Do you want something?
  • Do you have it?

The combination of the “Yes” and “No” answers to these questions define 4 basic categories for goals and objectives:

  1. ACHIEVE – if you want something you do not have, your goal is to obtain it.
  2. PRESERVE – if you want something you already have, your aim is to keep it.
  3. AVOID – if there is something you do not want and do not have, your goal is to avoid it.
  4. ELIMINATE – if there is something you do not want but have, your goal is to get rid of it.

These 4 categories of goals—ACHIEVE, PRESERVE, AVOID, and ELIMINATE—constitute the Strategic Goals Grid when drawn on a 2×2 grid.

The Strategic Goals Grid can be used to facilitate discussions and to record and communicate the results of such discussions.  Individuals can complete the grid separately and then compare, discuss, and integrate their individual efforts into a consolidated matrix.

SGG can be employed for kick-starting the Strategic Planning process in 3 progressive steps:

  1. Visualize and Document
  2. Coalesce
  3. Synthesize and Align

Let us dig a little deeper into the individual framework steps.

Visualize and Document

The 1st step in formulating the Strategic Goals Grid is an individual exercise, which takes about 15 minutes to accomplish.  The step entails taking input from all relevant participants of the Strategy Development workshop.  The activity requires from the participants to write their responses on individual copies of the Strategic Goals Grid.  The participants record their input regarding the critical questions of what to ACHIEVE, PRESERVE, AVOID, and ELIMINATE.

The question, “What do we want to eliminate?” is very effective in triggering group discussions on any issues that exist across the organization.  The question, “What do we want to avoid?” focuses the group’s discussion to anticipated issues and/or threats to the organization.

Coalesce

The 2nd step is a group activity, where the strategy development group engages in an exercise in which individual responses gathered during the first step are shared with the participants.  The individual responses are projected on a large screen and recorded on a computer.  Using one quadrant at a time, the group evaluates the list and repeats this process for all quadrants.  The list of individual responses becomes the collective wish list or the collective wisdom accrued over a period based on realities faced on-ground.

Synthesize and Align

The 3rd step is also a group exercise that entails rationalizing the responses gathered in the previous steps through discussion and analysis.  The list is carefully scrutinized and trimmed considering the objectives for the future.  These objectives are aligned with the priorities and values embodied by the organization.  The list of individual responses are refined and a consensus is developed on the finalized list.

Interested in learning more about the Strategic Goals Grid, its utilization, benefits compared to SWOT Analysis, and how to populate the grid? You can download an editable PowerPoint on the Strategic Goals Grid (SGG) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a Management Consultant?

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“Strategy without Tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without Strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu

For effective Strategy Development and Strategic Planning, we must master both Strategy and Tactics. Our frameworks cover all phases of Strategy, from Strategy Design and Formulation to Strategy Deployment and Execution; as well as all levels of Strategy, from Corporate Strategy to Business Strategy to “Tactical” Strategy. Many of these methodologies are authored by global strategy consulting firms and have been successfully implemented at their Fortune 100 client organizations.

These frameworks include Porter’s Five Forces, BCG Growth-Share Matrix, Greiner’s Growth Model, Capabilities-driven Strategy (CDS), Business Model Innovation (BMI), Value Chain Analysis (VCA), Endgame Niche Strategies, Value Patterns, Integrated Strategy Model for Value Creation, Scenario Planning, to name a few.

Learn about our Strategy Development Best Practice Frameworks here.

Are You Able to Differentiate Between General, Corporate, and Competitive Strategy?

25 Sep

Chessboard2

Strategy and execution are the 2 critical elements that drive a business.  However, leaders often struggle even with defining—let alone devising and executing—an effective strategy.  Many of those who are responsible to deal with it fall short of describing how they typically employ it.  This failure takes its roots from the fact that there is no clear path associated with strategy.

Strategy is about making sound decisions about unforeseen problems.  It’s about selecting the right options—about matters that are often quite ambiguous today but have great significance in the future—based on thorough contemplation, detailed analysis, and creative ideas.  Broadly speaking, strategy encompasses these 3 main elements:

  • A vision and direction
  • A certain position or pattern
  • A deliberated Strategic Plan to achieve strategic goals and vision

Great strategists execute their plans, analyze the results, evaluate their actions, and perform course correction based on the outcomes.  They are not afraid of even revamping their approach entirely.  Senior leaders should clarify their understanding of the concept of strategy and draw attention to the importance of differentiating between the 3 distinct types of strategies before formulating their own course of action:

  1. General Strategy
  2. Corporate Strategy
  3. Competitive Strategy

Let’s delve deeper into the 3 types of strategy.

General Strategy

General Strategy indicates how a specific objective will be achieved, with well-thought-out plans.  The focus of this type of Strategy is on ends (objectives and results) and means (the resources we have to achieve the objectives).  Strategy and tactics combined bridge the gap between ends and means; where Strategy deals with deploying the resources at our disposal while tactics govern their utilization.  A pattern of decisions and actions marks progress from the starting point to achievement of objectives in General Strategy.

Senior executives need to deliberate on the following questions before devising their General Strategy:

  • What do we do?
  • Why are we here?
  • What kind of business are we?
  • What kind of business do we want to become?
  • What is our purpose? What are the results we seek?
  • What is our existing Strategy, is it explicit or tacit?
  • What Strategy and plans may bring about the results we want?
  • What resources we have at our disposal?
  • Are there any constraints in terms of resources that limit our actions?

Corporate Strategy

Corporate Strategy describes what a company does, the purpose of its existence, and what it aims to become.  Corporate Strategy focuses on choices and commitments concerning the markets, business, and the organization.  Corporate Strategy classifies the markets and the businesses in which a company will operate.  This type of strategy is typically decided in the context of defining the company’s mission and vision.

A detailed assessment of the existing strategy, market, competition and environment is critical for devising the Corporate Strategy.  Strategists indicate that there are critical elements that should be factored in while formulating Corporate Strategy.  These elements include product or service offerings, resources, marketing and sales approaches, manufacturing capabilities / capacity, customers, distribution channels, technology, type of market and its requirements, and revenue and profit goals.

While formulating Corporate Strategy, senior executives should consider and seek answers to the following questions:

  • What is our existing Corporate Strategy?
  • Is our Corporate Strategy explicit or tacit?
  • What are the critical assumptions that make our existing strategy viable?
  • What is going on in the market—in terms of social, political, technical and financial environment?
  • What do we seek to accomplish in terms of our growth, size, and profitability targets?
  • What markets we are eyeing to compete in?
  • What businesses we intend to operate in?
  • What locations and geographies will we compete in?

Competitive Strategy

Competitive or Business Strategy specifies for an enterprise the core reason on which it contests its rivals.  It depends on an organization’s competences, advantages, and disadvantages compared to the market and the rivals.

Interested in learning more about the General, Corporate, and Competitive Strategies? You can download an editable PowerPoint on The 3 Distinctions of Strategy here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a Management Consultant?

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When Survival in the Midst of Chaos Calls for Supply Chain Sustainability

14 Aug

In the modern age, organizations are striving to form a sustainable Supply Chain system to cope with the challenges that are arising. Such issues include the emission of hazardous substances, excessive resource consumption, Supply Chain risks, and complex procedures.

Through Strategic Planning, organizations around the globe are adopting strategies to become a sustainable organization.  In fact, there is an increasing trend towards organizations adopting sustainable Supply Chain Management practices.

Gaining a Foothold on Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management is the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of Supply Chain activities. It addresses the fundamental business problem of supplying products to meet demand in a complex and uncertain world.

Looking at Supply Chain Management, we can see that it draws on the value chain concept of business strategist, Michael Porter.  It looks at supply issues at the multi-company level.  It creates net value, builds a competitive infrastructure, leverages worldwide logistics, synchronizes supply with demand, and measures performance globally.

The need for Supply Chain Management came about when shorter product life cycles and greater product variety has increased Supply Chain costs and complexity.  And as outsourcing, globalization, and business fragmentation became a common practice, there was now the need for Supply Chain integration. This was further emphasized with the advances in emergent technologies. which created more opportunities for Digital Transformation within Supply Chains.

The 4 Levels of Supply Chain Management Strategies

There are 4 Levels of Supply Chain Management Strategies. The first 3 strategies are foundational Supply Chain Strategies.

Before any Supply Chain can be considered sustainable, there are 3 foundational Supply Chain Strategies that need to be undertaken.

  1. Legal Supply Chain Strategy. There are a number of legal rules and regulations that need to be followed by organizations. The Supply Chain Strategy must cater to all legal rules.  An example is a ruling according to the Restrictions of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) wherein an organization must not rely on the mercury, cadmium, and chromium as they result in huge emission of hazardous substances.
  2. Ethical Supply Chain Strategy. To become an ethically strong organization, it is required that the organization operates with integrity and focus on what is right. The organization could develop a policy that governs the organization’s operations. It is also essential that the Supply Chain quality assurance team that is built complies with ethical sustainability.
  3. Responsible Supply Chain Strategy. To become responsible, the organization could spend resources in compliance with sustainable rules. The organization could set up training and development programs to drive sustainability within the organization. It can also focus on environment-friendly activities to boost its social responsibility.

Before an organization can become sustainable, significant efforts must be exerted to put the 3 foundational Supply Chain Strategies in place within the organization.

Reaching the Level of Sustainability

Sustainable Supply Chain Strategy has become increasingly important as more and more organizations are focusing on putting it in place.  According to the MIT Slogan Review, over 75% of organizations listed in the S&P 500 reported sustainability reports where it shows that catering up to the responsibility is becoming highly challenging and important.  There has been a significant increase and inclination towards sustainability and this depicts the importance of becoming sustainable.

With the passage of time, it has become evident that organizations around the globe are becoming fond of sustainable considerations.

Interested in gaining more understanding of Supply Chain Sustainability? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Supply Chain Sustainability here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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Mastering Strategic Supply Chain Planning: The Pegasus of Strategy

5 Aug

Strategic Supply Chain Planning is the “Pegasus of Strategy.”  It can soar, but it also needs to keep its feet on the ground.

Companies with a global supply chain now need to introduce its strategic left hand to its operational right hand.  To make planning more valuable, its strategic supply chain planning needs to combine strategic planning with its tactical supply chain planning.  The importance of aligning strategic direction to the supply chain has become of utmost importance.

Senior Managers formulate strategies to maximize shareholder value. Supply chain planners run optimization models to minimize costs. If scenario planning is combined with supply chain planning, the best of both worlds is achieved. The company can expect to achieve a long-term competitive advantage.

Strategic Supply Chain Planning provides the framework in selecting projects that best support the organization’s supply chain objectives and strategies. It plays an essential role within the Planning Spectrum.

The Planning Spectrum

Within the Planning Continuum are 3 decision-making models of importance to the business.

The range of Strategic Planning approaches across the Planning Spectrum depends on the fundamental changes it is focused on.  Strategic Planning, Strategic Supply Chain Planning, and Tactical Supply Chain Planning differ in terms of scope of decision making, decision horizon, flexibility to act, and possible tools to use.

Let us take a look at Strategic Planning.  In Strategic Planning, its scope of decision making covers the entire nature of the business. This means that the planning scope covers the reevaluation of the business model.

When undertaking Strategic Planning, there are several tools that can be used.  Organizations may use the Framework Analysis or lower-level analysis that may entail the use of spreadsheets. Dynamics tools and other simulation tools may also be used.

If we look at the Strategic Supply Chain Planning, its scope of decision making is more focused or directed. This is undertaken to determine whether there is a need to open or close plants and distribution centers.  It is used to determine whether there is a need to modify capacity, change product offerings even the decision to manufacture in-house or to outsource it. Strategic Supply Chain Planning is more directed towards a specific area.

Once Strategic Supply Chain Planning has been undertaken, it is appropriate to follow this up with Tactical Supply Chain Planning. It is at this point wherein organizations now have to plan out and determine which plant should produce what product over the coming months depending on the demand forecast.

When undertaking the Planning Spectrum, it is best to understand the scope of decision making of each planning approach for organizations to achieve the best results.

Other Organizational-based Tools

The 3 Planning approaches have demonstrated effective use of organization-based tools to maximize results and impact. One is the use of Optimization Models for Strategic Supply Chain Planning. The Optimization Model has been known to have been applied effectively by corporations such as Baxter International, Inc., Pet Inc., and GM.

Baxter International, Inc. has been successful in using SAILS or Strategic Analysis of Integrated Logistics Systems. It has been used to evaluate consolidated approaches. Pet Inc was able to used SAILS to assess supply chain synergies from 2 potential acquisitions.

The use of the Optimization Model in Strategic Supply Chain Planning and Tactical Supply Chain Planning differs both in design and use.  Hence, it is essential for organizations to have a good understanding of the Planning Spectrum to effectively integrate to use the Optimization Model.

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Strategy Development: Taking the High Road to COVID-19 Response

17 Jul

COVID-19 is shaping a “New Normal”—a Low Touch Economy that requires a strategic response.

The world is changing. Forced isolation and social distancing restrictions have been put into place with the advent of the COVID-19 health crisis. This is not expected to end soon but is expected to have a lasting effect on the world. In fact, a new generation of consumer behaviors is already being shaped.

The new world will not be better off or worse. It will be different. During this period of influx, some businesses will thrive in this change and reach accelerated success, while others will struggle to find their footing in all of the chaos. The Low Touch Economy is here.

The New Normal

The post-COVID-19 era will have an economy shaped by new habits and regulations based on reduced close contact interaction, tighter travel, and hygiene restrictions. While managing the current health crisis is the first priority, companies must start adapting its strategic response to the mid and long-term ripple effects of COVID-19.

Businesses, to survive, must learn how to effectively respond to COVID-19 that is marked with plenty of ups and downs and economic uncertainty. There will be fundamental shifts that are here to stay and there will be industries that will be turned upside down. Until there is a vaccine or herd immunity, the base case scenario will be continuous up and down of disruptions for the coming 2 years. Strategy Development now calls for business to make the right strategic approach.

The 3-phase Approach to Strategic Planning

During turbulent times, businesses must have the agility to switch from defense to offense. Taking the 3-phase approach to Strategic Planning will prepare organizations for the Low Touch Economy.

Phase 1: Protect

The first phase is focused on acting now to protect and run the business today. It is basically responding to the crisis and protecting the business. The primary objective of Phase 1 is to ensure the continuity and stability of the business despite the ongoing crisis.
This is best undertaken when employees and customers are grappling with one basic emotion and that is fear. The organization is faced with a declining revenue with prospects of liquidity freeze. Unfortunately, time horizons at this phase also remain uncertain.

When these scenarios are happening, the organization must strive to undertake strategies that will both protect the business, as well as ensure its continuity and stability. One strategy that must be undertaken is to put the safety of employees and customers first. With the advent of COVID-19, this is considered the most urgent thing to do and the most important. Once this has been taken care of, senior leaders can set up a war room where they can tackle immediate challenges.

The war room discussions must shift from just being reactive to being proactive when it comes to crisis management. At this point, model scenarios that are developed must be more aggressive than any of the team can think of. It has to be aggressive in the sense that it is capable of protecting the business from the disruption that COVID-19 is greatly inflicting on the organization.

At this time, during this phase, this is the best time too to invest in Innovation Management and R&D. While others are stalling, the most innovative companies spend more on R&D during the recession. The other 2 phases are Recover and Grow. Phase 2, Recover is focused on accelerating through the recovery and Phase 3, Grow is focused on achieving growth in the Low Touch Economy.

In what phase is your organization now? Are you Protecting? Recovering? or Growing?

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In the Midst of COVID-19, Is Your Supply Chain Resilient?

15 Jul

Supply Chain Resiliency is the capability of the Supply Chain to be prepared for unexpected risk events. It is the Supply Chain’s ability to respond and recover quickly to potential disruptions. It can return to its original situation or grow by moving to a new, more desirable state in order to increase customer service, market share, and financial performance.

Resilience is currently an increasing concern in the Supply Chain caused by globalization. The Supply Chain is globally being subject to diverse types of disturbances. The largest disruption so far in the global Supply Chain in modern history was the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011. With the rising level of logistical complexity, the resiliency of the Supply Chain has not kept pace. These disturbances need to be handled in the right way, compelling the use of tools and approaches that can support resilient Supply Chain decisions.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, resiliency in the Supply Chain is further emphasized.

Understanding Supply Chain Resilience

The risk of Supply Chain disruption is increasing.  A recent study by Aon Risk Solutions showed that the percentage of global companies reporting a loss of income due to a Supply Chain disruption increased from 28% in 2011 to 42% in 2013.  The MIT Scale Network Study further showed that many large companies are unable to create contingency rules and procedures for operations during a complex, high-risk event.

According to the MIT study, approximately 60% of surveyed managers either do not actively work on Supply Chain risk management or do not consider their company’s risk management practice effective. Managers have been found to be lacking in a framework that will guide them in the deployment of risk management practices. In fact, it has been noted that there is little understanding of risks resulting in a lack of knowledge of what kind of framework fits a particular Supply Chain dynamics.

For Supply Chain Management to keep up with the increasing level of logistical complexity, there is a need to reconfigure the Supply Chain.

The 5-phase Approach to Supply Chain Resilience

In 2005, Cisco had difficulty coping when Hurricane Katrina struck. The Supply Chain performance level was not maintained to cope with the sudden surge in orders for new equipment to replace damaged telecommunication infrastructure.  The Cisco teams cannot locate all products in the Supply Chain or understand the financial impact of emergency sales. However, in 2011, that was a turning point for Cisco. Cisco had deployed a very solid Supply Chain resiliency program that addressed the impact of external vulnerabilities and the aftereffects it caused to the Supply Chain.

Cisco has succeeded by executing a 5-phase approach to Supply Chain Resiliency.

In reconfiguring its Supply Chain to make it more resilient, Cisco first identified its strategic objectives.

Phase 1: Identify Strategic Objectives. The first phase is focused on identifying competitive priorities for particular product categories. It matches priorities with Supply Chain capabilities.

Through Strategic Planning, Cisco was able to build its competitive advantage which depended on its ability to match global opportunities to outsource production with global market opportunities. This is known as the Cisco Lean Model.

Phase 2: Mapping Supply Chain Vulnerabilities. This focused on understanding the company’s vulnerabilities. Supply Chains are vulnerable on many fronts—political upheavals, regulatory compliance mandates, increasing economic uncertainty, natural disasters, etc.  Being aware of the vulnerabilities will enable the organization to come up with the appropriate design to achieve Supply Chain Resiliency.

In undertaking the second phase, Cisco focused on supporting a responsible global Supply Chain characterized by product differentiation, high value, and high margins. Mitigation measures were also implemented to make a resilient Supply Chain.

With the 5-phase approach, Cisco was able to achieve a resilient Supply Chain capable of effectively managing disruptions. It has also prepared them in addressing risk management warning signs and deploying the appropriate reactive tools to every kind of significantly disruptive event.

Interested in gaining more understanding of Supply Chain Resiliency? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Supply Chain Resiliency here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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