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"We certainly entered into a fee for service arrangement, but at the end of the day they gave much more than a fee for service, number 1, and number 2, we just learned a lot and our organization is better because of the service W3 provided to us."
A business without a strategy is like a ship without a rudder. Therefore, every business, regardless of size or industry, should have a clear and deployable vision for its leaders to strive toward. For many of our clients, short- and long-term business strategies have increasingly become more complicated for several reasons, some of which include disruptive technologies’ entering their markets, new and unforeseen market entrants, industry consolidation, and domestic and international policy. However, strategy development does not need to be complicated, even in the face of rapidly changing markets.
For over 30 years, we have been helping organizations in a wide range of industries create, communicate, and complete (what we refer to as the three C’s of business strategy) strategy. Our approach is straightforward, simple, and adaptable. After all, overly complex and fixed plans are a thing of the past. In today’s markets, companies must be ready to evolve and adapt their strategy to the changes in the market forces, also referred to as Porter’s five forces, as well as the macro-environmental factors that can swiftly affect an organization’s competitive standing. To accomplish the above, we follow a three-step process, one that is agile, stress-tested, and empirically based on our decades of experience as well as academic insights.
A plan backed and thoughtfully designed around research and insight is powerful. For this reason, our strategy engagements always commence with a thorough analysis of the current market using our proprietary W360 market analysis techniques. During this stage, we look at the macro and microeconomic factors that are affecting our clients’ business today. Many times, our customers find this piece to be the most insightful.
Following a thorough study of the current market situation, we close the research loop with a future insights outlook. During our forecasting, we look at the opportunities that exist as well as the threats that could derail an organization from successfully capitalizing on near and long-term opportunities. We use this final part of the research stage to fully equip our team to collaborate with your team on designing a competitive and sound strategy for the organization.
Many times, we find that our clients have significant opportunities or threats unaccounted for in their past strategies. Nearly always, this lapse in strategy is due to either the absence of information or a rushed approach to development. We combat both of these shortcomings with proper research (step 1) and through stress testing alternative options against one another (step 2) so that we are confident in the identification of a clear, winning strategy. This strategy can then be communicated to cascade through the different tiers of the organization, horizontally and vertically.
Following the collection of future insights and current market data, our team aggregates and synthesizes the information into multiple strategies. This stage is intended to encourage out-of-the-box thinking, creativity, and collaboration among our strategy experts and our clients’ leadership. Our development of various strategies allows our clients to be comfortable knowing that different, strategic paths were thoroughly vetted, providing even more validity to the chosen policy to be deployed.
"The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do."
- Michael Porter
Choosing a strategy to deploy is the most crucial step in our three-step process. At this stage, a substantial amount of thought capital has been invested in research and design, and one strategy should be superior to the others. Seldom do we see leaders struggle with what strategy to move forward with after the due diligence portion is completed.
Once there is a consensus reached among leadership, we work to communicate the new vision and initiatives through the organization. The intent is to create a ubiquitous understanding of the strategic goals from the c-suite down to the process level. This catch-ball, as we call it, is a highly effective process that enables leadership to deploy the strategy through the layers of the organization so that proper tactics can be developed vertically and horizontally. The outcome is to create company-wide alignment through clear goals, objectives, and actions for everyone.
When we first began to consult businesses on the creation and deployment of strategy decades ago, we could express with confidence that the strategies developed would remain unchanged through the course of its implementation. Today, strategies must not be assumed to be static. Just as a business is changing daily, strategies must also change with the incremental or drastic shifts in the market. For this reason, during our engagements, we coach leadership teams on how to implement agile systems for improving and realigning an existing strategy with the inherent and unavoidable changes in the market.