strategy Feb 01, 2021

Like a chess player, every business owner makes a series of moves. If the number of winning moves outweighs the losing ones, the business may survive. When the number of winning moves significantly outstrips losing moves, the business thrives. Waiting is considered a move when it is done consciously. 

Every business experiences inertia, entropy and bias. When these three take a hold, businesses ‘fall asleep at the wheel.’ Once asleep, companies believe they can’t predict the future and have little hope of changing it. This sort of thinking is ‘the elephant in the room’ and reduces competitiveness and profitability.

The best approach to the elephant in the room is to create the future. My most successful clients regularly commit to four high-level days over six to eight weeks.


Once the right people are in the room and in the right seats, I facilitate conversations that deliver a clear and dispassionate view of the industry and it's future value chain. We revisit the Founder’s Vision and challenge the organisational DNA to identify the client’s Claim to Fame. We consider three future horizons for demand, customers, competitors and suppliers. The goal is to paint as clear a picture as possible of what is going on. The agenda for the first day includes:

> Industry and business attractiveness

> Identifying the right strategic approach

> Naming the critical success factors 

> Discussing future risks and market conditions


To ensure clients create a uniquely valuable proposition, I ask them how the business will compete in the industries of the future. I help clients understand their various strategic options and which industries and markets they could participate in. The agenda for the second day includes:

> Analysis of customer needs and preferences 

> Options for growth, profits and coopetition 

> Finding ways to shape the new rules of the game

> Considering white spaces and black swans 


On day three, we confirm which industries and markets to participate in and specify which products and services the client will target. We ensure the product-market positioning and relationship choices are right. The agenda for the third day includes:

> Formulation of an effective strategic mission 

> Decisions about future value chains, creations and curves

> Capability building that increases anti-fragility 

> Checking alignment between strategy and future scenarios


On day four, we re-affirm the capability platforms, investments and activities needed for success. Successful implementation is strongly influenced by five elements: competence and experience, culture and commitment; structure and systems; management and people.

The agenda for the fourth day includes:

> The capability platform

> Resources, assumptions and capability limits

> Adapting to market cycles, digital innovations and hockey sticks

> Managing strategy successfully 


Your next winning move could be to enhance strategy by being the first to stake out new white spaces; growing bigger through slow continuous improvement; exiting a declining and less profitable product or service-market; shaking up the market by revitalising an old trail that captures latent demand; consolidating and then deliberately waiting for the next big thing; partnering with others to fight back and shape the new rules of the game; creating never before seen customer value with a compelling vision and plan, and deciding how the business is going to compete within the future industry value chain.

If you need a clearer view of the future and would like to advance your business, I can help you come up with a unique and profitable value proposition that creates sustainable competitive advantages.


Our most successful clients commit themselves to four high-level days every six to twelve months. Would you be interested in setting aside four high-level days to create a strategic mindset? Should you equip yourself and your team with forward-thinking skills that will help you to outstrip the competition and future-proof your business?

Strategy facilitation takes place on four linked days over six to eight weeks. This spacing gives your executive team time between sessions to test perspectives and connect the dots between future markets, customer needs, the strategy and the capabilities needed to implement the plan. This process helps create uniquely valuable and sustainable advantages that are the hallmarks of a great business.  


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