Further information on:

“How do I get a compelling growth strategy?”

Option #3 is Marginal: Have a large consulting group do it.
This is also a popular choice, especially amongst organizations with millions of dollars to spend on strategy. Unfortunately, many consulting firms have prospered much better than their clients. Look at all the major corporations that have fallen from grace and spiraled to near collapse, and you will probably find that a large consulting firm was advising them on strategy. Then why would companies use them? Sometimes, if a CEO has a difficult decision to make that others might question, there is surely a big name firm somewhere that, for a fee, can “independently” deduce almost the same conclusion. Then the CEO can say: “But one of the premier firms said to do it. They gave us the data and the charts”.

Usually however, large consulting firms do an excellent job of analyzing market forces, identifying key issues, and proposing potential actions. The difficulty is, that the plan is the consulting firm’s strategy, not the client’s strategy; and that means it is unlikely to ever get implemented. Why? Because of two reasons: 1) you did not develop the hypotheses, the assumptions, or make the trade-offs someone else did. You have no ownership; and 2) there is no upside. If your company pays $1 million+ to a big consulting firm that predicts a rosy future and it does not happen, who is to blame; the executives who picked the firm, or the inadequate employees who lacked the competency to implement it? The employees of course. That is why the vast majority of strategic plans created by big firms are dead-on-arrival, relegated to collect dust on a shelf as the “implementers” pick at it until it dies or just fades away.


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