Succeeding in times of change

    In today’s environment of rapid change and increasing competition, even the most successful companies are vulnerable if they become comfortable in the patterns of their past successes. We’re living in a time where companies and industries are disrupted almost on a daily basis. Companies need to be much more aware of non-traditional competitors who are lurking around every corner. “Digital” enables new business models and c-suite executives realize that no industry is immune to its impact.

    Traditional approaches to strategy are inadequate to deal with dynamic markets. Competing organizations often converge on similar strategies and tactics that do not differentiate, engage or inspire. The current market environment, driven by globalization and digitization, only makes the inadequacy of the classical approach more obvious.

    A strategy allocates resources to a coherent set of opportunities that we believe will help us grow the business and transform it over time based on a shared point of view that drives our choices.

    Introducing a Future Back approach to Strategy

    Instead of extrapolating the past to the present into the future (strategic fit) we apply a “Future Back” approach to strategy that was first described by our Chairman Emeritus Professor Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad in their groundbreaking book “Competing for the Future”.

    Future Back

    Stretch leads to a more ambitious strategy that defines our choices about where we play, how we compete and who we need to become. Over the past 25 years we have refined and battle tested this approach with dozens of clients.

    Key elements of our approach

    • We engage leaders on developing a shared perspective of the future
    • Identify drivers of change and their impact on our business
    • Understand our core competencies and how they can be leveraged
    • Challenge our thinking on company and industry conventions that can lead to disruption
    • Identify opportunities for growth in our core business, adjacencies and white spaces
    • Define how we will play to win in current and future markets
    • Develop multiple pathways and clear plans to achieve our goals

    “We are extremely enthusiastic about our new strategy and expect a transformation in how we develop and market our products and services. We expect these changes will help us to differentiate and create competitive advantages in the categories and markets we operate.”

    Ramón Mendiola, CEO of Florida Ice & Farm Co.

    Getting to action

    Throughout the strategy development process we engage a variety of stakeholders who will be involved in leading elements of implementation. The gap between strategy definition and implementation can be significant and unless addressed appropriately leads to poor results.

    • Allocate resources to a portfolio of opportunities and innovation projects to achieve the future state growth strategy
    • Plan and implement a stepwise approach to make the required changes to policies, processes, capabilities, competences, go to market approaches, and organization
    • Execute structured engagement to present the case for change and align the organization

    Benefits from this approach

    Most businesses develop a high level strategy and then on a much shorter cycle define a strategic plan. We synchronize this long term horizon with a short term focus through migration management.
    Advantages of this approach are:

    • Visibility of the underlying assumptions so that vulnerabilities can be monitored and managed
    • Time-phased change model to make steady progress toward your chosen future identity
    • Robustness to respond to unanticipated changes, such as a severe economic downturn without abandoning a sound strategy

    Cases