THE HEART OF OUR PRACTICE is what we call client-centered consulting. The reason this is critical to our process can be traced to the very meaning of the term strategy. Perhaps the most important defining characteristic of good strategy is that it emphasizes differentiation – namely, how a firm distinguishes itself from its competition by delivering a unique and powerful value proposition that is not easily replaced or replicated.
IF THIS IS THE ESSENCE of good strategy, it stands to reason that an effective strategic planning process must identify and focus on what is unique and distinctive about the firm and then understand how to translate those unique attributes and competencies into a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Our experience tells us this cannot be achieved via a pre-packaged strategic planning process that seeks to fit a client firm within a template or formulaic approach. Rather, it requires custom insight and analysis to discover what is truly of greatest significance to understand the firm’s competitive position in the market.
OUR CLIENT-CENTERED APPROACH also means that we act primarily as facilitators of the strategy process. Senior management, including the CEO, must be deeply involved in every stage of the process. We aim to drive specific outcomes in terms of identifying key strategic priorities and eliminating non-core activities, but we also seek to build strategic thinking and planning into the DNA of the organization.
In order to gain a deeper perspective on our approach to strategic planning, please review John’s white paper The Ten Skills of a Strategist.