Areas of Expertise
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Strategy formulation is a journey. It involves an analytical process whereby you ponder key questions about your value proposition and source of competitive advantage, test hypotheses about alternative courses of action and then frame all that in terms of your business model, organizational structure, and capabilities. It is as much about where you want to go, as it is about how you plan to get there. Put simply, it is a systematic attempt to define what is core to your business – and where to put your focus. As such, it involves deliberate choices on what not to do.
As you embark on this journey, you develop a road map that defines the actions needed to move your organization from the current to a future state, in a way that continually aligns your vision and objectives with your resources and capabilities. Converting strategy to operating reality involves clearly defined milestones set against executive accountability; and a built-in nimbleness for changing your trajectory when circumstances warrant it, always based on an analysis and synthesis of available evidence on both the competitive context juxtaposed against your sources of competitive advantage.
Building and executing strategy is all about choices – and an ability to frame these choices on available evidence and real capabilities as opposed to gut feeling or untested assumptions.
Finally, a great strategy involves a balancing act between structure and flexibility, not rigid plans. It has been famously suggested that strategy without execution is hallucination!
To develop a successful organizational development strategy and bring about change, you need to understand the types of barriers faced in your industry more broadly and your organization more specifically. Using this knowledge, you can examine which barriers and levers can be applied to a particular problem. The task is to then develop tailored approaches to overcome the barriers, encourage changes in behaviour and ultimately reach (and maintain) organizational excellence.
The context of doing business has been changing at a breath-taking pace. Developments in information technology, coupled with increasing globalization are challenging traditional ways of working and organizing.
Our understanding of organizations and the part that people play in them has been honed by years of international management experience. Organizations are complex systems or constructions and as such they don’t lend themselves to simple change initiatives.
We partner with you to help discern the organizational dynamics at play and find the key levers to effect change and improve performance. Change that is required to realise your vision, mission and objectives requires four key steps:
Analysis & Synthesis
Dissect the current culture & practices; establish the key performance levers
strategies & align capabilities with resources
to implement agreed plans, but pivot when necessary
Track progress &
evaluate the impact of initiatives
Entrepreneurship and innovation play vital roles in knowledge creation and the use of this knowledge to generate value. Unlike basic research, the overriding aim is to drive sustainable economic, social, technological, and organizational development.
Processes and behaviours central to entrepreneurship and innovation are as important to new or early-stage ventures as they are to existing organizations. Indeed, embedding innovation and entrepreneurship has become a key priority that recently has come to include academic institutions. Their societal remit has moved from that of “ivory towers” for learning and research to innovation hubs that engineer solutions to societal challenges. In fact, we are moving from a "triple helix" conceptualization (academia, industry, government) to one that encompasses entrepreneurs and risk capital as key additional foundations to an effective innovation ecosystem.
Our innovation consulting process uses agile methods and tools to pilot technology projects through a series of design, building, and test cycles. It begins with an assessment of “innovation readiness” and helps facilitate a number of key innovation activation processes.
Since leaving corporate management, I have been involved, among others, in establishing knowledge exploitation structures and frameworks for an internationally acclaimed academic research institution, The Cyprus Institute. Initially, in cooperation with Oxford University’s Oxentia, we helped the Institute’s researchers identify and bring to market robust scientific ideas that successfully address societal challenges. We've continued to coach and support them as they embarked on the entrepreneurial journey.
An effective communications function is vital for building corporate brand equity and reputation. Done poorly, the impact can be devastating. Again, our approach to corporate communications is facts-based and systematic.
An initial evaluation of overall messages, as well as specific ones directed at key audiences, needs to be viewed in the context of the organization’s vision, mission, values, and strategic objectives.
All forms of communication, including marketing collateral, should give consideration to intended content and key messaging, including logos and taglines. This typically includes:
Target groups and the ways used to reach each one
Key messaging for external communication and events
Internal communication to build employee engagement
Digital marketing and social media
Specifically, on the subject of social media, we recommend different strategies for owned, paid and earned media.
Owned media over which we have control includes websites, e-zines, corporate LinkedIn and Facebook pages etc.
Earned media and its precursor ‘word-of-mouth’ has moved into the process of listening and responding to conversations about an organization. We help you consider ways to stimulate and where possible, monetize, earned media.
Paid media are channels which involve direct monetary outlays (paid searches, sponsorships, advertising) and remains a part of each organization’s media mix.
On the customer and stakeholder front, communications is vital to maintaining trust and loyalty towards an organization and in maintaining its reputation. As a vital function, it needs to adhere to a number of key principles:
That the message is targeted, clear and consistent with an overall messaging strategy.
That the person receiving the message trusts the source and decides to receive and possibly share it.
That the delivery method (or channel) suits the circumstances and needs of both sender and receiver.
That the content resonates and connects with the beliefs and views of the receiver.
That the sender is proactive. If the rumor mill has started, you may already be late.