“The things we fear most in organizations – fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances – are the primary sources of creativity.”
– Margaret J. Wheatley
In an era of common business disruption and an unsteady financial landscape, the value of information for organizations both large and small that can be received by professional consultations who can help make key decisions for operations and profitability birthed the increase in need for the highest managerial art form, management strategic advisory.
Management strategic advisory is when executives or management bring in a third party advisor to receive expert advice and perspective into solving their high-level business challenges objectively. Advisors have the ability to step into complex situations and come out the other side with coherent plans of action. They have the knowledge to give guidance on different aspects of business including budgeting advice like input on best practices that cut costs by driving revenue, production strategies by offering recommendations to increase efficiency and opportunity management which highlights new opportunities for revenue or product offerings.
Management Strategic Advisory in Action
Advisors can work in any industry in both private and public sectors and could improve performance by getting the core of the organization and following a procedure that includes steps such as:
- Meeting with clients to understand and learn their overall business goals
- Working alongside the CFO to develop plans including in-house training, financial modeling and data-driven analysis
- Analyzing the current processes and procedures of the organization
- Identifying any issues or areas that could use improvement
- Guiding an organization through the overhaul (or initial implementation) of an ERP system
- Helping lead organizations through mergers or acquisitions
- Conducting market research and rely on their expensive knowledge to find the right solutions
- Consulting on best practices
- Creating reports and presentations on how to implement these solutions
- Devising strategies and make recommendations
They also offer a variety of services typically fall into these top eight key strategies to help any size business in any type of industry thrive:
Corporate Strategy – Formulating business-wide strategies and end-goals. These might include mission statements and implementation roadmaps.
Business Model Transformation (BMT) – Designing a future-proof business model. This rests on strategic transformations of the firm’s internal structures which generate resilience to external change.
Economic Policy – Advising governments, institutions, and public organizations on fiscal and monetary policy. Taxation, interest rates, inflation, and government intervention in labor or housing fall under this category.
Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) – Strategic advisory in pre-deal phase and managing post-merger integration. Advisors active alongside lawyers and corporate finance advisors.
Organizational Strategy – Designing organizational structures and corporate governance to ensure optimal delivery of strategic missions. Involves thorough diagnostics across all structures.
Functional Strategy – Strategic development for specific functional areas such as sales, HR, procurement, finance and others.
Strategy & Operations – Interplay between strategic advisors with focus on operational execution, and operations specialists with strategic vision.
Digital Strategy – Exploiting digital technology to enable business ambitions. Field has experienced immense growth and covers corporate IT, digital operations and online strategies among others.
Using these steps, services and implementing their interpersonal, analytical, and creative skills – strategy advisors are able to breathe new life in an organization and help lead it in a new direction of long-term growth. When assessing an organization beyond the steps mentioned above, advisors will ask questions that help get a feel for the business needs and clarify where they want to be. These questions can include:
- What are some important decisions you are facing?
- What is your greatest challenge in your business?
- Can you tell me a history of any related situations?
- What do you feel is the primary cause of… ?
- Primary symptoms or related risks?
- What are you most (certain, uncertain, unhappy) about?
- What solutions have you tried?
- Who is affected by this situation?
- What parts of your business do you feel work? What aspects do not?
- If you could change one thing about your organization, what would it be?
- What are your expectations for the next “x” years?
Example of Management Strategic Advisory
An organization is trying to save money in a fastly shrinking market, they decide to close one of their manufacturing plants to help but what are the consequences? Will this work? Which manufacturing plant should be closed? Will this hurt in the long run if business picks up? Will this cut enough costs to help drive profits? How much will it cost to close the plant? Who will this affect? How will it affect them? How should the supply chain be reconstructed to manage the loss of production? Bringing in a strategy advisor can help an organization answer these questions.
Since 2019 with the increased need to prioritize productivity and decrease overall cost as a result of the pandemic, the global strategy consulting market has faced a more than $46 billion surge and is projected to reach $101.75 billion by 2025. Clearly, the demand shows no sign of slowing down and businesses are taking the advantage of an unbiased, knowledgeable perspective into how they can invest and change the course of their business long-term, proving to be a staple of importance in the business community.