Why Consultants and Managers Need Strategy Frameworks to Succeed
Strategy is commonly associated with military or politics and only started featuring in the world of business in the 1980s. Strategy frameworks are now far more common in boardrooms and business consultant’s than ever before. The world of frameworks also seems to be constantly evolving as businesses adapt and grow. As little as twenty (or even ten) years ago the thought of conducting mainstream business via the internet was a strange and uncertain time. Look at how businesses have evolved, and so did the strategy frameworks’ organizations and their consultant’s use as well.
What are Strategy Frameworks for Management Consultants?
They are useful tools that help the leadership in organizations to analyze the processes within the business. It is basically to form thinking and communicate the findings and course of action. Effective frameworks will assist in developing organisational goals and what the roadmap to success will look like. These frameworks should be easily scalable and adaptable for any type of business. Therefore consultants consider business strategy frameworks as the building blocks of organizational evolution.
Consultants and business managers need to coordinate activities and incorporate frameworks that will enhance the business. They should not only prove cumbersome, in the business enhancement activities.
Commonly Used Strategy Frameworks in Business Consultation
Business strategy frameworks prove to be valuable tools for business managers and consultants. They basically help to determine the internal and external factors to keep in mind for business development.
Let’s look at the most commonly used business strategy frameworks in practice:
The SWOT analysis framework is used to determine the strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O) and threats (T) of new projects or ventures.
The PESTEL Analysis mainly determines the broader political, economic, socio-cultural and technological environment in which the business operates to understand challenges and improvements.
The MECE Framework assists managers and consultants to categorize challenges into distinct groupings to quicken problem-solving.
The BCG Matrix is especially helpful to consultants when determining how to fully allocate and use the resources of a business. Moreover, business managers will use this framework to assess the ability to constantly make earnings.
Corporation, Competition and Customer (3 C’s)
The 3C’s model is a favourite among business consultants when tasked to improve a business. The three categories of the framework will take into account the business, the competitors and the customers and how the business can function at full capacity when there are disruptions in one of the three areas.
Porter’s 5 Forces
Porter’s 5 forces is a business strategy framework used by business consultants in their effort to understand the business's current position of power (in line with the competition and the market in which they operate). It also helps on how to achieve the desired power position. Moreover, the marketing department is fond of continuous updates on its standing in the marketplace.
Business strategy frameworks tend to evaluate the external factors impacting a business. The McKinsey 7S Framework determines and fixes internal challenges in a business.
How Do I Implement A Business Strategy Framework With My Consultant?
There are millions spent annually on business improvement strategies and the adopting of strategy frameworks to deliver improved profits. However, business managers become so consumed with the day-to-day operations within the business that they lose track of the vision and intent. So, a business consultant should be brought on board the journey to business improvement to provide guidance and assistance for the successful implementation of change.
How does a business manager, or a board of directors, ensure that they are on track with the consultant's findings? The essence of any of the above-mentioned (and hundreds of other business frameworks available) is the implementation, execution and performance management of the selected framework. Because, the framework for strategy will not magically bless the (business) kingdom with fairy dust and unroll the velvet carpet to transformation.
Business managers need to discuss objectives with the consultant and review where they are in the process of successful implementation of a particular business strategy framework.
Fortune Magazine reported that nine out of ten businesses fail to implement business strategy frameworks.
The following steps are imperative when working together with the consultant in one of the frameworks:
- Interpreting the strategy
- Initiation of the strategy
- The definition of action items
- Transition in the business environment
- Measuring the effectiveness of the changes within the business environment
The Curious Case of Frameworks for Strategy
Did you know that Pinterest’s photo-based list interface also used business strategy frameworks to determine their niche market and expand their user base?
Moreover, the Pinterest model is based on a user-curated list of interests and will suggest content matched to the field of interests. In a market dominated by popular and proven social media platforms, Pinterest had to use the needs-based positioning framework for strategy. Pinterest has positioned itself in such a way that their research has shown that 93% of users will use the platform to plan a purchase, and then 52% of users will then go online to make the purchase. Now the platform is a profitable business servicing a range of online retailers.
But How Did They Do This Successfully?
Using the popular 3C’s business strategy framework, Pinterest used the guidelines to determine what their competitors were doing, what the customers were looking for and how they could offer the services. Pinterest has created a profitable network that services particular users and through that, it has found revenue opportunities via referral advertising. Making this one of the most successful implementations of the 3C’s strategy framework in recent times.
Business strategy frameworks have evolved from military tactics to boardroom strategies for the continued success of businesses. Consultants and business managers have to share the same outlook and terminology when describing their business development ideals. If you want to ensure that you are on the same strategy framework page as your consultant, you can read up on working with a consultant here.