The Strategy Skills Podcast: Management Consulting | Strategy, Operations & Implementation | Critical Thinking

Informações:

Sinopsis

The Strategy Skills Podcast is the channel where strategy partners teach you the tools and techniques to solve mankind’s greatest problems. Learn all the skills of McKinsey and BCG consultants without having to work at a consulting firm. Each year we pick one consulting study and narrate the analyses, client interactions and recommendations so you can understand how the strategy is developed. Detailed videos and power-points to accompany the podcasts can be found on our website.The podcast teaches both technical analyses and soft skills like communication. We discuss concepts to help listeners advance their strategy, operations and implementation skills, enhance their critical thinking ability and build their executive presence.www.firmsconsulting.comwww.strategytraining.com

Episodios

  • 20: Grooming Corporate Leaders

    09/09/2015 Duración: 19min

    This is the 18th podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In this podcast we discuss the approach and philosophy used by the study leadership stream as they guide and mentor corporate leaders at the client. We discuss the 4 pillars on which our leadership philosophy is built and use practical examples to demonstrate how we help clients adopt these principles. The four pillars are: Sincere authenticity matters. Embrace, not hide, leadership flaws. Forget about image. Focus on results. This approach is about helping corporate leaders be successful in the short term. If you would like to learn more about this leadership work, please read this article.   COME HANG OUT WITH US: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn   www.firmsconsulting.com

  • 19: How to Communicate Recommendations

    03/09/2015 Duración: 14min

    This is the seventeenth podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. This podcast discusses how to communicate recommendations which are radical in nature. If the recommendations are presented too early, they are hypotheses with little data backing them and they can be easily challenged. If the recommendations are presented at the end, it shocks the client and there likely will be little agreement from the client. The solution is to present early but to present them as hypotheses. That seems easy, but this podcast explains the mistakes in communication made when most consultants present complex hypotheses very early, and how to fix them. You will learn that communication, your choice of words and the way you emphasize them can dramatically alter the way the client interprets what you are saying. In fact, the emphasis will radically alter the meaning. COME HANG OUT WITH US: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn   www.firmsconsulting.com

  • 18: Corporate Strategy Analysis Process

    01/09/2015 Duración: 15min

    This is the sixteenth podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In this critical podcast, we focus on two things. First, we discuss the reason why corporate strategy studies rely so heavily on executive workshops. We explain why simply handing the perfect strategy to the client will never yield results, even if the client accepts it without any challenges. The workshop process plays a crucial role that cannot be easily replicated anywhere else in the study. That is the reason to hold the workshop. Second, we discuss the components of the corporate strategy analyses and how we use each part: 1 - Case studies2 - Market analyses3 - Customer value chain analyses4 - Client value chain analyses Finally, we discuss how all of these come together in the scenario planning. COME HANG OUT WITH US: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn   www.firmsconsulting.com

  • 17: Evolving International Business Ideas

    27/08/2015 Duración: 07min

    This is the fifteenth podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In an earlier podcast I discussed our bold hypotheses which involved shutting down and selling all of the international businesses. Since that initial hypothesis developed in week 1, and after thinking about it for the last 2 weeks, we have changed our views. In terms of the number of initiatives, the majority of the international businesses will be shut down or sold. However, in terms of dollar value, the majority of international businesses will remain. If that sounds contradictory, this podcast explains how we decided which businesses to keep and the impact it will have on the funding of the transformation study. COME HANG OUT WITH US: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn www.firmsconsulting.com

  • 16: Governance in Transformation Studies

    25/08/2015 Duración: 17min

    This is the fourteenth podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. This podcast defines governance versus project management and explains the 6 governance levels on the study. We further break the 6 governance levels into those with a short to medium term focus and those with a long term focus. The six governance levels are: EI - BoardEI - CEO and EXCOEI - OPCOEI - Steerco. EE - BoardEE - CEO We explain further why in transformation studies the Steerco is one of the most important governance structures, trumpeting that of OPCO, even through Steerco members report to OPCO members.   COME HANG OUT WITH US: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn   www.firmsconsulting.com

  • 15: Keep the Telecom License?

    18/08/2015 Duración: 20min

    This is the thirteenth podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In this podcast we discuss how the client came to be the primary bidder for a telecom license which is far from their core business. We also discuss the process we used to decide if the client should keep the license, sell it or do something else. We developed 4 scenarios for the client. We also explain why immediately exiting this non-core investment hurts the client more than keeping the license. That is a counter intuitive recommendation which has to do with the value of real options. Although, this may seem surprising, many power companies consider telecoms to be a natural adjacency due to the physical overlap of infrastructure. www.firmsconsulting.com

  • 14: Invest in 4th Gen. Nuclear Technology?

    18/08/2015 Duración: 14min

    This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. The client has invested heavily in trying to develop the next generation nuclear technology for sale to foreign companies. In this podcast we discuss our decision making process on whether or not the nuclear investment should be kept, expanded, modified, reduced or eliminated. We discuss the 5 major scenarios open to the client for handling the nuclear investment and the financial impact of each scenario, as well as the anticipated impact on the client’s pending capital raising roadshow to raise money for its power build program. The bottom-line is that all options are costly. www.firmsconsulting.com

  • 13: Women in Consulting

    06/08/2015 Duración: 22min

    This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. This podcast covers three topics, but the primary topic is gender equality on consulting studies: women in consulting. We are, of course, a major proponent on gender equality but my observations is that sometimes female managers only want the “good” things that equality brings while avoiding the “bad” things and passing that work onto male colleagues. Equality, unfortunately, means accepting and working with both the good and bad things. This podcast discusses this concept and how to manage things. We discuss the week 3 of the study where 9am to 1pm of every single day is dedicated to training for the client. We explain why so much time is dedicated to training and our unusual approach to sharing everything with the client. We basically transfer everything we have to the client. Literally everything. We finally discuss many of the “surprises” we are uncovering which have the potential

  • 12: Corporate Strategy Always Lacks Detailed Analyses

    06/08/2015 Duración: 20min

    This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In an earlier podcast, we discussed the logic of the corporate strategy recommendations. It will surprise you to realize just how little detailed analyses support that recommendation. There is a deep and clear logic. Yet, the analyses needed to prove that logic is surprisingly light. In this podcast, we discuss this paradox of corporate strategy. Strategy studies have a reputation for having lots of analyses. This reputation comes both from a misunderstanding of strategy and from watching other types of strategy studies, like pricing, business unit strategies etc., which require heavy analyses. What many consider corporate strategy analyses is actually the analyses done for the business units etc., once the corporate strategy is done. They are different and should not be confused. Corporate strategy is essentially a bet on a market and there is no analytic tool in the world anywhere at

  • 11: Building Leaders in Broken Companies

    06/08/2015 Duración: 20min

    This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. Building leaders in broken companies is very difficult. In an earlier podcast, we discussed a change at Firmsconsulting in the way we are managing large corporate strategy transformation-type studies. Essentially, we now have a dedicated partner working with executive clients to help them with leadership and CEO-transitions issues. The work is absolutely fascinating: it sits at the intersection of leadership, motivation, happiness and clinical psychology. I am personally learning from watching this partner in action. This is, therefore, a very interesting podcast and we are going to discuss the following. We are going to predict what is going to happen to the Empire International (EI) executive leadership team based on our experience of running similar studies. Next we are going to briefly explain the leadership challenge at Empire International. Then we are going to look at the unique

  • 10: Implementation of the Recommendations

    06/08/2015 Duración: 11min

    This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. Implementation of our recommendations will likely be very difficult and this is a critical concern. The company is under stress, constantly in the press and any changes must take place without disrupting daily operations. It is a recipe for a disaster. We discuss a Marvin Bower anecdote about implementation and explain why most implementation literature about motivating employees to change their behaviour and accept the new strategy fails in the real world. We also explain the 1960s John F. Kennedy strategy and positioning we plan to use to get the employees to understand, accept and rise to the challenge of fixing the problem despite pending salary, benefits and perk cuts. This is a critical podcast because it teaches you what to do when motivating employees is simply not possible during a turnaround. Michael Boricki www.firmsconsulting.com

  • 9: Profit from the Core

    06/08/2015 Duración: 16min

    This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In this study we are hypothesizing that the core of the company has shifted and the company therefore needs to change to profit from the core business. This is common problem for many companies. Yet, dealing with it is very difficult. When a company is built for a core that has changed, history teaches us that they will suffer and likely fail. Think of Yahoo, HP etc. Think of Google right now as the internet shifts from desktops to mobile and from mobile to apps. All businesses perfectly designed for a core business that no longer exists fail if they don’t pivot to a new model. We are basically trying to help this client undertake a change which is very difficult to execute. That makes the study both exciting and daunting. If you want to understand this concept of profiting from the core in more detail, we recommend one seminal book and HBR article to read. We discuss the challenges of

  • 8: Top-Down Financial Analyses

    06/08/2015 Duración: 20min

    This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. The start of week 2 is dominated by the top-down financial analyses results. This is also when all the 6 streams officially kick-of: corporate strategy, business unit strategy, business case, organizational design, management skills analyses and value based management. In this podcast we provide quotes and feedback from the focus interviews with the CEOs of the individual companies within Empire International, and the feedback from the labour union updates. The general synopses is that EI is a much bigger and unwieldy business than we had initially assumed. The company is a collection of many, many tiny, medium, larger and very large separate companies who do not operate as one unit. They all do their own things and trip over each other. Crucially, the top-down financial analyses is close to completion and we can present the financial snapshot of the company. It is not pretty and there

  • 7: Transformation vs Corp. Strategy

    06/08/2015 Duración: 21min

    This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. This podcast wraps up a tough first week of the study. We wanted to wrap-up the week by explaining the differences between a transformation corporate strategy study and a general corporate strategy study. We are going to use the movie Alien to explain this difference. Like the movie, we are basically trying to hunt down a problem we cannot see, we do not know where it is, we do not know how it is changing and we cannot know which tools to use. We basically need to be very adaptable. That is why transformation studies are so difficult. They are the toughest type of corporate strategy studies. We solve this problem by using an advance team of a partner and one associate to meet with executives to collect more information about the problem and feed it back to the team so we can better prepare. They have 1 week to find the information. This podcast also discusses some of the feedback from

  • 6: 3 Critical Analyses for Overall Hypotheses

    06/08/2015 Duración: 16min

    This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. To support the overall recommendations, we would need to do many analyses. The study team is very large and over 4 months they will do a lot. Yet, the study partners can be more focused. 3 critical analyses can help us determine if the corporate strategy recommendations make sense. First, we need to determine if there is profit outside the core. Second, we need to find a financial metric to make short-term and long-term management decisions. Three, we need to estimate the net cost of the changes we are recommending and the ability to fund them. Michael Boricki www.firmsconsulting.com

  • 5: How Strategy Shapes the Structure

    06/08/2015 Duración: 16min

    This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. The organizational structure of a company must enable / support / empower its corporate strategy. In other words, structure must follow the strategy. In this podcast we explain how the initial corporate strategy recommendations are not enough to guide the organizational design team. Based on the likely power sector outages and types of problems, the organizational design can take one of two general styles: highly agile and responsive OR unresponsive but designed to deliver on significant, preplanned, construction projects. Making this decision is not easy and has enormous implications for the client. It is a decision that must be made. If we say the client will not respond to daily outages we are basically saying daily outages are not an issue and the general population must live through the outages, and suffer. How do we make such a decision? Michael Boricki www.firmsconsulting.com

  • 4: Flawed Corporate Strategy Case Studies

    03/08/2015 Duración: 11min

    This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In this podcast we discuss one of the most prevalent errors made by strategy consultants when they analyze case studies. Consultants are pre-disposed to finding a solution, or best-practice, at a rival/peer and bringing it to the client. This happens because it is far easier to tell a client that a solution exists and it is just a question of adopting it. Imagine telling a client that no solution exists in the market and the consultants need to create an entirely new approach to fix the client’s problem. This latter approach is a tougher sell. This desire to find solutions in the market forces consultants to develop case studies whereby a solution is presented which is not a real solution. In this podcast, we discuss this problem in great detail using examples from both this and the market entry strategy study. The most startling finding of the market entry study was that every single

  • 3: Early, Bold Hypotheses for the Study

    28/07/2015 Duración: 23min

    This is the second podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. This podcast explains a critical challenge in most major transformation type studies: early hypotheses. There are usually 4 to 6 streams of work from business case analyses to business unit strategy. The issue here is that all the other streams are dependent on guidance from the corporate strategy stream, but the corporate strategy stream needs time to arrive at its recommendation. Coming up with that initial set of recommendations is scary and hard to do. We essentially need to be about 80% correct after only being with the client for a few days. How do we do that? In this podcast we explain the technique and logic we use to arrive at the likely recommendation despite being just a few days into the study. This initial recommendation is vital in the first few days of the consulting study to guide the other streams. We also explain how to generally validate the initial hypotheses.  Mi

  • 2: Leadership Challenges on the Study

    28/07/2015 Duración: 24min

    The power sector corporate strategy study is now underway and is scheduled to be released later this year, as part of our Executive Program. This is the first of many podcasts to discuss the progress in the power sector study, including paramount challenges and choices the client and the team are facing. We decided not to live blog this study. We decided to put out frequent, almost daily, podcasts and a stream of articles explaining the issues. Given the intensity of the study, we hope to keep to this schedule and will do our very best, but forgive us if we are forced to skip many days. In fact, during one podcast recording session, the power went out! In this first podcast, we delve into intricacies of the power sector in North Africa / Southern Europe. We also discuss the incredibly difficult choices countries and companies have to face in this rapidly growing resources strapped part of the world, along with mind-numbing permutations for each option and the huge costs involved. A single power station can co

  • 1: Bill Matassoni on Competitive and Comparative Advantage, Why Strategy is Less Analytic than it Seems and how McKinsey Really Makes Decisions

    21/07/2015 Duración: 01h08min

    One of the great privileges of our unique network is that we have access to some of the most eminent former partners like Kevin Coyne and Bill Matassoni. We adopt their insights when designing our case training and strategy training programs. Our goal at Firmsconsulting is to allow our members access to the partners from whom we seek advise.  This is an exclusive interview that Bill Matassoni recently had with Firmsconsulting where he shared some counter-intuitive concepts you will not hear anywhere else. Bill Matassoni was the partner who was involved in developing and implementing the McKinsey philosophy that helped the firm pull ahead of BCG in the 1980s and 1990s. He was thereafter the partner who led BCG's efforts to overtake McKinsey. This insightful, inspiring and counter intuitive podcast explains the steps McKinsey took in the 1980s to reposition the firm. Planning is meaningless unless you know what to plan. You need a point of differentiation and you need to consistently drive that difference. Comp

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