There's a lot of unnecessary mystique around the subject of business strategy. Most organisations get that they need to have a strategy, but many don't know where to start or how to move from box-ticking soundbites to delivery of true value.
candid can help at any stage of the strategic journey, from formulating an effective, tailor-made strategy, identifying why an existing strategy is stalled or under-delivering, through to helping your people at all levels to make a strategy live and breathe.
When it comes to strategy, one size definitely does not fit all, which is why, unlike the strategy-by-numbers, pre-fabricated models peddled by some consultants, candid uses proven tools to help you build what you want, not just sell you one we made earlier.
We do this by focusing on your unique situation, wants and needs through three key components of any excellent strategy: diagnosis, definition and drive.
This is where all excellent strategies start. It's also where many failing strategies didn't start. What is it you're really trying to address? How do you know you're trying to address the right things?
By taking a structured, unbiased look at your competitive advantages, your marketplace and the wider world you operate in, candid can help to ensure that whatever you're aiming for, it's right for you.
Some organisations need help with identifying the right questions to ask; others know (most of) the right questions, but need independent support in analysing the relevance or reliability of their answers, or even just some constructive challenge to help uncover different perspectives and ideas.
Whatever your unique needs, we make sure you prime your strategy for success by properly diagnosing the challenges you're addressing.
An excellent business strategy builds on a proper diagnosis to define the broad approach to the challenge ahead. For example, if the diagnosis shows that an organisation's competitive advantage sits heavily around the expertise of its people, the strategy may be defined as "preserve and make the most of our knowledge base".
Many organisations mistake this stage of strategy-setting for being about goal-setting (and those goals often then become very generic, unrealistic and divorced from the diagnosis). Goals might feature, but this is more about defining the overall direction and priorities.
Drawing on experience of what has worked (and failed) for an exceptionally diverse range of sectors and organisation-types, candid helps you to look at all the relevant options and make clear, courageous decisions about what matters most to you.
Excellent strategies are underpinned by a clear, comprehensive and coherent set of actions to deliver them - without this, the strategy has no drive.
The most common pitfalls are:
not properly going through the diagnosis and definition stages of strategy-setting (so actions are aimed at the wrong things and lack any real coherence); and
assuming that once the direction is clear, the implementation will take care of itself (so there is no real follow-through or accountability for delivering the strategy).
Using the example from above, to preserve and make the most of the organisation's knowledge base you might see a range of top-level actions around things like:
Motivating and retaining existing talent.
Identifying and addressing critical failure points (what happens if Joanna or Joe leaves the business?).
Launching a targeted recruitment campaign.
Ensuring employees have appropriate restrictive covenants in their employment contracts.
Exploring ways to turn nebulous know-how into a clear and marketable product.
Everything the organisation does would then be considered in light of whether or not it contributes to the identified actions.
Put bluntly, driving a proper set of coherent implementing actions for a strategy isn't rocket science - but it's not always easy either. Part of candid's role is to help make it easier, whether you need help with formulating the actions which will drive you forwards, support with measuring and managing implementation, or getting involved with actual delivery.