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Understanding Risk in Strategy

Every Single Strategy Has Its Unique Risk Start with understanding risk in an investment strategy A business strategy tries to solve a set of problems to increase returns while minimizing risk. The return side is well-covered with numerous tools, analytics and frameworks to more or less accurately estimate free cash-flow, economic profit, NOPAT, enterprise value, EBITDA, net income, ROIC and any other return measure you use. Pick up any seminal textbook on strategy, valuation and corporate finance and the majority of calculations are about returns and growth. Take a moment to think about your own recent discussions on risk, the tools you used to measure risk and the frameworks you reference to understand risk. How helpful were they? With the exception of WACC, risk is often treated as a social science. We tend to rely on business judgement, gut feel and personal experiences to make decisions on risk. It need not be this way. Risk can be measured and calculated. The ability to visually depict the risk in a proposed strategy and the relative risk between strategy choices, opens a richer and deeper management discussion. That is what we will present in this section. To understand the risk in a…

Every Single Strategy Has Its Unique Risk Start with understanding risk in an investment strategy A business strategy tries to solve a set of problems to increase returns while minimizing risk. The return side is well-covered with numerous tools, analytics and frameworks to more or less accurately estimate free cash-flow, economic profit, NOPAT, enterprise value, EBITDA, net income, ROIC and any other return measure you use. Pick up any seminal textbook on strategy, valuation and corporate finance and the majority of calculations are about returns and growth. Take a moment to think about your own recent discussions on risk, the…

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Innovating An Industrial Giant. $42 Million Single Project Fee

Innovating An Industrial Giant. $42 Million Single Project Fee Exclusive to FIRMSconsulting Insider and Legacy members. Enroll as an Insider or Legacy member here (scroll for membership options). If you would like to receive sample episodes of our Insider content, please opt-in to our newsletter and receive a free gift. This is the only way to receive sample Insider content. What is innovation consulting or innovation strategy? Do you teach clients how to innovate or do you innovate for them? What is the definition of innovation and how does this limit what you can do? Do you create new products or services for clients? Do you create new businesses? What is the work that you actually do? How do you create value for clients? Innovation teams are often small teams sitting within the strategy practice within the larger consulting teams, and if you are a multi-disciplinary firm you are a tiny part of a larger apparatus. The majority of innovation advisory work is about the topside: revenue, profits, cash flow, and sometimes the share price. It's about sales. Most advisory firms compete in this space with practically little differentiation between themselves. They offer advice, roll out an intranet and app to collect ideas and funnel…

Innovating An Industrial Giant. $42 Million Single Project Fee Exclusive to FIRMSconsulting Insider and Legacy members. Enroll as an Insider or Legacy member here (scroll for membership options). If you would like to receive sample episodes of our Insider content, please opt-in to our newsletter and receive a free gift. This is the only way to receive sample Insider content. What is innovation consulting or innovation strategy? Do you teach clients how to innovate or do you innovate for them? What is the definition of innovation and how does this limit what you can do? Do you create new products or services for clients? Do…

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What issues keep a CEO up at night

What issues keep a CEO up at night In a recent newsletter, we covered why we need to build a relationship with the CEO (stands for Chief Executive Officer). In short, it was because of the return on the relationship it generates for us. The next question becomes: What kind of issues do we discuss with them? Well, we need to discuss issues that keep a CEO up at night. In today’s email, we are going to discuss how to distinguish those issues, which we call red issues, and how to isolate them. So as a starting point, a good way to think about this is that red issues are almost always based in industry, or the company’s volatility and uncertainty. So we've got this graph below. And what this is stating is that on one axis, you've got urgency and importance. And then, on the horizontal axis, you have time. Normal issues, by their nature, are the majority. They make up the majority, and a red issue is something that you will see one in every 10-20 issues. What CEO does vs. other executives As a side note, at the outset it is important to clarify that the CEO's responsibility and accountability is…

What issues keep a CEO up at night In a recent newsletter, we covered why we need to build a relationship with the CEO (stands for Chief Executive Officer). In short, it was because of the return on the relationship it generates for us. The next question becomes: What kind of issues do we discuss with them? Well, we need to discuss issues that keep a CEO up at night. In today’s email, we are going to discuss how to distinguish those issues, which we call red issues, and how to isolate them. So as a starting point, a good way to think about…

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What is the Process for Corporate Strategy Studies

What is the Process for Corporate Strategy Studies There is a lot of confusion about what corporate strategy is and how corporate strategy studies are different from other types of strategy. The reality is that most corporate strategy studies take place between 5-10 weeks. You're going to any company, you can usually complete a corporate strategy study in that time. In the Corporate Strategy and Transformation study on StrategyTraining.com, we took 12 weeks because of the transformation aspect. We did use an accelerated process of the standard approach used in all corporate strategy studies. No objective function Corporate strategy is more difficult than other types of strategy since there is no objective function. There is no guide in terms of what you need to do. It is so broad that most consultants get scared and offer more of the same. The guide is missing, and that is what makes corporate strategy very different from other types of strategy. Greater degree of business judgement is required   Corporate strategy lacks heavy numerical analysis. And this may be counterintuitive to many people, but true corporate strategy does involve numerical analysis, but it is not as heavy as in other types of strategy. It, however, requires…

What is the Process for Corporate Strategy Studies There is a lot of confusion about what corporate strategy is and how corporate strategy studies are different from other types of strategy. The reality is that most corporate strategy studies take place between 5-10 weeks. You're going to any company, you can usually complete a corporate strategy study in that time. In the Corporate Strategy and Transformation study on StrategyTraining.com, we took 12 weeks because of the transformation aspect. We did use an accelerated process of the standard approach used in all corporate strategy studies. No objective function Corporate strategy is more difficult than…

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Strategy Training Programs (www.StrategyTraining.com)

We have numerous strategy studies on our StrategyTraining.com website, both the video explanations and the editable slides (seperate membership, access to our knowledge management system). We teach from first-principles only. While you will see frameworks and processes, we teach you how to develop them and why we developed them. This means our training is more detailed and longer to ensure you understand why we do what we do on a real strategy study or another consulting engagement. Our flagship training programs recreate McKinsey, BCG et al studies to great detail. Every meeting, workshop, analysis and interaction is captured in highly realistic videos. Our aim is to help you learn the skills of the elite firms, as taught by ex-partners of the elite firms. Our programs are streamed in >150 countries 24/7 and used my major consulting firms, companies and governments in all 7 continents. We have built the largest strategy training library. Each study teaches the core problem solving skills using first-principles analyses, though they tackle different problems. They listed in order of difficulty and it is advisable to start with the M&A program since it was designed to teach the core skills it is assumed you will already possess the other programs.…

We have numerous strategy studies on our StrategyTraining.com website, both the video explanations and the editable slides (seperate membership, access to our knowledge management system). We teach from first-principles only. While you will see frameworks and processes, we teach you how to develop them and why we developed them. This means our training is more detailed and longer to ensure you understand why we do what we do on a real strategy study or another consulting engagement. Our flagship training programs recreate McKinsey, BCG et al studies to great detail. Every meeting, workshop, analysis and interaction is captured in highly realistic videos.…

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Strategic Challenges

Strategic Challenges In this post we will examine some strategic challenges that may arise. We will also look at an example of effectively dealing with strategic challengs. The creation of a strategy would be simple if we had a clear understanding of all causal connections between actions and outcomes. But this is not how the world works. We generally don't have such information when designing a strategy. We also deal with a cluster of issues versus one issue. We further deal with a cluster of ambitions. And therefore, the creation of strategy goes beyond determining goals and decision-making. The development of strategy is a type of problem-solving. Look and feel of strategic challenges Let's briefly examine the look and feel of some strategic challenges that may arise. - You may be dealing with a strategic challenge where there is no clear definition of the problem. In fact, you may not even know what the problem is but just have a feeling that things are not going well. - A choice that needs to be made. In this situation, you know the alternatives, but there are a lot of non-quantifiable aspects and uncertainties surrounding the choices. - You may be dealing with a strategic challenge where…

Strategic Challenges In this post we will examine some strategic challenges that may arise. We will also look at an example of effectively dealing with strategic challengs. The creation of a strategy would be simple if we had a clear understanding of all causal connections between actions and outcomes. But this is not how the world works. We generally don't have such information when designing a strategy. We also deal with a cluster of issues versus one issue. We further deal with a cluster of ambitions. And therefore, the creation of strategy goes beyond determining goals and decision-making. The development of strategy…

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Don Schmincke: From MIT Planetary Physicist to Training CEOs (Strategy Skills ep. #230)

Don Schmincke: From MIT Planetary Physicist to Training CEOs (Strategy Skills ep. #230) For this episode (#230) of the Strategy Skills Podcast, we interviewed a best-selling author, Don Schmincke. Don is a former MIT and John Hopkins Institute researcher turned organizational strategic development consultant. He's the guy CEOs bring in when many other experts fail. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-q0q2l4ue0&t=2229s When CEOs asked Don to research and analyze the high failure rates when it comes to strategic planning, management theory,  M&A, and culture change they didn’t realize the power of primal, genetic triggers he’d uncover, and that those primal triggers can help their companies grow much faster than the methods traditionally used by CEOs and executives. Yet, would it not be expected from an MIT and Johns Hopkins researcher with many adventures behind his belt: from getting nearly arrested as a capitalist spy in the Soviet Bloc, to getting shot off an aircraft carrier, to developing missile inertial guidance systems while his frat brothers took Vegas (later showcased in the movie “21”)? Don is a best-selling author and trains 700 CEOs annually. He also shares his unique methods at keynote speeches around the world. Don’s scientific methods make him the thought leader in applying anthropology, genetics, and evolution to strategic…

Don Schmincke: From MIT Planetary Physicist to Training CEOs (Strategy Skills ep. #230) For this episode (#230) of the Strategy Skills Podcast, we interviewed a best-selling author, Don Schmincke. Don is a former MIT and John Hopkins Institute researcher turned organizational strategic development consultant. He's the guy CEOs bring in when many other experts fail. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-q0q2l4ue0&t=2229s When CEOs asked Don to research and analyze the high failure rates when it comes to strategic planning, management theory,  M&A, and culture change they didn’t realize the power of primal, genetic triggers he’d uncover, and that those primal triggers can help their companies grow much faster than the methods…

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Difficult Conversations at Work: Guidance, Tips and Best Practices

Difficult Conversations at Work: Guidance, Tips and Best Practices You've probably seen the recent headlines about how Vishal Garg, CEO of Better.com, sparked outrage when he laid off 900 employees over a Zoom call. This story became an example of how not to have difficult conversations at work. This circumstance, framed within the grander series of events that sent shockwaves through American workplaces over the last year, clearly illustrates the need for leaders to be intentional about how they navigate difficult conversations. Here is the #229 episode of the Strategy Skills Podcast. For this episode, we interviewed Michael Reddington, an expert forensic interviewer about the common mistakes leaders make when approaching these discussions and best practices on how to handle them better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf45zMSi-w4&t=534s Common mistakes leaders make when dealing with difficult workplace conversations:  Scheduling/conducting difficult conversations in a way that is convenient for them, regardless of how it impacts their audience. Focusing on "getting a conversation over with", as opposed to opportunities to create value and/or minimize exposure. Time is the enemy of empathy. Seeking rational solutions to emotional issues. Best practices for handling these issues in the future:  Schedule/build your conversations around what your audiences need to experience to achieve the preferred…

Difficult Conversations at Work: Guidance, Tips and Best Practices You've probably seen the recent headlines about how Vishal Garg, CEO of Better.com, sparked outrage when he laid off 900 employees over a Zoom call. This story became an example of how not to have difficult conversations at work. This circumstance, framed within the grander series of events that sent shockwaves through American workplaces over the last year, clearly illustrates the need for leaders to be intentional about how they navigate difficult conversations. Here is the #229 episode of the Strategy Skills Podcast. For this episode, we interviewed Michael Reddington, an expert forensic interviewer…

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FC Insiders Update January 2021

FC Insiders Update January 2021 Over the last 3 months we moved to monthly FC Insider updates, versus weekly. As an example, in November we launched the entire Competitive Advantage with Kevin P. Coyne program (44 episodes plus 13 additional Q&As). In December and January we launched: - How to Solve Big Problems with ex McKinsey senior partner Kevin P. Coyne (full program was released) - How to be Successful, Influential and Make an Impact with ex McKinsey senior partner Kevin P. Coyne (full program was released) - How to become a McKinsey partner with ex McKinsey senior partner Kevin P. Coyne (53 out of 56 episodes were released) - Lessons from Start Ups (4 episodes were released) And more is coming, including Advanced Competitive Strategy with Kevin P. Coyne is scheduled to be released by the end of March and 2 new seasons with Bill Matassoni, ex McKinsey and BCG senior partner, are scheduled to be released by the end of May. Plus a number of other programs/updates to current programs. FC Insiders will remain our number one focus. And a lot of the work we do (e.g. SCR-Advanced, books) is done to serve FC Insiders. Our Advanced Knowledge Management System/SCR-Advanced was launched after multiple requests, over many years, from FC Insiders to find a way for them…

FC Insiders Update January 2021 Over the last 3 months we moved to monthly FC Insider updates, versus weekly. As an example, in November we launched the entire Competitive Advantage with Kevin P. Coyne program (44 episodes plus 13 additional Q&As). In December and January we launched: - How to Solve Big Problems with ex McKinsey senior partner Kevin P. Coyne (full program was released) - How to be Successful, Influential and Make an Impact with ex McKinsey senior partner Kevin P. Coyne (full program was released) - How to become a McKinsey partner with ex McKinsey senior partner Kevin P. Coyne (53 out of 56 episodes were released) - Lessons from Start Ups…

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