After 11 years of corporate strategy consulting with the firm, 3 of them as principal, I have tended to take for granted that everyone knows the difference between corporate strategy and other types of strategy engagements like developing a market entry strategy or a pricing strategy. Yet, that is not true.
Many aspiring and active consultants use the “term” strategy to describe a broad mix of engagement types. Corporate strategy is very different from other forms of strategy. It is by far the most exciting. And the difference is not difficult to explain. It comes down to the type of objective function in each case. Corporate strategy only has one objective function, while any other type of strategy engagement does not have a prescribed objective function.
This podcast uses detailed engagement examples to describe the difference. In the first example, we will discuss the work Bain, and particularly the partner Alan Bird, did to help De Beers turn around their entire corporate strategy. In the next example I will discuss an engagement I led as a partner to help a state-owned-bank completely change its direction. This was one of my most memorable engagements.