When you work at a big company, updating your business strategy can feel like an endless back-and-forth. Maybe you’re the General Manager of a small business unit in a large multi-national corporation. Maybe you’re the new VP of Strategy in a conglomerate that has grown rapidly and now has too many businesses and divisions. So what happens when your CEO asks you to “update your business strategies” and report back in six months?
Explore your options in our new interactive game, Strategy Pong.
Now imagine that you’ve stepped into a new strategy role. You’re supporting a small business unit that has not had a formal strategy process in several years. What’s more, it’s still under the gun to deliver year-end numbers. As the VP of Strategy, you realize that all of your businesses are run by solid managers who, unfortunately, have no idea what it takes to meet your boss’s expectations. Hiring McKinsey is out, maybe because the size of your business is so small that you cannot justify the expense, or maybe because the CEO has already hired them for another project.
So what are your options?
You might briefly consider taking on the effort yourself, but you know you don’t have the time. Or maybe you realize that executing a strategy process requires a unique skill set that you don’t (yet) have, and now is not a good time to learn it.
If you’re lucky, you might know someone who can help. Someone who can deliver the same quality of work as McKinsey, but without the expense—and maybe with a little more understanding of what it takes to implement a strategy once the CEO has blessed its conclusions. Someone who has done multiple strategy projects before. Someone who has actually operated a business, in your industry and maybe even your line of business. And someone who is available!
But what happens if you don’t know the right person?
For a regulatory specialist, you probably know where to go. Ditto for technical specialists. And your LinkedIn network is full of marketing experts who can design and run an omnichannel campaign. But for strategy?
Fortunately, the success of large consulting companies such as McKinsey and Bain has created a large network of alumni with exactly the skills you need. Many of them prefer the freedom of working with, and not for, big companies, which means there’s a large pool of high-end freelancers that would not just meet your needs but exceed your expectations, if only you could find them. And even here, there is now help in the form of firms like Business Talent Group that connect corporate clients with independent consultants on an on-demand basis.
But don’t take our word for it. Explore your options in our new interactive game, Strategy Pong.
Thomas A. Collet
Thomas A. Collet helps companies in the life science and medical industries develop and commercialize new products, technologies, and services. He has helped BTG clients develop business unit strategies, understand product trends in the generic and branded drug markets, and capture opportunities in the life science tools space.