Strategy

Challenges

Today’s business environment is subject to increasing change and uncertainty. Addressing your company’s competitiveness and future-readiness is essential and requires review at ever shorter intervals. This short-term perspective often tempts companies to equate strategic fit with efficiency improvements based on cost-cutting. At best, such steps help with short- to medium-term positioning, but they have little to do with a forward-looking and sustainable strategy. The traditional five-year plan – even when based on concrete activity plans – has become outdated as a strategic tool.

Modern strategies describe the company’s desired future state and ways of getting there. The key thing is to include points along the way where the plan can be revised. Clear strategic measures have to be formulated up to such decision points. Afterwards, the strategy is made up of alternative courses of action which have to be selected, analysed and concretised successively, on the basis of the latest available information.

Key questions

But what makes a strategy successful? In our experience, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. But even so, some common elements of successful strategic action can be identified:

  • Successful strategies are always customised, in other words: they are formulated for a specific company in a specific environment.
  • The concept and its implementation are two sides of the same coin. They are mutually dependent. A good concept, badly implemented, is worthless; implementation without any concept at best makes use of routines and past ideas.
  • Good implementation means consistently anchoring the strategy throughout the organisation.

Neben diesen grundsätzlichen Bedingungen finden sich häufig folgende Themengebiete in Strategiekonzepten:

  • Market innovation: in addition to technological innovation this also includes innovative services or product-market combinations
  • Market expansion: entering new growth markets or optimising one's position in established markets
  • Consolidation: usually through acquisitions or disinvestment
  • Value chain: redefinition both vertically and horizontally by breaking up existing steps in the value chains and joining them together in a different way
  • Business portfolio: optimisation – especially from a risk and results perspective – with "specialisation" and "diversification" as the extremes

Not all of the preceding themes have to be included in a strategy. Often combinations or isolated aspects are included. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to the specific formulations in the various categories, despite what the latest management fads may suggest. It is safe to assume that strategies have to be company-specific.

Our offering

CTcon offers support in developing and implementing corporate and business unit strategies, based on customised solutions matched to the specific needs of your company. Our focus lies on sustainably and holistically implementing the strategy within the company, based on our many years of experience in the corporate management space.

Your contact person

Björn Radtke
Partner | Düsseldorf | Germany
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