Failing to plan is planning to fail.John Wooden
Strategy is the foundation on which success and superior performance are built.
We will help you to identify outstanding future possibilities, critically assess current capabilities, and develop the plan to achieve sustainable success.
Our approach, which is balanced between developing a thoughtful compelling business strategy and ensuring that the strategy can be successfully implemented, involves the following main steps:
Formulating the Strategy
Your strategic plan must be a detailed statement of how your company will achieve its mission. It reconciles where your company intends to be in the future with the reality of its start-point today.
Optimal strategy is built on the critical evaluation of market opportunities and customer needs to gain a competitive advantage; the strategy focuses on value creation at the operating level and aligns resources and business processes to achieve the results you want.
Stanton Associates works closely with your management team to identify and rank your opportunities, critically assess current capabilities, and develop the plan to achieve sustainable success. We bring rigorous analytical skills and innovative thinking to determine what’s needed to gain enduring competitive advantage and significantly increase shareholder value.
Companies with brilliant strategies that are poorly executed will have their heads handed to them by companies with modest strategies that are acted upon with determination and discipline.
Developing the Strategic Plan
We work with management to develop a detailed, executable plan for the organization.
We define strategic objectives, articulating not just the financial targets to be achieved, but also how the company will appear from the perspectives of its customers, what internal process/operations must look like, and what is needed in terms of human resources requirements.
The plan has to be detailed and actionable down to the operating and departmental level. And it needs to be clearly communicated, with passionate commitment from the CEO and executive management, to all levels of the organization.
Executing the Plan
To roll out the plan, many factors must be in place. Data capture and operating responsibilities need to be detailed. Performance against plan needs to be embedded in the management systems and consciousness of the company. Ideally, each employee has a statement of personal goals and objectives. We work closely with every level of management to make sure the plan is introduced at a reasonable pace, and that it yields results via increased employee performance, corporate performance and shareholder value.
The “Strategic Lifestyle™”
To be successful, strategy should not be just a once a year intensive exercise. We all know that drill: the management team assembles at an offsite, lots of “white boarding” with a facilitator encouraging “out-of-the-box” thinking, and voila – the new strategy is birthed. Then it is back to the office on Monday morning only to be faced with the same demands and urgent issues, dealt with effectively but in the same way as before. So nothing really changes.
Key Pitfall to Avoid
Having an annual operating plan and budget that is independent of the strategic plan
Your strategic plan needs to be considered living and breathing and become part of your corporate culture in order for it to cause positive change. We make sure that your plan does not end up in a filing cabinet, collecting dust, but rather becomes a ongoing part of the everyday activity of the enterprise..
Stanton Associates will help ensure that your plan is integrated into day-to-day organizational life. There needs to be an incentive comp structure that is driven by behaviors required to execute the strategy. Progress against plan needs to be reviewed frequently. It must be linked to the budget and to operations reporting.
Why use Stanton Associates?
Strategy is not easy. How could it be? If it were easy, every company would be successful. Getting it right requires blending thoughtful theory and analysis with practical, real world execution. At Stanton Associates, our professionals are well grounded in business theory from our days with some of the world’s best companies. We have practical experience sitting on the executive side of the desk, having to live with the consequences of our decisions and their implementation.
Due to our executive backgrounds, we are able to make business recommendations quickly. We help drive a rapid action process to achieve improved results.
“Our firm has achieved significant success. We have a strong brand and outstanding relationships with our clients. However, it became clear that our target markets were facing significant industry consolidation in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, we knew we needed to chart a new path ahead in order to continue our firm’s strong growth. As much as we have a sophisticated and experienced management team, it is almost impossible to have a clear, objective view of oneself and we decided to bring in Stanton Associates to help us develop a strategic plan.
We knew we would get independent, thoughtful advice – and we did. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the way Stanton Associates was able to synthesize complex issues and present alternatives in a straightforward way. They really helped us understand our choices for the future. We ended up selecting a strategy that we are very excited about and which we are rapidly implementing. That choice, however, was not one we seriously considered before Stanton Associates got involved.
Most importantly, during some tough internal meetings filled with potentially highly charged differences of opinion between senior executives, Stanton Associates kept us focused and working together. They successfully provided an approach that expanded our thinking and was enjoyable and at times even fun.”CEO
National Consulting Firm Focused on the
Pharmaceutical and Health Care Industries