It has become widely assumed that hiring external consultants is synonymous with high cost. Clearly, there are times when it’s necessary to employ specialists; to conduct detailed market research, for example, or to evaluate investment and acquisition opportunities. But when it comes to strategy development and business planning, we firmly believe the process can and should be driven by a company’s own senior leaders.
The strategic planning process can be kick-started or enhanced by external facilitation to provide support, offer fresh perspectives and to challenge established perspectives.
Any strategy needs to be devised and owned by senior leaders if it is to survive beyond its conception. A strategic planning consultant can help to stretch thinking and reignite entrepreneurial passion; and to help leaders to look beyond the immediate challenges and visualise the future of the business.
External facilitation can also achieve consensus among executives regarding the direction of the business, helping them to choose between various alternatives, supported by objective market and competitive analysis.
And most importantly harnessing and aligning the collective views of the people who know the business best! This doesn’t need to be a very expensive, complex or a time-consuming exercise.