Do you need a Strategic Advisor?

When do you need a strategic advisor?

  • When the industry and functional experts have not successfully addressed critical CEO (or board chair) issues.
  • When the behaviour of large numbers of employees needs to change in order to achieve benefits.

Industry and functional experts can successfully resolve most issues.

Who are industry experts?

  • Understand the problems and needs of current and potential customers.
  • Understand how customers perceive competitors.
  • Understand competitors, including existing, those in adjacent industries, and startups.
  • Know key executives in the industry, suppliers, partners, regulators, etc.
  • Understand the trends which will impact customers, suppliers, partners, competitors, etc.

Who are functional experts?

  • Understand a specific business function e.g. finance, sales, production, information technology.
  • Know what type of talent is required, the best processes, and the appropriate technology.
  • Have a network of functional executives who may be able to fill roles in your company.
  • Understand how trends are impacting talent requirements, processes, and technology.
  • Understand how startups may create more effective business functions.

Often the functional expert is focused on a single industry.

How do you recognize that you can benefit from a Strategic Advisor?

  • You recognize that your past experience, skills, and ways of thinking and making decisions may be of less value in today’s turbulent and rapidly changing world.
  • You have a critical decision or problem that significantly impacts your company’s long-term value growth or value preservation. You may be unclear as to the core problem, which questions to ask, and what the solution could be.
  • You are a leader (CEO, owner, board chair, etc.).
  • You are accountable for the results and require deep understanding, because you are the one who must present and explain your proposed actions.
  • You will personally devote significant time to your issue.
  • The decision or issue is new to you and your company or you have unsuccessfully addressed this in the past.
  • You need someone to help you and your team think through what to do. You will meet with your advisor frequently, sometimes daily.
  • You are willing to learn and try new things.
  • You have either hired or met with traditional consultants, who have not been able to help you make your decision or solve your problem.
  • You may need help selecting traditional consultants and in co-ordinating their actions.

How do you recognize that you need a traditional consultant?

  • You are clear on what the problem is.
  • You can delegate to others the preparation of recommendations for your review.
  • You need an industry expert to tell you what others in the industry are doing or have been doing.
  • You need a functional expert due to gaps with internal functional knowledge e.g. cybersecurity.
  • You need someone who has done the same thing many times before e.g. install financial systems.
  • You need outside people to help with large amounts of data collection and analysis.
  • You will personally devote limited time to the issue.
  • You believe that you personally do not need to transform yourself.

Tom is a Strategic Advisor.  Click here to contact Tom.

The following are links to sections of my website.  Each section contains my points of view.

Avoiding business failure

The startup journey

Understanding customers

Investor management

Corporate Governance

Creating business value

Strategy and strategic planning

Business transformation

Values, morals, and ethics

Charitable support – the charities I support.

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