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.