Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

the day to day experiences of a consultant operating in weird and wonderful client situations

Transformation

Implementing a ‘bottom up’ strategy – part 3

Apologies for the delayed posting…I was at our place in Scotland on holiday and bizarrely, the golf course had more attraction than sitting behind a laptop, trying to find something meaningful to say around this particular challenge! So, for those of you who did not pick up on my previous posts, in the first one of this series, I discussed the typical approach of strategy implementation from a ‘top down’ […]

Continue Reading →

Implementing strategy – from the bottom up – part 2

Last week, I tried to illustrate a classic top down implementation process in terms of the key problems that companies face. This week I’m going to try and describe how I’ve seen it work from a ‘bottom up’ approach. This is altogether more challenging for two main reasons: 1) Organisations rarely design their future strategy with the most junior members of the workforce in control or with much influence. The […]

Continue Reading →

Top down or bottom up? Developing a strategy which actually gets implemented!

Now there’s a question! Let me say upfront that as someone who comes from a programme and project management background (and therefore implementation focus), I have an inbuilt bias to this problem but will try to put a rational and as usual, highly cynical case to this problem. By the way, I don’t mean challenge, issue, risk or distraction, but serious, business / career destroying, crisis inducing, health impacting problem. […]

Continue Reading →

Program managing post merger integration – different from other complex projects?

I’ve had a number of very heated conversations with colleagues about the nature of post merger integration in recent weeks. The two positions are easy to understand; on the one hand, there is the perspective that a deal is just another complex transformation project with all the usual challenges. On the other side of the debate, the argument goes that post merger integration represents a wholly different type of challenge […]

Continue Reading →

Domain knowledge – the only thing that matters in consulting?!

A frequent complaint that one hears about consultants is that ‘one team sells’ but another delivers…the implication being that the more senior folk are involved in winning the work, but when it comes to delivery, it’s often handed to the less experienced with the expected consequences. Like all professions that deliver a service, the tendency is to try and win at all costs and think about delivery at a later […]

Continue Reading →

Have pity for program leaders of a post merger integration – they need your sympathy!

Imagine the following situation: You’re given the challenge to program manage a post merger integration, carried out in the public eye, with all of the details (cost, complexity, high level strategy) broadcast to the world. After a few months, you discover that actually there were a number of other people in the frame for the work, who for one reason or another, couldn’t take up the challenge! You’re given a thousand pages of diligence, written […]

Continue Reading →

How M&A destroys value – it’s all about the small things!

I’m working on a couple of transactions at the moment around the region and one of them in Indonesia led to a moment of insight which I wanted to share. As consultants, we are frequently accused of looking for the big impact change…the magic bullet which will dramatically transform the project / or open the stakeholders eyes to a new way of doing things. In the mergers and acquisitions area though, […]

Continue Reading →

Pray for some divine intervention – M&A may be coming back!

Whisper it quietly but it seems that the M&A market is finally returning to some very decent volumes again (http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2014/04/07/1821102/ma-is-back-ish/). No doubt the headline transactions will be the ones that everyone is focused on, not least because the old scourges of government intervention in the case of Alstom (or pure protectionism by another name) plus aggressive valuation in the case of Astra Zeneca are being played out in public. The […]

Continue Reading →

Agile – A change in methodology or something much deeper and altogether more challenging?

I’ve just spoken at an excellent conference on project management in KL. There were some truly interesting seminars on project recovery, risk, the danger of optimism in projects, and of course Agile. It is extraordinary what sort of reaction this topic generates amongst proven, seasoned project management professionals and the range was certainly on display at the conference. I saw everything there from fear and loathing, to contemptuous dismissal, to […]

Continue Reading →