What challenge(s) do our clients face?
The short-term day-to-day challenges can cause decision-makers to lose perspective on what is needed for the long run.
Without a vivid and disseminated ambition for the future, there is no clear mandate for management.
- A lack of consensus within the Executive Team and the Board about which strategic path to follow represents a considerable risk to companies and causes confusion and conflict all the way down from leadership to the operations.
Even if there is a clear north, without actionable steps to achieve it, there will be no progress:
- While the ambition is important, our belief is that its translation into a clear and balanced plan is equally as important in order to guarantee that the company evolves in the right direction. Otherwise potentially good strategic insights and ideas go to waste.
- Such a plan must make evident which are the fundamental projects that the company needs, the KPIs to track, the governance methods to keep the plan on track, and capabilities that are needed to develop it.
In a way, all companies must return to the strategic plan as the core governance ritual to ensure calm, leadership focus and a common reference to decide priorities and drive core decisions.
How do we help?
We address Strategic Planning in a pragmatic manner, facilitating decision-making, building consensus, and translating the ambition into feasible initiatives.
We believe that companies must take their destiny into their own hands. Leadership must ultimately decide the direction, believe in it, and own the plan. Consequently, over the years, working with organizations across countries and sectors, we’ve learned that our differential and value lies in establishing a comprehensive decision-making process involving co-creation with the leadership and moreover, translating this strategy into clear and actionable steps which consider the reality of each client.
With this mindset in place, we help our clients:
- Bring together, evaluate, and prioritize multiple perspectives to assess paths available, results, and risk:
- There is no “right or wrong” in strategic planning, it depends on the ambition of the company, and we believe that our clients know their business better than anyone else. From the outset, we work with you to determine the decision-making process and co-creation method which best involves the management and board.
- We consider and evaluate both internal and external outlooks e.g. business goals, historical criteria for decisions, business imperatives, team composition, strengths, competitive landscape, market data, trends, expert and client interviews, regulatory changes, etc.
- Translate strategy into concrete actions that are tailored, implementable, and traceable:
- We help design a strategic roadmap with associated financial modeling which outlines a coherent set of projects, governance methods, KPIs, and expected results that address the company-specific challenges and desired milestones.
- But that’s not all – plans only become a reality with the commitment and buy-in from all the stakeholders involved. Those responsible for implementing the plan must be in accordance with the targets and speed. Thus, we catalyze at all points ownership of the plan – in a typical Strategic Planning project the final presentation is done by the project owners not by Integration.
What are the benefits?
- Increased alignment and ownership regarding strategic decisions among the leadership team
- Deep understanding of the company’s opportunities and external factors that can impact the next cycle
- Widened strategic view and fresh stimulus through access to external experts, leaders, and benchmarks
- Definition of a clear value proposition and achievable ambition for the cycle
- Assessment of the capabilities needed to accomplish the ambition
- Clear strategic pillars and tactical initiatives set to translate the ambition into a robust plan
- Creation of a feasible strategic roadmap, with clarity of the main gates and financial implications for the cycle
How does it work?
Integration’s method is based on a co-creation process with our clients focused on generating alignment and momentum.
Strategic planning is a widely used term that can elicit multiple interpretations and differences in points of view. For us, Strategic Planning should be a pragmatic process of assessing strategic paths and actions focused on the midterm horizon, usually ranging from 3 to 5 years depending on the sector and the client’s context.
We believe in this practical horizon and do not indulge in futurology exercises, involving long-term market projections. Long-term megatrends are important to serve as a background for the strategic thinking process, but we believe in planning moves that can concretely affect the company life in the next 5 years.
We approach a Strategic Planning project in 2 main phases and 5 steps, going from strategic decisions to more tactical details:
The Strategic Roadmap is the final product, reflecting the strategy into a concrete plan for the company to execute, with clear pillars of actions and projects to be implemented over time. In our view, this is a fundamental step to guarantee that the strategic definitions become reality.
Over the course of the project, we see our role as supporting our client’s decision-making process. However, this does not mean that Integration does not have a voice. We do challenge our client’s decisions reinforcing the possible scenarios and the implications and risks of each path, the investment needed and the effort in achieving the desired change, be it through culture or process.
After a difficult cycle of restructuring, the outlook for a construction company was improving as the market picked up. The company had undergone a multi-billion-dollar merger with the second-largest player in the industry to reinforce its leadership position and to be able to best capture the positive market movements.
However, the company needed to transform its approach from short-term day-to-day crisis management to a long-term vision of sustainable strategic positioning and growth for the newly formed ‘Newco’.
Given that these two large organizations had recently merged, our work was acutely focused on working alongside both the management team and advisory board to support in setting a clear and unified vision for this new cycle, anchored onto a set of clearly aligned strategic pillars. We identified the Newco’s internal needs and market opportunities and brought together the leadership teams, through a series of structured workshops.
A key factor of our approach was to drive forward a workstream related to organizational culture. Supporting some of the key shareholders (CEO and HR VP) we defined the basis of Newco’s corporate culture, enabling a common ground to set the company’s vision for the new cycle and beyond.
A market penetration strategy was defined to capture market growth organically and through M&A, supported by newly defined customer-centric services that aimed to differentiate the organization and consolidate its leadership position.
This plan was supported by the cultural reshape project for the Newco, which strengthened the way in which the company could go forth and capture these opportunities through a common Mission, Vision, and Manifesto.
The summation of these activities generated an organic top-line growth of 140% and EBITDA of 240%.
A large pharmacy retail chain had set a strategic plan for the cycle, but halfway through it, was facing difficulties due to increasing competition and technology disruption. It also faced internal challenges to prioritize and implement strategic projects in response to this changing environment.
The company had a clear view of the main strategic pillars but needed to decide which was the strategy behind each pillar and which battles to choose. Within this context, this client asked for Integration’s support in reviewing the strategic plan and guaranteeing a detailed roadmap to see it through.
During this project, it was important for us and the client to truly understand the learnings from the beginning of the cycle and to review its ambitions in the light of the changing market conditions.
To achieve that, Integration built a thorough internal diagnosis of the internal competences and challenges of each pillar, pairing it with an external vision of opportunities and risks based on a detailed market scan of trends, competition, and shopper behavior, in order to construct different strategic scenarios for the cycle.
Those scenarios were then discussed in-depth, with a clear vision of financial and operational impacts, and selected by the board of directors during a full-day strategic workshop. Subsequently, Integration worked together with the client on the translation of this decision into a detailed strategic roadmap and targets for the cycle.
The project allowed the client to clarify the strategic positioning it should strengthen during the cycle in order to guarantee long-term sustainability and differential. We ensured complete alignment of the leadership team, setting clear “do’s and don’ts” for the cycle to prioritize and sustain the strategic focus.
Following the defined roadmap of projects and capability development outlined, the client forecasted a 3-year growth of 35% net revenue and 50% EBITDA.
OUR INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE
Integration has had the pleasure of working with many regional and international companies across Food & Beverage, Pharmaceuticals, Financial Sector, Logistic Operators, and Construction sectors.
Our professionals have developed an understanding of the market dynamics, best practices, and companies’ strategic decisions across geographies as well as industry segments. This allows us to bring robust and customized solutions to our clients that take into consideration the internal and external contexts.