Strategy

Business Advisory Roles - Consulting on Strategic Issues,
Always with the Option of Leading Execution of Recommended Solutions

The Solution

Whenever strategic options need to be identified, analyzed and evaluated, decision support provided by a capable, impartial interim executive can be immensely valuable to business owners and corporate directors. Any management group entering this process is in danger of making decisions and living with outcomes that were heavily influenced by personal interests, professional bias, or simply the loudest voice. Where the future of an enterprise is at stake, a calm, informed perspective, backed up by thorough consultation and polished presentation skills, a business advisor can help to ensure that sound principles and rational processes carry the day.

Examples

  1. Your organization has realized modest success, but now needs to move to a higher plateau. The options are to expand production capability and go after a greater share of the market for the existing product line, or grow by diversifying and putting a new product on the market. Your small, over worked management team is enthusiastic but lacks the time and strategic planning skills needed to move forward. An interim executive, undertaking a temporary role as advisor, suggests that the best way to address the growth issue is to treat the expansion/diversification options as new businesses, each with its own, fully developed business plan. The difference being that, unlike a completely new business, the interim has access to the knowledge and shared acumen of the existing management team members, which he/she will use to full advantage. With the interim executive advisor dedicated to researching, consulting with management staff, reviewing the work stage by stage, two complete and fully comparable business plans can be prepared and presented, providing the organization and the supporting management team with a solid basis for a big decision.
  1. You have a strategic plan, and it’s a good one. Your management team invested a lot of time and effort on it and you hired a professional facilitator. A year later there is a now somewhat dusty copy of the strategic plan in every manager’s office, but the organization shows no consistent pattern of moving toward its strategic objectives. You realize that everyone on the management team has a full-time job, just as they did prior to the strategic planning exercise, and that none of their jobs includes an explicit responsibility for implementing the strategic plan. An interim manager, perhaps in a temporary role as COO and working in a second-in-command capacity alongside you, can initiate and integrate the kinds of mutually supporting cross-departmental action plans needed to move the organization in its chosen strategic direction. The interim COO can advise you on how to create an annual operational planning and performance tracking framework to maintain momentum in strategy implementation and provide the entire management team a venue for communication, an appreciation for measured progress and recognition for its accomplishments.
  1. Having established a successful business, you have reached a point where it is time to consider a transition so that you can enjoy a well-earned retirement and management of the business can be passed to the next generation of the family, or to a new owner. You have prudently allowed yourself about three years to pull together and execute this business succession plan, but you know you will need help. An interim executive can help you not only to pull together all the legal, tax planning, asset evaluation and corporate restructuring details, but also keep you focused on the task of creating a truly manageable enterprise. Objectively, you must realize that the next owner will not have your appreciation for every detail of the business you built nor your intuitive grasp of how the organization works. The interim advisor can remind you that things you may take for granted will be a complete mystery to someone who is new to the business. Good business systems, contemporary best practices and clear policies and procedures in every aspect of the business will make the enterprise more appealing to a new owner and help you to realize the full value of your legacy. The interim executive advisor you engage will also be someone with whom you can discuss some of the intangibles involved. As with many business founders, the enterprise has been your life and it may be difficult for you to give up control. With your advisor’s help you can explore transition options for yourself – you may stay on for a period of time in a mentorship role with the new owner, or you may retain a role as shareholder/director in the company, for instance. Managing your own stress and expectations is an important part of the advisory role.

Need More Answers?

If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Mark Olson
Managing Partner
Email Mark

Gord Forbes
Managing Principal
Email Gord