Solving strategic problems in one’s own organization or as an external consultant presents unique challenges about finding solutions to specific issues and then persuasively advising decision-makers on those solutions.
Over the last few decades, top-tier strategy consulting firms have cultivated a unique set of skills that consistently help them deliver high-impact solutions to complex strategic issues. Driving Strategic Impact: Mastering Strategy Consulting Skills gives participants the opportunity to acquire this skillset to become more effective at addressing strategic issues and having greater impact within their organizations and with their clients.
Driving Strategic Impact is organized around the core skill of structured problem-solving, which takes participants through four phases of a strategy project: defining the scope, structuring the problem, gathering and analyzing data, and developing recommendations.
These core skills are supplemented with additional sessions on communication, managing strategy projects, and influencing skills. In this way, Driving Strategic Impact offers an effective and multi-faceted approach that can be implemented as soon as participants return to work.
Our approach is built on the following building blocks:
• Strategy consulting toolkit: A set of tools, frameworks and best practices laid out in easily usable formats, such as checklists, templates, or step-by-step approaches that you take back with you for future use.
• Role-plays: Exposure to consulting scenarios that simulate typical client-consultant interactions. These role-plays allow you to test your own understanding of situations and to learn ways to prepare for these situations with clients where your credibility and impact is at stake.
• Consulting scenarios: Specific consulting situations where you will be asked for ideas on how you would approach these situations. We have especially designed these to challenge your thinking and make you see how our instinctive approaches to solving problems often lead us down wrong paths. Discussions will follow each scenario and reveal specific tools that you can use to address similar situations in real life. This will allow you to gain tangible, hands-on understanding, and key insights in an experiential manner.
• Consulting stories: True-to-life stories to effectively understand and internalize a point. Professor Hitendra Wadhwa, faculty director of the program, will share candid stories from his consulting experience to bring the learnings from the program to life. Rich insights and inspiration can be gained from these real world informal recollections of the high and low points in a consultant's journey.
• Real-life case study: Professor Wadhwa will present a sanitized case study of a real strategy consulting project he was involved with at McKinsey. You will be asked to solve this client’s problem in stages: defining the client’s problem, breaking it down into smaller pieces, sizing the market for a certain product, and developing a go-to-market strategy. At each stage, you will be able to compare your solution with other participants, and then compare with the outcome of the real project. This exercise allows participants a hands-on view of the end-to-end process of strategy problem-solving, communication, and influencing.
Professionals will gain experiential learning on how to become trusted advisors to their sponsors, clients, managers, and colleagues.
Driving Strategic Impact is designed for mid- to upper-level executives who work in corporate strategy, internal consulting, business development, strategic account management and product management, who are charged with resolving strategic issues within their organization or for external clients.
Technical or functional professionals who frequently inform and guide strategic decision makers within their organizations will also find this program valuable.
Alumni and up to four of their colleagues are eligible for a 25 percent tuition benefit for programs lasting up to seven days. More on the Alumni Tuition Benefit.
Driving Strategic Impact gives you hands-on practice and real-time feedback via in-class exercises, real-life strategy cases and a dynamic exchange between participants and the instructor.
Summary of Benefits
- Establish an understanding with sponsors and key constituencies on the need for a strategy project, and the appropriate approach and resources to be deployed
- Concretely define the scope of a strategy project to enhance the prospects of a successful outcome
- Rapidly identify core business issues and focus your problem-solving effort in the right direction
- Efficiently gather the right information to build a relevant fact base, extract information from internal and external sources, and synthesize it to drive key conclusions
- Develop recommendations that provide the highest value to the organization among feasible alternatives
- Develop a compelling storyline to organize and communicate your findings and recommendations
- Use a range of influencing tactics to win support from key stakeholders
- Develop trust-based relationships with your sponsors, clients, managers and colleagues
Upon completion of this program, you will earn three days towards a Certificate in Business Excellence. Learn more.
Professor of Professional Practice in Marketing
- Typical mistakes managers and teams make when launching strategy projects
- How to concretize the scope of a strategy project
- Key questions that you should resolve prior to project launch, and where to look for answers to these questions
Data Gathering & Analysis
- What kind of data you should collect to address specific issues
- How to prioritize your data collection efforts to allow you to balance effectiveness with efficiency
- How to pressure-test your analysis to make sure it leads to valid conclusions
- How to stay focused on the highest-impact areas of data analysis without "boiling the ocean"
- How to pick which strategic option to recommend from among all feasible alternatives
- Typical questions that you are likely to encounter from seasoned executives—and how can you ensure that your bases are covered
- What you can do to make sure your recommendations are supported—and ultimately, implemented—by the organization
- How to break down a complex strategic problem into a set of well-defined sub issues, analyses and tasks
- How to make sure that you have not ignored some major area of analysis
- How to rapidly penetrate to the core of a strategy issue so that you can focus your work on the most critical areas
- Why it is important to set the right expectations upfront about your approach with key executives
BioCo Case: Market Sizing & Segmentation
- Sanitized version of real-life strategy project
- Used throughout the program to illustrate applications of program concepts and tools
Managing Strategy Projects
- Critical early behaviors that can make or mar the success of strategy projects
- How to plan your interactions with key executives throughout the course of the project to ensure their ultimate buy-in
- How to manage team members, such as line managers or corporate staff, who aren't full-time strategy professionals
Synthesizing Ideas & Developing a Storyline
- Why structuring your thoughts is crucial even in "casual" one-on-one meetings
- How to present complex information–data, conclusions, recommendations–in a clear, persuasive and efficient manner
- How to streamline your internal communications within your project team
Building Trust-Based Relationships
- Why building trust with key parties is important in the course of strategy projects
- The "building blocks" of trust
- Behaviors that build trust–or erode it
For a complete program schedule download the agenda.
Proficiency in English is essential. View the language requirements