Strategy Creation and Execution

Representative Photograph Tom O'Connor Speaking Photo
FCG creates balance scorecards to cover strategies that target financial goals, customer service goals, internal business processes...

Does your strategy creation and strategy execution process result in continual increases in market share and sustainable profitability?

An effective business strategy is balanced with thinking and action. Strategy creation is strategic thinking. Strategy execution is translating your strategic thinking into strategic action.

We have 30 years experience helping manufacturers, manufacturers’ representatives, and distributors of all sizes and lines of trade implement the following 10 best-practice strategy steps:

1. Strategy Team Selection

Select and organize cross-functional strategy team members with the right structure and accountability. Effective strategy teams include creative and innovative thinkers from a diverse group of people. An effective strategy process contains a structure that encourages strategic thinking. It involves different analytical process through each cycle of the meeting

2. “Outside-In” Market Research

Gather confidential, honest, and candid "Outside-In" market research. An effective strategy creation processes balances "inside-out" thinking with "outside-in" thinking. This should include both customer market research and supplier market research.

3. Competitor Profiling

Execute a sound analysis of the competitive landscape through competitor profiling, analysis, and positioning. Competitors come and go. Competitors change strategies The key to every company’s strategic success is to intelligently know your competitors, continually keep updated on their strategic moves, and stake out both offensive and defensive position that defeat your opponents

4. SWOT Analysis

Conduct comprehensive SWOT analysis to leverage company’s competencies and minimize competitive disadvantages. Having. tested the outside world through market research and competitor profiles, a company is now positioned to conduct an objective and thorough analysis of the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats.

5. Critical Success Factors

Identify critical success factors that comprise the unique strategic factors that define where you need to be as an organization. They might include achieving operational excellence, or becoming a customer-centric organization, or differentiating your products and services, or driving service innovation, or acquiring and retaining the best talent to name a few possible critical success factors.

6. Strategic Objective and Goals

Craft strategic objectives and strategic goals. Strategic objectives is made up of vision (where do we want to go?), mission (what do we stand for?), and core values (what do we believe?). Any business cannot survive without aiming at a specific goal. Strategic goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound goals you want to achieve over the next three to five years.

7. Balanced Scorecards

Create balanced scorecards. Most company’s fail to turn strategy into action. Building performance scorecards that support the strategy for the company, every strategic business unit, every department, and each employee turns strategy into positive, actionable results. Balanced scorecards represent an approach to strategic management that surfaced in the early 1990’s. Robert Kaplan and David Norton authored three Harvard Business Review articles that surfaced four critical measurement categories – financial; customer and market; internal business process; and, employee innovation, learning and growth.

8. Strategy Execution Teams

Deploy strategy execution teams to support achievement of strategic objectives, goals, and balanced scorecard. Poor execution is the number-one reason company strategies fail. Strategy execution often goes wrong when the people in the organization who are reasonable for strategy creation are not also responsible or strategy execution. When the individuals who create the strategy are dually responsible to lead its execution, any resistance to change is minimized and strategic success is maximized.

9. Incentive Compensation Plans

Develop company-wide incentive compensation plans based upon achievement of company’s strategy. Financial compensation is a powerful performance lever. Designed effectively, company-wide incentive compensation plans creates the needed push for achieving a successfully executed business strategy.

10. Formal Coaching

Implement formal coaching process throughout the organization that supports achievement of company’s strategy. Developing and executing an effective coaching process that drives every employee to achieve higher performance levels is one of the most difficult tasks company leaders face. The right high-performance coaching process ensures all individual and team performance goals linked to your business strategy are accomplished.

“During the recession we stopped doing strategy year planning and just focused on our business. In late 2011, I decided it was time for us to develop a new strategic vision knowing the market conditions would improve. Tom O’Connor and FCG came highly recommended to us by several NAW peer distributors His approach focuses on execution, the downfall of many companies. We just completed our 3rd annual offsite strategic planning session with Tom. Our long term strategy has brought a clear purpose, vision for our company and very positive results. Tom is the best strategic planning facilitator and coach our company has ever worked with and the investment we made has come back to us many times over. If you desire to take your company to the next level, create a high performance culture and build sustainable results then I encourage you to seriously considering talking with Tom O’Connor and FCG about ways they can help your company.” Nathan Potter, DW Distribution

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“Tom O’Connor conducted surveys with our manufacturers and distributors and facilitated a 2-day strategy meeting with 9 of our people. The market research he did with key manufacturers and distributors was phenomenal garnering confidential candid and constructive feedback. Tom’s facilitation skills were outstanding in helping us craft an achievable long-range plan. To this day, we continue to use Tom as our adviser on our strategy.” Jack Floyd, One Source Associates

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“Tom O’Connor was initially hired to facilitate Gorin Hopper McCoy’s company strategic planning meeting with a goal of creating a measurable system that would hold all parties accountable to the goals set and help create additional leaders within the organization. We were more than satisfied with the results. Since that time, Tom has been on a monthly retainer with our company to help guide our ongoing coaching process and leadership development process. I find his honest and tough feedback to be refreshing and needed.” Mike Gorin, Gorin-Hopper-McCoy

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“Our team has engaged Tom O’Connor and his team on several projects including strategic planning for 3 of our divisions and facilitation for our customer council. FCG work and contribution have been excellent and I would recommend him to any manufacturer, manufacturers’ representative or distributor. FCG approach to each project has been collaborative. Tom has a terrific way of challenging people to speak out during these sessions that yield great improvement ideas that drive change. His feedback is candid and actionable.” John Hoffman, Legrand

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“Tom O’Connor has been an excellent member of our team. He has assisted us in everything from Market Research to Strategic Development and more critically Strategic Execution. His goal is to be a long term asset to a business and works accordingly. I highly recommend him.” Andrew Quinn, ILSCO