The Strategy Skills Podcast: Management Consulting | Strategy, Operations & Implementation | Critical Thinking

The Strategy Skills Podcast: Management Consulting | Strategy, Operations & Implementation | Critical Thinking Podcast

The Strategy Skills Podcast is the channel where strategy partners teach you the tools and techniques to solve mankind’s greatest problems. Learn all the skills of McKinsey and BCG consultants without having to work at a consulting firm. The podcast teaches both technical analyses and soft skills like communication. Each week we discuss concepts to help listeners advance their strategy, operations and implementation skills, enhance their critical thinking ability and build their executive presence. We also dissect individual consulting studies in great detail so you can replicate them with confidence. www.firmsconsulting.com www.strategytraining.com

113: Interview with McKinsey senior partner, Aaron De Smet (Houston office)
Welcome to episode 113 of the Strategy Skills podcast. An interview with McKinsey senior partner, Aaron de Smet (Houston office). Aaron counsels leadership teams as they transform their organizations to improve performance, organizational health, speed, and agility. He is also an expert on organizational design, corporate culture, leadership development, team effectiveness, capability building, and transformational change. Get sample training episodes from our advanced strategy training programs: www.firmsc...

112: IBM Vice President & Senior Partner, North American Talent & Transformation Leader, Victoria Pelletier
Let us introduce you to a recognized expert in Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion, HR/Talent, career change and growth. Victoria Pelletier is an IBM Vice President & Senior Partner, North American Talent & Transformation Leader. She is one of those rare, impactful speakers who you hear once, and remember. She brings her authenticity, her passion, and her smarts, in a way that connects, resonates, and moves the audience. She is recognized across North America as a dynamic, captivating keynote speaker, publish...

111: Interview with Airbnb Chief Ethics Officer Rob Chesnut
An interview with Rob Chesnut, Chief Ethics Officer at Airbnb, about his new book INTENTIONAL INTEGRITY: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution. Buy Rob's book: https://amzn.to/30twtVQ (paid link) Most companies think they have integrity… until they get boycotted, protested and skewered in the press. They’ll punish and apologize for lapses but have no clue about prevention. In an interview, Rob discusses how creating a culture of integrity can clarify and energize employees to act on their value...


110: Ex senior McKinsey Partner and worldwide strategy practice co-leader, Kevin P. Coyne
Kevin P. Coyne is a founder of Coyne Scientific. He is the former Director and co-leader of both McKinsey’s Worldwide Strategy Practice and CEO transitions practice, and the host of The Consulting Offer II Kevin attended the Harvard Business School after his junior year of college. He simultaneously graduated from both Rice University and Harvard in 1978 and joined McKinsey as the youngest associate ever and one of the youngest principals ever appointed. During a 27 year career at McKinsey Kevin advised cli...

109: Bain senior partner Sarah Elk, co-author of Doing Agile Right
Strategy Skills iTunes channel episode with Bain senior partner Sarah Elk. - Global leader of Bain's Operating Model practice - Author of Doing Agile Right - Member of Bain's global governance committee for compensation and promotion Doing Agile Right book: https://amzn.to/3fRGNw0 (paid link) "Agile has the power to transform work--but only if it's implemented the right way. For decades business leaders have been painfully aware of a huge chasm: They aspire to create nimble, flexible enterprises. But their ...

108: McKinsey's Tim Koller, coauthor of Valuation, leader of McKinsey Corporate Finance practice
Conversation with Tim Koller, a core leader of McKinsey & Company’s Corporate Finance Practice. “WHAT is the most influential contemporary book about the world economy? An obvious choice is Capital in the Twenty­ First Century, a 696­ page analysis of inequality by Thomas Piketty, a French economist. There is another candidate: Valuation, an 825­page manual on corporate finance and shareholder value. Some 700,000 copies of it encumber the bookshelves of MBA students, investors and chief executives around t...


107: Consulting workshop best practices
Get access to free training episodes: https://www.firmsconsulting.com/promo SUBSCRIBE TO FIRMSCONSULTING'S YOUTUBE CHANNEL http://bit.ly/Firmsconsultingsubscribe CONNECT WITH FIRMSCONSULTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA https://www.youtube.com/user/firmsconsulting https://www.instagram.com/firmsconsulting/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/firmsconsulting/ https://www.facebook.com/Firmsconsulting/ https://twitter.com/firmsconsulting https://www.pinterest.com/firmsconsulting/...

106: Overall goal of every consulting interaction
Get access to free training episodes: https://www.firmsconsulting.com/promo SUBSCRIBE TO FIRMSCONSULTING'S YOUTUBE CHANNEL http://bit.ly/Firmsconsultingsubscribe CONNECT WITH FIRMSCONSULTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA https://www.youtube.com/user/firmsconsulting https://www.instagram.com/firmsconsulting/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/firmsconsulting/ https://www.facebook.com/Firmsconsulting/ https://twitter.com/firmsconsulting https://www.pinterest.com/firmsconsulting/...

105: Advanced predictive problem solving (Turquoise Eyes: A Novel about Problem Solving & Critical Thinking)
Turquoise Eyes started off the groundbreaking new genre developed by FIRMSconsulting that combines compelling narrative while teaching problem solving and critical thinking skills. Set after a bank begins implementing a new retail banking strategy, we follow Teresa García Ramírez de Arroyo, a director-general in the Mexican government, who has received some disturbing news. A whistleblower has emailed Teresa with troubling news about a mistake in the loan default calculations and reserve ratios. The numbers...


104: How to resign from your job the right way
How can you resign from your job with dignity, compassion, and grace, without burning any bridges with your employer? Here we share simple principles to help you leave your role in a way that leaves a positive impression with your superiors, colleagues, and organization. Do you have a story about resigning? Tell us more with a comment below. ---------- Get access to free training episodes: https://www.firmsconsulting.com/promo SUBSCRIBE TO FIRMSCONSULTING'S YOUTUBE CHANNEL NOW http://bit.ly/Firmsconsultings...

103: The secretive world of Samsung, the South Korean tech giant. Geoffrey Cain
Strategy Skills Podcast 103: The secretive world of Samsung, the South Korean Tech Giant. With Geoffrey Cain Access advanced training episodes: http://www.firmsconsulting.com/promo An explosive expose of Samsung, one of the biggest and most secretive companies in the world, as the Korean juggernaut battles Apple and Sony to dominate the world of technology. Seen for decades in tech circles as a fast follower rather than an innovation leader, Samsung today has grown to become a market leader in the United St...

103: The secretive world of Samsung, the South Korean tech giant. Geoffrey Cain
Strategy Skills Podcast 103: The secretive world of Samsung, the South Korean Tech Giant. With Geoffrey Cain Access advanced training episodes: http://www.firmsconsulting.com/promo An explosive expose of Samsung, one of the biggest and most secretive companies in the world, as the Korean juggernaut battles Apple and Sony to dominate the world of technology. Seen for decades in tech circles as a fast follower rather than an innovation leader, Samsung today has grown to become a market leader in the United St...


102: Current crisis = golden opportunity to transform your life
Our clients are often facing crises and catastrophes somewhere in the world. From virus outbreaks to earthquakes, wildfire evacuations and more. And they write to us about their immediate plans to manage the situation. What we find is that they almost always take actions that damage their careers and hurt their lives. They let external factors, the media narrative and their social network influence them to make poor choices that handicap their lives. Often severely. They don't realize that the biggest, fast...

101: Interview with McKinsey partner Peter Dahlström on the source of competitive advantage in the digital era
This is #101 episode of the Strategy Skills podcast. In this episode we interview senior partner at McKinsey & Company Peter Dahlström on the source of competitive advantage in the digital era.  Peter Dahlström leads McKinsey’s client and firm communications. As the global leader for McKinsey Digital’s B2C team, he serves leading institutions in the telecommunications, high-tech, media, and fast-moving consumer-goods industries. Peter is a co-author of FAST TIMES: How Digital Winners Set Direction, Learn, a...

100: What a strategy workshop will not give you at the end
An episode 100 of Strategy Skills iTunes podcast is here (Strategy Skills podcast is ranked among 5-10 top for careers in many countries worldwide).  Access free training episodes here (opt-in for free to get access): https://www.firmsconsulting.com...


99: The one thing every consulting case study must produce
An episode 99 of Strategy Skills iTunes podcast is here (Strategy Skills podcast is ranked among 5-10 top for careers in many countries worldwide).  www.FIRMSconsulting.com - optin for email updates to receive access to some episodes from our advanced strategy programs.  https://www.firmsconsulting.com (opt-in for free to get access to sample advanced episodes) CONNECT WITH FIRMSCONSULTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA http://bit.ly/Firmsconsultingsubscribe https://www.instagram.com/firmsconsulting/ https://www.linkedin...

98: Ten warning signs for a consulting workshop
https://www.firmsconsulting.com (opt-in for free to get access to sample advanced episodes) CONNECT WITH FIRMSCONSULTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA http://bit.ly/Firmsconsultingsubscribe https://www.instagram.com/firmsconsulting/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/firmsconsulting/ https://www.facebook.com/Firmsconsulting/ https://twitter.com/firmsconsulting https://www.pinterest.com/firmsconsulting/...

97: The most important output in a consulting study | Management consulting project  | Benefits case
An episode 96 of Strategy Skills iTunes podcast is here (Strategy Skills podcast is ranked among 5-10 top for careers in many countries worldwide).  One thing you always need to present in all of your management consulting projects is a business case. If you are not presenting a business case to a client, or a benefits case, I prefer the word benefits because it makes it clear you are looking for a benefit for a client, if you are not presenting a benefits case to a client you are making it very difficult f...


96: "Are You Undervaluing Your Customers?" with Bain & Company's Rob Markey
Listen to this thought-provoking discussion between Michael and Rob Markey, Bain and Company's partner.  Rob Markey, a partner and director at Bain & Company and the founder of the firm’s Global Customer Strategy and Marketing practice. He is a co-author of The Ultimate Question 2.0 and is the host of the Net Promoter System podcast. He is based in New York. https://www.firmsconsulting.com/...

95: Value chain mapping | When value chain analysis are useful | Strategic management
We have seen many value chain mapping examples. We have seen good value chain mapping, bad value chain mapping, incomplete value chain mapping. Ultimately, given the nature how value chain mapping will work, it can only do few things and it cannot do a few things. So if value chain mapping is presented to do things it cannot do it is flawed. When you do value chain analysis it is far more useful to see where profits are going to shift over time, that is one thing you have to do. Two, assign some probabiliti...


93: How to Manage Like Amazon (with CEO Advisor Ram Charan)
Every business wants to succeed like Amazon so we invited New York Times bestselling author & CEO Advisor Ram Charan to talk about How to Manage Like Amazon. From their high-velocity decision-making to their top talent hiring practices to their “Forever Day-1 Culture”, the insider secrets behind Amazon’s success are now within anyone’s grasp. Find out how Amazon does it and how you can too by listening to this fascinating conversation between Michael and Ram, whom Fortune calls “The most influential consult...

92: Senior partner at McKinsey & a global leader of their Organization Practice
Meet Bill Schaninger, Senior Partner at McKinsey and a global leader of their Organization Practice (based in Philadelphia). Bill focuses on driving large-scale organizational and cultural change for clients across North America, Europe, and the Middle East. An expert on the role of culture, values, talent and leadership in improving business outcomes, he helps executives enhance management effectiveness. Bill has published extensively in practitioner and academic journals, on organizational topics. FIRMSco...

91: How do I know what is corporate strategy
An episode 91 of Strategy Skills iTunes podcast is here (Strategy Skills podcast is ranked among 5-10 top for careers in many countries worldwide).  www.FIRMSconsulting.com - optin for email updates to receive access to some episodes from our advanced #strategicmanagement programs....


91: How do I know what is corporate strategy
An episode 91 of Strategy Skills iTunes podcast is here (Strategy Skills podcast is ranked among 5-10 top for careers in many countries worldwide).  www.FIRMSconsulting.com - optin for email updates to receive access to some episodes from our advanced #strategicmanagement programs....

90: What makes corporate strategy different
You can find more training resources here: Get free access to selected episodes when you sign up for email updates: https://www.firmsconsulting.com Get Access to Firmsconsulting Training by Becoming a Member Here: https://www.firmsconsulting.com/subscription-options/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/firmsconsulting/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Firmsconsulting/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/firmsconsulting Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/firmsconsulting...

89: How important is corporate strategy?
An episode 89 of #StrategySkills iTunes podcast is here (Strategy Skills podcast is ranked among 5-10 top for careers in many countries worldwide). www.FIRMSconsulting.com - optin for email updates to receive access to some episodes from our advanced #strategicmanagement programs....


88: Scenario planning's common problems
An episode 88 of Strategy Skills iTunes podcast is here (Strategy Skills podcast is ranked among 5-10 top for careers in many countries worldwide). ScenarioPlanning / ScenarioAnalysis is a powerful tool in consulting. This is how to move from being a consultant to thinking and presenting like a partner. www.FIRMSconsulting.com - optin for email updates to receive access to some episodes from our advanced #strategicmanagement programs....

87: How to think about financial strategy | management consulting
FIRMSconsulting.com - optin for email updates to receive access to some episodes from our advanced #strategicmanagement programs. "How to think about financial strategy." The next episode, number 87, of the Strategy Skills iTunes podcast is here. Strategy Skills podcast is ranked among 5-10 top for #careers in many countries worldwide....

86: Finalize the overall storyboard for the client
"Finalize the overall storyboard for the client" is an episode 86 of the Strategy Skills iTunes podcast (Strategy Skills podcast is ranked among 5-10 top for careers in many countries worldwide)....


85: Management consulting storyboards
How do I build the storyboard and why is it done so early? is a new strategy skills video podcast we released this week. It is one of our more in depth episodes taken as sample video from one of our strategy studies. This episode is complimentary and available on iTunes, Youtube, Spotify and many other podcast players.   https://www.firmsconsulting.com...

84: How accurate was our financial model for the market entry strategy study?
How accurate was our financial model for the market entry strategy study? is the newest Strategy Skills podcast (video version). This episode is complimentary and available on iTunes, Youtube, Spotify and many other podcast players.   Strategy Skills iTunes channel is ranked among top 5-10 in many countries around the world for #careers. https://www.firmsconsulting.com...

83: Netflix's strategy. Discussion with Bill Matassoni (former McKinsey and BCG senior partner)
PLEASE KINDLY NOTE: The sound was not very clear at times but we decided to still release this free podcast so those interested can have an opportunity to hear this discussion. Every now and then, someone comes along and makes the subject of #management both fun and insightful. That’s what Bill Matassoni has done in his memoir—a combination of compelling stories and contrarian substance—that covers his forty-year career selling what he calls “ephemeral things.” In addition to the memoir, Bill plays host to ...


82: Can you swap out the partner during a strategy consulting engagement
"Can you swap out the partner during a strategy consulting engagement" is episode 82 of strategy skills iTunes channel. Strategy Skills iTunes channel is ranked among top 5-10 in many countries around the world for #careers. For more info on the FIRMSconsulting platform, visit us at: https://www.firmsconsulting.com...

81: How to convert insights into Strategy Maps
Today we have a treat for members who are not Insiders (Insiders have had access to this and thousands of similar videos for a long time). We released a new video episode of the Strategy Skills podcast (number 81) this week. How to convert insights into Strategy Maps is a powerful tool to create prescriptive / forecasting models to both explain and predict strategy options. This is how to move from being a consultant to thinking and presenting like a partner. It is complimentary and available on iTunes, You...

80: How to handle a "horrible" client?
In this 80th and a new episode of the Strategy Skills complimentary podcast, an audio version we answer a listener's question, "How to handle a horrible client?" If you would like to access episodes from our strategy training programs and receive other exclusive strategy material, please sign up for FC community email updates on  http://www.marketingsavestheworld.com or https://www.firmsconsulting.com...


79: Tesla's strategy. Co-hosted by Bill Matassoni
Every now and then, someone comes along and makes the subject of management both fun and insightful. That’s what Bill Matassoni has done in his memoir—a combination of compelling stories and contrarian substance—that covers his forty-year career selling what he calls “ephemeral things.” In addition to the memoir, Bill plays host to a series of videos that are entertaining, irreverent, and filled with his conviction that marketing is the primary driver of progress in both commercial and social markets. We wi...

78: Should I email the full deck to participants before the strategy workshop?
In this 78th and new episode of the Strategy Skills complimentary podcast, audio version we answer a question, "Should I email the full deck to participants before the strategy workshop?" If you would like to view sample strategy training episodes and receive other exclusive strategy material, please sign up for FC community email updates on http://www.marketingsavestheworld.com or https://www.firmsconsulting.com...

77: Does the strategy workshop offer precise answers?
In this 77th and new episode of the Strategy Skills complimentary podcast, audio version we discuss does the strategy workshop offer precise answers.  If you would like to view sample strategy training episodes and receive other exclusive strategy material, please sign up for FC community email updates on http://www.marketingsavestheworld.com or https://www.firmsconsulting.com...


76: Why you should read Bill Matassoni's memoir
Every now and then, someone comes along and makes the subject of management both fun and insightful. That’s what Bill Matassoni has done in his memoir—a combination of compelling stories and contrarian substance—that covers his forty-year career selling what he calls “ephemeral things.” In addition to the memoir, Bill plays host to a series of videos that are entertaining, irreverent, and filled with his conviction that marketing is the primary driver of progress in both commercial and social markets.  We w...

75: Interview with Bill Matassoni
Every now and then, someone comes along and makes the subject of management both fun and insightful. That’s what Bill Matassoni has done in his memoir—a combination of compelling stories and contrarian substance—that covers his forty-year career selling what he calls “ephemeral things.” In addition to the memoir, Bill plays host to a series of videos that are entertaining, irreverent, and filled with his conviction that marketing is the primary driver of progress in both commercial and social markets. We wi...

74. When consultants overbill a client
In this 74th and new episode of the Strategy Skills complimentary podcast, video version, we answer: - What happens when a strategy firm overbills a client? A case study, and - In general, how to handle a difficult client situation? We hope this podcast will make at least a small difference in your career.  Kris support @ firmsconsulting.com  SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES HERE & RECEIVE FREE STRATEGY TRAINING STAY IN TOUCH: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn IF WANT TO LEARN FROM FORMER STRATEGY PARTNERS REFER TO ...


73. Are the analyses always the same for a strategy workshop?
In this 73rd and new episode of the Strategy Skills complimentary podcast, audio version, we answer:  - Are the analyses always the same for a strategy workshop? In other words, what determines the analyses you should undertake for a strategy workshop  - How does one set objectives for the workshop?  - How many strategy workshops should be completed during an engagement?  - Why are top-down analyses so important?  This podcast is available on our Apps in the complimentary section where NO subscription/mem...

72. What if the client demands more analyses?
In this 72nd and new episode of the Strategy Skills complimentary podcast, audio version, we discuss what to do if the client demands more analyses.  This podcast is available on our Apps in the complimentary section where NO subscription/membership is needed. Download our Apple and Android Apps, click on browse and scroll to the "Complimentary: no subscription needed" section. You will find the podcast under the "Strategy Skills" channel.  If you find FC podcasts helpful and you feel listening makes a di...

71. What happens if the client asks for proof of the strategy?
In this 71st and new episode of the Strategy Skills complimentary podcast, audio version, we discuss what happens if the client asks for proof of the strategy. This podcast is currently available on our new Apps in the complimentary section where NO subscription/membership is needed. Download our Apple and Android Apps, click on browse and scroll to the "Complimentary: no subscription needed" section. You will find the podcast under the "Strategy Skills" channel. You can also find this podcast on iTunes....


69. Can a functional partner lead the workshop over a sector partner?
Hi everyone, In this 69th and new episode of the Strategy Skills complimentary podcast, audio version, we discuss whether a strategy (functional) partner can/should lead the workshop over an energy (sector) partner. There is a difference and the answer is not obvious. This podcast is also available on our new Apps in the complimentary section where NO subscription/membership is needed. Download our Apple and Android Apps, click on browse and scroll to the "Complimentary: no subscription needed" section. ...

68. How To Improve Your Performance, The Right Way
In this 68th and new episode of the Strategy Skills complimentary podcast, audio version, we introduce you to an amazing neuroscientist, Dr. Wendy Suzuki. Wendy and Michael discuss how much many of us compromise our cognition and what can be done to improve our performance. You may be able to brag about that 1 a.m. email but if you could monitor your level of cognition you would quickly see, "Oh my God! This is not good." What is it doing for your brain? What is it doing for your executive functions in the...


67. Your Body Image Impacts Your Confidence, Which Impacts Your Leadership
In this 67th and new episode of the complimentary Strategy Skills podcast, audio version, we continue to extract themes and lessons from the critical visioning/strategy workshop. Things you may not have considered that are important. Things that you may realize are important but you may not know how to address. And, of course, everything we discuss is covered in a lot more detail in the videos as part of the actual Corporate Strategy & Transformation study (available exclusively to FC Insiders).  Today's e...

66. Avoiding the Strategy Echo Chamber
This 66th and new episode of the Strategy Skills podcast, audio version, is about avoiding the strategy echo chamber. If you genuinely find our podcasts useful, we would greatly appreciate you leaving a review. Although this may seem like a small step, these reviews are very helpful. SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES HERE & RECEIVE FREE STRATEGY TRAINING STAY IN TOUCH: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn IF WANT TO LEARN FROM FORMER STRATEGY PARTNERS REFER TO THE FIRMSCONSULTING ORIGINAL TRAINING PROGRAMS....

65. What Makes It a Transformation Study?
In this 65th and new episode of the Strategy Skills podcast, audio version, we discuss what makes this study a transformation study and how to determine if an organization is going through transformation or something else, such as a restructuring. Also remember to vote on the training programs you would like to see next. We have over 1,000 episodes coming and you can help us determine the release schedule. This podcast is also available on our new Apps in the complimentary section where NO subscription/me...

management strategy consulting transformation restructuring


64. What the NYPD Teaches Us About Complex Corporate Strategy?
In this 64th and new episode of the Strategy Skills podcast, audio version, we discuss corporate strategy. In this episode, we explain why conventional and step-by-step strategy analysis will always yield the incorrect answers in any corporate strategy study. Also remember to vote on the training programs you would like to see next. We have over 1,000 episodes coming and you can help us determine the release schedule. This podcast is also available on our new Apps in the complimentary section where NO su...

63. How To Complete Logical Case Studies?
In this 63rd and new episode of the Strategy Skills podcast, video version, we discuss how to complete logical case studies. SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES HERE & RECEIVE FREE STRATEGY TRAINING STAY IN TOUCH: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn IF WANT TO LEARN FROM FORMER STRATEGY PARTNERS REFER TO THE FIRMSCONSULTING ORIGINAL TRAINING PROGRAMS....

62. Top-Down View of Energy
It is crucial to provide boundaries when discussing sector wide issues or the executives may get lost in the detail and miss the key levers. Click here to see the full study and here to see the merger study and market entry study. SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES HERE & RECEIVE FREE STRATEGY TRAINING STAY IN TOUCH: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn IF WANT TO LEARN FROM FORMER STRATEGY PARTNERS REFER TO THE FIRMSCONSULTING ORIGINAL TRAINING PROGRAMS....


61: How to Conduct a Value Chain Analysis
In this episode of the strategy skills podcast we take a brief look at how to conduct a value chain analysis.  Click here to see the full study and here to see the merger study and market entry study. SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES HERE & RECEIVE FREE STRATEGY TRAINING STAY IN TOUCH: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn IF WANT TO LEARN FROM FORMER STRATEGY PARTNERS REFER TO THE FIRMSCONSULTING ORIGINAL TRAINING PROGRAMS....

60: Business Unit Strategy: Core & Critical
In today’s podcast we discuss the role of the business unit strategy stream within a corporate strategy study. Click here to see the full study and here to see the merger study and market entry study. SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES HERE & RECEIVE FREE STRATEGY TRAINING STAY IN TOUCH: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn IF WANT TO LEARN FROM FORMER STRATEGY PARTNERS REFER TO THE FIRMSCONSULTING ORIGINAL TRAINING PROGRAMS....

59: What is Corporate Strategy
Corporate strategy is very different from other types of strategy. In this video podcast we explain why. Click here to see the full study and here to see the merger study and market entry study. SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES HERE & RECEIVE FREE STRATEGY TRAINING STAY IN TOUCH: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn IF WANT TO LEARN FROM FORMER STRATEGY PARTNERS REFER TO THE FIRMSCONSULTING ORIGINAL TRAINING PROGRAMS....


58: Structure of the Visioning Workshop
In this podcast we go back to the visioning workshop part of the study and re-visit some of the most important points you need to keep in mind. Click here to see the full study and here to see the merger study and market entry study. SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES HERE & RECEIVE FREE STRATEGY TRAINING STAY IN TOUCH: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn IF WANT TO LEARN FROM FORMER STRATEGY PARTNERS REFER TO THE FIRMSCONSULTING ORIGINAL TRAINING PROGRAMS....

57: How Too Much Debt Impacts Cost of Capital
In this podcast we discuss how your cost of capital changes as you take on more debt and how this change is different between organizations. Its a crucial concept for this utility. We explain how the cost of capital change usually takes place and then we review the drivers at play that are different for this power utility vs. an average company. Click here to see the full study and here to see the merger study and market entry study. SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES HERE & RECEIVE FREE STRATEGY TRAINING STAY IN T...

56: Why Approve Investments with Negative Returns?
Welcome to the 54th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study. In this podcast we look at the problem of superficial financial analysis. One way to save the client money, before they run out of cash in about 16 months, is to stop all investments which lose money. This, however, is a terrible idea which will cause enormous damage to the client’s core business, consumers and the economy. We discuss how we handle this recommendation and what we proposed on the study to fix the problem. Click her...


55: How and when a consultant must disagree
When a consultant must dissent and how it should be done. SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES HERE & RECEIVE FREE STRATEGY TRAINING STAY IN TOUCH: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn IF WANT TO LEARN FROM FORMER STRATEGY PARTNERS REFER TO THE FIRMSCONSULTING ORIGINAL TRAINING PROGRAMS....

54: 5 Tips To Fight Fatigue
This is the next Strategy Skills podcast. In this episode we discuss 5 tips to fight fatigue.   SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES HERE & RECEIVE FREE STRATEGY TRAINING STAY IN TOUCH: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn IF WANT TO LEARN FROM FORMER STRATEGY PARTNERS REFER TO THE FIRMSCONSULTING ORIGINAL TRAINING PROGRAMS....

53: Key Milestone for Power Study
This is the 50th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and we are wrapping up week 4. In this podcast we recap a crucial milestone for power study.     SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES HERE & RECEIVE FREE STRATEGY TRAINING STAY IN TOUCH: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn IF WANT TO LEARN FROM FORMER STRATEGY PARTNERS REFER TO THE FIRMSCONSULTING ORIGINAL TRAINING PROGRAMS....


52: Conditions for great powerpoint slides
Welcome to the 49th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study. This podcast is for those who have mastered all the basics on slide design and formatting. In this podcast we discuss how to determine if your powerpoint slides are influential on a study. Influential powerpoint slides may not be the most beautiful pieces of work or even the ones with the most effort, though it is usually at least the latter. Click here to see the full study and here to see the merger study and market entry study....

51: Workshop Structure, Process and Outcome
Welcome to the 48th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and we remain in week 4. The previous podcasts discussed each of the elements which together comprise the visioning workshop. In this podcast we discuss the workshop structure, how we ran it and the overall outcome.  Click here to see the full study and here to see the merger study and market entry study. TCO IV is underway and turning out to be unusual. 4 participants and all are roughly the same in terms of performance so all hav...

50: How to run a scenario planning session
Welcome to the 47th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and we remain in week 4. And as I mentioned in previous posts, the reason we spend so much time on visioning workshop is because if you ever take a senior role in strategy in any company, or if you ever serve as a corporate strategy consultant, running a visioning workshop or corporate strategy workshop in general is the skill you must have. And scenario planning is something used extensively in visioning workshops. So in this podc...


49: Handling Client's Difficult Questions
In this podcast, and related article, we address how to answer difficult questions raised by the client during a executive workshop or another type of client's executives group meeting. We start with discussing the right mindset any consultant requires to be able to effectively handle difficult questions from a client. We thereafter review the particular steps in addressing a client's difficult questions raised during a workshop or a presentation. Lastly, we dive into which skills are required to be able t...

48: What is the Big Picture Thinking?
Welcome to the 45th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and we remain in week 4. At least once in your life you would have received feedback to be a more big picture thinker. The problem is that everyone will have a different definition of big picture thinking and many of the definitions are vague, counter-intuitive or wrong. Based on advising some of the consultants on the study, this podcast provides a very simple, intuitive, practical and correct definition of the big picture conce...

47: Initial Logic and Objective Function
Welcome to the 44th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study. In this phase of the podcast series we are focusing on week 4 when we are bringing the entire leadership team together to help them make one decision. The only decision they have to make is: "Should Empire International focus on the non-regulated non-core activities as they are now doing or refocus their efforts to support Empire Energy on their core regulated business: generating energy, transmitting energy and distributing en...


46: Professional Values on Studies
Welcome to the 43rd podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study. In today’s podcast we will talk about about general professional values or etiquette that consultants should apply on an engagement. We specifically discuss things that consultants sometimes do on studies that may alienate the client. And rather than talking about every single thing you need to avoid, we will talk about some principles. And these principles apply across every issue. We also discuss how to address a situation whe...

45: Being Competitive the Right Way
Welcome to the 42nd podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study. What I noticed on this, and other studies, is that the associates and business analysts are very competitive, in a way that is damaging to clients, to the firm and to their own careers. I am fine with consultants being competitive but I think they go about it the wrong way. You can be competitive and work long hours but you should not seem to be competitive when you are working long hours. I am not saying don't work long hours....

44: Promoting Women into Senior Roles
Welcome to the 41th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and we remain in week 4. Promoting women into leadership roles is a hot topic and, sadly, a debate. Why is it a debate? What are the elements that require further analysis? To paraphrase Marvin Bower, one does not ask a client if a woman should take over the relationship, one simply tells a client a woman is taking over. It is not the client’s job to decide what is right. In this podcast we explain why we have more female than ma...


43: Audemars Piguet & Leadership
Welcome to the 40th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and we remain in week 4.  In this podcast we explain how leadership is defined at great firms like McKinsey and BCG, and how we also manage leadership transition at FC. It will surprise you to see how different the mindset can be and that we think about these issues all the time.  The most important role of a partner is to leave the firm in a better place than when she/he joined, and to hand over a client relationship to a newer ...

42: Consulting: Confidence & Getting Results
In today’s podcast we step away from Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and discuss something that affects every single consultant in the world. And that is the issue of confidence, or even arrogance, and the role it plays in getting results on a consulting engagement. We discuss the role confidence plays in your career. We look at what actually creates competitive advantage in your career. We further look at an example that showcases the limited value of confidence on a consulting engagement.  S...

41: Benchmarking Analysis
Welcome to the 38th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and we remain in week 4. As we teach in all the Executive Program studies, every study must begin with a top-down analyses. In fact, a rule of thumb is that a study without a top-down analysis phase is likely doing too much, lacks focus and possibly wasting time. This always turns out to be true. In this podcast we explain how benchmarking analysis, or what is also called best practice analysis, should be used for the top-down ana...


40: Market Trends Analysis
Welcome to the 37th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and we remain in week 4. Let’s be honest. Most consultants simply go into Google and search for any reports / analyses to compile market trends/an industry analysis fact pack. In other words, they do not put much thought into it beyond ensuring they are not caught for plagiarism. This is because many consultants think of the market trends or industry analysis as an output to deliver, which will never be used, and it does not matt...

39: Value Chain Analysis
Welcome to the 36th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and we continue discussing the critical 4th week visioning workshop. We now into discussing each of the components that went into the visioning workshop. In today's podcast we are going to focus on value chain analysis, from the customer perspective. A proper value chain analysis highlights profit pools in a sector. This analysis cannot be bought from any 3rd party firm and is incredibly difficult to conduct. It requires deliberat...

38: Period Case Studies
Welcome to the 35th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and we remain focused on the big 4th week visioning workshop. A large part of the visioning workshop is presenting case studies highlighting the successes and failures of similar companies. In this podcast we discuss a special type of case study called a period case study which is significantly harder to do, but incredibly useful. Most consultants prefer case studying the latest and greatest fad, which is extremely misleading, as...


37: Visioning Workshop Overview
Welcome to the 34th podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and a major focus on Week 4 over the next few podcasts. This is a big week since it is the first visioning workshop with a client. This week is important. If you ever want to run strategy planning for a Fortune 500 company, you must understand this process very, very well. If you do not understand this process, you will struggle to run strategy planning exercises for the CEO, board or management committee. We discuss the overall ...

36: The Organizational Design Stream
Welcome to the 33rd podcast on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study. In this podcast we discuss the tough work being done by the Organizational Design team. We discuss the three tensions which drive all Organizational Design recommendations and the trade-offs required. We also discuss the most important requirement to implement a new culture and structure at any company, and it is quite simple to do. As you will see, the Organizational Design stream is struggling on the study. Click here to see the...

35: 3 Career Path Options for Consulting Partners
In this podcast we discuss the 3 career path options that consultants face once they become partners. We discuss each career path and what it means for a consultant's career. These are differences that are crucial to know and understand because partner career paths that appear to be more attractive often lead to disappointing results. For example, did you know it is a really bad idea to emulate the career path of all the McKinsey and BCG partners who appear in the McKinsey Quarterly, BCG perspectives and HB...


34: When Should You Not Brand Yourself Ex McKinsey
Welcome to the 32nd podcast on the power sector study. As you know, we are building up towards the update for week 4, when the corporate strategy planning workshop will take place. Today's podcast is not about the study. Instead, we are going to talk about one of the issues that we deal with at Firmsconsulting and which many ex employees of major consulting firms (e.g. ex McKinsey and ex BCG consultants) encounter as they embark on building their own boutique consulting firms or even when they join other c...

33: Great Management Consultants are Artists
How do you become an outstanding management consultant? Should you excel at analysis? Should you master problem solving? Should you become the world's most gifted communicator? You could master all of the aforementioned items and still be an average management consultant at best. Great management consultants have all these skills but they have one more quality that makes them great, they are not just competent business people but they are also artists. In this podcast we explain the mindset we encourage t...

32: What is the role of government
This is the next podcast discussing the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study.  In this podcast we use economics to explain what is the role of government, when governments should intervene, how they should intervene and when they should hand over certain activities to the private sector. If you want to further your understanding of strategy at the highest possible level you should listen to this. If you enjoyed this conversation we will be so grateful if you jump over to iTunes and share a quick revi...


31: If objective function is known its not a Corporate Strategy
Welcome to the 29th podcast where we are covering the corporate strategy study, a transformation of the major power sector company. In today’s podcast we want to go back to a very core concept that you need to understand as we move forward. In the previous podcasts we spoke about the definition of corporate strategy. We explained what is corporate strategy. And no, working for the CEO or Chairman of the Board does not make it corporate strategy. Its actually very simple to know if a study qualifies as a c...

30: What is a Conceptual Thinker?
This podcast explains what is a conceptual thinker and how to demonstrate this skill. If you work at any major consulting firm, and especially if you want to be promoted, you must prove you are a conceptual thinker. The only problem is that it is hard to define the word conceptual. Once you understand this definition, things will be much easier for you. In this podcast I explain a similar problem experienced by a consultant on the Corporate Strategy & Transformation study and how I helped them improve. T...

29: EVA Analysis
In many cases, especially in a tough study like this turnaround, there is just not enough time and money to find the ideal evidence, or any evidence at all. In such situations you need to be creative because the consultants are being paid to arrive at a credible answer. You need to find data which proves something indirectly. In this podcast I explain just such a method we used for the crucial EVA analysis to prove there was no profit outside the core. This is arguably one of the smartest things we did on ...


28: Managing the Big Picture vs. Details
This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In just the last week we have had several issues erupt on the study. (1) A rival (?) firm has been appointed at the parent to potentially have oversight of the study. (2) The power outages are escalating while EI wants to double-down on investments which are not core to its likely future. (3) The unions are challenging the management skills analyses. (4) A budding romance has le...

27: Management Skills Analysis Challenges
This is the 25th podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. A stream of our consultants is assessing the management skills of senior EI managers and executives to manage the transformation process. This process has not gone well. A senior manager of EI felt the management skills assessment was designed to present him in a poor light. He, therefore, complained to the unions and is considering legal action against EI. This is not good, but fa...

26: McKinsey Appointed to EE
This is the 24th podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In an update meeting with the CFO of EE who sits on the board of EI, he mentioned that McKinsey has been appointed by EE to conduct a “visioning refresher” workshop to help the EE board think through their options. The CFO stressed that the work does not overlap with our own since McKinsey is focused on EE’s broader issues and the investment in EI is just one thing they will briefl...


25: Early EVA Analyses
This is the 23rd podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. The first cut of the EVA analyses is done. In this podcast we discuss why EVA was selected as the performance metric and how it will be used. We compare the current EVA performance and the likely EVA performance if the businesses with EI met their planned budgets and targets for the year. We discuss why we are not using the budgets, how we will adjust them and the dangers of taking...

24: Power Outages Escalate
This is the 22nd podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. As power outages escalate across the region, EI remains focused on growing internationally. It is crucial to remember that these podcasts reflect the team's strategy and thinking that we have not yet fully communicated to EI. That will happen over the next few weeks. So while you have heard lots about the need to focus on EE’s core business, EI is yet to come around to that thinkin...

23: Managing Fatigue as a Partner
This is the 21st podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. Many readers have written in asking how we manage the fatigue of running such an intense study while managing all the numerous Firmsconsulting initiatives. In this podcast I briefly touch on the practical tools I use to manage my time, set priorities and manage my diary to ensure I keep the trains running on time. I also discuss the myth of loving what you do. While that is import...


22: Challenged at the Steering Committee
This is the 20th podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In the Steering Committee meeting this morning we were directly challenged by a member of the committee. This podcast discusses the nature of the challenge and how we responded. The client raised a concern about our skills and also raised a potential conflict of interest we had not considered. We unpack the challenge and the thought-process we applied in managing this situation. U...

21: Determining the Capital Requirements
This is the 19th podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. As the transformation recommendations are implemented, the implementation will cost billions of dollars to execute. The implementation cost is also known as the capital requirements. Understanding the size of the cost and drivers of the cost is critical. This podcasts discusses the 6-step process the divestment team will use to calculate the cost of the transformation. We will also...

20: Grooming Corporate Leaders
This is the 18th podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In this podcast we discuss the approach and philosophy used by the study leadership stream as they guide and mentor corporate leaders at the client. We discuss the 4 pillars on which our leadership philosophy is built and use practical examples to demonstrate how we help clients adopt these principles. The four pillars are: Sincere authenticity matters. Embrace, not hide, lead...


19: How to Communicate Recommendations
This is the seventeenth podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. This podcast discusses how to communicate recommendations which are radical in nature. If the recommendations are presented too early, they are hypotheses with little data backing them and they can be easily challenged. If the recommendations are presented at the end, it shocks the client and there likely will be little agreement from the client. The solution is to present...

18: Corporate Strategy Analysis Process
This is the sixteenth podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In this critical podcast, we focus on two things. First, we discuss the reason why corporate strategy studies rely so heavily on executive workshops. We explain why simply handing the perfect strategy to the client will never yield results, even if the client accepts it without any challenges. The workshop process plays a crucial role that cannot be easily replicated anywhere...

17: Evolving International Business Ideas
This is the fifteenth podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In an earlier podcast I discussed our bold hypotheses which involved shutting down and selling all of the international businesses. Since that initial hypothesis developed in week 1, and after thinking about it for the last 2 weeks, we have changed our views. In terms of the number of initiatives, the majority of the international businesses will be shut down or sold. However,...


16: Governance in Transformation Studies
This is the fourteenth podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. This podcast defines governance versus project management and explains the 6 governance levels on the study. We further break the 6 governance levels into those with a short to medium term focus and those with a long term focus. The six governance levels are: EI - BoardEI - CEO and EXCOEI - OPCOEI - Steerco. EE - BoardEE - CEO We explain further why in transformation studi...

15: Keep the Telecom License?
This is the thirteenth podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In this podcast we discuss how the client came to be the primary bidder for a telecom license which is far from their core business. We also discuss the process we used to decide if the client should keep the license, sell it or do something else. We developed 4 scenarios for the client. We also explain why immediately exiting this non-core investment hurts the client more t...

14: Invest in 4th Gen. Nuclear Technology?
This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. The client has invested heavily in trying to develop the next generation nuclear technology for sale to foreign companies. In this podcast we discuss our decision making process on whether or not the nuclear investment should be kept, expanded, modified, reduced or eliminated. We discuss the 5 major scenarios open to the client for handling the nuclear investment and the financial ...


13: Women in Consulting
This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. This podcast covers three topics, but the primary topic is gender equality on consulting studies: women in consulting. We are, of course, a major proponent on gender equality but my observations is that sometimes female managers only want the “good” things that equality brings while avoiding the “bad” things and passing that work onto male colleagues. Equality, unfortunately, means...

12: Corporate Strategy Always Lacks Detailed Analyses
This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In an earlier podcast, we discussed the logic of the corporate strategy recommendations. It will surprise you to realize just how little detailed analyses support that recommendation. There is a deep and clear logic. Yet, the analyses needed to prove that logic is surprisingly light. In this podcast, we discuss this paradox of corporate strategy. Strategy studies have a reputation ...

11: Building Leaders in Broken Companies
This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. Building leaders in broken companies is very difficult. In an earlier podcast, we discussed a change at Firmsconsulting in the way we are managing large corporate strategy transformation-type studies. Essentially, we now have a dedicated partner working with executive clients to help them with leadership and CEO-transitions issues. The work is absolutely fascinating: it sits at the ...


10: Implementation of the Recommendations
This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. Implementation of our recommendations will likely be very difficult and this is a critical concern. The company is under stress, constantly in the press and any changes must take place without disrupting daily operations. It is a recipe for a disaster. We discuss a Marvin Bower anecdote about implementation and explain why most implementation literature about motivating employees t...

9: Profit from the Core
This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In this study we are hypothesizing that the core of the company has shifted and the company therefore needs to change to profit from the core business. This is common problem for many companies. Yet, dealing with it is very difficult. When a company is built for a core that has changed, history teaches us that they will suffer and likely fail. Think of Yahoo, HP etc. Think of Googl...

8: Top-Down Financial Analyses
This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. The start of week 2 is dominated by the top-down financial analyses results. This is also when all the 6 streams officially kick-of: corporate strategy, business unit strategy, business case, organizational design, management skills analyses and value based management. In this podcast we provide quotes and feedback from the focus interviews with the CEOs of the individual companies...


7: Transformation vs Corp. Strategy
This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. This podcast wraps up a tough first week of the study. We wanted to wrap-up the week by explaining the differences between a transformation corporate strategy study and a general corporate strategy study. We are going to use the movie Alien to explain this difference. Like the movie, we are basically trying to hunt down a problem we cannot see, we do not know where it is, we do not...

6: 3 Critical Analyses for Overall Hypotheses
This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. To support the overall recommendations, we would need to do many analyses. The study team is very large and over 4 months they will do a lot. Yet, the study partners can be more focused. 3 critical analyses can help us determine if the corporate strategy recommendations make sense. First, we need to determine if there is profit outside the core. Second, we need to find a financia...

5: How Strategy Shapes the Structure
This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. The organizational structure of a company must enable / support / empower its corporate strategy. In other words, structure must follow the strategy. In this podcast we explain how the initial corporate strategy recommendations are not enough to guide the organizational design team. Based on the likely power sector outages and types of problems, the organizational design can take o...


4: Flawed Corporate Strategy Case Studies
This is the next podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. In this podcast we discuss one of the most prevalent errors made by strategy consultants when they analyze case studies. Consultants are pre-disposed to finding a solution, or best-practice, at a rival/peer and bringing it to the client. This happens because it is far easier to tell a client that a solution exists and it is just a question of adopting it. Imagine telling a client t...

3: Early, Bold Hypotheses for the Study
This is the second podcast for the power sector corporate strategy study we will soon release as part of our Executive Program. This podcast explains a critical challenge in most major transformation type studies: early hypotheses. There are usually 4 to 6 streams of work from business case analyses to business unit strategy. The issue here is that all the other streams are dependent on guidance from the corporate strategy stream, but the corporate strategy stream needs time to arrive at its recommendation...

2: Leadership Challenges on the Study
The power sector corporate strategy study is now underway and is scheduled to be released later this year, as part of our Executive Program. This is the first of many podcasts to discuss the progress in the power sector study, including paramount challenges and choices the client and the team are facing. We decided not to live blog this study. We decided to put out frequent, almost daily, podcasts and a stream of articles explaining the issues. Given the intensity of the study, we hope to keep to this sche...


1: Bill Matassoni on Competitive and Comparative Advantage, Why Strategy is Less Analytic than it Seems and how McKinsey Really Makes Decisions
One of the great privileges of our unique network is that we have access to some of the most eminent former partners like Kevin Coyne and Bill Matassoni. We adopt their insights when designing our case training and strategy training programs. Our goal at Firmsconsulting is to allow our members access to the partners from whom we seek advise.  This is an exclusive interview that Bill Matassoni recently had with Firmsconsulting where he shared some counter-intuitive concepts you will not hear anywhere else. ...