Many companies view business strategy as an internal process, keeping their cards close to their chests – a close guarded secret. They view their customers as the enemy, someone who can negatively impact their profit and revenue if they are given too much influence. These companies tend to build internally focused business strategy, and subsequently find it difficult to understand why they can’t achieve their objectives and why their customers act autonomously. The outcome is a divergence of thinking and vision that negatively impacts results. Companies and their clients head towards different positions. Clients don’t get what they need and are open to other options and companies lose market share and under perform, without understanding the reasons as to why this is happening.
The common proposition of today’s management consultancies is ‘we are the industry experts!’ This means you, the client, should use their services because they know more about your marketplace than you do, irrespective of your level of experience and expertise. This thinking and approach to business strategy contains many flaws that ultimately inhibits successful outcomes. The most dangerous flaw is that from its outset, the project and relationship is fractured. It is built on a foundation of ‘us versus them’ – meaning ‘we will tell you what you should do, and you should listen to us and do what we say’.
The common trend we hear from news about the Australian economy is that our local manufacturing sectors are under attack from inferior quality cheap imports and that our ability to compete in export markets is held to ransom by our high exchange rate. This may be the sign of the times and way of the future, but it is definitely not the doomsday scenario some commentators are predicting.