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The Strategy Skills Podcast: Strategy | Leadership | Critical Thinking | Problem-Solving

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. Our podcasts have been downloaded over 2 million times worldwide and we rank in the Top 10 career podcasts in most countries. Opt-in to our newsletter at to receive free sample Insider content that we share nowhere else.

Each year we pick one consulting study and narrate the analyses, client interactions and recommendations so you can understand how the strategy is developed. Detailed videos and power-points to accompany the podcasts can be found on our website.

The podcast teaches both technical analyses and soft skills like communication. We discuss concepts to help listeners advance their strategy, operations and implementation skills, enhance their critical thinking ability and build their executive presence.

Mar 31, 2016

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 energy?"

In today’s podcast, while we are heavily focused on week 4 and the build up to that major visioning workshop, we step back to understand a little bit of the broader contextual issues facing this client.

If you have been following this podcast series you will realize that there are 2 criteria that must be met for any strategy study to be a corporate level strategy study.

The first one is the objective function for the client, the key question for the client, must be unclear. If the objective function is known for the client than you are not doing a corporate strategy study. You are doing some other kind of strategy study, like BU strategy.

The other condition is that you have to help the client pick the market where they want to compete. And that usually involves doing a lot of industry analysis /value chain analysis.

The skill explained in this podcast is essential for any partner, but it is equally useful for any consultant at any level. Getting clarity when many paths are possible is a crucial skill to have. Most bad consulting engagements hit their main hurdles at this early stage, in determining the key problem facing the client.

In this podcast we want to help you understand how we went about figuring out the objective function for this client. And this is something we did way back at the beginning of the study, before we even started. And if you go onto the website and you look at the detailed maps, videos, power points as we explain each step in the study, this is explained in enormously more detail than what we are going to do here.

Yet, seeing this helicopter view is important.

What we want to do here is simply explain the questions we wanted to answer to determine the objective function and how we wrote out the logic. If you do this, you will always be on the right track.

Click here to see the full study and here to see the merger study and market entry study.

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