The Strategic Imperative: On-Demand Consulting Services for Strategy Leaders

June 12, 2024 Summer Foote

Today’s strategy leaders are navigating the intricate landscapes of immediate budgetary decisions, long-term planning, and performance excellence, all while contending with a backdrop of constant transformation and change. As chief strategy officers (CSOs) and business professionals, they are acutely aware of the demands placed upon them to adapt quickly and effectively. One critical challenge they face is accessing specialized expertise precisely when needed, without overextending their resources.

In this dynamic environment, the concept of on-demand consulting services has emerged as a game-changer. This model allows organizations to tap into highly skilled professionals on a flexible, as-needed basis, providing the agility and expertise required to meet strategic objectives. Here, we explore the multifaceted benefits of on-demand consultants and how strategy leaders can harness their potential to drive success.

The Evolution of Strategy Work

The inherently variable nature of strategy work necessitates a lean team structure capable of scaling up or down based on project demands. Traditional consulting firms, while valuable, often come with high costs and long-term commitments that may not align with the fluctuating needs of strategy offices. On-demand consultants, by contrast, offer a cost-effective solution, saving companies up to 63% compared to traditional consulting models.

Four Key Ways Strategy Leaders Can Use On-Demand Consulting Services

1. Annual Planning and Budgeting

Annual planning and budgeting periods are characterized by intense activity and critical decision-making. During these peak times, strategy leaders often require additional capacity to manage the workload efficiently. On-demand consultants provide the necessary surge capacity, enabling organizations to meet tight deadlines and deliver comprehensive plans without compromising quality.

In one recent case, a restaurant group was selling off one brand and needed to develop a robust strategic growth plan for the remaining brand (a fast casual regional chain) in advance of an upcoming board meeting. Lacking the internal capacity to synthesize the necessary information, the group engaged a former CEO and management consultant with strategic planning expertise, who stepped in quickly and pulled together information to help them determine how to grow beyond the regional market.

2. Long-Term Planning

Long-term planning involves complex analyses and strategic foresight that benefit from external perspectives. By leveraging on-demand consultants, strategy leaders can access specialized expertise without the overhead of a large consulting firm. This approach allows for a more nimble and adaptable planning process, incorporating innovative insights and methodologies that drive future growth.

For example, a global F100 food and beverage company was looking to better understand how potential industry shifts might impact business. Company leaders wanted to explore go-to-market capabilities to employ across customer and channel cohorts in the forecasted retail environment. BTG delivered a former L.E.K. consultant who provided a projection of the retail landscape through scenario-based modeling, as well as analyses on changes in consumer requirements, supply chain, and service operation effectiveness.

3. Corporate Development and Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)

The corporate development and M&A landscape is highly irregular, with demand cycles that can be unpredictable. On-demand consulting services offer the flexibility needed to stay agile in such an environment. These professionals can be brought in to provide critical support during due diligence, integration planning, and execution phases, ensuring that each transaction maximizes value and aligns with strategic goals.

For instance, a corporate strategy group of a major diversified conglomerate regularly leverages on-demand professionals to support target assessment. The heads of strategy and M&A within each of the product lines reach out to the BTG team when they lack the internal commercial or operational expertise in a specialized industry. BTG rapidly deploys strong subject matter experts with operations and commercial expertise to support the deal team in any knowledge gaps as they go through the various diligence stages.

4. Operational Excellence and Innovation Initiatives

Driving innovation and operational excellence requires a blend of deep expertise and creative problem-solving. On-demand strategy consultants and subject matter experts can infuse fresh ideas and cutting-edge practices into an organization’s operations. By tapping into these resources, strategy leaders can accelerate innovation initiatives and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Case in point: The R&D strategy and operations team at an F100 pharma company had developed a high-level vision and detailed design plan for their continuous improvement program and needed help implementing the initiatives in order to bring drugs to market faster. BTG provided a team of two: a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt paired with a former Accenture consultant. Together they provided training, governance, and change management to support the initiative.

Advantages of On-Demand Consulting Services for Strategy Leaders

  1. Agility and Flexibility: On-demand consultants allow organizations to scale their teams based on project needs, ensuring that the right expertise is available at the right time.
  2. Cost Efficiency: By avoiding the long-term commitment and high costs associated with traditional consulting firms, companies can allocate their budgets more effectively.
  3. Access to Specialized Skills: On-demand professionals bring niche expertise and diverse experiences that can be pivotal in addressing specific strategic challenges.
  4. Speed to Market: With the ability to quickly deploy talent, strategy leaders can expedite project timelines and respond swiftly to market changes.
  5. Enhanced Innovation: External perspectives and specialized knowledge can stimulate innovative thinking and drive transformative change within the organization.

Embracing the Future with On-Demand Consultants

As the business landscape continues to evolve, the ability to adapt and innovate is paramount for strategy leaders. On-demand consulting services offer a strategic advantage, providing the expertise, flexibility, and cost-efficiency needed to navigate the complexities of modern business. By embracing this model, organizations can enhance their strategic capabilities, drive performance excellence, and secure a competitive edge in the market.

Whether you’re seeking consultants with big firm experience, seasoned project managers, or simply expertise you lack in-house, Business Talent Group delivers the talent you need to achieve your strategic goals. Reach out and talk to our team about your most pressing projects and fast-moving opportunities.


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