For professionals in consultancy, corporate development and policy making eager to gain insight in and apply the latest strategy models, frameworks and tools, the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) has developed a new training. The two-day training, ‘The Strategy Consultants’ Approach to Problem Solving’, allows participants to, according to the academic institution, learn more rigorous ways of structuring complex problems and gain the ability to bring strategic plans into practice more effectively.
Since the 1920s, the world’s top strategy consulting firms have developed a range of best-practice methods that provide a framework for solving complex business problems. Among the most the well-known framework are the:
- Five forces analysis: a framework that assesses the level of competition within an industry
- 7S Framework: a model that defines the key building blocks elements of an organisation
- Growth-share matrix: a model that helps managers analyse their business units and product lines.
Other methods that have left a major mark in the business landscape with their roots in the consulting industry include the core competence model, the balanced scorecard, and the Net Promoter Score (NPS).
The strategy consultant’s approach
And the list is much longer. For decades, firms such as McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Bain & Company, Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) and Roland Berger have been working at the forefront of the globe’s most intriguing and pressing strategic problems. “These and more models and techniques stand at the heart of the strategy consultants’ approach,” says Dr Marc Baaij, an associate professor of strategic management at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM).
Dr Baaij, a former strategy consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, has observed that professionals who are able to apply elements of this toolkit have been able to boost their approach to dealing with complex matters across the board. “It is one of the reasons why the top strategy consultancies have come so far and today serve as trusted advisers to executives globally,” says Baaij.
RSM’s two-day ‘The Strategy Consultants’ Approach to Problem Solving’ programme helps managers and advisers benefit from this range of available frameworks and techniques. Programme participants learn the principal methods and techniques used for solving business problems, after which participants acquire the skills needed to apply them.
Reflecting on the training, Marcel van Wees, global Head of Control at Rabobank International and an alumni of the programme, says: “The frameworks provided in this course are very helpful to add to my toolbox as controller and adviser. The hands-on focus with many cases in interaction with international participants with different backgrounds really helps to absorb the theory.”
Dr Baaij says the knowledge transfer in the programme is followed by the practical implementation. “Participants are guided with executing the know-how they gained in their own working environment”, he says. With their own organisation and problems as the basis, the frameworks and techniques are used to find new ways of looking at problems, and to come up with more creative solutions, leading to more effectiveness.
Tackling strategic challenges
“This is an excellent investment for anyone involved in the strategic decision-making process – in their own company or as a consultant charged with supporting organisations facing strategic challenges,” says another former participant, Yolanda Barreros Gutiérrez, adviser and partner at B&C Consulting in Barcelona.
The two-day training benefits managers and staff who are willing to apply the ‘strategy consultants’ approach’ but who have no background with a top-tier strategy consulting firm. The programme is scheduled to take place in Rotterdam on the following dates:
- 21 – 22 November 2016
- 6 – 7 April 2017
- 5 – 6 October 2017
The programme is taught by Dr Marc Baaij and James Parker, a partner at Parma Consulting Group. Parker has more than 20 years’ experience in consulting, gained at McKinsey, Boer & Croon Corporate Strategy and the Mitchell Madison Group, which he co-founded.
More information about RSM’s two-day The Strategy Consultants’ Approach to Problem Solving programme can be found here.