Program Overview

This is a 3­day intensive and practical workshop for ambitious executives working in dynamic and challenging environments. It focuses on the very core of a world class MBA: Strategic Management, dealing with it in a way that demystifies the process and giving you the skills the process and the tools to apply this to case studies, your own business, and to issues in your own role. It is delivered by a presenter who has taught similar programmes on over a hundred top Business School three day programmes to  over 1800 senior executives.

There will be extensive Group work and case studies on e.g. Virgin Galactic, innovation in the funerals industry, Metrobank, and Sandals weddings: picked because of their rich learning lessons.

Attend this strategic 3­day course and learn:

  • What is strategy, strategic thinking and the strategy process? Demystifying the key concepts
  • Generating strategic options: Virgin Galactic case study (budget space travel)
  • The key elements of strategic analysis: current position and competitive pressure
  • Creating innovative strategies in a mature industry: the funerals business
  • “Deep –dive” techniques for testing strategic decisions: with Metro Bank
  • Strategy implementation and change management: Sandals Weddings
  • Strategic influencing and basic stakeholder analysis
  • More advanced stakeholder analysis and influencing strategies
  • Advisory, influencing and strategic facilitation skills: managing the dynamics
  • Applying strategy to issues in your own role
  • Pre­ work, action planning and follow up work

How this programme will assist you:

  • Train you in “Helicopter Thinking” and demystify the key ideas of strategy
  • Give you far greater strategic confidence and competence­through following a step­by step process
  • Help prepare you for more senior and challenging roles: becoming a strategic leader
  • Show you how to be a much more creative and imaginary thinker, and to genuinely “think future”
  • Give you a new language and powerful set of tools: for strategic thinking, prioritisation, business planning, and project management
  • Provide the skills to develop and implement strategies and enable you to carry more weight influencing others
  • Help you to manage strategic dilemmas, ambiguities and uncertainties much more easily
  • Give you the skills for putting together an irresistible business case
  • Help you become an effective strategic influencer
  • See and be able to manage issues in your own role in a strategic way
  • You won’t feel lower down in the evolutionary scale to those with MBA’s, and get a taster of “would I ever want to do one myself?”


There will be some important and meaningful pre­work for this course to make the links with your role and to get you thinking strategically.

  • Reading articles written by the course director
  • Diagnosis of your own strategic competences, and also gaps and goals
  • An initial analysis of a “SWOT “(strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats) in your business/a particular issue
  • Internet searches on current developments at Virgin Galactic and Metrobank


Day 1

Strategic Analysis

Introduction and Objectives

  • Objectives of the course versus individual ones
  • Setting expectations: how the learning will feel different from many other courses

What is Strategy?

  • What is strategy (1) ­ Moving from where you are to where you want to be
  • What is strategy (2) ­ Strategy as the “cunning” (or innovative) plan
  • What is Strategy (3) ­ Strategy as “What we really­really really want to do” (Vision)
  • What is strategic thinking? ­ The idea of “Helicopter Thinking”
  • The differences between “Operational Thinking” and “Strategic Thinking” and between “Strategy and Tactics”

The Strategy Process

  • Inside the “cunning plan” ­ The humorous case study of Blackadder (same TV character as Mr Bean) and

Baldrick trapped in a Time Machine – options for getting back to the present: lessons for MBA thinking

  • Generating strategic options:

Case study: Virgin Galactic, sub orbital “budget” space travel

  • Inside the strategy process? Breaking this down into e.g. diagnosis, option generation, evaluation, planning, implementation etc: demystifying some of the key concepts
  • Generating strategic options: case study Virgin Galactic (budget space travel)
  • Evaluating these with the Strategic Option Grid

Strategic Analysis

  • The “onion” model of testing “Strategic Attractiveness”: PEST factors, growth drivers, competitive pressure and competitive position
  • Strategic positioning with SWOT analysis – testing it with a “So What?” analysis
  • Analysis of your own “SWOT” – and testing it
  • Introducing “Strategic Gap Analysis”
  • The key elements of strategic analysis: current position, competitive pressure

Case study: “Competitive pressure” using Porter’s five competitive forces in the funerals industry ­ buyer power, rivalry, entry barriers, substitutes and supplier power

Exercise: Using this model on one of your own markets: with a “So­What?” analysis

Day 2

Strategic Development and Testing

Strategy Development as a Process

Case study in a mature industry: A new business strategy in the funerals business.

Delegates will work to come up with ground­breaking strategic options of new business models.

  • Evaluation: outline business case with value and cost drivers and uncertainty testing, and simulated presentations to potential investors
  • More on the “deep–dive” techniques for testing strategic decisions: value over time, and difficulty over time curves, introducing stakeholder analysis
  • Understanding customer value: motivators and hygiene factors

Case study: Breakthrough thinking in the retail banking industry ­ Metrobank.

  • Challenging the sixth competitive force: the industry mind set
  • Analysis of Metrobank against one of its peers
  • Testing the strategy: exploring how either Metrobank can develop further or how a competitor might respond
  • Introducing scenario story telling techniques in the context of retail banking

Day 3

Strategy Implementation

Exercises: Customer value analysis and on competitor analysis from delegates’ own experience/your industry

Managing the Challenges of Implementation

  • Strategic problem solving: with Fishbone analysis

Case study: Sandals Weddings

  • Diagnosis of deficiencies: root cause analysis
  • The “Business Value System”: creating a new business model
  • Coming up with strategic options/a new business model for Sandals
  • Introduction to Stakeholder analysis
  • Critical appraisal of change management/ implementation at Sandals Weddings: what would you have done?
  • Strategy implementation and project management: Sandals Weddings


Strategic Thinking at the Personal Level

  • Introduction to the Mini­Strategy Process: fishbone, wishbone analysis, attractiveness – difficulty (AID)

analysis, and stakeholder analysis

  • Overview of key strategic/MBA concepts that we have used/ others
  • Pros and cons of doing an MBA
  • Ingredients of becoming a successful Strategic Thinker and Manager
  • Action planning (note that this course comes with an electronic help line with the tutor that you can use for six months!)

Course summary and close





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