Strategy Consulting

And an introduction to the strategy secret weapon


In their relentless pursuit of excellence, there is a valuable service that many corporates and governments use.

Indeed, so valuable is this service that organisations will gladly pay more than US $180,000 per week to access it. 

The service?  Strategy consulting.

As the term suggests, strategy consulting is where corporations receive expert strategy advice from qualified strategy consultants.  Global strategy consulting firms like McKinsey, Boston Consulting and Bain are in high demand, with McKinsey’s annual revenue exceeding US$10 billion a year.

Why the demand? Leaders understand the importance of strategy and go to great lengths to see that their strategy and execution is on point.

Introducing The Strategist

There’s another term used for the strategy consultant.  It’s called the strategist.

According to the Collins dictionary, a strategist is, “Someone who is skilled in planning the best way to gain an advantage or to achieve success.”2  And, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a strategist as, “a person skilled in strategy: a person who is skilled in making plans for achieving a goal: someone who is good at forming strategies.” 3

To elaborate on the definitions, a strategist wears a number of hats including analyst, troubleshooter, brainstormer and planner.  And, the role primarily involves:

    • Getting clarity around a problem or situation
    • Gathering relevant information and market intelligence
    • Analyzing challenges and problems by applying traditional and visual/design thinking principles and tools
    • Identifying points of competitive advantage and weakness
    • Establishing clear, realistic goals
    • Brainstorming and creating strategies and evaluating them using probability and risk/reward tools
    • Designing and creating strategic plans

Over the last decade or so the importance of the strategist has become more widely recognised in business.  Indeed, in a 2008 article titled The Rise of the Chief Strategy Officer, authors Tim Breene, Paul F. Nunes and Walt Shill wrote that companies were increasingly hiring Chief Strategy Officers (CSO) .  At the time the CSO was a relatively new position, but as pointed out by the authors:

Companies are starting to add CSOs to their management teams for a variety of reasons. First, CEOs need the help: Complex organizational
structures, rapid globalization, new regulations and the struggle to innovate, among other challenges, make it ever more difficult for CEOs to be
on top of all parts of the business, even when it’s something as important as strategy execution.

Further, the nature of strategy itself has changed during the past decade. Strategy development has become a continuous process, and successful
execution therefore depends more than ever on rapid and effective decision making.4

Smart business leaders understand that strategy analysis and development is not a once-a-year business exercise.  It is, as stated above, a continuous process. And a key person who can add significant value to that process is a highly qualified and skilled strategist.

If you require high-level strategy expertise, then consider the range of strategy consulting services available through BM. Bartlett.

Why BM. Bartlett?

Firstly, we have a unique approach to strategy that incorporates strategy principles from military warfare, business, elite-level sports coaching and performance, and personal performance.  These principles are codified into our 12 Rules of Strategy methodology and the 4 Phase strategic management process.

Next we apply the principles and practices of design thinking for strategy.  Taught at ivy-league business schools like Harvard and Stanford, and practiced at global corporates such as Google, Inc, design thinking for strategy is a powerful approach to strategy analysis and planning.

Traditional strategy consulting prioritises the use of the left-brain, and focuses on skill and functional areas such as economics and accounting.

Furthermore, traditional strategy consultants armed with Ivy-League MBAs and 150+ IQs love turning simple into complex.

Design thinking for strategy turns complex into simple.  It is more right-brain.  It is driven by creativity and innovation, and supported by proven strategy principles and rules. 

As part of our design thinking focus, we have and use a premium collection of strategy tools and models.  This collection is contained within our Planning With Pictures System, which is the strategist’s equivalent of an electrician’s or dentist’s toolkit.

Most of these tools in our system proprietary to BM. Bartlett.  In other words, no one else has or uses them.  We have a core set of 30 tools, while more than 70 other tools play a support role.

And third, is our priority on the strategic design, development and performance of intangible assets.  We call them the 9 Diamonds.

You may not be aware but intangible assets represent the biggest source of organisational/team value.  In fact, according to modern-day business valuation methods, intangible assets account for more than 90% of business value.

Bottom line?  In terms of strategic priority, you need to devote most of your time and energy on the strategic design and development of the intangible assets.  In other words, The 9 Diamonds.

BM. Bartlett Strategy Consulting

BM. Bartlett offers our Strategy Consulting service. There are three service options – one-off strat sessions, strategic deep dive for in-depth planning projects and the retainer option.

Strategy projects is for large scale projects such as the design and development of complete strategy systems.

One-off strat sessions are available for urgent, yet immediately defined work that can be completed in an hour. And the retainer services option gives you ongoing access to a master strategist. Services fitting into these options include strategic plan/business model design, coaching leaders on aspects of strategy, and providing input into leadership meetings.

In terms of process, our strategy consulting and facilitation services apply the 4 phases of strategic management.

Phase One – Strategic Research/Analysis/Scorecarding

For the strategic research/analysis/scorecarding phase we take both a helicopter (top down) and microscopic (inside out) look at your business – or even a proposed investment business.  And, depending upon the scope of the assignment, we can review and audit areas such as:

  • Intangible asset/IP portfolio and value
  • Strategic positioning
  • Leadership skill set and values
  • Business/team brand and culture
  • Product/service mix and brands
  • Channel strategy
  • Staff recruitment processes
  • Back end revenue strategy and economics
  • Margins and pricing
  • Target markets and/or end users
  • Sales processes
  • Internal structures and processes
  • Skill base/core competencies
  • Personal goals, desires and ambitions
  • Lead generation campaigns
  • Sales force effectiveness
  • Advertising effectiveness
  • Customer retention
  • Financial metrics

In reviewing financial performance we can go deeper than analyzing traditional metrics such as revenue growth, cashflow, COGS and EBITD.  We can also look at factors such as where the revenue has derived from, cost per lead, cost per acquisition, retention rate and other little known yet highly critical financial indicators.  This is important analytical information that even many accountants don’t know about.

Phase Two – Ideation, Problem Solving and Planning

Building upon the research findings and insights acquired in phase one, phase two involves using these insights to generate ideas and solve problems.

In phase two design thinking really comes to the fore, as this is the phase where the skills of creativity and innovation are heavily applied.

Ideas and solutions created in phase two can include:

  • Re-positioning your business or products
  • Adjusting your product portfolio
  • Changing target markets
  • Altering sales model and systems
  • Changing pricing structure
  • Re-branding ideas
  • Amending business structure or systems
  • Liquidating/selling off business units
  • Implementing different marketing campaigns and approaches

Phase Three – Strategy Development

Phase three is the strategy development phase and primarily involves the development of your strategic brands and other key assets.  Specific assets we look to develop in this phase are the intangible assets, which are:

  • Human capital (Team and personal leadership)
  • Castle and Moat Business model
  • Strategic Brands
  • Champion Team System
  • Performance systems
  • Integrated marketing system
  • Marketing Database
  • Productised IA (intangible assets) and IP (intellectual property)

Part of the strategy development phase may include the design of a OnePager Plan or business model canvas, which highlights your entire strategy on an A0-A1 page.  The OnePager can include the following elements:

  1. Strategic vision and position
  2. Castle and moat concept and strategy
  3. Strategic objectives
  4. Philosophy (Values system)
  5. Leadership group 
  6. Strategic brand portfolio (Business/team, products and services, personal)
  7. Integrated marketing system (Lead follow up, conversion, brand development, cost management, team performance and asset growth)

Phase Four – Execution Prep/Strategy Execution

Phase four is the execution prep and strategy execution phase which involves generating brand awareness and monetising your assets.

If you’re considering investing in another business, our strategic consulting services can help you there as well. Post-analysis reporting will highlight strengths and weaknesses of that business, and then offer recommendations based on the results of the analysis.

The cost? Start with a free strategy briefing

When you consider that corporate and government strategy consultants charge as much as US$180,000 week for their services, it makes our strategy services insanely cheap by comparison, with fees starting as low as $10,000.

To learn more about strategy consulting and facilitation, request our free strategy briefing, The 9 Diamonds Strategy. Available by Zoom or in-person, this briefing will give a comprehensive introduction to intangible assets, and outline why they are so important.

Further, you’ll receive a more detailed overview of the 9 Diamonds. We’ll explain exactly what the 9 Diamonds are, and how they drive and grow business value. 

Here’s a sample of what you’ll learn in the briefing:

  • Why 20th century business valuation is obsolete.
  • Why some businesses sell for 10x, 30X and even 100x revenue.
  • An introduction to the castle and moat – the foundation of every good business strategy
  • Team brand and culture – and how it grows and reduces brand equity
  • The secret technique to add value to a product or service.
  • Strategic Communications – the powerful intangible asset that drives strategy.
  • The three key components of strategic communications.
  • The no b.s definition of a brand
  • An introduction to human capital

The strategy briefing will be 75-90 minutes long, depending on your questions and feedback.  It also includes a slide deck and report.

To organise your briefing – which may be attended by up to 10 members of your executive team – email ben (at)

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