What is a strategy professional and what do they do?
Strategy professionals are responsible for developing high priority strategic initiatives, working directly with the business’s leadership, executives, and stakeholders - both internal and external. They lead cross-functional teams in the development of operational strategies that will influence business growth and profitability as well as helping to ensure that the day-to-day activities of the company support these initiatives
Strategy consultants can work in major strategy advisory firms in practice, or can be found working in industry in larger, multi-national organisations.
Responsibilities will vary, but examples include:
- Developing strategic opportunities and executing of strategic initiatives
- Establishing collaborative and trusting relationships with the business’ key leaders and stakeholders
- Helping deliver shareholder value through the identification of potential acquisition targets and supporting the company’s broader M&A activity
- Managing the strategic planning process across the organisation to ensure key milestones are achieved
- Building analytical models and performing regular financial, competitive, performance, and market analyses for the business in order to ensure well-founded strategies are presented to leadership
- Drafting regular analysis reports for senior strategy management, business leadership and executives, and relevant stakeholders for purposes of further decision making
- Reviewing the feasibility of new markets as well as their potential growth opportunities
- Analysing the success of products, projects, and activities and put in place performance measures that will determine the effectiveness of implemented strategies and identify areas for strategic improvement
- Assessing the company’s many different projects from the products down to the daily administrative activities to make sure they align with the company’s goals
- Determining ways to increase revenue by eliminating wasteful practices and expediting product delivery
- Developing new business opportunities by leveraging contacts, pursuing new product development, and improving project efficiency
Why are they important?
These are often senior positions and are crucial to the company’s ability to meet ambitious growth plans. Strategic planning provides a sense of direction for the business and outlines measurable goals. It is also useful for guiding day-to-day decisions and also for evaluating progress and changing approaches where necessary.
Skills needed for this role
A strategy professional should have exceptional analytical and communication skills, as well as a highly developed collaborative nature. Vision, energy, enthusiasm and focus are required but also contextual sensitivity and the ability to work effectively across a broad spectrum of people. They must have strong influencing skills but also the ability to inspire trust and confidence in the senior management team.
Startegic Professional Options examinations linked to this role
Career opportunities presented by this role
There are a wide variety of roles available in the field of Strategy, both in-house and within consulting or accounting firms. This is a highly skilled role with exceptional exposure to a wide variety of stakeholders and business areas. As a result, opportunities are excellent with a clearly structured career path, from Associate to Partner in practice or from Analyst to Head of Strategy within other organisations.
High level competencies required include:
Advisory and consultancy
A. Gathers and understands financial and non-financial information to develop complete knowledge of the client business and the environment in which it operates.
B. Provides expert advice that will add value to the business and gain advantage.
C. Identify and advise on business partnering to develop strategic relationships to create opportunities, improve performance and solve business problems.
D. Prepare and present business plans and advise on the actions to implement these plans.
Leadership and management
A. Applies appropriate leadership strategies to effectively deliver business objectives.
B. Leads, motivates and manages people to optimise performance and effectiveness.
C. Collaborates, supports and works to achieve the objectives of the organisation, applying appropriate digital technologies.
D. Acts proactively and thinks strategically, in anticipating organisational needs, recognising the wider business environment and dynamics.
Stakeholder relationship management
A. Positively develops relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
B. Communicates and gains commitment from internal and external stakeholder.
C. Uses emerging technologies to collaborate and communicate effectively with stakeholders.
D . Applies professional and ethical judgement when engaging with stakeholders.
E. Aligns organisational strategic objectives with stakeholder needs and manages expectations.
Strategy and innovation
A. Applies business acumen and commercial awareness to deliver business objectives.
B. Recommends a range of suitable strategic options from which to develop sustainable plans and objectives.
C. Evaluates, justifies and implements suitable strategic options.
D. Adopts and applies innovative methods to implement strategy and manages change.
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