Business Solutions

Strategic Planning

The who, what, where, when, why and how of organisational development

What kind of opportunity or challenge is it?

There is a good chance that organisational opportunities and challenges fall into one of two types of project. If it is a strategy project, likely it is a what question. Conversely, if it is an operations related project, it is really looking at how to implement a good idea efficiently. Cyprinoid’s consultants and contractors have deep experience in projects that touch on both of these areas.

It is crucial to answer the right question – is it a what or how problem? It is easy to fall into the trap of addressing the wrong issue. All too often clients hire consultants and contractors to solve one problem, only to find out that the problem is actually with another. Often we focus on answering the how of strategic opportunities and challenges, rather than taking a step back and answering the why and the what.

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Peter Drucker.
At Cyprinoid, we work with you to think broadly about the opportunities and challenges at hand. Once we have targeted the right question, we think laterally to identify other questions to answer. The level of detail will vary, but the answers need to be as comprehensive as time and budget allows to ensure organisational success. A useful model for thinking about strategic planning is:

It is important to look for the add-on work as this is where potential value will be uncovered. Chances are that during the course of capturing one opportunity or addressing one challenge, other opportunities and challenges will be unearthed. It is all too common for a $25,000 loss-leading diagnostic project to transform into a profitable project of many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Strategic planning is about bringing this all together. It is an organisation’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. It may also extend to control mechanisms for guiding the implementation of the strategy.

Strategy has many definitions, but generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve these goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. A strategy describes how the ends or the goals, will be achieved by the means or resources.

Strategy includes processes of formulation and implementation; strategic planning helps coordinate both. However, strategic planning is analytical in nature involving “finding the dots”, while strategy formation “connects the dots” via strategic thinking. As such, strategic planning occurs around the strategy formation activity.

Cyprinoid adopts a who, what, where, when, why and how approach to strategy formation:

  • Who – customers, competitors, personnel, suppliers and government, including the regulatory environment and purchasing activity.
  • What – whole of organisation position, management and business unit capability and capacity, market approach and product design.
  • Where – markets including segmentation, facilities, sales channels and distribution mechanisms, partnerships and outsourcing.
  • When – strategic plan and financial model, business case and investment blueprint, business plan and financial projections, annual operating plan and budget, change management and project coordination.
  • Why – leadership, governance and executive, internal and external communications, organisational culture.
  • How – resourcing, marketing, sales, operations, incentives, finance, metrics, monitoring, quality assurance, risk management and reporting.

Meticulous strategic planning is an essential element of the business development function required to grow businesses through value realisation.

Governance

Governance defines the mechanisms, relations, and processes by which an organisation is controlled and directed, and involves balancing the many interests of the stakeholders of an organisation.

At Cyprinoid we work with organisations to develop and implement their governance structures.  We understand best practice and also that changing regulatory environments require a dynamic approach to ensuring the principals governing an organisation are compliant with, and predictive of, changing operating and regulatory environments.

Contract Labour & Executive Management

Cyprinoid Solutions has an extensive network of professionals able to fill capability gaps, or short term organisational requirements.

We can provide contract management in areas including Information Technology, Governance and Corporate Secretarial functions, Human Resources, Accounting and Financial Management, Marketing and Corporate Communications.

Our network comprises professionals with many years of experience in supporting these functions and having distinct skills and expertise that are often difficult to find for many organisations.

Business Development

Business development is a market positioning tactic designed to realise value.  Key objectives include:

  • Boosting brand and reputation;
  • Expanding existing, and creating new markets both domestic and internationally;
  • Driving lead and prospect awareness;
  • Furthering new customer acquisition; and
  • Growing profit though increasing revenue and enhancing profit margins.

At Cyprinoid, we believe to be effective business development must include the strategies and actions required for evidence-based decision making and the implementation, measurement and monitoring of growth opportunities, to ensure quality assurance and risk management through continuous improvement.

Cyprinoid finds, creates, unlocks, realises, captures and monetises value though a five-part business development process to address the fundamental business model question, “How do we make money?” The five-part process includes:

  • Strategic planning.
  • Resource facilitation.
  • Change management.
  • Project coordination.
  • Compliance reporting.

Change Management

Implementing change management strategies to meet organisational challenges.

Change management is a collective term for all approaches to preparing and supporting individuals, teams and organisations in making organisational change. Effective change management requires a clear strategic plan to guide implementation.

Globalisation and the rapid innovation of technology has resulted in a constantly evolving business environment.  Due to the growth of technology, modern organisational change is largely motivated by external innovations that disrupt accepted market conditions. When these developments occur, the organisations that adapt quickest create a competitive advantage, while organisations refusing to change get left behind.

The ability to manage and adapt to organisational change is an essential ability in today’s workplace.  Yet, major and rapid organisational change is profoundly difficult because the structure, culture, and routines of organisations often reflect a persistent and difficult-to-remove “imprint” of past periods.  This institutional intransigence means resistance to radical change prevents organisations from changing rapidly.

At Cyprinoid we understand that change is on-going and evolutionary.  We help our clients manage change and by identifying and implementing the processes and programs necessary to achieve long term success.

Change management includes methods that redirect or redefine the use of resources, business processes, budget allocations, or other modes of operation that significantly change a company or organisation. Organisational change management (OCM) considers the full organisation and what needs to change, while change management may be used solely to refer to how people and teams are affected by such organisational transition. It deals with many management disciplines, ranging from human resources and social sciences to information technology and business solutions.

Organisational change directly affects all business functions, departments and employees. The entire company must learn how to handle changes to the organisation. The effectiveness of change management can have a strong positive effect or negative impact on employee morale.

Change management may also refer to process change, where-in changes to the scope of a project are formally introduced and approved.  Phenomena such as social media, global trade and mobile adaptability have revolutionised business and the effect of this is an ever-increasing need for change, and therefore change management.

Project Coordination

Delivering business development actions and tasks for value realisation.

Project coordination, or project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria.

Cyprinoid Solutions’ consultants are all experienced project managers who offer an end-to-end solution for our clients as they embark on important projects that will have a material impact on their future operations.

A project is a temporary endeavor designed to produce a unique product, service or result with a defined beginning and end. It is usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables. A project is undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value. Taken together multiple projects provide the basis for effecting change management that is required to develop businesses and realise value.

The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast with business as usual or standard operations, which are repetitive, permanent or semi-permanent functional activities that produce the products or services of an organisation. In practice, the management of such distinct production or service approaches requires the development of distinct technical skills and operating practices.

The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given constraints of a distinct, defined and manageable project This information is usually described in project documentation, created at the beginning of the development process. The primary constraints are scope, time, quality and budget. The secondary and more ambitious challenge of project coordination is to optimize the allocation of necessary inputs and apply them to meet pre-defined objectives.

Project coordination relies on a phased or staged approach which breaks down and manages the work through a series of distinct steps to be completed, and is often referred to as “traditional” or “waterfall” practice. Although it can vary, it typically consists of five process areas with four phases for control:

Typical project coordination phases comprise:

  1. initiation;
  2. planning and design;
  3. Implementation;
  4. monitoring and controlling;
  5. completion or closing; and,
  6. reporting and improvement.

Logical project coordination is an essential element of the business development function required to grow businesses through value realisation.

Resource Facilitation

Putting the right resources in the right place for the best outcome.

Resource management is defined as the efficient and effective allocation of an organisation’s resources to where they are most needed.  These include capital resources, human skills, production resources and technology.

Resource facilitation and allocation are essential components of a comprehensive change management and project coordination plan.  At Cyprinoid we ensure our client’s have the right resources, in the right place to achieve their strategic and operational objectives.

To be successful organisations require resources to ensure effective organisational capability in marketing, sales, operations, incentives, finance, metrics, monitoring, quality assurance, risk management and reporting.

As is the case with the larger discipline of project management, there are resource management tools available to automate and assist the process of resource allocation. The goal of these tools typically is to ensure that:

  • Employees within the organisation have the required skill set and desired profile required for a project;
  • The number and skill sets of new hires is qualified and quantified; and,
  • The workforce for various projects are appropriately allocated.

One resource management technique often used is resource leveling. This discipline aims to smooth the capability and capacity of resources on hand, reducing stretched and underutilised human capital and excess inventories and shortages.

One principle of resource development dictates that an investment in resources can be retained by a smaller additional investment to develop a new capability, at a lower investment than disposing of the current resource and replacing it with another that has the demanded capability.

Thorough resource facilitation is an essential element of the business development function required to grow businesses through value realisation.

Human Resource Solutions

Having human resources policies aligned to an organisation’s corporate objectives are vital in ensuring that organisations have the right policies in place and resources directed to greatest effect for the best possible corporate outcome.

Cyprinoid Solutions’ consultants work with organisations across a range of human resources applications including:

  • Organisational reviews of management structures; audit and set up of HR infrastructure; development and implementation of HR policies; design and implementation of performance management systems including coaching of line managers; contracts of employment; resolution of employee disputes and disciplinary issues; recruitment and selection.
  • Organisational Development including designing initiatives to support organisational growth such as planning, capacity building, organisational design and change management.
  • Facilitation of strategic and operational planning initiatives, team development initiatives, and employee consultation processes.
  • Workforce Development design and facilitation of tailored learning solutions such as leadership skills, communication skills, performance management, supervisory skills, behavioural-based interviewing, team building and other ad hoc training.
  • Employee Relations: investigation of employee grievances, resolution of grievances through mediation, workplace investigations.

Cyprinoid’s consultants are accredited practitioners of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), facilitators of the MLQ 360 tool, and accredited practitioners of the California Psychological Inventory (CPI).

Quality Assurance

Developing and implementing quality assurance frameworks for continuous improvement, including records systems for compliance reporting

The traditional compliance model was designed in a different era and with a different purpose, largely as an enforcement arm for the legal function of regulatory compliance.

Regulators used to promulgate regulations and internal organisational policies and procedures largely in an advisory capacity with a limited focus on actual quality assurance, risk management, continuous improvement and value realisation.

Frequently, business managers were left to their own devices to figure out the specific policy and procedural controls required to address regulatory requirements, typically leading to a build up of labor-intensive controls with uncertain effectiveness.

Finally, compliance activities tended to be isolated, lacking a clear link to the broader risk-management framework, governance and business processes.

At Cyprinoid we help our clients navigate risk management and compliance processes with a whole of organisation philosophy.

An emerging best-practice model for compliance relies on organisation’s transforming the role of their compliance teams from an advisory capacity to one that puts more emphasis on active quality assurance, risk management, continuous improvement, value realisation and monitoring.

Given this evolution, responsibilities of the compliance function are expanding rapidly to include the following:

  • Generating practical perspectives on the applicability of laws, rules, and regulations across businesses and processes.
  • Creating standards for quality specification and risk materiality.
  • Developing a robust quality, risk and value identification process and tool kit.
  • Developing and enforcing standards for effective quality assurance protocols, risk-mediation processes and business value realisation to addresses root causes of compliance issues rather than just “treating the symptoms”.
  • Establishing standards for training programs and incentives tailored to the realities of each type of job or work environment.
  • Ensuring that the front line effectively applies processes and tools that have been developed by compliance.
  • Approving clients, transactions and products based on predefined quality-assured and risk-based rules.
  • Performing a regular assessment of the state of the overall compliance program focusing on maximising value rather than meeting minimum regulatory requirements.
  • Understanding the organisation’s quality, risk and business development culture and its strengths as well as potential shortcomings.

Effective execution of these expanded responsibilities by compliance teams requires a much deeper understanding of the an organisations business strategy, goals and objectives. There are a few practical ways to achieve this.

  • Incorporating process walk-throughs into the regular enterprise compliance quality, risk and value assessments.
  • Implementing a formal business-change-management process that flags any significant operational changes.
  • Developing a robust tool kit for objectively measuring quality, risk and value.

Finally, the design of the compliance function’s operating model is becoming increasingly important. It demands a shift from a siloed, business-unit-based coverage to a model where business-unit coverage is combined with horizontal expertise around business strategy, goals and objectives.

Risk Management

At Cyprinoid we understand that effective risk management plans are vital to the success and on-going viability of an organisation.  Risk management policies form part of an organisation’s governance structure and place checks and balances upon their operations.

An effective risk management plan minimises the uncertainty surrounding an organisation’s operations and places operational responsibilities on Boards and management to actively govern and manage their risk environment.

The typical risk identification and management process comprises the following steps:

Identify the Risk.  Uncover, recognize and describe risks that might affect your organisation.

Analyze the Risk. Once risks are identified Cyprinoid works with its clients to assess the likelihood of a risk impacting the organisation as well as the consequence of each risk.

Develop a Risk Register. Cataloguing each identified Risk enables an organisation to start the process of risk mitigation.

Risk Evaluation and Ranking. Ranking each risk by its potential to disrupt operational performance.

Risk Response Plan. Beginning with the highest ranked risk we develop a plan to mitigate that risk through operational plans and management oversight.

Monitor and Review the Risk Register.  Risk management is a continuum recognising that risks occur as businesses, markets and regulatory environments evolve.  At Cyprinoid we work with our clients to continually monitor, rank and mitigate an organisation’s risk profile.

Communications

Effective communications strategies align with an organisation’s corporate objectives.   Communications are also vital where organisations are facing issues that impact public perception and reputation.

At Cyprinoid we take a strategic approach to communications.  We identify an organisation’s corporate objectives and develop plans to ensure communications achieve the organisational goals.

At a tactical level we recognise communications are no longer just about telling a story, they are about a continuing dialogue with key stakeholders recognising that the digital age has given consumers and stakeholders a platform to engage organisations and their stakeholders directly.

An effective plan links closely with Cyprinoid’s other centres of expertise.  Whether the project is a strategic plan, business development proposal or changes to governance structures, an effective communications plan ensures all stakeholders are informed, understand and support the project.

Awareness, understanding and acceptance are all key outcomes of a successful communications plan.