You are currently viewing What Is Strategy Consulting?

What Is Strategy Consulting?

Strategy consulting involves helping businesses come up with strategic plans for various processes. Strategy consultants generally work with C-suite executives and high-level managers to understand and provide recommendations for a company’s goals and objectives. Here’s what you need to know about strategic consulting and how to get into this prestigious industry.

What Is Strategy Consulting? Definition and Types

Strategy consulting involves offering crucial business advice to companies through strategic consulting services. This typically encompasses conducting research and analysis, pinpointing challenges and opportunities, and formulating recommendations.

While companies may seek strategy consulting for a wide range of business decisions and processes, there are eight primary disciplines:

  • Business Model Transformation (BMI)
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Digital Strategy
  • Economic Policy
  • Functional Strategy
  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
  • Organization Strategy
  • Strategy and Operations

These categories encompass a multitude of project possibilities, including operational restructuring, establishing best practices, enhancing brand visibility, and devising market entry strategies.

Strategy Consulting vs. Management Consulting

Strategy consulting, a subset of management consulting, is distinguished by its focus on specific goals, whereas management consulting addresses overall company performance.

According to Alastair McKee, global business strategy and operations manager at Google, strategy consulting aids companies in navigating from point A to point B on particular issues, as opposed to examining the business holistically.

Businesses enlist strategy consultants for large-scale directional shifts, often revenue-centric, typically originating from the CEO and setting the course for the future. Strategic consulting revolves around questions like “What do we need to do?” and “Why do we need to do it?”

On the other hand, management consulting focuses on internal strategy and execution. Consultants in this field prioritize implementation, with changes usually taking place further down within the organization. Important factors to address include determining the timing and methods of execution and identifying the individuals responsible for carrying out the plan.

For instance, if a company is grappling with multifaceted issues across the organization, it may opt for management consulting services to identify and address overarching problems. Conversely, a strategy consultant would develop targeted strategies to tackle specific management challenges.

Why Strategy Consulting?

The global strategy consulting market is projected to reach $101.75 billion by 2027, marking a significant increase of over $46 billion since 2019. As companies increasingly prioritize productivity enhancement and cost reduction, strategy consulting is poised to remain a pivotal aspect of the professional services industry, offering numerous potential advantages for businesses.

Alastair McKee, a former consultant at Bain & Company and currently the global business strategy and operations manager at Google, highlights several ways in which hiring strategy consultants can benefit a business. Firstly, organizations often struggle to chart their future course amidst the day-to-day demands of running the business. Strategy consultants bring a wealth of experience in addressing similar issues across various industries, offering valuable insights and problem-solving expertise.

Moreover, strategy consultants possess the ability to introduce frameworks, structure, and best practices to navigate complex and ambiguous situations. Their impartial perspective serves to validate a company’s strategy and provides assurance before committing significant resources.

Additional benefits for companies include:

  • Unbiased perspective: Strategy consulting offers an objective viewpoint, enabling leaders to gain honest assessments of their processes and objectives without potential conflicts of interest.
  • New ideas: Drawing on their extensive experience and knowledge, strategy consultants often bring innovative and unconventional ideas to fuel a company’s growth and success.
  • Expedited results: With a focus on established plans and outcomes, strategy consultants prioritize delivering tangible results efficiently, minimizing distractions from other priorities and initiatives.

Industry Outlook

The landscape of strategy consulting faces challenges from advancing technology, particularly with the increasing capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) in data gathering and analysis. Firms are adapting by investing in digital capabilities, often through acquisitions of specialized firms, to stay competitive.

For instance, McKinsey & Company’s acquisition of QuantumBlack AI illustrates this trend, merging AI and technology with strategic consulting expertise. This integration enables firms to leverage technology alongside their domain knowledge to remain relevant in the evolving market.

To effectively utilize technology, strategy consulting firms must ensure they have the necessary expertise to translate data into actionable strategies. This may involve hiring more specialized practitioners and nurturing talent within the organization to meet the demands of tech-savvy clients and evolving industry needs.