With baby boomers entering their last stages, Private Equity invested in senior residences ahead of the certain increase in demand as an aging population would surely seek community, comfort, support, and safety from communal living. COVID-19 changed the calculus overnight. WeWork and Airbnb represent two more niches that are forever changed…as are many more.
When it is time to start planning but the top team is maxed-out just keeping up with operations, outside help may be just the thing. But what kind of help is best to get?
Keep in mind that there are four types of help. Here is a guide you can use to decide which is right for you and your team.
About consultants…what is the difference between them?
1. Strategy Consultants
WHAT THE LEADER WANTS: Strategy consultants compare organization performance with others in similar and different industries to recommend what is possible in light of advances in technology and trends.
THE REALITY: The challenge is for leaders to internalize and adopt new ideas as their own, especially in light of what it will take to implement them. Strategy consultants are known for good ideas and not for helping clients follow their advice.
Here is a sequence leading to a fully developed financial plan that the CEO, top team, broader leadership team, board, and employees all buy-in to achieving:
Senior Team (SMT) takes the broader leadership offsite to review where we were, where we are, and where we’re headed, what we’re proud of and what we need to work on next following the script laid out here. In this forum take both a high-level top-down and beginning to form a bottom up view of the financial plan but it’s not mostly about the numbers…it’s more about strategy…what’s working, what’s not, what is possible, what do we want to do, and what are we going to do. This sets the context for the top down aspirational view of the future to iterate and come together with the bottom up view during the detail planning.
If the leader thinks s/he knows what needs to change and that everyone is aligned, ask: “How do you know your team knows what you want to do; why don’t we ask them just to verify? If they all say what you expect them to say, a positive step towards getting what you want done will have been taken just by bringing it to the center of their attention. If it turns out that some or all of the team are not as aligned as expected, then remedial steps can be taken.”
Survey the leader’s top team and ask them each:
To describe the current state, that is: how things are today.
What really good things happen if we change and what really bad things happen if we do not?
To describe how things would be in the future if their ideal changes were successfully implemented.
What needs to be done in order to get from where things are today to where things would ideally be next?
What will make it hard to do what needs to be done in order to get from today to the targeted next state?
Many organizations embrace the need for their leaders to convene offsite, for a day or two, in order to advance their ability to achieve a desired future state and to improve group performance by crystallizing and preparing to launch one or more Strategic Initiative. The best organizations know that to achieve optimum results such a session is best hosted by a trained outside facilitator and that pre-meeting data collection and preparation are key to success.