Bain’s unique approach to business unit strategy overcomes the shortfalls of the typical strategy development process, which focuses on getting to recommendations more than results. In the typical process, substantial time and effort are invested in developing a static fact base and recommendations, with relatively less emphasis on dynamic action planning and execution. The outcome is a strategy that falls into one or more classic strategy pitfalls: it’s not tailored to a company’s specific capabilities and position; it’s too incremental; it’s not scalable; it’s not implementable; it’s not durable; or it’s just plain wrong.
We use several lenses to help our clients develop creative and innovative strategies. Ideas may be generated from an assessment of changes in the "rules of the game," differentiation via new competitive models, new trends, deep consumer insight, the application of sustainable business practices, the expansion of repeatable models and the mining of underutilized assets or platforms, or "hidden assets." To foster creativity further, Bain uses its BothBrain® approach, which helps clients harness the creative and analytical capabilities within a business to revolutionize the ideation process. Our deep industry and functional expertise give us valuable insight into the critical issues our clients are facing. At the same time, our ability to share situational expertise across industry and functional boundaries creates significant value for our clients.
Bain's approach is geared to rapid results by considering options and mobilization efforts early in the process, and leveraging quick wins to build momentum. Critical to this process is communicating early to key stakeholders to ensure buy-in and effective feedback loops that allow management to monitor execution. Mobilization efforts include evaluating challenges to implementation and results by addressing risks, constraints, people and capability gaps from the beginning of the strategy process.
We help clients develop dynamic decision-making capabilities, which aid strategy development during uncertainty. Scenarios are developed by extrapolating macro, industry and competitive trends to determine likely end states. However, since the expected scenario may not be the one that plays out, organizations also need a process to develop robust and adaptable strategies, to monitor actual scenario outcomes and to accommodate course corrections as needed.