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The Case Study
March 19, 2010
Written By: Russell Jensen

Some of the most memorable Executive Roundtable discussions we’ve had over the last few years have been case studies. Not the academic case studies you might pick out of a management journal, but living, breathing case studies of past clients, with the names and details changed to protect the innocent.

We tackled a couple last week, courtesy of a talented colleague. The discussion began with basic descriptive information of two owner managed businesses, and an overview from the consultant’s perspective regarding the following:
  • Competitive advantages
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Owner issues
  • Management issues
  • Use of financial reports and other metrics
The groups then spent some time exploring a key challenge each business is facing, and how they might think differently about their options. 
Even before we got to the discussions, the third party assessment of each business was clearly of great interest to our Roundtable clients. It was easy to see that each of them was thinking “what would an independent outsider say about my business?” Great question.
Experienced leaders know that gathering the leadership team to conduct a SWOT analysis is useful and important, but the analysis is also colored by the insider perspective the team brings to bear.  An outside/in look at your business by someone who can bring a range of experience and a truly independent point of view is invaluable. Find a way to build that in to your game. Sources of this perspective can come from peer groups such as our Roundtables, YPO, or similar programs, as well as trusted industry peers, business advisors and mentors. 
Throughout the years, I have witnessed and facilitated numerous outside/in conversations that have been productive to both the outside and inside parties. There is little doubt that this type of perspective can send you towards a dialogue that will provide clarity and a dialogue that will go a long way in strengthening your strategic planning and decision making processes.
So how are you going to get started?


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