Our Work
We apply a strategy lens to high-stake problems and opportunities
Project Work
Strategy development
Organisational effectiveness
Venture assessments
Public policy
Mega-trends & scenarios
Risk & resilience
Performance metrics & management
Financial review/governance
Board governance
Executive/board training
Mergers, acquisitions & divestitures
Post-merger integration
Strategy facilitation
Strategy development

Strategy is the allocation or reallocation of resources to achieve a desired goal. For commercial organisations, the goal is generally profit or total shareholder returns, while for government agencies it may be the improvement of a social outcome. As specialists in strategy development we:

  • Focus on the big picture, success, and winning the game
  • Navigate direction for sustained success
  • Take the perspective of the owner, leader, or board
  • Seek relative advantage versus competition
  • Operate across the organisation
  • Connect with purpose, vision, mission, values, and culture

High-quality diagnosis of issues is the foundation for strategy development. We offer a wide range of domain expertise and develop customised methodologies suited to the needs of each assignment. Expertise includes marketing, finance, economics, operations, governance, social science, environment, sustainability, public policy, and organisation. We bring in specialists to work with us where we need deeper domain skills.

Our project teams often include members from client organisations to provide deep connections with the client organisation, transfer capability, ensure buy-in to recommendations and facilitate implementation.

Organisational effectiveness

Strong organisational effectiveness is critical for long-term success. Over the last few years we have helped clients improve their effectiveness by redesigning organisations, developing internal capabilities and leadership, and guiding multi-year transformation projects.

The case study below describes how we worked with a client in the consumer services industry to transform the business and reverse profitability decline in the face of increasing competition.

The positive commercial impact of the Stakeholder Strategies programme of work was significant.
More importantly, 24 months on the organisation continues to leverage it and the confidence in the
ability of the business to deliver increasing sustainable profits has put us firmly back into expansion
mode.

-Managing Director, Leading NZ Consumer Services Company

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Industry Sectors
Infrastructure
Energy
Consumer services & products
Professional services
Financial services
Agriculture
Technology
Telecommunications
Health & medical
Private equity & investments
Government (central & local)
NGO
Infrastructure

Strongly performing infrastructure is critical for New Zealand’s continuing success. As a team, we have worked with many leading infrastructure companies on some of their most difficult projects. We have assisted organisations to better manage their assets, improve outcomes for their customers and stakeholders, prepare for future scenarios and shifts in their operating environment, and develop strategy for long-term investment horizons.

Technology

We bring depth of experience – with backgrounds as founders, managers, investors, board-members and consultants – to the New Zealand tech sector. Our recent project experience includes the validation, launch-planning and eventual launch of a SaaS start-up, venture validation and launch strategy development for a leading New Zealand venture capitalist, technology and innovation strategy for New Zealand, and globalisation strategies for expanding tech businesses.

Strategy Training

Our commitment to the success of our clients leads us to share rather than just apply our skills and knowledge. Better strategies depend on high quality strategy development, which in turn requires relevant strategic planning skills.

We have a training programme for business leaders and strategy specialists to build these skills. The programme usually includes:

  • An introduction to strategy, explaining how to achieve superior profitability through sustainable competitive advantage.
  • A short session on assessing industry attractiveness.
  • Global and national status, and megatrends. Strategies are more likely to be successful when they are riding sustainable trends or correctly anticipating changes. A deeper understanding of the forces driving economic, social and environmental change helps to correctly identify and evaluate strategic options.

We also offer workshops covering topics of relevance to our clients. These can include strategy development exercises designed to build leaders’ knowledge of strategy concepts and to practise using strategy development tools. Examples of past workshops include:

  • Organisation design and development
  • Fast scenario development
  • Governance of strategy
  • Strategy development process
  • Industry evolution
  • Market entry strategy
  • Strategy and operations
  • Strategies to address specific economic, social, or environmental issues

When provided for a single organisation, the workshops often have a short introduction on strategy concepts and then a series of structured sessions to analyse a strategic issue or review a proposed strategy.

Contact us to learn more
Strategy Training Day
Rick Boven discussing industry deconstruction at a strategy training session
Published work

While most of our reports and outputs are confidential, below are publicly available works (including papers authored by Rick Boven while he led The New Zealand Institute).

2013 Review of Retirement Income Policy: Implications of global trends for retirement income policy

This paper aims to provide background information for those conducting the 2013 review of New Zealand’s retirement income and for New Zealanders who wish to participate in the consultation processes. The content will also provide other interested New Zealanders with a perspective on the implications of global trends for the long-term future context for retirement in New Zealand.

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Fuelling our economy: Proposed skills agenda, from the Employers’ perspective

The paper identifies opportunities to better develop the Auckland workforce and improve productivity. The opportunities were identified by conducting interviews with Auckland’s employers and other participants in the skills development ecosystem.

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Navigating an uncertain future: Environmental foundations for long-term success

This paper describes the global environmental status and trends, offers some explanations for why responses are slow and weak, examines the implications for New Zealand, and proposes a strategy development agenda to reduce risks and take advantage of opportunities.

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Standing on the shoulders of science: Getting more value from the innovation ecosystem

This report describes opportunities for New Zealand to realise economic benefits from an improved innovation ecosystem and increased investment in R&D.

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Plugging the gap: An internationalisation strategy

The report proposes 14 policy directions to improve the success of internationalising New Zealand businesses.

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A goal is not a strategy: Focusing efforts to improve New Zealand’s prosperity

This report assesses New Zealand’s economic performance and identifies priorities to improve prosperity.

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More ladders, fewer snakes: Two proposals to reduce youth disadvantage

The paper proposes that accelerated roll-out of e-learning to low decile schools and improving the school-to-work transition will materially reduce youth unemployment and resulting social issues.

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Lessons From the West African Ebola Outbreak in Relation to New Zealand’s Supply Chain Resilience

New Zealand is a small, remote island nation, and our isolation creates both opportunities and threats. Opportunities exist in terms of our ability to export good quality produce at a cheaper price, due to our lack of pests and diseases. However, isolation brings threats to our supply chain.

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Choosing your future: The role of ideas in managing trade-offs between economic and environmental objectives

Rick’s thesis argues for revision of the dominant paradigm that provides the default assumptions used for theoretical and policy analysis that affects long-term economic and environmental outcomes. The proposed paradigm changes can be used to develop a theoretically sound strategy to reduce the risk of environmental crisis.

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