White Papers

What kind of manager are you?

Posted on: December 4th, 2018 by Staffan Engstrom

I am often faced with issues that clients have regarding how they can be better managers.

This paper sets out the three key competencies that have the most significant impact in shaping management cadre, defining them into one of 8 generic manager ‘types’.

How to sell a business

Posted on: May 24th, 2017 by Staffan Engstrom

Many business people spend all their working lives running business, but when the time comes to exit/sell the business they find themselves in a wholly new area where their experience doesn’t apply. Here are my six key pillars on how to sell a business effectively:

Making ethical business work in practice

Posted on: April 27th, 2017 by Staffan Engstrom

What is the real value of all the ethics-related work that organisations get involved in? Do they really support your business drivers or are they simply wasting time? This article describes how to understand and focus on the key ethics issues that will make the difference in your business.

The art of business valuation

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by Staffan Engstrom

This paper outlines some of the most useful tools that you need to build a picture of the likely value of a business. It doesn’t try to be exhaustive, or scope out every scenario, but simply to outline the key issues that every business leader needs to understand.

Management Team Assessment

Posted on: January 26th, 2017 by Staffan Engstrom

Every person in the management team can be helped to do better, and it is the task of every team’s manager to ensure that the right people are in the right roles, working together effectively. Here is our approach.

Increasing Profitability Toolkit

Posted on: January 24th, 2017 by Staffan Engstrom

The Increasing Profitability Toolkit is designed to help organisations to consider the approaches available to them for improving their financial performance and operational effectiveness. It is designed to be used in the following ways:

  1. As a check-list of the options available, to compare with initiatives already in place, and to identify ‘gaps’.
  2. As a baseline of the breadth of potential opportunities available, to allow a targeted performance improvement programme to be prioritised, designed, and implemented.

Keeping Strategy Simple

Posted on: October 18th, 2016 by Staffan Engstrom

Most people fail to grasp what good strategy is. They think that when there are many issues to be addressed, then the solution has to be complex.

However, good strategy is always simple.

How to turn good ideas into real profits

Posted on: May 31st, 2016 by Staffan Engstrom

How you can get your business ideas going fast… or sift out those that will never fly before they waste time and money.

How Entrepreneurs Win

Posted on: May 25th, 2016 by Staffan Engstrom

I have a real respect for the entrepreneurs that I have worked with who have successfully created profitable and respected businesses. The attached white paper outlines the powerful themes that I have observed around how they succeed, and the issues that they face.

Making Successful Acquisitions

Posted on: April 22nd, 2016 by Staffan Engstrom

The strongest factors for success in acquisitions are not about due diligence, or the hours spent poring over the contract in lawyers’ offices (as important as these activities are). No, the strongest factors for success are in the strength of the upfront rationale for the deal, and in the discipline of only acquiring business that you know how to manage.

Brexit and One-Click Market Research

Posted on: April 11th, 2016 by Staffan Engstrom

Many organisations struggle in finding the simple answers to complex questions, leading to over-detailed questionnaires and processes that provide so much data that the answer is obscured.

In order to demonstrate how a very focused, simple approach can get to the heart of the issue, we asked over 1000 business professionals the following knotty question through our ‘One-Click’ market research tool: “Should Great Britain leave the European Union?” It allows respondents to reply with a single click in an e-mail, with the option of briefly explaining their answer.

A week later, we learned the following about this important question.

How to Size a Market

Posted on: March 2nd, 2016 by Staffan Engstrom

A customer of mine recently asked me to take them through how to assess the size and shape of one of their key markets. This paper shows you how to do it.

Profitable Strategies #6: Value-Based Pricing

Posted on: November 13th, 2015 by Staffan Engstrom

Most businesses exist to create economic value, whether by lower costs, higher performance, or niche delivery. However, this is not always supported by an effective value pricing approach. This paper looks at how to make it effective.

Profitable Strategies #5: Shared Services for Lower Costs and Better Process

Posted on: May 18th, 2015 by Staffan Engstrom

The shared services idea has been a management fad for at least a decade. But what are shared services, and should your business go for them or avoid them like the plague?

Profitable Strategies #4: Competitive Positions that Win

Posted on: April 7th, 2015 by Staffan Engstrom

One of the most powerful pieces of analysis that I have found to really get constructive debate moving on winning is to assess your competitive position. The attached paper shows you how to do it.

Profitable Strategies #3: Growth Choices

Posted on: March 31st, 2015 by Staffan Engstrom

Businesses must make tough choices regarding which new business opportunities they should pursue. Ansoff’s matrix is an excellent tool to support this decision-making process, identifying the best adjacent opportunities derived from the core competence of the organisation.

Profitable Strategies #2: Zero Base Budgeting

Posted on: March 23rd, 2015 by Staffan Engstrom

Zero Base Budgeting (ZBB) enables an organisation to avoid losing sight of the resources that it really needs to deliver its objectives, through evaluating the options it has against an agreed framework. It is at its most effective when evaluating costs and expenses, such as overheads and cost centres.

Profitable Strategies #1: Delivering Customer Service

Posted on: February 8th, 2015 by Staffan Engstrom

The core to service delivery in any sizeable organisation is measuring it so that it can be managed. Human nature says that if you do not measure such a sensitive topic objectively you will be likely to start fooling yourselves regarding how well you are actually doing. Net Promoter Score is one of the best ways to objectively manage service delivery and customer loyalty.

The Management of Major Change

Posted on: January 12th, 2015 by Staffan Engstrom

I was asked by a global IT outsourcing company to present my experiences in major organisational change management to around 200 of their leaders. This paper outlines what I said.

Leadership Stereotypes

Posted on: October 9th, 2014 by Staffan Engstrom

This paper was printed by Construction Manager in October 2014. It applies much more broadly than just construction of course – so for a more generic version, click on the blog entry here.

SMART IDEAs – Turning Ideas into Reality

Posted on: August 29th, 2014 by Staffan Engstrom

Turning great ideas into clear, deliverable, plans is a major frustration for many leadership teams. Having the ideas is one thing, but there are so many conflicting thoughts, issues, and choices to consider, that the ideas don’t take off. High-flying ideas fail precisely because they are not properly grounded in reality. In other words: Get your ideas grounded or they won’t take off!

The Toolkit for Increasing Profitability (and Financial Effectiveness)

Posted on: March 21st, 2014 by Staffan Engstrom

This white paper outlines the following:

1) The 27 approaches for increasing business profitability and organisational financial effectiveness, and

2) Our method for prioritisation and implementation of these for a given situation.

Improving Project Margins by 2-3%: Analytics-based Risk Management

Posted on: January 8th, 2014 by Staffan Engstrom

This paper provides the method for an analytics-based approach for increasing the profit margins for project-related businesses.