Toolkit, or not Toolkit: That is (not) the question
Updated: Jan 12, 2019
During our careers we all have met with a few consultants, freshly graduated candidates or seasoned academics trying to sell themselves, their services or their companies, with simple or complex, new or old, with long or short names, fancy or old fashioned, self developed or copied, good or bad or average, unique or common, (tip your own choices) management toolkit. There are plenty of them around and obviously a short Google search will confirm.
Faced to this immensity of methods, models and theories it is important to put things into a pragmatic context. At CXOs & Co. we follow the "Situation, Choice, Usage" principles.
Situation: It all starts in analyzing where we stand and where we want to go. A careful description of the "as is" and the "to be" is important. There, our multi disciplinary executive experience (when and where did we encounter a similar situation, how did we approach it?) is very helpful. This will provide the canvas to determine what kind of tool may be needed to help solving a problem.
Choice: Having determined the type of tool we may use, we need to select the most appropriate ones in their respective category. From strategy, value creation, valuation, decision making, organization, communication, leadership or management models to theories and frameworks, our executive MBA backgrounds are essential assets in finding out our way in the jungle of methods. So we can select the relevant ones and when needed blend them for specific purposes.
Usage: This is definitely the most important part of the approach. We have been using these tools countless times, during our studies, in our CXOs jobs, or as consultants. The very first question is: How to make the best use of it? Just filling in a template does not bring you anywhere. It has to be done with an intention of decision AND implementation afterward. For this reason each input into a model has to be questioned. Why is this a threat? Why is this a diversification? Why does this norm have an impact? Why is the decision here and not there? It's by going deep in the questioning of each input in the model / tool / method that the way to use it to crack the problem will be found. And then comes the real life: implementation. It's because we have been implementing these tools many times that we have a sense on how they work. In the real life.