Today's executive has a plethora of management tools at their disposal. These range from SWOT and Porter's 'five forces' to scenarios, portfolio matrices and strategy maps, to name but a few. Given the abundance of methods available, are you satisfied that the tools you use really address your management and business challenges, can they be readily adapted to your particular context and can they be combined together into a seamless management toolkit?

 

Scalable toolkit platform

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When considering the potential uptake and utilisation of management tools, it must be recognised that companies face the difficult challenges of selecting, adopting and integrating appropriate tools into a consolidated toolkit. This situation is compounded by the lack of sound guidance on how to combine well-founded individual tools into coherent toolkits, whilst ensuring a sufficient degree of flexibility such that they can be tailored for application to specific problems faced by particular organisations. To address such issues, a 'scalable toolkit platform' has been developed to enable the design and deployment of robust toolkits in industrial settings.

 

Visualising roadmaps

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Roadmap visualisations are not objective neutral artifacts; they convey particular viewpoints depending on the context of their creation and application. As a means to communicate strategic intent and associated plans, they must provide a clear and concise narrative (expressed in a visual form) that reflects the strategic discourse and fulfils the intended audience's information needs. Roadmaps can be powerful communication tools. However, they require thoughtful application of visual design principles and good execution of the presentation graphics. A design-driven approach has been developed to help practitioners and organisations to more effectively exploit this often overlooked aspect of roadmapping.

 

Visualising portfolios

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Portfolios are a fundamental tool for managers. However, the execution of portfolio-related visualisations is relatively poor and typically lacks a robust approach to presentational style and information content. Taking a pragmatic stance that balances the provision of data with the needs of users for comprehension and insight, this area of work focuses on generating audience-friendly representations spanning different forms and aspects of portfolio management (including pipeline and platform perspectives).

 

Workshop templates

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Workshops, working team meetings and small group activities are important social mechanisms for stakeholders to collaboratively explore, create and shape opportunities. When deploying a management tool in such environments, structured templates can guide users through the process of applying the tool. More critically, well-designed templates play a critical facilitation role as they enable participants to actively engage with one another so generating more meaningful and useful discussions and leads to the production of co-created outputs. However, it must be recognised that there is both an art and science to the design of workshop templates.

 

Executive education

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Our executive education training courses aim to provide participants with a working knowledge of key strategy, innovation and technology management concepts, methods and tools. The courses are engaging and interactive - blending presentations, group activities and discussions - so providing an opportunity to explore the application of the ideas. Practical relevance is emphasised throughout with a strong focus on management processes and tools, underpinned by well-founded conceptual frameworks.