For an organisation to thrive, it needs to move forward following a strategy. Corporate strategy is the direction an organisation takes to achieve long-term business success, taking into consideration and anticipating competition, the business environment and its position in the marketplace.
A sound strategy incorporates the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation’s resources within a challenging environment to reach its goals in the short-, medium- and long- term, fulfil the needs of its target audience or addressable market, and manage and rise to the expectations of its stakeholders.
A well-mapped-out strategy also analyses the market(s) an organisation is competing in and what it can do differently to outperform competition. Of course, to reach these aims, the strategy needs to take stock of its resources – from human capital to finance, skills and infrastructure – and the vision held by the people at the top who influence decisions taken to meet the targeted goals.
Corporate strategy is, in fact, the action plan for attaining a company’s mission statement.
Going forward, for a strategy to work, it needs to be managed effectively, taking strategic decisions along the way, analysing situations continuously, making the right choices and ensuring good practical implementation.
Equinox Advisory can be instrumental not only in assisting in shaping the strategy to the requirements outlined above, but also to consistently assess the environment in which a business is operating, plan plausible scenarios for future growth, gauge the dynamics that influence competitiveness and segment the market to reach its different elements efficiently. At certain stages, SWOT analyses may be required to audit the organisation’s position internally and external environmental influences.
At this stage, an organisation is faced with a number of options to align its structures, functions and processes with the strategy, without losing sight of the ground rules. The implementation is often the hardest part and the one that is most prone to unexpected surprises. Implementation should aim to translate concretely what has been envisioned into the desired achievements through organisational action(s) aimed at bringing them about.
Equinox Advisory also advises Clients on the latest reporting standards and metrics showing the reality the organisation is working in and ensuring it is sustainably right on track with the strategy. At the end of the day, the aim is to deliver a constant and sustainable performance with above-average results in order to secure healthy returns to business owners, partners or shareholders. Nowadays, a good corporate strategy also strives to combine the profitability objective with environmental and social responsibility, which when planned well should result in even-higher profitability levels.
Apart from strategy, an organisation needs to implement and ensure good corporate governance principles. The term refers to decision-making structures, divisions of powers, accountabilities and responsibilities and the checks and balances a company has in place and by which it is governed. This set of systems, principles and processes are the guidelines that control a company and direct it to achieve its objectives in the long-term in a sustainable and responsible manner, and in a way that is both transparent and accountable.
This set of rules, in fact, governs the entire company structure, from the board of directors, to the different tiers of management, to employees, shareholders, external service suppliers, regulators and customers.
Corporate governance is essentially a balancing act between the interests of the many stakeholder groups in a company. It ensures that:
- objectives are being met;
- actions are being undertaken;
- internal controls are in place and are working well;
- performance is being measured; and
- corrective action is being taken wherever necessary to steer the organisation on the path to success.
This is what secures public confidence in and a good image for any company.
From experience, Equinox Advisory appreciates that companies might struggle to maintain a high level of corporate governance and this is where we come into play. Through our expertise, we can guide your company not merely to be profitable in the short-run, but also to run in accordance with sound corporate governance practices conducive to sustainable returns in the long-run.
In practice, what this means is that directors’ and managers’ incentives are aligned to those of the organisation. With sound governance principles and precepts in place, the decisions made by directors and managers are those decisions that are in the best interest of the organisation. At times, external auditors may also be called in to ensure financial statement accuracy and the adoption of best practices.