Empowering inclusive strategic conversations

A Swiss energy solutions provider and Implement Consulting Group

10 January 2023

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” – a well-known (almost cliché) phrase used to illustrate the mechanics of synergy.

A Swiss energy solutions provider had invested in different innovative companies aiming at the intention to form a new group around its youngest business unit, learn from each other and exploit synergies.

In 2020, the guiding foundations for a successful future should have been laid with the introduction of a new business unit strategy.

The challenge

Shortly after 2020, the Swiss energy solutions provider realised that they had underestimated the market momentum. In a highly turbulent industry characterised by rapid growth and ever-changing requirements, they experienced only insufficiently to be able to implement their must-win battles from the business unit strategy.

The greatest uncertainty existed in the distribution of roles within the energy solutions provider’s group. The business unit and the holdings collaborated only insufficiently, and there was a lack of tailored definitions of responsibilities. And so, the energy solutions provider was missing out on opportunities due to unused synergies and hindered overlaps in market segments to be served. Not living up to the intention of “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” left the organisation in need of a strategy reassessment.

The solution

In order to reassess their strategy, the energy solutions provider needed to change strategic conversations – particularly change who was participating in such conversations. Therefore, they embarked on an inclusive strategy process taking employees of the holdings on board and thereby promoting co-creation and collaboration across company boarders during strategy design.

They fostered inclusiveness with a clear and common strategic growth ambition. A shared goal that can only be achieved together, but not by the individual companies alone, empowering the change in conversation and mindset. The re-evaluation of the updated market model structured the newly adjusted market positions for each internal player while accounting for optimal coverage of the customers’ needs and individual strengths of the holdings to support the growth ambition. One common strategy was created and facilitated by all internal stakeholders.

However, inclusive conversations did not stop when the strategy design process ended. Instead, they were moved forward into the continuous implementation work. The Swiss energy solutions provider also initiated a newly formed cross-company strategic portfolio holding all relevant initiatives and a complementary governance system embracing agility and collaboration.

The impact

Today, the Swiss energy solutions provider and its holdings are routinely driving their common strategic agenda forward and holding onto their inclusive strategy conversations. The commitment to one ambition and common monitoring of progress allows for full strategic visibility and exploitation of opportunities arising from synergies. Together with its holdings, they form a group like no other in Switzerland within their distinct business area. In the end, the group managed to level up the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts.

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