back to listings SME Profile: forward thinking inc
Causeway House, The Causeway, Teddington, TW11 0JR
forward thinking inc is a strategy consultancy highly experienced across multiple industries and sectors. Since 1998 we have worked collaboratively with our clients on strategies which grow the long-term value of their organisations and improve their performance.
We believe that our job is to provide clients with inspiring clarity, simplifying complexity and delivering practical ideas to help their business grow.
We do not peddle stock solutions, offer simple formulas for success or trot out the latest Business School models. Our approach is to listen to, talk with and work alongside clients to help them take the business forward and create momentum. We use simple language, no ‘management speak’ and act with tact and discretion.
We use our bespoke strategy model, developed and refined over the last 20 years, to guide clients through the strategy setting and implementation process. It addresses the core drivers of long-term value creation and growth.
Strategy development revolves around leveraging a distinctive proposition to deliver the company’s vision, within a clear understanding of strategic context. In working with clients to develop their strategy, we challenge and support them to be crystal clear on both. The two vectors work as an overall ‘organising intelligence’ for the business. They guide investment decisions, talent development, organisation design, communications and everything else.
Our strategy development services include:
STRATEGIC INSIGHT: Insight from two different lenses help drive successful strategy: insights from customers and external stakeholders, and insights from inside the business. We have developed related insight programmes which our clients find invaluable in both respects
STRATEGIC PLANNING: A good strategic plan should be simple, clear and concise. It should set out how the business will grow its long-term value as well as achieve its shorter-term objectives. We use our strategy model to support clients in developing practical plans to address opportunities in each area
DATA & ANALYTICS: To develop its strategy, an organisation needs to understand strategic context. We work with clients to understand the key drivers of the markets they operate in and identify the issues and opportunities they need to address and capitalise on to be successful. Our research and analytics team are experts in all aspects of data analytics, market modelling and scenario planning. We also offer a broad range of research programmes, both qualitative and quantitative
COMMUNICATIONS & ENGAGEMENT: For a strategy to be effective it must be clearly communicated and understood within a business. That’s not always the case in reality. When we develop a strategy with our clients we help them to articulate the ‘strategy story’ internally and build employee engagement and commitment to it at all levels in the organisation. This work often bridges into change management support since adjusting strategic direction often necessitates shifts to the way the organisation works and functions
CHANGE MANAGEMENT: We work with senior management to both frame and execute change programmes. Critical to delivering change successfully is for leaders to have a clear and agreed vision and to lead from the front. A strategic initiative should be supported by an effective change management model to measure and track progress and ensure consistent and effective engagement with the employee population along the way. We can either manage the change programme as an outsourced resource or support in-house teams to achieve the same end
BEST IN CLASS (BiC) SERVICES: Front line sales teams need the right level of assistance from their support functions – HR, IT, RE, Finance, Research and others. We work with clients to benchmark their shared central services against best in class standards. The resulting gap analysis is invaluable in equipping COOs to optimise cost performance and service delivery. The process also helps open up dialogue and strengthens relationships between front line and support functions
WORKPLACE STRATEGY: A firm’s workplace is where strategy and people meet. It can help dramatise the corporate brand, build organisational social capital and impact employee productivity. Our workplace strategy team are vastly experienced in helping clients to optimise the working environment and to embrace the opportunity of flexible working with all the strategic and operational benefits such flexibility can deliver. We have a dedicated workplace strategy research arm called 'The Workplace Intelligence Unit'. You can find out more here
Strategy execution programmes to develop a firm’s intangible assets. Long-term client value is driven by building the strength of a firm’s intangible assets – their brand, human and relationship capital. We work with clients to understand their strengths in each of these areas and design together the interventions and investments which will help them grow.
BRAND CAPITAL: A strong corporate brand starts with real clarity around the proposition. A brand ‘dramatises’ that proposition through a mix of distinctive design, communication and behaviours. We help clients build a unique corporate brand strategy and supporting brand identity. Key to this is Marketing, HR and Real Estate working seamlessly together to the same script. The way a firm communicates, presents itself and interacts with the world brings the brand to life
HUMAN CAPITAL: Attracting, retaining and developing the differentiating talent to deliver a distinctive proposition is key to creating value. Our work helps clients to embed their external proposition within their employee proposition. We also design and run programmes to track and enhance an organisation’s social capital (strength of its community) and work with senior leadership teams on understanding and strengthening the mental health and wellbeing of their people and their organisation.
RELATIONSHIP CAPITAL: The value inherent in strong customer relationships is self-evident. We work with our clients to help strengthen customer dialogue and relationships in a variety of ways. Internal relationship capital is an area less well understood but the value of a strong and well-functioning internal working community is at least as valuable as strength in customer relationships. We help clients build the strength of their social capital.
Programmes to drive growth through the effective targeting of new market, product or acquisition opportunities. The key to success is focus since going for growth requires financial investment as well as investment in people and skills development. We help clients to identify priorities in each area aligned to their longer-term growth aspirations.
STIMULATING INNOVATION: Most companies aspire to be more innovative but struggle to drive innovation in a structured way. We have developed an innovation model which helps clients to focus their innovation efforts, encourage innovation across the organisation and track and measure their success.
ACQUISITION STRATEGY: We are not acquisition specialists but we can advise clients on acquisition targeting, and afterwards help with effective brand and cultural integration, which if not handled skilfully can destroy rather than create value.
We are proud to be a trusted adviser to an impressive list of some of the world’s most successful companies, major charities and influential government departments.