The Silicon Review
In the highly competitive, fast-changing world we live in, the success of a business is directly related to the accurate and quick decisions it makes. Every company, irrespective of size, must have a well-defined strategy in place to realize its long-term goals, and many companies are turning towards the experts in the field for support in the development and implementation of business strategies. These experts will help businesses make crucial decisions regarding their market positioning, operations, workforce, and other critical factors. The company’s leadership must effectively collaborate with the expert to solve challenges and bring broad changes within the organization.
Globally there are various firms delivering excellent services for companies to make the right decisions, but Strategy DNA stands out from the rest. At Strategy DNA, they provide cross-industry insights for companies of all sizes and investors and private equity groups to make decisions that anticipate issues, mitigate risks, and help them navigate their investment and expansion decisions. In addition to supporting large corporations, Strategy DNA works to equip startups and established small and mid-sized companies with the kind of strategic insights that wouldn’t otherwise be available to them, incorporating relevant experiences others have had to help guide them toward their goals. The company thinks of it as democratization that optimizes the client’s market position and keeps them on par with competitors that may otherwise outmaneuver them. As a result, Strategy DNA’s clients end up with more strategic marketing and quicker decision-making processes that connect their business and brand strategies.
Strategy DNA’s efforts help its clients to zero in on the best areas for business expansion, the most effective ways of positioning themselves against the competition, and the steps they need to take internally to make it all happen. The result is greater confidence in their strategic direction and the choices they make around estimated investment and staffing levels. They’re also prepared to respond with a high-level plan of action in case the economic situation or an industry outlook changes significantly from what is currently predicted.
In conversation with Valentina Fomenko, CEO of Strategy DNA
Q. What was the motivation behind starting Strategy DNA?
After spending years in traditional consulting, I found myself dissatisfied with limited, often redundant insights generated as part of the typical consulting process. The reference points tend to come from the same industry, and this means that a lot of the conclusions and approaches that are offered end up representing a “repackaging” of the same conclusions. Ultimately, this leads to lower decision quality and slower growth and innovation, while smaller companies end up being unable to access the resources at all — they simply cannot afford in-depth studies, and that’s happening at the same time that they need to be able to move far faster. Without the strategies available to larger organizations, they end up wasting time and money on efforts and initiatives geared towards marketing and business development, and these tend not to deliver the results that they need. Our clients deserve better, and this moment is not the right time to be failing them. Winning against the competition is no longer enough: Markets and sources of advantage shift too often, and so do competitive landscapes. Beyond that, social considerations are now so tightly connected with customer sentiment that organizations can no longer ignore the socialized marketplace.
So, in a way, I started Strategy DNA not because it was easy, but because it was hard. The work of a strategist is more complex – but also more exciting – now than ever. It’s multifaceted and large-scale, and it has the potential for farther-reaching impacts than ever before.
Q. Specialized consulting services come with an expensive price tag. How do you maintain your affordability and profitability?
We firmly believe that our value lies in the combination of innovative, integrative frameworks and targeted subject-matter knowledge that we bring. We don’t waste our client’s time or money trying to reinvent the wheel. Instead, we bring forward the best methodologies and subject-matter experts to provide the exact industry expertise they need. We are not “big box” consultants. The strength of our partnerships with our clients and subject-matter experts is integral to our success. It gives us the ability to provide custom-tailored solutions and control our pricing through a modular project structure while still providing client follow-up. We connect our clients with the right expertise at the right time, regardless of where it resides. It’s a truly interdisciplinary approach that relies on the targeted, precise knowledge of our vast subject matter expert network to develop cutting-edge, customized solutions that effectively address each and every challenge our clients face. It’s the right kind of expertise.
Q. There’s so much buzz about male allies. Conversations, studies, and presentations about mentors and sponsors are almost always about how leaders who are men can help women. Do you think that these narratives are important and necessary?
These narratives have the right intentions, but the context should be bigger than just “helping” someone. Helping implies that the woman lacks skill or ability. I prefer to talk about support rather than help, and support depends on what is needed in each particular situation. It’s important to remain authentic and to focus on outcomes rather than to make flashy statements that do little for female employees’ engagement and satisfaction. In my experience, the best allies – male or female – focus on creating great, inclusive workplaces for everyone as a matter of disciplined day-to-day practice. Workplaces are changing. Policies and behaviors that create greater flexibility, autonomy, and engagement for all employees will benefit women without siphoning away the attention or credit that each of them rightly deserves.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
We are a strategy company, and as such we naturally find ourselves at the forefront of key developments that impact the business world in unprecedented ways. Today, many companies, and especially smaller ones, are struggling to get their climate and ESG programs off the ground. Corporate leaders see the myriad topics related to climate change as “too technical” and thus relegate them to a growing army of climate consultants. Our team is committed to helping organizations do ESG right.
Our ESG management services are designed to help companies as they face the challenges of integrating ESG into their operations. Companies are struggling as the number of relevant issues expands, and the problem is made worse by the lack of consistency among rating agencies. We provide a competitive advantage through careful analysis of what’s working and what isn’t from an operational perspective as well as in terms of climate change and corporate identity and engagement. We round the service out by providing guidance on ESG reporting.
Because the ESG agenda is seemingly everywhere, it is easy to focus on it at the expense of the overall business strategy, and this is a mistake we help our clients avoid. Just hiring specialist sustainability, D&I, CSR, or ESG consultants isn’t enough, as neither can see the whole picture on their own. Our team has a proven ability to connect the dots for companies on the strategic level and deliver large-scale organizational transformation projects. Our focus is on helping companies focus on what’s strategically important and then capitalizing on the incredible opportunities that arise as a result of the transition to stakeholder capitalism.
And of course, in the world that continues to change in unpredictable ways, strategists are busier than ever. For leaders to chart their companies’ course requires a clear understanding of the choices available, but also commitment to taking their company to the next level.