Services and Expertise
Bridge the gap -- between what is, and what could be!
The three arches of this striking Brazilian bridge1 represent our three services, and the Q3-Strategy. The subpages from I. Audits to X. Tools & Techniques are the heart of the Bridges Strategic Growth E-Textbook. Our services to help bridge the gap, to co-achieve strategically driven business growth, are:
1) The Q3-Strategy Co-Audit
2) Strategy Executive Coaching
3) E-books to Buy
Section I presents the details of these services. Section II introduces our expertise, the very first step of which is the setting of SMART goals, as explained therein. The basis for our strategic deliberations is introduced at Chapter II of these subpages and elaborated upon in Chapters III through IX. The Chapters include references for further reading and recommended books, with links to Amazon.com for them.
Feel free to use those links to purchase one of them. The modest commissions from them, and earnings from our very own "E-Books to Buy!" at Papers is your "donation" to website maintenance.
1) The Blue Star Strategy Audit
The first step is to look at the "do-it-yourself" audits at "I. Audits: beginning with B for Business to W for Website." After going through the ones relevant to your situation, the next step is the Co-Audit. This is a ninety minute one-on-one meeting at the Bridges offices – or a telephone (also conference) call – where you ask -- and are asked -- questions related to your company´s strategy. Die Unterredung über die strategische Unternehmungsführung bzw. auch über die (internationale) Vertriebstaktik kann entweder in der englischen oder der deutschen Sprache geführt werden. Strategy Star is a reference to the BCG "cash cow, dog, question mark, star" matrix. The audit is to help shift your business or sbu into, or higher in, the star quadrant.
N.B. Only two Strategy Audits per month are offered. This audit is not for the CEO or entrepreneur who merely wishes validation (to "kick the tires”). It is intended for decision makers oriented towards high impact change, in accordance with the mission of Bridges: co-achieve strategically driven business growth.
Nov. 2014 Fully booked
|March 2015 One session||
How this works
You submit a list of strategic issues you wish to discuss with an agenda. This list allows Bridges to prepare for the one and a half hour meeting (or call). Some clients may prefer to have two 45 minute sessions. For instance, in the first session strategy formation could be considered, in the second session, its implementation. If the focus were on implementation, the first session could be about leading transformation, the second about the associated (internal and external) negotiations. Naturally other subject wishes can be accommodated, as well as agenda changes in the course of the meeting. A date and a time are set and we meet or call then.
A first step is to conduct an audit on your own, as explained on the subpage "B. The Q3- Strategy Audit" of I. Audits: Begninning with B for Business to W for Websites. A second step is to consider more thoroughly areas of specific interest or concern. The different subpages of Services should assist you in your strategic deliberations. From them you can distill the questions critical for you. Taking a first pass at these questions with a view to refining them to get ever more precise answers is one approach the meeting can follow.
What is your investment?
Your investment is 500€ for the ninety minutes. Just one action taken as a result can easily generate many times the fee remitted.
We look forward to hearing from you!
2) Strategy Executive Coaching
Executive coaching on a performance basis (outcome based billing), limited to one client per industry, is offered for corporate and marketing strategy, as well as for the negotiations implicit to realizing the strategy. Our Q3-methodology reflects a wide range of tools and techniques. These are (1) Quorum (client) specific, based on (2) iterative Questioning, and reflect (3) a Quatenary of Strategic Schools: positioning, entrepreneurial, cultural and power.
For details about how we work with clients, see "Client Selection, Coaching Plan and Fee Structure" at About Us. To learn more about our strategy approach, which is our core competency, peruse the VIII chapters of Services.
For a brief overview of the firm (just half-a-dozen slides for those who prefer them), click on Bridges PPT.
3) E-books to Buy!
These elaborate on subjects tangental to strategy. They address a specific problem and consider some solutions to it. We then offer our own solution, with a step-by-step guide to implementing it. Each "Blue Star" E-Book comes with one or more Blue Star coupons. The coupons are for discounts for seminars, workshops and training, generally offered by a strategic ally, sometimes by Bridges.
Currently we offer four E-Books:
1 - Don't be an Internet "make money on-line" Groupie! a review of some of the products and training offered by leading Internet gurus - Do Become an Internet Content Marketer with a Step by Step System
2 - Don't Start This Business! a guide for entrepreneurs Do Be a Team Entrepreneur with a Step by Step System
3 - Don't Be This Person! a framework for negotiating better outcomes Do Be a Prepared Negotiator with a Step by Step System
4 - Don't Be a Wannabe MBA - winning the top school admissions game Do Be a Star Candidate with a Step by Step System
And in the future - Bridges Enterprise Centers
As we expand to other cities, we may open Enterprise Centers. These would be intended as competency centers for Emerging Business Opportunities (EBOs) and start-ups. Each Enterprise Center would have a location (and intranet site) for entrepreneurs and for the senior management (CXOs) of EBO companies.2
Our areas of expertise reflect different facets of strategy: its formation, tactics and execution. These are elaborated upon on their respective subpages, beginning with "The Q-Ship Odyssey." We set sail to our destination on a "Q-ship."* Its cargo is made up of various tools and techniques ("ICE cubes"), common to which is the asking of questions. This Socratic approach is a mix of art and science. Often the very first coaching challenges are to determine the destination and to measure the gaps that need to be crossed to reach it.
Bridge the gap -- between what is, and what could be!
In other words, the first step is to determine one´s goals. "It´s hard to get there from here if you don´t have a destination." Goals should be SMART:3
Specific Strategic - goals should generate
Measurable Momentum - and include several
Achievable Alternatives - as well as negotiating
Realistic Reconciliation - of differences with
Timely Tenacious - monitoring and follow-up.
One can re-order the SMART acronym and change "timely" to timed (i.e. with deadlines) for Timed RAMS for a better sequence with which to set goals. The M is critical: "What gets measured, gets performed." Beware of goals that are Achievable and Measured Specifically but not Realistic. These are goals which are a low priority, or face more resistance than is worth overcoming.
The devil is in the detail of the "W´s:" Why What should be done, Where and When, by Whom, with which Wherewithal. The "W´s" are discussed further in the next subpage, Corporate Strategy.
* Q-ships, also known as Special Service Ships or Mystery Ships, were heavily armed merchant ships whose weaponry was concealed; see the subpage "IV. The Strategy Q-Ship's Odyssey" for an explanation of them.
Tools & Techniques ("ICE cubes")
Bridges takes an eclectic approach. The leitmotiv (roter Faden) is asking the right questions. These can be couched in terms of a variety of different frameworks, including the ICE cubes explained on the subpage "IV.The Strategy Q-Ship's Odyssey. The specfic tools and techniques range from a basic SWOT analysis to a complicated Vasconcellos Analysis with Lorenz curves and Gini coefficients. These are briefly explained at the subpage "IX. 36 Tools & Techniques."
1) Expertise in of itself is useless, can even be pernicious, if delivered at the wrong time or in the wrong way or to the wrong people. For Bridges coaches to subscribe to a common set of fundamental values is therefore important. These values are stated on the Mission, Vision and Ethic page. They are predicated on the Bridges interpretation of "to coach" as meaning "to co-achieve.”
Some coaches will have more experience in, say, a local niche market, others with global markets, some with brown goods and white goods, others with turnkey factories and capital equipment, and so on. Their common denominator will be a focus on strategy. Because Bridges only serves one client in an industry, coaches are free to discuss among themselves strategic issues which "cross-fertilize" one another.
When a consulting, coaching or legal firm serves companies that directly compete against one another, this type of shared experience and idea generation would violate client confidentiality. Therefore a Chinese wall4 is raised between members of the firm. This Chinese wall impedes synergy and hinders members of the service firhe m from learning from one another.
2) Information is power. Another Chinese wall is erected when information is to be hoarded, guarded and kept secret. This approach is certainly appropriate for some information, ranging from military secrets and planned acquisitions to protecting the confidential data on one’s client list. However in most cases real power comes not from information guarded, but from information shared. In that spirit we provide the content on this website.
1 The Juscelino Kubitschek (Ponte JK) Bridge over Lake Paranoá in Brasilia, Brazil is named after the President who in the late 1950s decided to build Brasilia as the new capital of the country. The bridge, designed by the architect Alexandro Chan and the engineer Mario Vila Verde, cost $57 million and was opened in 2002. A major tourist attraction and especially striking at night, it has won several international awards. (Wikipedia, 2011) The striking photograph is by Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz* (cf. the copyright at the bottom of the page).
2 The Enterprise Centers could have dual-track monthly meetings. The first track would feature a speaker or trainer, whose presentation would be recorded for a future webinar. After that part ended, the second tract would consist of the members continuing in a private session. At it issues of concern to individual members could be brought to the table for a mutual peer group coaching session, moderated by Bridges. The membership fee would include access to the webinars should one be unable to attend a monthly meeting.
2 The original acronym SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) was created by George T. Doran, 1981.
3 The reference is to the 6000 km Great Wall of China. It is briefly discussed at III. Corporate Strategy, 2. Tactics, 2.1 Megaprojects, worldwide.
* © Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz, 20.05.2007, public domain 28.07.2007, (Wikipedia); Gyan Web Design 2010