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My concept of strategy consulting
What kind of profession is “strategy consulting”? I believe it would not be defined as a certain “realm” such as IT, marketing, or a specific industry, nor would it be defined by “customers” such as SMEs or top executives, but I believe it would be defined by “viewpoint”.
A great number of “consulting” deals with ways to reduce costs or methods to deliver the company’s products. In contrast, “strategy consulting” is provided solely as “viewpoints” on business itself, hence we may consider ways to reduce costs or formulate measures to raise the top line of the company’s products, if necessary.
Nonetheless, formulating these methods and measures would not be the objective of strategy consulting. The core of the strategy consulting is the “viewpoint” which enables the process of shaping the elements that ultimately deliver “growth” – the fundamental meaning of company’s existence – objectively along with the client.
Of course, clients can also formulate strategies on their own. However, there are often cases where elements such as objectivity and diverse values are lacking. Although it is possible to incorporate assessments and evaluations to avoid these insufficiencies, typically a huge psychological burden is present when reversing what has already been decided, as these are the natures of organizations and human beings, especially in Japanese companies. Therefore, rather than reconsidering what has been done before, they tend to continue the same path, doing the best they can. Or, they rather prefer showing “solicitude”, anticipating how customers will evaluate their products beforehand. Consequently, it is difficult for PDCA (which is regarded as organizational dynamic unique to Japan) to lead to results.
Such structural vulnerability can be reduced by a strategic consultant with an external “viewpoint”, and ensure the formulation of a more robust strategy along with its realization.
Therefore, I believe that a strategic consultant should always retain a neutral position.
What I was shown when I first joined a consulting firm was the definition of a professional. That is, "putting the client first," "having professional skills," and "having professional ethics." In strategy consulting, the first one remains unchanged, and the latter two are "professional skills = problem solving ability" and "professional ethics = neutrality" respectively.
Understanding the client thoroughly and remaining neutral to the last. I think these are the requirements for an external viewpoint and, with a little exaggeration, these are the conditions being the ‘justice’ with in the society, and on occasions becoming a 'lighthouse' or 'compass' for clients.
Expanding the limit of Inquiring mind
The word 'neutral' tends to give the impression of 'keeping one's distance.' But in my opinion, this is far from being the whole story. It is a type of naivety being released from constraints. Putting aside how realistic it may or may not be, We will consider the most logical way of thinking. Next, thinking client-centered, We will thoroughly examine how this can actually bring the right results. This is often enough to make a breakthrough.
The world is constantly changing. Even if you try to be neutral, bias often occurs before you realize. If this is the case, it may be possible to remain relatively neutral by deliberately searching for new things or things that have changed.
Therefore, I can say that I live by constantly searching for new things. While expanding the limit of Inquiring mind, discussing from a slightly different ‘viewpoint’ from our clients. Beyond that I think there is a ‘dream’ that no one has yet to see.
After graduating with a liberal arts degree, Yuji Mori worked for Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) prior to completing his postgraduate doctoral course at his alma mater. Following a period as an assistant at the same university, he studied on scholarship at Golden Gate University, Graduate School of Technology Management (MBA) and New York University, Steinhardt School (PhD) in the US. After returning to Japan, he completed a doctorate course at a graduate school of international information and communication studies. During his stay in the US he experienced starting and selling venture companies. He worked at Microsoft both in Japan and the US before moving to McKinsey and Company. Subsequently, he worked as a representative of a contents investment and production company working in fields such as animation. He joined Dentsu Consulting following the redemption of the fund he established. He has held his current position since 2017.
Industries of expertise
Areas and management themes of expertise
- Company-wide / business strategy
- Growth strategy
- New business strategy
- Innovation strategy
- M&A / alliance strategy
- Overseas expansion strategy
Academic-related research and education on innovation research, cognitive social psychology and content industry theory, etc., numerous presentations. Asia University Faculty of Urban Innovation, Professor of Graduate School of Asian and International Business Strategy, Visiting Professor at Digital Hollywood University, Lecturer at Aoyama Gakuin University Graduate School of International Management graduate course and intellectual property related adult education program. Served as a government researcher in the areas of intellectual property, contents and IT services, etc.