Build your business model on your strategic foundation to win

When you wake up each morning, do you have clarity of what purpose, vision, and goals in the short, medium, and long term? When you report to your workplace, do you have the driving force within you to show up daily and on time even if is raining? What is yours why? What is your purpose?

The same question must be answered by the business. Why does the business exist? Many of my clients usually ask, Mr. Strategy: “What is the purpose of the business of your company Summit Consulting Ltd?” Read on to see the answer to this common question.

When leaders invite me to facilitate their strategic planning sessions, we start with two exercises to determine two things 1) purpose, and 2) anchor or foundation of the business.

The purpose of the business is different from its strategic foundation.

Way back around in the early 2000s, local business owners and government executives would spend a fortune on the so-called ‘foreign experts.’ Even when local big firms bided for the government jobs, about 40% – 60% of the scope of work would be proposed to be handled by foreign consultants, who would have to be flown into the country at the expense of the company (of course before the age of the global Pandemic that has helped reduce physical travels). For any country, that meant a lot of capital flight. The local company would have to pay foreign experts who would spend the money in their own countries. As if it was not enough, the foreign consultants would come in, fix the problem, and fly back. They would rarely transfer skills and knowledge to the local firm or the client since that was their bread which they had to make sure to continue giving. At Summit Consulting Ltd, we came in to fill a void to prove that it is possible to have a homegrown firm with professionals who deliver compelling value that competes or offers better value than foreign experts. We recruit from universities outstanding talent, mentor, and provide the tools and skills one needs to win, including career guidance. We aim to produce a pool of outstanding local talent in areas of strategy, risk and training. At Summit Consulting Ltd, we focus on total knowledge transfer to the client and our staff. That way, we both win. A happy client gives more referrals. A happy staff, even if they move on, transforms many more businesses and impacts many people. that is our calling. We smile when we see such outcomes.

It is for a fact that foreign experts have limited understanding and clarity of the local context. Even when they start by conducting a market or stakeholder survey, it is difficult to gain deep insights into the market and how the business fits in. As a homegrown firm, we understand the dynamics of the local market better. We have deep knowledge of the political, regulatory, and business issues which have implications for our clients.  In this case, our purpose as Summit Consulting Ltd is to show executives and business leaders that local people can gain skills to transform organizations to deliver more sustainable growth just like or even better than any foreign expert.

Of course, the country still needs foreign experts. We too at SCL work with foreign experts. However, we co-opt them on our team, not the other way round. And this includes delivering client value through us, not over us, which makes our offering more sustainable to our clients and the confidence of the local support when the ‘foreign experts’ have long gone back home. Equally, when Summit Consulting Ltd wins a project in foreign markets, like UAE, we first identify a local partner with whom we work. The local consultant understands the culture, business dynamics, etc to offer unique value to the customer. We deliver through the local partner, and this helps us win on all fronts – capacity building to our local partner. On-site support for our foreign clients.

To anchor your purpose, you need to understand your strategic foundation.

The strategic foundation is the DNA of your business or organization. What is that little light of yours which you must make shine? What is it that makes you the best or unique from the rest?  Every restaurant can prepare a meal. But why do customers prefer one over the other? Is it because the meals are boiled, and you have a secret ingredient that makes boiled meals outstanding than the rest? No organization wins without being deliberate about it.

During strategy sessions, we conduct several exercises to help leaders discover the thing that makes them unique. It is not easy to find. But once found, success comes. You will build a business for generations to come.

Here is an exercise for you and your team: Get a black piece of paper and:

1) In one statement, what is your strategic foundation?

2) In one statement, what is the purpose of your business?

Feel free to comment below. Need a strategy retreat to create clarity of your purpose or business anchor, contact Summit Consulting Ltd at

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr. Strategy 2021. All rights reserved

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