Developing and Implementing Business and Corporate Strategy

Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas

 Are you developing and implementing winning corporate plans and business strategies? Are you and your colleagues providing effective strategic leadership?

 Do you and your colleagues have a compelling and agreed vision of where you would like your business to be in five to ten years time? How distinctive is your business in the marketplace?

 Are you monitoring trends and developments in the business environment and assessing their implications for your business and its customers?

 Has your board been better at developing plans than implementing them? How can you ensure that policies and plans are implemented by those in the front line?

 Purpose of Course

This course should enable you to better understand competitive challenges and opportunities in the marketplace and craft effective strategic plans and responses for the areas for which you are responsible.

You will learn how to think and act strategically and what winners ‘do differently’ in these areas. You will discover how to ensure compliance and implement policies and plans.

Learn also how to build an effective board composed of competent directors that will provide your organisation with the strategic direction it needs to succeed and satisfy stakeholder requirements.

 Who should attend?

Members of the board and senior management team; and all those concerned with developing corporate plans and implementing business strategy and who need to think and act strategically.


Dependent upon the number of people for whom the course is relevant. The approach adopted will reflect the number of attendees and nature of their interests and needs. A bespoke workshop could be organised for a corporate board, and/or those concerned with strategic planning, or the community of people concerned with creating new business opportunities and helping customers respond to challenges and opportunities in the business and market environment.


To help participants:

Understand the distinct role of the director and think and act strategically when developing and implementing business strategy.

  • Develop a distinctive and compelling vision, and differentiate their organisation and its offerings in the marketplace.
  • Identify business and competitive trends and developments in the market environment, assess their possible impacts and likely implications; and determine appropriate responses for addressing challenges and exploiting opportunities.
  • Understand the context in which business and competitive intelligence occurs and the pros and cons of different approaches.
  • Formulate sustainable corporate plans and business strategies
  • Explore and apply approaches, models and tools that can lead to better and more creative strategic decisions and competitive corporate responses.
  • Understand how to select the right methods and tools for developing and implementing business strategies.
  • Recognize when gaps exist in the strategic analysis process and how to address them.
  • Understand what the most successful directors and boards do differently when thinking and acting strategically.
  • Appreciate the challenges faced by directors and boards and how they should be addressed.
  • Identify typical obstacles to director contribution and board effectiveness and how they can be overcome
  • Reflect upon and discuss their personal and collective approaches to competitive and market analysis and developing and implementing strategy.

These objectives can be changed and/or refined to suit the requirements of a particular organisation.


 The course will include case study examples and working sessions during which participants will have opportunities undertake practical exercises designed to produce usable outputs. Topics covered will include:

  • The need for strategic thinking, the challenge faced by boards and the role and function of the board.
  • Understanding the business and competitive environment, critical success factors for competing and winning, and the key contribution of the board and senior management team.
  • Establishing stakeholder requirements, formulating a corporate vision, goals and strategic objectives, and assessing the gap between aspiration and achievement.
  • Understanding the changing aspirations of customers and employees, the differing approaches of commodity suppliers and business partners, and how successful companies differentiate.
  • Identifying potential sources of competitive differentiation.
  • Monitoring competitive trends and developments, and competitor activities and strategies and assessing their likely impacts.
  • Understanding how the business and its customers are likely to be affected by external trends and developments.
  • Prioritising issues and deciding which competitive threats and opportunities most need to be addressed.
  • Determining what needs to be done at local and corporate level to address issues and respond to strategic opportunities.
  • Understanding direction setting, planning and management processes.
  • The business planning and competitive intelligence approaches of successful companies.
  • Understanding relevant competitive and strategic analysis tools and techniques.
  • Assessing the advantages and disadvantages of analytic tools and techniques in relation to the competitive challenges and strategic opportunities an organisation faces.
  • The competent director (qualities, knowledge and competencies required) and the effective board (including common obstacles to effectiveness) and how best to develop directors and boards.

The topics/content can be changed and/or refined to suit client requirements.


Participants will understand key elements of effective and sustainable strategic corporate planning. Experienced corporate planners and directors will build upon their awareness of what it takes for directors, boards and corporate planners to become and remain effective, both individually and collectively and provide strategic leadership and think and act strategically.

In particular they will understand how to develop and implement strategic plans, and monitor and manage strategic and competitive issues. They will also have:

  • Examined the challenges faced by directors and boards, and how these should be addressed.
  • Learned how to recognise and craft a compelling and distinctive vision and differentiate their organisation and its offerings in the marketplace.
  • Formulated a vision for their organisation and identified sources of competitive differentiation.
  • Considered a range of analytical approaches, tools and techniques which can be employed to increase business and competitive intelligence and plan.
  • Identified, assessed and prioritised significant competitive issues, challenges and opportunities in the business and market environment of their particular organisation.
  • Assessed the likely impacts of these competitive developments upon both their organisation and its customers.
  • Considered what needs to be done in response to address potential competitive challenges and exploit identified competitive opportunities.
  • Considered typical obstacles to director development, director contribution and board effectiveness and how they can be overcome.

These outcomes can be changed and/or refined to suit the requirements of a particular organisation.

Course Leader:

 Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas, author of ‘Winning Companies; Winning People, Making it easy for average performers to adopt winning behaviours’ is an international adviser on director, board and business development; change, talent and knowledge management; learning; and transforming performance. An experienced process vision holder of major transformation programmes and an international Change Agent and Transformation Leader Award winner, he was the world’s first Professor of Corporate Transformation and has been a Professor of Competitiveness and Direction and Leadership. He has helped over 100 organizations to improve director, board and corporate performance; reviewed the processes and practices for winning business of over 100 companies; and spoken at over 300 conferences and congresses in over 40 countries.

In addition to Winning Companies; Winning People, Colin’s 40 books and reports include Talent Management 2, Transforming Knowledge Management, Transforming Public Services and Developing Directors. Colin has held professorial appointments in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, India and China, and a variety of private, professional and voluntary sector board roles, including as chairman and president. He has also held public board appointments at national and local level, and is a part-time member of the business school team at the University of Greenwich and an Adjunct Visiting Professor at Manipal University.

A member of ACCA’s Governance, Risk and Performance Global Forum and a Fellow of seven chartered bodies, Colin was educated at the LSE, London Business School, UNISA and the Universities of Aston, Chicago and Southern California. He obtained first place prizes in the final examinations of three professions. His latest publications can be obtained from