Life Sciences
Case Study

£30 million
Government funding secured
Future assured
A clear strategy saved the day

Mission-critical strategic alignment of a scientific institute

A Skarbek effect case study

The client’s ambition was to be a world leader in research and engagements to deliver evidence-based solutions to the global challenges facing land and natural resource use both now and in the future.

Skarbek Associates case study
The needs

They wanted to develop the granular detail of that vision and a strategy that will realise that vision against a changing landscape of funding, competition and increasing needs for the sort of expertise they possessed.

How we helped

Skarbek was engaged to design and facilitate an inclusive, inspirational strategy workshop for the executive team and deliver a report and a presentation on the strategy that could be used by the executive team at board level and for onward communications through the institute.

Skarbek assembled a team with both directly parallel experience and highly developed analytical and problem-solving skills. They focused the client’s team on synthesising:

  • Unity of effort – A clear vision and strategy to engage and unify the efforts of the institute
  • Concentration of resource – A strategy with clear priorities to focus the energy and resources of the institute behind the chosen critical priorities
  • Empowerment – A clear vision and strategy well communicated so it could empower freedom of action and initiative in an aligned manner
  • Clarity and engagement – the institute was evolving to meet the changing landscape of funding and to utilise its expertise to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. So to be successful it needed to change and adapt and for all the people to be highly engaged through that process

Skarbek led the institute’s team through the following phases:

  1. Inspiration – to ‘unfreeze’ mindsets and set the tone for the workshop
  2. Visioning
  3. SWOT analysis
  4. Strategy mapping
  5. ‘Red teaming’ or stress testing the strategy
  6. Mapping the journey ahead to implement
  7. Scenario testing
The results

The client had no written strategy before beginning the exercise and Skarbek were effective in facilitating the conversion of latent ideas amongst the highly skilled andexperienced functional experts into understandable and implementable strategy. We we able to leave the client with:

  • A clear, compelling vision This included a tag line, summary statement, compelling narrative and a vivid description of target end states for a number of elements.
  • Strategy. A clearly articulated strategy that was captured on key artefacts such as a synthesis of the environment, SWOT, strategy map, and table of strategic objectives.
  • A communication approach. The strategy was designed to be emotionally and rationally engaging and was documented in a written document and summarised in a presentation.

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Very professional and value for money…did things rather than just facilitated us to do our own work - rolled up their sleeves…sincerity and earnestness that showed they cared about the business as much as we do
Scientific Institute

Chris Charlton

Chris Charlton is a highly experienced business leader, board advisor, programme director and consultant

Paul Heugh

Senior business leader with formidable global experience in the planning and execution of strategy