There certainly is no shortage of high-priced consultants willing to answer the big questions of strategy. And advice about the “best” strategy can also be found in any number of management books.
But managers should be skeptical consumers of external strategy advice. External strategy advice can be costly -- and wrong. At worst, such advice can consist of little more than generic platitudes about “leveraging core competencies” or “synergies.”
Increasingly, the best sources of insight about strategy -- specifically, strategy for your company -- lie dormant within the company itself, in its employees. Ironically, companies often expend significant resources on external advice while employees with the best strategy ideas are ignored and thus may walk out the door.
Examples illustrate that the mobility of employees -- whether they are fired or leave of their own volition -- can be seen as a leading indicator of the future prospects of a company.