Winchester Strategy Group

Enabling managers to lead effective strategic change

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Our Story

Our Story

A Wealth of Experience


Our vision is for WSG to be the most influential strategic consulting firm in Europe.


Having founded a successful strategic consultancy in the 1980s, Paul Fifield and John Marti believe the time is right for a 21st century version of their original idea: the Winchester Strategy Group is that firm. WSG is an employee-owned consulting business where all the consultants are experienced professionals.


Our approach is based upon the simple premise that it is management’s absolute right to manage its own business.


However, that does not mean that an impartial, objective voice cannot be heard. ‘Speaking truth unto power’ has always been a central feature of our work. Our role is to enable business managers to make their own informed choices and reach their own conclusions.


We have all been managers and we are all experienced consultants.


This experience is underpinned by our development and training at some of the world’s best business schools and researching what the customer might want next. This experience and knowledge allows us to help business managers successfully navigate the difficult issues confronting them.


We work on the basis of ‘what you see is what you get’.


When someone from WSG agrees an assignment with you, you will see them again. We don’t have polished professionals selling our services only to be replaced by bright, young, inexperienced consultants: experience matters. In WSG whoever negotiates the work with you will usually take the lead for that work.


We work hard with our clients to avoid unintended and undesired consequences.


Many problems are ‘solved’ in isolation. Sometimes problems are indeed discrete, on other occasions the solution leads to problems elsewhere. Potential solutions must be thought through to identify where and what else in the organisation may be affected: it is wise to be forewarned.

Our Proposition

Evidence-based solutions


We do not tell managers what to do.


Our role is to produce the evidence essential to understand the problem and identify potential solutions.  This evidence allows managers to take ownership of their problems and work out what needs to be done to resolve those problems. The evidence provides a solid object to push against and our process provides managers with the reassurance that solutions exist and can be implemented.


Having identified what the client needs to achieve, we carry out the necessary research and analysis.


While doing this we maintain regular dialogue with the client team.  Our preferred approach is to prepare an information pack containing the evidence needed to develop actionable solutions.  This information is presented to the client in advance of a joint workshop or workshops.


Our approach allows us to identify key pressure points in the business and integrate them into a bespoke programme.


We start with data collection and analysis.  This allows us to prepare relevant material for Executive Development seminars and workshops.  Clients receive the inputs associated with a development programme and in addition, have theoretical material set in the context of their own business.


We provide learning and development inputs at a strategic level to help executives in their current and future business roles.


Being in a senior role can be isolating and sometimes lonely, especially when many tried and tested techniques don’t seem to work.  WSG can provide an independent sounding board and act as coaches or mentors to members of the senior team. Typically, coaching has more immediate goals and concentrates on specific development areas.  In mentoring, our focus is more on the development of the individual and takes a longer term and more holistic view.


We actively seek partnerships with other consulting specialists to enhance our combined offering to clients.


We look for partners that share our values and where our work benefits clients without conflict of interest. Often we we act as an internal Strategy Department, for example, with firms that compliment WSG services.

Typically, our partners work in areas such as:

Advertising, PR, and Digital Agencies

Lean, Operations, HR, IT and Financial Consulting

Web Analytics and Big Data

Venture Capital/Angel Investors, Accounting/Auditing

We are always happy to hear from consultancies looking to expand their offering.

Our Focus

Complex problems: elegant solutions


Customers are the market.


No customers = no money = no business. But not everyone is a potential customer. The key is to identify those customers who have a need that the business can satisfy profitably. That means looking outside the business to understand the market today and to help generate a better understanding of how it might develop in the future.


Businesses need to respond by changing and innovating strategically.


Business is facing its most turbulent period since the 1960s. Today, rapidly advancing technology, an unstable economic and political outlook, big data and a new breed of consumer, is transforming the business landscape. Innovation is about creativity and invention, allied to business practices designed to deliver added value to customers.


Our preferred approach is to develop solutions working in partnership with our clients rather than just for them.


Throughout assignments we share our findings with our clients through regular reviews. We rarely produce conventional reports or presentations. To help generate understanding and commitment, we develop solutions in joint workshops with our clients. This is much more likely to result in effective, practical solutions for our clients and make successful implementation more likely.


The ‘best’ result for the client is the most stretching solution that can be effectively implemented.


A brilliant solution without implementation simply remains a clever idea. By themselves, clever ideas are of little value: to make them worthwhile they need to be translated into actions designed to deliver the desired results. As consultants we aim to stimulate action and we are prepared to support and advise clients when they venture into unfamiliar territory.


At WSG we reject the superficial attractions of formulaic, off-the-shelf consultancy that only delivers mediocrity.


This is essential because companies, their circumstances and customers are not the same. Every assignment is always individually crafted around the specific needs of the client company and its managers. Companies win by being different and relevant.

We focus on helping our clients win.

Clients

Our Team

  • Paul has a track record of delivering multi-million pound product developments during a 20 year career as an engineer, manager and consultant in a number of sectors- Nuclear, Semiconductors, Mobile Telecoms, Electronics and Defence. He has lived and worked in Germany and the USA and his experience includes customer facing roles in China and South Korea.

    He holds an MBA from Bath and speaks German.

    paullyon@winchesterstrategygroup.com

    +44 7775 715 269

    Paul Lyon- Executive Director
  • Following his degree, Paul joined the consumer industry as a Marketing Manager in Belgium & Luxembourg for Polycell. After his MBA, he moved into adult games. Since 1980 he been consulting for large and mid corporate companies to develop and implement Customer Strategy in sectors as diverse as agricultural chemicals, domestic appliances, economic development and utilities.

    Paul is also a successful author.  His 23rd book, “Marketing Strategy Masterclass”  appeared in 2008.

    In parallel with his consulting Paul has been a frequent contributor to executive development and MBA programmes.  He is currently Visiting Professor at the College des Ingénieurs in Paris and the University of Southampton.

    paulfifield@winchesterstrategygroup.com

    +44 7831 625 624

    Paul Fifield – Co-Founder Chairman
  • John spent ten years as a middle and senior manager in the manufacturing sector before moving into consulting with large and small firms.  Wishing to develop a more effective approach to consulting, John established his own firm focused on helping clients worldwide resolve their strategic problems.  His consulting experience has encompassed almost every part of the private sector and occasionally, parts of the public domain.

    John is especially strong in motivating and leading cross-functional teams to deliver complex projects on time.  He also acts as a coach and mentor for senior executives and as a chairman in company turnarounds.

    johnmarti@winchesterstrategygroup.com

    +44 7971 287 809

    John Marti – Co-Founder Chairman