Deri Llewellyn-Davies: Great purpose, great strategy and great talent

Published:  17 June, 2016

Deri Llewellyn-Davies (aka The Strategy Man) joined the NMBS All-Industry Conference to give a thought provoking and engaging presentation on ‘strategy’, providing the audience with advice on how they can take their business to the next level and achieve growth and greater commercial success.

Bringing adventure and business together in equal measure, having worked in several corporate board level roles and climbed five of the highest mountains in the world, Mr Llewellyn-Davies has a fascination with life and a curiosity that always leads him to ask “why?” or more importantly, “why not?” as he believes anything is possible.

Kick-starting his presentation, Mr Llewellyn-Davies discussed how he believes that strategy isn’t difficult to concept, but instead something that can lead anyone to ask better questions of themselves and their business.

Asking the audience ‘why are you in business?’ Mr Llewellyn-Davies believes that if a company doesn’t address this point, then you haven’t got a strategy to go on. “Bringing strategy alive and learning that execution is everyday and not a once a year exercise, is vital if a company is going to succeed in the long-term,” he said.

Having a ‘purpose’ in business is key and is something you need first in order to have a strategy, otherwise it’s irrelevant. To achieve a successful strategy, Mr Llewellyn-Davies identified five key elements in which a business must have:

  • Passion
  • Service/value
  • Opportunity
  • Financial
  • Liefstyle

Discussing these elements, Mr Llewellyn-Davies spoke about how several corporations have lost their level of ‘purpose’ over the years, but that it’s a growing opportunity for independents to shine through as they provide their customers with expert knowledge and high levels of service.

‘The spectrum of strategy’ was the next topic that was covered; with Mr Llewellyn-Davies telling delegates that it comprises sales, marketing, operations, finance and people (talent), and how companies are often good at three out of the five topics, but weak in two.

The two key strategies in which a business should pay particular attention, according to Mr Llewellyn-Davies, are marketing and people. “Marketing is like mathematics, if it isn’t producing tangible, trackable results, then it isn’t working.”

Meanwhile, as every new recruit in a company is crucial, investing time in finding new talent is paramount, according to Mr Llewellyn-Davies, who told the audience: “Learn how to find, hire and keep top talent. Thirty percent of time should be allocated to finding and keeping talent in your business, as a bad hire can cost 20 times a wage cost.”

With a staggering 87% of global employees disengaged in their job, having the right calibre of people in place who are passionate, enthusiastic and knowledgeable enables companies to have a competitive advantage over others. Generation Y is a key area that businesses should focus on, according to Mr Llewellyn-Davies, as they are driven by a desire to be happy. “It’s about getting Generation Y engaged with what you do as they don’t always want to buy in to things,” he told the audience.

To conclude, Mr Llewellyn-Davies told delegates: “In order to be ready, you have to have a great purpose, a great strategy, and the best talent around you.”

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