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BT’s Strategic Business Planning Needs a New Perspective

By Peter Smith

I am a firm believer in the reality that strategic business planning sometimes requires a new perspective. Companies can develop a tunnel vision that, over time, prevents an otherwise healthy business strategic plan from adapting to a changing environment. BT, the embattled telecom based in London, is a prime example.

BT has had a rough 24 months, to say the least. The company reported significantly weaker performance in 2017, particularly in its television business, resulting in lower sales and profits. They were hit by allegations of fraud in Italy. In a few of their markets, ongoing interruption of service incidents have left customers angry and looking for alternatives.

None of what BT has endured over the last two years is unusual for a company of its size. But BT’s business strategic plan has not kept up. They have finally made a move by hiring a new chief strategy and transformation officer with a reputation for solving the kinds of problems BT is now facing.

BT Welcomes a Telecom Expert

The company’s new head of strategy has spent the last 11 years working at a US-based management and consulting firm specialising in telecommunications. Michael Sherman has been heavily involved in telecom, IT, media technology, and private equity since graduating in 2006. He is known throughout the industry as someone who knows a great deal about finding strategic solutions to complex problems.

For his part, Sherman has said all the right things about his hiring. He has let it be known how excited he is to help “drive forward the tragedy” that BT’s executive team has come up with. But let’s face it, Sherman has been brought in because of his reputation for strategic business planning. He will undoubtedly reshape whatever strategy BT’s executive team has presented him.

Why All of This Matters

To the untrained eye, bringing in a new chief strategy and transformation officer means very little. To someone involved in corporate functional strategy, BT’s decision means a lot – especially for the future of the company. BT’s executive team has realised that their strategic business planning needs a new perspective. It needs transformation.

BT could continue doing what it has always done in the hope of achieving better results. But management is smart enough to know that doing the same thing while expecting different results is the definition of insanity. The company’s weaker performance indicates that they need a new direction. That’s why they’re bringing in someone with extensive experience in strategic planning within their industry.

As a strategic business consultant myself, I fully understand what BT is doing. They need to refocus their strategies where possible and come up with new strategies to replace those that aren’t working.

So what about your company? Do you need the fresh perspective of an experienced strategic business planner? If so, let’s talk. I can help your executive team redefine and realign your business strategy to accommodate the changing environment in your industry. It is what I do.


Capacity Media –

By Peter Smith.

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