What do Sherlock Holmes and corporate strategy have in common?

Ever since I was a kid I’ve been a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and really enjoy the many ways that they are being re-imagined these days. One of these new ways is that contemporary authors write new Holmes stories in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s style.

I was reading one of these recently, “The Adventure of the Fallen Star” by Simon Clark (1), in which Holmes says:

”As in science, the solution … often arrives inexplicably in a flash of inspiration. What the investigator must do then is extract the hard evidence to substantiate what betting men call a hunch.”

Have you ever had this happen with strategy work? I sure have.

An entrepreneur has a hunch, and you have to turn it into reality by developing a substantiated, workable strategy.

The more you learn about your client’s business — a proposed new product or new venture — and their industry and market, the more varied are the ideas that are stimulated. What may seem to be an insurmountable obstacle can often be solved by a new set of eyes.

A seasoned management consultant can usually come up with solutions that just aren’t apparent to the client — after asking lots of questions, doing some research and analysis, and adding their experience to the mix.

And that’s how you extract the hard evidence.

(1) You can find “The Adventure of the Fallen Star”, plus another two dozen stories, in
“The Mammoth Book of New Sherlock Holmes Adventures”, Robinson Publishing, 2009.

About Market Metrics

Market Metrics Inc. helps knowledge-based businesses with strategy, planning and innovation. We offer our clients a unique combination of top-drawer professional skills, competitive pricing, and real-world industry experience in business planning, marketing, and technology.

The consultancy was founded in 2003 by Greg Graham, a seasoned marketing professional. Greg is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), a Fellow of the Ontario Institute of Management Consultants (FCMC), an Accredited Small Business Consultant (ASMEC) in the United States, and holds MBA/BEE degrees plus a Certificate in Strategic Management.

Prior to founding Market Metrics, Greg's 21 years of corporate experience encompassed tech start-ups through Fortune 500 companies. He is an expert in subscription-based business models (including SaaS). Greg frequently performs consulting engagements on behalf of the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).