expert
Expert with best answer

Sidi

99% Recommendation Rate

381 Meetings

2,578 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching

Question merged

This question is read-only because it has been merged with How to solve vague cases that don't fit into any frameworks?.

3

How to answer questions that have no frameworks associated to them?

3 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Sidi

99% Recommendation Rate

381 Meetings

2,578 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching

Hi Michael!

I think the basic premise of your question needs to be discussed. What I mean is the following:

I am absolutely no friend of frameworks to begin with! I believe most (or probably all) casebooks are teaching a fundamentally flawed way how to think about business / strategy / organizational problems! A framework as such is worth nothing if it is not embedded into the specific context of the situation! This means, each element that you want to scrutinize ("building blocks" of the framework so to speak) needs to clearly relate back to the question that you want to address!

This is why you ALWAYS start from the specific question that you want to answer! From there, you define the criterion or criteria that need to be met in order to anwer this core question in onw way or another.

In 95% of cases, value creation will be the central element. This is nothing else than profit generation over a specific time frame. You then draw a driver tree for profitability in order to isolate the numerical drivers for your solution. And then, only after you have drawn out the driver tree, you can map out the relevant qualitative "framework elements" to the sub branches. This approach is much much clearer then any framework you will find in any case book. And, contrary to frameworks, which are hanging in the air and do not logically relate back to the specific question, his is a bullet proof approach when done rigorously.

The caveat is: this requires time and coaching to internalize. But ultimately, this is how consultants think about problems - how can we optimize for value creation?

Cheers, Sidi

P.S.: Have a look at the structure I outlined here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-would-you-structure-this-1737#a3813

Hi Michael!

I think the basic premise of your question needs to be discussed. What I mean is the following:

I am absolutely no friend of frameworks to begin with! I believe most (or probably all) casebooks are teaching a fundamentally flawed way how to think about business / strategy / organizational problems! A framework as such is worth nothing if it is not embedded into the specific context of the situation! This means, each element that you want to scrutinize ("building blocks" of the framework so to speak) needs to clearly relate back to the question that you want to address!

This is why you ALWAYS start from the specific question that you want to answer! From there, you define the criterion or criteria that need to be met in order to anwer this core question in onw way or another.

In 95% of cases, value creation will be the central element. This is nothing else than profit generation over a specific time frame. You then draw a driver tree for profitability in order to isolate the numerical drivers for your solution. And then, only after you have drawn out the driver tree, you can map out the relevant qualitative "framework elements" to the sub branches. This approach is much much clearer then any framework you will find in any case book. And, contrary to frameworks, which are hanging in the air and do not logically relate back to the specific question, his is a bullet proof approach when done rigorously.

The caveat is: this requires time and coaching to internalize. But ultimately, this is how consultants think about problems - how can we optimize for value creation?

Cheers, Sidi

P.S.: Have a look at the structure I outlined here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-would-you-structure-this-1737#a3813

(edited)

Thanks for that insight on structuring, Sidi! Is it a good idea to define the core question as soon as you're done clarifying the case question or after you've had a chance to understand a bit more about the business. In other words, should the order of response be: 1, 2, 3 as below or 1, 3, 2?

1. Para-phrase/ clarify case details

2. Define and confirm core question

3. Ask questions to understand how the business works, etc.

Thanks for that insight on structuring, Sidi! Is it a good idea to define the core question as soon as you're done clarifying the case question or after you've had a chance to understand a bit more about the business. In other words, should the order of response be: 1, 2, 3 as below or 1, 3, 2?

1. Para-phrase/ clarify case details

2. Define and confirm core question

3. Ask questions to understand how the business works, etc.

Hi KP! In most cases, [1,2,3] will work well. If you, however, struggle to understand the context, are not clear how the business makes money, etc., then [1,3,2] is the way to go. Cheers, Sidi — Sidi on May 28, 2018

Book a coaching with Paul

0 Meetings

13 Q&A Upvotes

USD 329 / Coaching

Stay curious and focus a lot on identifying the problem at the beginning. In consulting, there isn't really a framework for most of the things we do. It is all iteration and continuing to ask questions. Sure, it takes place over a week or so and an interview you have to do it in ten minutes, but the key is just to keep asking more questions until you have enough info to propose your own structure.

Once you have your structure, see what the interviewer's reaction is to it and then iterate more or dive deeper into the next level of the structure you created.

Stay curious and focus a lot on identifying the problem at the beginning. In consulting, there isn't really a framework for most of the things we do. It is all iteration and continuing to ask questions. Sure, it takes place over a week or so and an interview you have to do it in ten minutes, but the key is just to keep asking more questions until you have enough info to propose your own structure.

Once you have your structure, see what the interviewer's reaction is to it and then iterate more or dive deeper into the next level of the structure you created.

Related case(s)

Coronavirus Times - COVID-19 Brainteaser

Solved 300+ times
Coronavirus Times - COVID-19 Brainteaser You and your family are faced with a challenging set of decisions. Due to coronavirus, your partner has taken a 20% paycut and you are worried you may lose your job. In addition, while daycare is still open, you are worried that sending your two children there will increase the risk of them bringing the virus back to your house, where your elderly grandparents are also staying. How would you go about thinking about this problem, and what would you recommend?
4.5 5 19
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Beginner | Style: Brain Teaser | Topics: Brain teaser

You and your family are faced with a challenging set of decisions. Due to coronavirus, your partner has taken a 20% paycut and you are worried you may lose your job. In addition, while daycare is still open, you are worried that sending your two children there will increase the risk of them bringing ... Open whole case

Chinese Chess - Airline Business During COVID-19

Solved 200+ times
Chinese Chess - Airline Business During COVID-19 Sky China, a government-backed Chinese airline, has recently seen profits plummet due to COVID-19. Profits are down 80% in the months of February and March, but are showing early signs of a rebound in April.  They've brought you in to first investigate what can be done immediatedly to prevent hemorrhaging cash and surive in the short-term. They are also looking to see how the current situation can be viewed as an opportunity, and what can be done to prepare for the future. 
4.4 5 10
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0)

Sky China, a government-backed Chinese airline, has recently seen profits plummet due to COVID-19. Profits are down 80% in the months of February and March, but are showing early signs of a rebound in April. They've brought you in to first investigate what can be done immediatedly to prevent hemor ... Open whole case

Hot Wheels

Solved 200+ times
Hot Wheels Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability.
4.3 5 9
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability. Open whole case

YodaPhone

Solved 200+ times
YodaPhone Our client is Yoda's Phones, a national telecommunications company. They have embarked on a three-year, multi-million dollar digitization program. Unfortunately, two years into the program, they realize they are significantly behind schedule and over budget. You have been brought in to right the ship and ensure the digitization program is delivered as planned.
4.4 5 22
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0)

Our client is Yoda's Phones, a national telecommunications company. They have embarked on a three-year, multi-million dollar digitization program. Unfortunately, two years into the program, they realize they are significantly behind schedule and over budget. You have been brought in to right the sh ... Open whole case

Smart Education

Solved 100+ times
Smart Education Your client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.5 5 10
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)

Your client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvan ... Open whole case