As former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has so aptly put it, we now live in a world of radical uncertainty that has become a much more dangerous place for companies, directors, and investors.

There is no shortage of consulting firms and other advisors focus on helping companies to develop and implement strategy. We're different. Our focus is on why companies fail, and what they can do to avoid it.

The concept of "strategic risk" presumes an underlying answer to a frequently vexing question: What is strategy? Here is our definition:

"Strategy is a causal theory, based on a set of beliefs, that exploits one or more decisive asymmetries to achieve an organization's most important goals with limited resources, and in the face of uncertainty, constraints, and opposition."

The beauty of this definition is that it applies to all types of organizations, including private sector companies, public sector departments, military commands, and non-profits.

Using proprietary methodologies, applied through consulting, coaching, and education offerings, we help clients to avoid failure in today's radically uncertain world by enabling them to better anticipate emerging threats to their strategy and survival, assess them accurately, and adapt to them in time.

The economic value to our clients of better strategic risk management and governance is substantial.

In “
The Mortality of Companies”, Daepp et al found a roughly constant hazard rate of 5.80% per year for the failure of public companies between 1950 and 2009. Over a 20 year period, with constant cash flows and no terminal value, reducing this hazard rate to 4.80% increases the net present value of those cash flows by 6.7%, using a 10% cost of equity - a very non-trivial amount for most companies. If the forecast cash flows grow over time, the economic value of better strategic risk governance and management is even greater.

As Ittner and Keusch find in their research paper, "
The Influence of Board of Directors' Risk Oversight on Risk Management Maturity and Firm Risk-Taking", directors' risk oversight involvement significantly reduces firm idiosyncratic volatility and tail risk. Moreover, these reductions "do not come at the expense of firm performance…and are positively associated with buy-and-hold equity returns."

We provide a range of half-day to three-day
education offerings for management teams and boards to improve their individual and collective ability to manage and govern strategic risk. We also provide speakers for meetings and conferences, who focus on the root causes of strategic risk failure and how to avoid them.

This free one hour
webinar that we delivered at the Institute of Directors in London provides a taste of what our courses are like.

Through an affiliated company, we also apply our methodologies to produce global macro forecasts that are available on a subscription basis.

Each month we identify new high value information in a wide range of areas (including technology, cyber, and infectious disease developments, the economy, energy and environmental issues, national security, demographic and social issues, politics and financial markets) to update the probability that the macro system will be in one of four possible regimes over the next 12 and 36 months, and their implications for asset class valuations and returns. These include the Normal Regime (when equity returns are highest), High Uncertainty, High Inflation, and Persistent Deflation.

In addition to our education and forecast offerings, we also
design and facilitate board and management processes to overcome human biases and produce rich discussions about strategic uncertainties; and provide customized research and independent "Red Team" analyses of key strategic uncertainties, assumptions, and early warning indicators.

Neil Britten and Tom Coyne have over a half century of global experience in addressing strategic risk and uncertainty issues, as officers and directors of public and private companies and as advisors to chairmen, directors, boards, and executive teams.

Feedback from Britten Coyne clients:

“I’ve been involved in many board risk conversations. This was new, different, very practical, and extremely helpful.”

“We’ve had a lot of external speakers at our board meetings who have been rubbish, but you were really excellent.”

“We’re having a board conversation that was impossible before.”

For more information about us and how we can help your board or management team, you can
download this overview of our firm.

We have recently published
the result of our field research into the critical relationship between non-executive chairmen/chairwomen or lead directors and their CEOs, including how they can be misperceived by both parties, how they evolve over time (and can very quickly change), how when they are working well they can paradoxically increase strategic risk, and what can be done to address this board governance challenge. Many of our findings also apply to boards with a combined Chair/CEO and a lead/independent director. We hope you find our whitepaper an thought-provoking read. The summary which appeared in Directors and Boards magazine is available here.

See our research page for more about what we think.

Contact us for more information about our education offerings for your group or organization, or how we can help you better manage and govern the strategic risks you face.

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