How Fulcrum identified the most material issues for a business to take them to the next level.
The Real Issue
No matter the size of the company, it’s often hard to have an objective picture of what’s important for the business. We think we know what’s critical, but can we really see the forest for the trees?
At Fulcrum, we go around the world preaching the good word of materiality. While simple on the surface, the exercise often leads to some of the most transformative changes for a company. Over 95% of major multinationals rely on the materiality process to gather a holistic understanding of stakeholder viewpoints, using these to future proof their businesses. Rarely, if ever, do small or mid-sized companies take advantage of materiality’s beneficial powers.
When The Silk Initiative, a four-year-old Shanghai based brand consultancy, asked Fulcrum to conduct a materiality exercise for their business we jumped at the chance. Not only was The Silk Initiative looking to better understand stakeholder views and their business as a whole, but also differentiate themselves from the competition. Their main purpose was to really play on par with the big guys and show they wanted to be taken seriously.
Our proprietary approach to materiality relies on a unique combination of quantitative and qualitative information. Unlike most firms, which use thousands of data points from sources with little to no understanding of the business in question, Fulcrum only targets those with an educated opinion about our clients. That leads to truly rich, resonant results.
We knew this exercise would be different. What astonished us most was not only how open people were to discuss their views on TSI, but also how the study changed perceptions of the business. Interviewees were very impressed by the simple step of engaging in such a study, something few small firms would even think about. This raised TSI's profile and standing among their network, which has served the company well with positioning and business development in the time following the study.
The Silk Initiative has been able to use the study’s findings to differentiate themselves and elevate their positioning in the market. Materiality often leads to interesting findings. Of critical note in this case were five specific pain points multinational companies in TSI’s space face when doing business in China. These points are solid gold, giving TSI a unique psychological edge over their peers.
Each engagement is unique. Reach out now to see how we can collaborate to pivot your business for the Asian Century.