Commercial awareness in the public sector

A half-day workshop

As the public sector is increasingly opened up as a commercial market in which organisations compete against each other and the private sector for contracts, the need for board members to have commercial skills to provide strategic oversight and direction to this is paramount.

Learning objectives

This session will help you:

  • See commercial awareness as a different mind-set, not just another skill-set
  • Use a variety of tried-and-tested commercial analytical and decision-making tools and techniques
  • Define your commercial strategy
  • Develop a strategic focus
  • Analyse how the culture needed for commercial success compares to your existing culture

Who should attend?

This is an ideal programme for boards that need their organisations to improve their commercial performance. We strongly recommend that all board members take part (including any non-execs).


An inter-active half-day workshop with a strong emphasis on real-life scenarios and the practical application in the public sector of the most popular, successful and academically rigorous tools and techniques used in the private sector.

Special features

For maximum benefit from the workshop, we recommend that the trainer be briefed on the organisational background in order to tailor the case studies and practical exercises.

Meet the trainer

David is a very popular trainer and an experienced consultant in strategy development and commercial performance, for the public, VCSE and private sectors.


1 What is commercial thinking?

  • Understanding what it means to be a commercial thinker
  • Looking at the services that you provide – identifying commercial opportunities often involves not only a different skill set but also a different mindset

2 Defining strategic commercial objectives

  • How to define your key commercial objectives
  • How to prioritise your strategic objectives
  • Two key strategic planning tools:
    • PESTLE
    • Resource and competency matrix
  • How to apply these tools to your particular situation

3 Developing a strategic focus

  • Decision-making on how to compete in the markets identified by your strategic objectives requires a strategic focus
  • Developing strategic focus
  • Using the Ansoff Matrix as a tool for helping you make those decisions

4 Meeting stakeholder expectations

  • Two simple models to help you identify the key stakeholders who could influence your commercial environment
  • How to use your stakeholders to help you achieve your commercial objectives

5 Implementation – systems, structures and processes

  • Effective commercial activity involves working with others to implement ideas and strategies
  • What do you need to have in place before you implement your commercial strategy?
  • How to use the McKinsey 7S framework to health-check your organisation prior to implementation

6 Implementation – people and culture

  • A good commercial strategy only works if the culture of the organisation is conducive to the effective implementation and if the people involved buy in to the ideas
  • How the latest thinking in behavioural economics can help you develop your culture and people to work commercially

For a no-obligation discussion about running this programme for your organisation on an in-house basis, just give us a call on 01582 463465.