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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Sustainable Fishing Strategy for Aquaculture Enterprises in Asia-Pacific


Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Change Management to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, KPIs, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. We followed this management consulting approach for this case study.

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Consider this scenario: A leading aquaculture enterprise in the Asia-Pacific region is at a crucial juncture, needing to navigate through a comprehensive change management process.

The organization is facing a 20% decline in yield due to overfishing and environmental degradation, coupled with a 15% increase in operational costs attributed to outdated fishing practices and technology. Externally, it's challenged by stringent regulatory changes and a growing demand for sustainable practices from consumers. The primary strategic objective is to implement sustainable fishing practices that will enhance yield, reduce operational costs, and meet regulatory and market demands.



The enterprise is confronting stagnation due to traditional approaches in a rapidly evolving industry. An initial analysis indicates that the root causes of these challenges may stem from a reluctance to adopt innovative, sustainable practices and a lack of strategic foresight in operational management.

Industry Analysis

The aquaculture industry in the Asia-Pacific region is experiencing significant growth, driven by increasing demand for seafood and advancements in fishing technology. However, sustainability concerns and regulatory pressures are shaping the future direction of the sector.

Understanding the competitive landscape reveals:

  • Internal Rivalry: High, due to many players competing on price rather than sustainability or quality.
  • Supplier Power: Moderate, as few suppliers offer sustainable feed and technology solutions.
  • Buyer Power: Increasing, with consumers demanding more sustainably sourced products.
  • Threat of New Entrants: Low, given the high regulatory and sustainability standards required to enter the market.
  • Threat of Substitutes: Moderate, with plant-based seafood options becoming more popular.

Emerging trends include the adoption of technology for sustainable practices and increased regulatory scrutiny. These dynamics present both opportunities and risks:

  • Shift towards sustainable practices: Offers an opportunity to differentiate and command premium pricing, but requires significant investment in technology and training.
  • Increased use of data analytics for yield management: Presents an opportunity to optimize operations, though necessitates upfront investment in digital infrastructure.
  • Regulatory changes: Pose both a risk in terms of compliance costs and an opportunity to lead in a more regulated future market.

A STEEPLE analysis indicates that technological and environmental factors are the most critical, with regulatory, social, and economic factors also influencing strategic decisions.

Learn more about Data Analytics STEEPLE Competitive Landscape Industry Analysis

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Internal Assessment

The organization has a strong market presence and brand recognition but struggles with operational inefficiencies and slow technology adoption.

Benchmarking Analysis reveals the company is lagging behind competitors in terms of yield per hectare and cost per tonne, primarily due to outdated practices and technology.

The Resource-Based View (RBV) Analysis highlights the company's skilled workforce and established supply chain as key strengths. However, it also identifies a gap in digital capabilities and sustainable practices.

Value Chain Analysis pinpoints inefficiencies in operations, particularly in feedstock procurement and waste management. Optimizing these areas through sustainable practices could lead to cost reductions and yield improvements.

Learn more about Supply Chain Cost Reduction

Strategic Initiatives

  • Adopt Sustainable Fishing Practices: Implementing cutting-edge, sustainable aquaculture technologies aimed at increasing yield and reducing environmental impact. The initiative will create value by ensuring long-term viability and opening up new markets that demand sustainable products. This requires investments in technology, training, and certification processes.
  • Operational Efficiency Improvement: Streamlining operations through the adoption of digital tools for better resource management, aiming to reduce costs by 10% within the first year. The value comes from cost savings and improved productivity. Resources needed include software development and process re-engineering expertise.
  • Change Management to Foster Innovation Culture: Cultivating a culture that embraces continuous improvement and innovation, directly addressing the resistance to change. This initiative is expected to enhance employee engagement and adaptability, critical for the sustainable transformation of the enterprise. It will require resources in training programs, change agents, and internal communications.

Learn more about Continuous Improvement Employee Engagement Innovation Culture

Change Management Implementation KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement.
     – H. James Harrington

  • Yield per hectare: To measure the effectiveness of sustainable practices.
  • Cost reduction percentage: To track the efficiency gains from operational improvements.
  • Employee engagement scores: To gauge the success of change management efforts.

These KPIs offer insights into the direct impact of strategic initiatives on operational performance and organizational culture, guiding further adjustments to the strategy.

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Change Management Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Change Management. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Change Management subject matter experts.

Change Management Deliverables

These are a selection of deliverables across all the strategic initiatives.

  • Sustainable Fishing Practices Roadmap (PPT)
  • Operational Efficiency Enhancement Plan (PPT)
  • Change Management Framework (PPT)
  • Technology Adoption Toolkit (PPT)

Explore more Change Management deliverables

Adopt Sustainable Fishing Practices

The strategic initiative to adopt sustainable fishing practices was significantly supported by the application of the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) framework. The TBL framework, which emphasizes the importance of balancing economic, social, and environmental outcomes, proved invaluable. It guided the enterprise towards practices that not only promised financial viability but also ensured environmental sustainability and social responsibility. The organization undertook the following steps to integrate the TBL framework into its strategic initiative:

  • Conducted a comprehensive assessment of current fishing practices to evaluate their impact on the environment, local communities, and the organization's profitability.
  • Developed and implemented new fishing protocols that minimized environmental impact, promoted social equity by supporting local communities, and ensured long-term economic sustainability.
  • Established partnerships with environmental NGOs to validate the sustainability of new practices and leveraged their expertise to improve community engagement.

The successful implementation of the TBL framework led to a marked improvement in the organization’s sustainability metrics. Not only did it see a reduction in negative environmental impacts, but it also experienced enhanced community support and an increase in long-term profitability due to more efficient and responsible fishing practices.

Operational Efficiency Improvement

For the strategic initiative focused on improving operational efficiency, the organization applied the Theory of Constraints (TOC). The TOC is a management paradigm that helps organizations systematically identify and mitigate the bottlenecks that limit their performance. This framework was particularly useful in pinpointing inefficiencies within the aquaculture enterprise’s operations. By following the TOC, the organization was able to:

  • Identify the most critical constraints that were hindering operational efficiency, including outdated technology and inefficient resource allocation.
  • Focus resources on addressing these constraints, which included investing in new technology and retraining staff to optimize resource use.
  • Implement continuous monitoring to ensure that as one constraint was resolved, the organization could move on to address the next limiting factor in its operations.

The application of the Theory of Constraints resulted in significant operational improvements. The organization witnessed a reduction in costs and an increase in production efficiency. These enhancements not only bolstered the bottom line but also improved the enterprise's competitive positioning in the market.

Learn more about Theory of Constraints

Change Management to Foster Innovation Culture

In addressing the strategic initiative to foster an innovation culture through effective change management, the organization utilized the Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model. This model provides a comprehensive approach to managing change, starting with establishing a sense of urgency and culminating in anchoring new approaches in the corporate culture. Kotter’s model was instrumental in guiding the organization through the change process, ensuring that the shift towards a more innovative culture was both strategic and sustainable. The steps taken included:

  • Creating a guiding coalition of change leaders from across the organization to champion the initiative.
  • Developing a vision and strategy for innovation that was communicated clearly and compellingly to all levels of the organization.
  • Generating short-term wins by implementing pilot projects that demonstrated the value of innovation, thereby building momentum for broader change.

The implementation of Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model led to a transformation in the organizational culture. Employees became more engaged and proactive in seeking innovative solutions, leading to improvements in processes and products. This cultural shift not only enhanced the organization's ability to adapt to market changes but also significantly increased its capacity for sustainable growth.

Learn more about Corporate Culture Change Management Organizational Culture

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Increased yield per hectare by 15% through the adoption of sustainable fishing practices aligned with the Triple Bottom Line framework.
  • Reduced operational costs by 12% by identifying and mitigating critical constraints as per the Theory of Constraints.
  • Improved employee engagement scores by 20% following the implementation of Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model to foster an innovation culture.
  • Established partnerships with environmental NGOs, enhancing community support and validating the sustainability of new practices.
  • Implemented new fishing protocols that minimized environmental impact and promoted social equity, leading to enhanced long-term profitability.

The initiative to transform the aquaculture enterprise through sustainable practices, operational efficiency improvements, and fostering an innovation culture has yielded significant results. The 15% increase in yield and 12% reduction in operational costs are direct indicators of the successful implementation of the Triple Bottom Line framework and the Theory of Constraints, respectively. These outcomes not only demonstrate the enterprise's commitment to sustainability and efficiency but also position it favorably in a competitive market. The 20% improvement in employee engagement scores reflects the successful cultural shift towards innovation, crucial for sustaining long-term growth. However, the results also highlight areas for improvement, particularly in fully realizing the potential cost reductions anticipated from operational efficiencies. The expected cost reduction was 10% within the first year, but the actual reduction fell short, suggesting that there may have been unforeseen challenges or inefficiencies in the implementation process.

Given the achievements and the areas that fell short, it is recommended that the enterprise continues to invest in technology and training to address the gaps in operational efficiency. Further analysis should be conducted to understand the barriers to achieving the anticipated cost reductions fully. Additionally, expanding partnerships with environmental NGOs and local communities can further strengthen the enterprise's sustainability initiatives. To build on the cultural shift towards innovation, it is advisable to establish a dedicated innovation hub that can pilot new technologies and practices before wider roll-out. This hub could also serve as a center for continuous learning and adaptation, ensuring the enterprise remains at the forefront of sustainable aquaculture practices.

Source: Sustainable Fishing Strategy for Aquaculture Enterprises in Asia-Pacific, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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