Any car

Surrendering Market Space

Posted Posted in Articles, Strategy

There was a radio commercial the other day with the following line: “We’ll beat your quote from a well known car buyer” So that’s one company referring to a second company but without mentioning to that second company by  name.  At what point did they realise that the other brand was so strong, they didn’t actually have to name it, since it would be obvious through context to anyone listening which company they were referring to? It implies that, for the intended audience, it’s the unnamed brand that is the strongest in that market sector for that product/service, not the company that’s chosen to advertise. So did the company who commissioned that spot realise that they’ve surrendered market space to another brand? Was this an attempt to gain market share by encroachment through undercutting (“we do the same job for you […]

Direction of Travel for Gym Business Models

New Year, New Gym, New Business Model

Posted Posted in Articles, Strategy, Transformation

The business of gyms is an odd one. It’s full of business principles from the 1970s with a thin veneer of customer service from the 1990s. What’s the modern approach? Let’s look at the typical issues with modern gym memberships. If you search on a few review sites or social media, you’ll commonly see a number of prospects who turned their back on transitioning to customers mixed with disgruntled customers. From a cursory glance, there are significantly more unhappy customers than happy customers and the gap between is wider than in any other industry that I can think of. So what’s the reason behind this? I think it could be due to gym managers and owners applying the wrong business model. The Continuum From a very simplistic viewpoint, we can fit products onto a continuum from commodities, feature-based through to […]

Business Architecture and Service Design

How Might We Apply Service Design to the Enterprise?

Posted Posted in Articles, Methodology, Service Redesign, Strategy, Transformation

I simplistically take the view that Service Design is the concepts and methods of Design Thinking applied to making services work better for their customers. It’s a definition that works in the circles I most commonly move in, i.e. directors, programme directors, etc. It allows me to set the stage in which service design and design thinking both play. However on the same stage, we commonly find KPIs, OKRs, Business Architecture, etc. And the stage starts to look crowded very quickly. We also start to see people pulling in different directions, like someone has let a mouse loose in the chorus of an Italian opera. Operas and plays have directors, often many directors each responsible for their own domain, but with one artistic director responsible for the overall vision. Envisioning Now imagine what would the stage look like if the […]

Enterprise Architecture and Business Architecture as Peers

The Maturing of Business Architecture

Posted Posted in Articles

In Black Sheep or Shepherd, I introduced the idea that Business Architecture isn’t aligned with Enterprise Architecture as well as we may expect from looking at traditional structures for Enterprise Architecture. I’ve had several conversations about that topic since, all raised by the person I was talking with, rather than me asking them. And we’re all coming to similar set of conclusions: Business Architecture doesn’t fit well within Enterprise Architecture (more on this below) Business Architecture as a profession is maturing Organisations who are using Business Architects are using them differently Business Architecture may be better defined as a peer capability to Enterprise Architecture, rather than within EA. Let’s take each in turn. 1. Business Architecture doesn’t fit well within Enterprise Architecture I covered a lot of this in Black Sheep or Shepherd. The traditional implementation of EA originates from an IT […]

Partnership Map 0_02

Partnership Map

Posted Posted in Articles, Facilitation, Methodology, Service Redesign, Startups, Strategy

I’ve developed a Partnership Map, designed to help us think about which companies we partner with and why. With my clients, I’ve often found workshop attendees confused (at least initially) by the term partnership. If you use other well-known tools such as the Business Model Canvas, maybe you’ve encountered similar issues. We all use the term partnership, but rarely question what we actually mean by it. I usually revert to asking what the partnership entails. If it’s one company paying another for services, is that really partnership? Components There are two parts to the target The Map itself: designed so you can print it large and place your partnering companies on the map A table of the definition of the tiers. I’ll admit this is a very rough draft, but I thought it better to get it out in the […]

Efficiency Through Motivation

Posted Posted in Articles, Innovation, Mentoring and Training, Methodology, Strategy

Efficiency Through Motivation I started an Instagram channel a while ago. I wanted to start generating an audience for my forthcoming course on Efficiency Through Motivation. I didn’t want to just post inspirational quotes; there are plenty of those channels already. What I wanted to do was to help people explore business architecture and strategy through asking questions of where they are at the moment. I’m using the images as the initial thought-provoker then writing related commentary, often in the form of prompting questions. Go have a look at EfficiencyThroughMotivation, does it work for you? Actually, better than tell, how about you let me know what you think of the idea? Or even what stage of business you’re at at the moment, what are your struggles and how do you think you’ll be resolving them? You can reach me at Contact […]

Enterprise Architecture in Startups: Is it relevant?

Posted Posted in Articles, Methodology, Startups, Strategy

Practitioners of Customer Development, Lean Startup and Enterprise Architecture can all learn from each other. But they shouldn’t enforce their views on each other as there are some incompatibilities. Let’s see how enterprise architecture in startups can exist. Background The Startup culture and methods have largely been defined by Steve Blank who wrote The Startup Owners Handbook and later, by Eric Ries who wrote Lean Startup. Both of these consider how newly-created companies can grow quickly and in the right direction for their founders and customers. Many authors and speakers followed, but for this article, we’ll mainly focus on these two. Enterprise Architecture (EA) functions can be found in many large, mature organisations that have a need to get a grip on their ICT* landscape.

When is it Innovation?

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Articles, Innovation, Methodology, Service Redesign, Startups

The terms innovation and invention are thrown around with abandon. This is rife in the startup domain where the innovation is often relating to a business model and in ageing corporations where innovation is being used to revitalise the organisation. But when is it innovation? Or could we actually be thinking of invention, improvement or creation instead?

When is the Right Time to Change Your Mind?

Posted Posted in Articles, Methodology, Strategy, Transformation

When is the Right Time to Change Your Mind? You have many opportunities in life and business to change your mind. Each of us has many opportunities, but we don’t always take those opportunities. We may be conforming to social constraints and expectations or don’t want to risk appearing inconsistent by changing too often. Let’s look at a non-serious example and extract nuggets we can apply in a business context. 1) The Background I’m in a situation right now where I’m having to re-evaluate my aims. Fortunately it’s not a serious situation and there are a few parallels to my professional life. I play guitar and I own a few guitar amplifiers. Each guitar and amp has its own tonal identity and quirks. I pick the right tools for the job; playing in a 60s Motown/soul band requires different guitars and […]

Applying Lean Startup in the Public Sector

Posted Posted in Articles, Methodology, Service Redesign, Transformation

Yesterday, I presented at #Leanconf 2013 in Manchester. It was the first Lean Conference covering Lean Startup in Europe. There was a great energy to the 2-day event with a variety of planned and unplanned talks plus lots of opportunity to network without the usual tradeshow conference feeling of being stalked by sales managers. I don’t think I’ve seen a community spirit like that in a long time; every attendees helped someone else no matter how far along their own ideas were. In the spirit of the energy that I encountered at the conference, I’ve placed the slides on slideshare. If you download the presentation, you can read the notes which will help you make more sense of the slides. Hopefully the video will be online as well soon. When it is available, I’ll update and post a link to […]