Gibson Guitar

Gibson, where is the strategy?

Posted Posted in Articles, Innovation, Strategy

As news increases of looming bankruptcy for Gibson, the guitar manufacture, I’m left to wonder what happened. How did such an iconic brand end up in such a situation. Gibson is iconic. Ask anyone to name a brand of guitar and it’ll be the answer roughly 50% of the time. I’m reminded of Harley Davidson (quick quiz: can you name another brand whose customers tattoo the brand name on their body?). Maybe Gibson fits more closely with Jack Daniels. Both represent a way of life, on the edge of 50s/60s rebellion, now more refined. So what did happen? Quality I think of Rover, the once British car manufacturer, primarily based at its Longbridge plant, Birmingham. At one point, it was close to leading the world alongside other main brands, such as GM, Ford, Fiat. But over time, a lack of […]

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 […]

taco

The Taco of Business Architecture – What’s the Purpose of Business Architecture?

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

As a profession, Business Architects are in danger of becoming defined by just one of the products that they create. Unfortunately, it reduces the value that the profession can provide to organisations and limits expectations of prospects and clients. What went wrong? Imagine a fine-dining chef who makes tacos once at the request of a favourite customer. The chef knows tacos will do the job, she knows they’re sustenance, she knows that there are better products and even advises the customer of what she can do instead. But the customer wants tacos, so she delivers. Other people like tacos as well. So she becomes known as a taco chef and the world is left short one fine-dining chef. Or rather, she’s no longer unavailable to provide the fine-dining experience since she’s now cooking tacos at the request of many customers. […]

server

xTech – Part 1 – Why I’m fed up with tech

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Articles, Innovation, Strategy

xtech for Sector x Fintech is challenging the Finance sector Insurtech is challenging the Insurance sector Healthtech is challenging the Health sector Will we see Techtech challenging the Tech sector? And since new technology is developed every month and every year, would we be looking at a Techtechtech sector in a decade? It’s seems ludicrous to think of it that way and it is indeed ludicrous. The reason it sounds so odd to have a Techtech sector is that we’re allowing ourselves to be focussed on the technology that’s enabling us to replace the older business models. Analysis If you get a nice interface to your banking account and that bank account has a different charging model to the older high street banks, does that make it fintech? According to the hyped world, then yes. But it’s stilll banking. It’s […]

Business Motivation Blueprint

Using Archimate for Business Motivation Model and MSP – Part 4: Mission

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Articles, Methodology, Service Redesign, Strategy

In the first article, I introduced the standards and the tools that are in scope of this series of articles. To recap, the chosen tools/standards/methods are: Archimate – The open source enterprise architecture modelling standard Archi – a tool for working with Archimate Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) Business Motivation Model (BMM) In the second article, I introduced how I’m handling benefits and goals. In the third article, I introduced the corporate element of the BMM. In this article, I’m going to introduce the Blueprint element of MSP. What we’ll cover: The MSP Blueprint The MSP Mission Some of the capabilities that we’re affecting Design Principles The start of work packages What we won’t cover The detail of the organisation design (e.g. current and future designs) The full capability map Multiple programmes Warning Do not consider this article to contain the […]

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 […]

Books

Where Do I Learn? – Part 2 – Books

Posted Posted in Articles, Mentoring and Training, Methodology, Service Redesign, Startups, Strategy

If I’m driving, I’m listening to podcasts. If I’m travelling by train, then I’m reading. I typically read books that don’t directly relate to my profession, but those that I hope will change my approach to how I work with clients. For every client I go to, I end up mentoring business analysts, business architects, programme manager, project managers and other change programme staff. So I’ve kept a list of references (not just books) on Evernote and I tailor it to the person I’m mentoring at that time. Here’s the list of books that I recommend: 1. Lean 1.1. Womack and Jones: Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation http://amzn.to/1sCHWwD This is the book I recommend to anyone trying to understand lean for changing services and organisations. However, once you understand, you’ll start applying it to other areas […]