Life In Fast Forward: The Blog

Thursday, June 18, 2009
A Process to Continually Improve Your Business Model

Monster Learning

This Guest Post Written By Donald Mitchell

Continuing business model innovation is the most valuable activity that any enterprise an engage in. But it's a problem for most leaders to take on this task. Why? They've never see anyone do it, and they have no personal experience.

To help overcome that problem, this article describes the key elements that such a process requires. With this template in mind, some leaders will be able to design and engage in the appropriate activities.

Here are the four elements in continuing business model innovation:

1. Understand and follow the current business model well. -- Employ the optimum way that goods and services should be supplied now, by informing all stakeholders about what needs to be done to deliver the most benefits.

2. Understand and install the next business model. -- Specify the next innovation to provide more stakeholder benefits through goods and services and how the transition will occur.

3. Understand and use a business model innovation vision. -- The ideal benefits to deliver to stakeholders in your industry, which is used to test the appropriateness of developing future generations of potential business model innovations.

4. Ongoing design and testing of business model innovations. -- Vision-defined probes and tests to elicit reactions to providing new benefits and various ways of supplying them.

A more valuable approach to continuing business model innovation also describes more than one future generation of innovations in terms of the second element.

For each of the first three elements of continuing business model innovations, you need to identify seven key elements -- the who, what, when, where, why, how, and how much -- viewed from the perspective of all direct and indirect stakeholders. Their combination defines either a business model or a business model innovation vision:

1. "Who?" defines all the stakeholders you are serving or affecting.

2. "What?" describes the offerings and their benefits and negative influences that affect each stakeholder.

3. "When?" captures the timing of offerings' effects on stakeholders.

4. "Where?" identifies the location for delivering the benefits and other impacts.

5. "Why?" gives the rationale for providing the stakeholder benefits you deliver.

6. "How?" explains your method of providing your offerings and being compensated for them.

7. "How much?" states the price customers and users pay and incur.

Why is it important to know what these seven elements are? By examining these areas, organizations will be able to focus on places where important benefits may be added.

About the Author:

Donald Mitchell is chairman of Mitchell and Company, a strategy and financial consulting firm in Weston, MA. He is coauthor of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. You can find free tips for accomplishing 20 times more by registering at:

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