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Tomorrow the competition will be between business models, not just products & services

The key to winning in the New Era is the creation of a robust new business model that distinctly allows the enterprise to “escape the competition” and accelerate into a new future. On one page, it expresses how the enterprise will create sustainable advantage.

One of the first things we do is work with leaders to re-examine the foundation of their business model— their Core Competencies (what they do best) and Technology Platforms (technologies or methodologies that create unique advantages). Then in light of the current assessments and future envisioning, we work to redesign them (change current ones or add new ones) for the future. These form the foundation for the new era business model.

The reason for capturing the business model on one page is to enable everyone in the organization to quickly grasp what is essential to build and understand the “ecosystem” interdependencies of each of the elements of business. This provides a clear focus and guides the development of integrated strategies for creating value and winning in the future.

Don’t settle for an air sandwich

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When we start out with many organizations, they tell us they already have a vision and a strategy (really a list of to-dos) and they only are having trouble executing—not necessarily so! Often the reason for poor execution is the lack of a robust, employee engaged, fully supported picture of what success looks like…a values-based, rich vision translated into a clear, powerful new business model and brand that drives the creation of a coherent, simple-to-say strategy (the big stuff that changes the game).

We often find leadership teams struggling to execute with an “air sandwich”—a generic vision statement on the top (e.g., “we will be number one and highly successful”) and a disconnected list of actions and initiatives on the bottom, with only air in between. They are missing the substance, the “meat” of a robust future business model and strategy.

Only by creating a robust business model uniquely designed for the emerging new future, can an organization continuously drive the transformations and innovations needed for creating greater value in the future.

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“Dan and Meredith help companies build maps of their business models — one page pictures that describe, in their words, “how all elements of a business work together to build marketplace advantage and company value.””

Tim O’Reilly, CEO, O'Reilly Media; quote from WTF?: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us