A Personal introduction to Business Model Studios

In April, we hosted a very special guest in Nashville. The talented and witty Patrick van der Pijl, producer of the best-selling business book, Business Model Generation.

For 10 days, Patrick worked with our team to accelerate the production of a new online course set to launch June 1st.

This course is perfect for the busy facilitator, consultant or manager who works with teams to examine, understand and innovate new business models.

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Hybrid Thinking at P&G: Design meets Strategy


Procter and Gamble

When A.G. Lafley was named CEO of Procter & Gamble during the summer of 2000, her job was remarkably ambitious: Make innovation happen at P&G.

To remain the world's preeminent maker of useful stuff for the house, P&G needed to make a lot of changes very quickly and appointed Claudia Kotchka as the company's first-ever VP for design strategy and innovation in 2002.

Her job was remarkably ambitious: Make innovation happen at P&G!

And she did through up-endeding the status quo in P&G's product development process. She made several bold moves that any company may want to consider.

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Tech Solutions on a Shoestring

Want to get up and running on very little capital? OpenSource and web apps are the way to go. This is advice to social entrepreneurs (and entrepreneurs in general) from Jeff Skoll's foundation. Open Source solutions like Ubuntu for free and OpenOffice give an instant operating system and Office suite of productivity tools. Online solutions for websites, shared documents, collaboration and customer relationship management include: PBwiki, WetPaint, Google, Zoho, 37Signals
clipped from www.socialedge.org

Tech Solutions on a ShoestringAlmost all start-ups run into limitations in two critical areas - time & money. You can never have enough of either. Technology is supposed to help you save a bit of both, but it always seems to end up taking more time and more money than it ever saves you. Even when you find a solution that saves you money, it almost always takes more time than you have to give, and vice versa. What choices are available to help swing things back in the intended direction?

Open source tools are free, but expensive in terms of time lost to implement. There are free web services available that allow you to utilize their capabilities - sans your own branding. Gmail is great, but how long can you get away without having your own domain associated with your email? Same goes for free wikis and other collaboration tools.

Embrace the Edge -- or Perish

The periphery of today's global business environment is where innovation potential is the highest. Ignore it at your peril.

Article by John Hagel and John Seely Brown

Edges are increasingly significant as the global business environment speeds up. In a world of accelerating change, what's born on the edge transforms the core with breathtaking speed. A few short years ago, both India and China were marginal players in the global economy. Now they are central players. Not long ago, the Internet was a specialized communication platform for scientists. Now it's a center for commerce and advertising.

Engage. Too often, executives get intrigued with the edge and arrange field visits to explore this strange terrain. Insight rarely comes from such casual visits. Instead, executives need to identify and focus on challenging business issues to engage edge participants productively and drive real insight.

Sustain relationships on the edge. A lot of the current effort in open innovation focuses on short-term transactions to gain access to existing resources. To get the full value of the learning that's occurring on the edge, executives need to find ways to build long-term, trust-based relationships with edge participants.

Bring the edge to the core. In too many cases, companies set up remote outposts on the edge that become isolated and alienated from the core of the business. Senior executives need to identify challenges confronted by the core where insights from the edge can be helpful and sponsor initiatives to bring participants from both domains together around these issues.

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Fast Company: Design meet Business: "Business, this is… Design"

by Mark Dziersk

Business people need to develop a better understanding of design, form partnerships between themselves and creativity, and apply strategy to design thinking, in order to compete effectively today.

This article shares 6 tips "to help navigate thoroughly confusing waters."

  1. Design Strategy…an oxymoron?
  2. The world is upside down, embrace it.
  3. Invent new training, train thyself
  4. Understand your DNA
  5. Visualize strategy
  6. No PPTs. Tell stories
clipped from www.fastcompany.com

As an accomplished businessperson you probably know a lot about strategy and little about creativity. Creativity is the key to innovation. And, if innovation is (as testified almost everywhere these days) the Midas touch for business today, understanding creativity involves a lot more than orchestrating regimented processes. Most businesses are run by adding columns of numbers, and led by financially motivated business managers armed with…. strategies. If creativity is the fuel that brings innovation to life, then strategy is the mirror equivalent for business.

Visual thinking, storytelling, DNA, and adaptable processes all help enormously. For designers today, a good understanding of the" business comfort zone" with ideas and concepts is a tool as powerful as any Alias rendering or beautifully executed aesthetic prototype. Creativity is the currency, but the strategic foundation is equally important.