At the end of the day, Business Design can't work if the management of an organisation has no clear picture of what the organisation should look like in the future. Again, it won't work! How can we decide, which Business Design projects to pick in order to build that picture? How can we evaluate the strategic fit of a designed solution? How can we make decisions along the Business Design process if we don't know where we are heading to? The initial reaction of many managers to the question of whether they have a clear vision or picture of the future for the organisation they are accountable for is: "Sure! We want to become the Nr. 1 in our industry XYZ and increase our gross margin by 3%". Well, this is neither a picture of the future nor a strategy. It is a goal. What we need instead is literally a virtual walk through the value creation process of a company in 4 to 5 years from now.
We love to ask questions like:
- Why will our organisation still exist in the future?
- What will the world of our customers and users look like?
- Who (= role) will be sitting in our organisation?
- What will they be doing all day long?
- Who (= role) won't be needed anymore and why?
- What are the most relevant playgrounds in the future?
- What will we be famous for?
- What do we need to "unlearn" in order to succeed in the future?
- What will be sent to the graveyard?
We know that finding answers to these questions is difficult and the answers may change along the way. That's the way it is. But it is absolutely essential as a leader to have answers to these questions in order to steer the organisation, decide and prioritise. By the way, running a couple of Business Design projects is a great way to shed light into the questions above and find brutally honest answers where you are today and where you should be tomorrow. Try it out and consider the famous quote from the famous sociologist Karl E. Weick:
Welcome to strategy building with Business Design.
The illustration above shows how Business Design can be embedded into a strategy-building process. Based on a tangible picture of the future for an organisation and (usually financial) KPIs, we prioritize innovation projects in portfolio matrix that were be executed in a Business Design logic to incrementally build the future.