Home > BCS, business model, Capgemini, Event, Innovation, Seminar > How to implement innovative business models

How to implement innovative business models

Back in 2011, I wrote a post about business model innovation in which I waxed lyrical about how a simple, straightforward business model canvas could be the perfect tool for any organisation to use in tackling the complexities of today’s business environment. So what has changed since then?

Absolutely nothing, and I still stand by what I said. If anything, ample proof exists in the growing number of user communities and tools (e.g. here and here) that employ this amazing technique to simplify and facilitate business model innovations. However, the one missing piece for me was how to easily translate valuable insights gleaned from using the business model canvas into something tangible, practical and immediately applicable to the actual work of business transformation. That problem appears to have been solved with the introduction of tools that can automate and facilitate the execution part of business model innovation.


Figure – The missing piece: executing business model innovation 

Don’t get me wrong, the above missing piece is achievable by manually translating business model changes into the enterprise architecture (EA) and business process (BPM) landscape, but this implies hefty overheads in terms of people and effort required to implement even a simple change. Also, the evolving nature of the role played by EA and BPM functions, (within a dynamic and fast changing business environment), demands a more seamless interface with changing business models. Thankfully, the afore-mentioned tools should help to automate and provide such seamless linkage.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a vendor webinar which actually prompted this blog post, because they described how their software suite was designed to deliver this capability, and below are some of my impressions from that event, including:

  1. The promise of business model canvas as the right approach to address the challenge of a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (aka VUCA) world.
  2. The shift away from products to business models as key differentiators
  3. Seven applications of the Business Model Canvas, including various business model innovation journeys and perspectives (e.g. offer / customer / revenue driven models)
  4. Business Model Mountain was the term used to describe how business model innovation falls over halfway between ideation and execution, (see diagram below).


Figure – Business Model Mountain (source: BizzDesign Webinar Slides)

According to the presenter, their software suite provide a more compelling way to engage business stakeholders with the end-to-end transformation process, by using business model canvas as the reference model for communication between business, process and technology stakeholders. It was also great to see a demo of the software suite, which allayed some of my fears about tools that attempt to do too much, by featuring different aspects (i.e. business model canvas, EA and BPM) as distinct tools that work well in their own right, but which can be combined to deliver end-to-end translation of the business model into real system components and processes.

Health Warning: Not having used this tool yet, (due to very busy day job, believe it or not), I’m unable to say more about real hands-on capabilities, but in terms of its potential to help realise the huge promise and benefits of business model innovation, this is certainly a step in the right direction, in my humble opinion.


Note: this is another post in the innovation topic series, and more specifically, “tools for innovation”. Watch out for more on this and related topics, over the next few months.

Some relevant links:

  1. Blogpost: “The Innovative Art of Business Model Generation” – https://www.capgemini.com/blog/capping-it-off/2011/07/the-innovative-art-of-business-model-generation
  2. BizzDesign Webinar: “Business Model Innovation Webinar” – http://www.bizzdesign.com/blog/serviceline/business-model-management
  3. Bright talk Webinar: “Innovation and EA”-  https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/679/32551
  4. Blogpost: “Developing a tradition for change” – http://www.bcs.org/content/conBlogPost/2204
  5. Blogpost: “Capabilities for Sustainable Innovation” – https://www.capgemini.com/blog/capping-it-off/2013/08/capabilities-for-sustainable-innovation
  1. August 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Judeh – good article – But the traditional Communication, Collaboration & Culture angle and perspectives take many of the the great Visions/Strategy to Execution of Guillotine variety of the whole thing getting scrapped – be it Org Change management or basic flaws of communication of Opaquness – as everything stays in the meeting room blah blah – Yes ole White Boarding and the connectedness part of the technology can spring forth keeping the Innovation spirit alive during and after delivering Solutions and capabilities. The Business Fabric is the same with PEOPLE on top of the pyramid and tech and process as 2 Big levers along with willingness to Change Business models!
    Any automated tool maybe nice to have – but the old adage of looking at everything as a nail with the Sledge hammer of the tool – may take its own toll of the WISE and powerful concluding – hm this too shall PASS..

    • judeumeh
      August 9, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Sundar, v. interesting point, and I certainly agree that the tool is only as good as the user can wield it. However, this is probably more about having the right tool versus not having anything at all.
      Innovation will still happen regardless, but sometimes it can be enhanced and accelerated by the right tools and users. I can only imagine the frustration of those that wish they had such a tool to carry out a simple change in their business model. Furthermore, the real value comes from the effectively using the business model canvas. Seamless, automated execution is merely the icing on the cake.

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