Purpose: from theory to practice
In many companies that have begun a transformation process, there is still a gap between the expression of their purpose and its concrete application in the field. This gap is very difficult to close, but it is not impossible. In order for an organisation to realise its ambition of transformation, it is essential that all employees in the organisation understand its business model in order to make it their own.
There are, in fact, didactic tools for representing the business model that can be used to involve employees who are disconnected from strategic issues and who are not led to make direct connections between the value proposition and the organisation. It is necessary to reach out to this audience and exploit the tools, supports and common vocabulary that will lead them to understand the company’s strategy, to adopt it, but also to adapt it to their own needs.
The missing link
The Business Model Canvas is a classic approach used by many companies internally. Very often, project managers or external consultants interview staff from various departments to build and represent the model. This helps to reduce the gap between management and the field teams. This approach, if it is not accompanied by a collective intelligence approach, is insufficient.
“The business model is the missing link to get a complete view of the mechanisms that connect the market to the internal processes of the company.”
At Partena Professional, we immediately made the link between the business model and collaborative governance. We started by agreeing on the definition of a business model. We then directly used participative tools and facilitated workshops internally in order to be in the co-construction. This was in response to the demand from the field staff who wanted to play a key role in the transformation of the company, in an autonomous way, in the field and become real stakeholders in the process. It was also a strong signal from the management who thus immediately shared the responsibilities of the transformation and gave a concrete example of a participative and inclusive approach.
This experience was very instructive. It reinforces my conviction that the business model is the missing link to get a complete view of the mechanisms that connect the market to the company’s internal processes.
Visualise the business model to deploy it
If representing the business model makes it easier for employees to understand and adopt the strategy, this is even more true when they can deploy their own action plan at their own level.
Everything is usable in terms of tools. The employees then become intrapreneurs who are inspired by and use development methods specific to the world of start-ups. In the end, the business world and the world of start-ups are not so different. Start-ups generally undergo rapid and intensive development based on Lean management techniques. This model is perfectly applicable to a team in a large company as long as the purpose and impact is known, understood and integrated.
“What is less common is the connection between governance, organisational model, economic, cultural and personal development as key pillars of integrated organisational transformation.”
In the same way, all operational marketing approaches, such as design thinking, are completely complementary and fit perfectly into the tools and methods that give meaning to collaborative projects.
What is less common is the connection between governance, organisational, economic, cultural and personal development models as key pillars of integrated organisational transformation. The whole thing is built around a purpose. This interconnection is fundamental to the success of a transformation project.
How then can this purpose be translated into all dimensions of the company?
Connect all to the business model
The business model is used to capture value, to generate and deliver value in order to be sustainable. This is a perspective that we must, of course, keep in mind. It is also imperative that the company ensures that the transformation of the organisation, relationships and personal development are integrally linked to the business model. Otherwise, it will be building on sand.
If the company does not realise this at the start of the transformation journey and therefore does nothing to create this alignment, the transformation programme will fail. If the company realises that action needs to be taken at this level, it will often, in the first instance, try to do it on its own with its internal resources. Why not? In this case, it must be helped and inspired to do so by using all the assets of an integrated, inclusive and iterative approach.