Develop A Process For Continuing Business Model Innovation

In recent days, Apple announced that co-founder Steve Jobs would be leaving the company for a time to deal with some health issues. Investors and analysts closely eyed how the stock price responded.

In interview after interview, people wanted to know whether Apple could maintain its cutting edge innovative abilities while Jobs is out of the picture. Isn’t that interesting? Why wouldn’t Apple continue to innovate? Or will it?

Now, ask yourself how well your organization would do in making business model innovations if you weren’t available? Hopefully, it wouldn’t make any difference and your business model would be continually updated without you.

For most organizations, however, that’s not the case. The “solitary genius” toils seemingly alone (or at least doesn’t let anyone else make a decision) in many companies. When that person dies or retires, everyone knows that the glory days are over.

Whatever happened to Edwin Land’s Polaroid?

You get the idea.

Most organizations are led by mere mortals, and they look to create a systematic source of success. A few organizations are blessed with geniuses who can continue to find more successful business model innovations. That blessing, however, turns into a curse if the genius stops delivering or leaves.

While one person does all the thinking, others daydream about what they will do after work rather than coming up with their own business model innovations.

A better approach is to install a process that engages lots of people in proposing and testing potential business model innovations. Examples where continuing business model innovation had been made into day-to-day work are few and far between. Typically, however, when the leader left who had organized the innovation process, business model innovation for that organization ended.

During a time of economic crisis like 2009, most companies will stumble because they will keep doing what they’ve always done . . . even if that approach stops working. Boards of directors will be shouting for better cost controls, for stronger balance sheets, for more influential leaders. And those won’t help if the business model is broken.

Wake up! Smell the coffee.

If you don’t have a process to upgrade your business model by the end of 2009, you are in trouble.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Have lots of experiments going that don’t cost very much.
  2. Cut off experiments that don’t seem to be going where you want to go.
  3. Share insights into what kinds of improved business models might work.
  4. Watch progress on developing new business models very carefully.
  5. Invite stakeholders to participate.
  6. Consider running global contests to get lots of help from the world’s best thinkers.
  7. Let non-experts have a crack at making improvements, too.
  8. Focus on innovations that will expand the market by providing new reasons and opportunities to do business with you.

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About the Author

Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through and receive tips by e-mail through registering for free at

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Now more than ever, everyone from students to CEOs need a plan for lasting and meaningful success. Filled with inspiring anecdotes and focused on actual achievement, Success Mapping cuts through doubt and confusion with a simple yet rigorous set of actions.

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Legacy Book Store
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Additional Information

In addition to the incredible insights Arlene shares in Success Mapping and this special edition podcast are the additional resources accessible from her Success Mapping website, ( Arlene’s book, Success Mapping, can be purchased by clicking here.

About the Author

Arlene Johnson, author of Success Mapping, is Founder and President of the Sinequanon Group. Arlene is an internationally known speaker, author, and consultant with more than two decades of experience in executive leadership, change management, and sales performance coaching. She serves as trusted advisor to many Fortune 500 clients including American Express, Hewlett-Packard, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Texas Instruments, and Lockheed Martin. To read Arlene’s full biography, click here.

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Business Performance Assessment Program – Criticisms Appear Harsher When Put into Print

StrategyDriven Business Performance Assessment Program ArticleFact or fiction, anything formally documented assumes an air of legitimacy. Combine this implied legitimacy with the stark black and white of the printed words and any identified improvement opportunity can appear overly harsh and critical, especially to those responsible for the performance. Apparent aggressiveness within a self assessment can result in resistance to the evaluation findings; often by those who stand to benefit the most and who must own the corrective actions.

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Leadership Inspirations – Commitment

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when it is convenient. When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses.”

Ken Blanchard

Management expert and author of The One Minute Manager

Recommended Resource – How the Mighty Fall

How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In
by Jim Collins

About the Reference

How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In by Jim Collins examines the reasons great and good companies slip into decline, the five phases of decline, and the questions company leaders can ask to identify if their organization is declining or at risk of doing so. Consistent with his past work, Jim Collins’s conclusions of why organizations fall into decline is founded on rigorous examination of imperial evidence and the book filled with highly illustrative examples.

Benefits of Using this Reference

StrategyDriven Contributors like How The Mighty Fall because of the unique perspective Jim Collins provides on organizational decline founded on imperial research. We believe it is important for business leaders to remain ever watchful for indicators of declining performance and to this end, Jim Collins provides an insightful list of decline indicating markers. If we had one criticism of How The Mighty Fall it would be that Collins omits any thoughts as to how and with what periodicity a leader or an organization might systematically examine itself for the existence of one or more markers of decline.

How The Mighty Fall keeps with the StrategyDriven philosophy of self evaluation; giving readers insight to the warning flags of organizational decline and demise and making How The Mighty Fall a StrategyDriven recommended read.