Just this past weekend I had a few minutes to kill before running out of the door to the next family-centric event so I was flipping through the television when I ran across the iconic movie ‘Field of Dreams’.
For those of you, yes the two of you, who don’t recall the film it’s based around one man’s blind faith in what he perceives to be his mission. Against all the naysayers and common sense he constructs a baseball diamond (field) in the middle of a rural cornfield. No market, visible demand, or even enough people in shouting distance to field a complete roster he plunges full-bore into the development of his vision. This being a movie a miracle transpired and everything turned out beyond anyone’s dreams.
“Build it and they will come”… Not
This iconic line from the film is “Build it and they will come”. What struck me, perhaps because I was noodling this series, is that this is exactly what a significant percentage of concerns do when they construct their business model. They develop a value proposition then hope and pray that enough people recognize that it helps solve one of their problems.
She Said He Said
Go back over the second paragraph. Notice the pattern?
- he perceives
- he constructs
- his vision
It epitomizes self-absorption.
This is ass backwards from what needs to happen.
Whether you’re igniting or reigniting your business you need to take into consideration context. This is because our mission as business leaders is to determine how we can solve one of our customer’s problems, needs, or desires.
And, how do you do this? Via Undergoing Discovery, which is this week’s topic.
Why it’s hard
It’s all about collecting information so that you can build new perspectives and increase your understanding of business drivers and constraints. Yet many fail to secure the right or enough information. Why is that? Perhaps it’s because:
- It’s disorientating; it challenges one to look beyond the status quo and wander into unfamiliar, uncharted territory
- Everyone in the organization holds tacit assumptions, all be it different ones, in their head
- Traditionally uncomfortable viewing the business process (entire & value delivered) from customer’s perception
- The external environment (context) is constantly on flux
- And ultimately, most businesses cannot innovate because everyone is paid to maintain the status quo
There is hope and here’s the play.
Recast what you know/believe
The insights that make for significant ‘ah ha’ moments come from anywhere – customers, old belief challenges, other industries, strategic partners, or loose connections. None of which is more important than the other. Take knowledge management seriously:
- Discover the current unvarnished situation
- Discover customer challenges
- Build an understanding of the competitive landscape, their others models, & their potential reactions
- Recognize which macro forces (key trends, market forces, economic trends, & industry forces) most impact the business
- Seek real world business model innovations that you can learn from
Looks pretty simple, right? Actually, it is.
Following the process helps you immerse yourself into the context in which you are, or plan on, functioning to find potential unique sweet spots. Here are five tips that if embraced can help enhance the results.
- Be honest; how is it really going
- Form a shared base understanding; get the team’s assumptions and inner thoughts into the open
- Bring in outside perspectives, expertise to help combat group think
- Assess your existing strengths and weaknesses to provide insights for a new model
- Search for new customer problems that you expertise might solve
Let them tell you what game to play
You do have to build it before they come… it’s just that you need to build THEIR field of dreams. Perhaps the takeaway line for the post should be:
Build it for them so that they will come.
If you have anything to add to the conversation please chime in below; be blunt but not cruel.
In the next part we will explore Design. See you next Monday.
- Business [Re]Ignition: The 7 Rock Solid Elements of Executing Business Model Innovation (donaldmcmichael.com)
- Business [Re]Ignition: The 7 Rock Solid Elements of Executing Business Model Innovation – Part 1 (donaldmcmichael.com)