Some time ago I wrote a manifesto for a small internal team I was forming. The team’s focus would be on learning and applying business design techniques and competencies. Because most of the members were relatively new to design, let alone business design, I wanted to ensure we were all on the same page. In reviewing it recently, it struck me that I could easily rename it to the Intrapreneur’s Manifesto, as for me at least, business design and being an intrapreneur go hand-in-hand.
What is business design?
The conversion of a customer problem into sustainable value for the customer and our business.
It is a human-centered approach to innovation. It applies the principles and practices of design to help organizations create new value and new forms of competitive advantage. Its core is the integration of customer empathy, experience design and business strategy.
What is the value of business design to an organization?
We use it to create new sustainable and meaningful businesses.
We use it to strengthen and preserve our financial goals in a quantifiable manner.
We use it to extend and fortify client lifetime value in a quantifiable manner.
It presents an opportunity for us to extend our brand and get closer to our customers.
What it should look like.
• A team environment with a dynamic hierarchy as opposed to static. Each member is both a leader and supporter.
• Team members operate in a cross-disciplinary manner — working within and across various groups inside (and outside) the firm.
• Operates within specific and controlled environments with clear goals as opposed to focusing on organizational change management.
Skills & Competencies Required.
• Measurement — without measurement — inputs, process and outcomes are subject to trivialization through speculation and uninformed opinion.
• Empathy — without a clear definition of the problem we are solving for, we are working in vain.
• Strategy formation & execution — strategy is not a buzzword but a series of deliberate actions seeking to achieve a defined outcome. Forming strategy is based on data (qualitative and quantitative) while considering business goals and resources. Strategy execution is a resource allocation and messaging challenge. Hard and soft skills are necessary for both.
• Business modeling & testing — the components of a business model and how they interact must be known and accounted for in every initiative. Testing is the process we apply constantly and without fear of failure in order to learn and iterate our models.
We are committed to never stop learning from one another, our failures and our successes.
We are humble and honest in assessing our own skills and capabilities. We do not overstate or overemphasize our prior experiences.
We are strong leaders but even stronger supporters.
We are discrete and work quietly to achieve our goals.
We are patient while remaining energized and committed.