BUILDING OR REBUILDING for a better future for your enterprise includes re-inventing how you do business, how you make decisions and how you serve a broader range of stakeholders. Moving from surviving to thriving requires intention and design; this kind of change doesn’t just happen.
Ask yourself: In your for-profit, public sector or non-profit enterprise, who is really making the decisions? Who really has skin in the game? And how does your organization really listen and respond to ideas that originate outside your core team? Are there ways to re-imagine your business model to re-energize your workplace and get everyone pulling in the same direction?
If you hold formal authority in enterprise today, it’s never been harder to use. Protests, boycotts, vetoes, foot-dragging and litigation can all block an organization’s decisions. Obviously, too much power in the hands of a few dinosaurs isn’t good; it’s called tyranny. On the other hand, overly diffused power can lead to chaos and nothing gets done.
How can you redesign your enterprise’s business model to give decision-makers in your organization enough power to be effective, but not too much? How can you purposefully make better quality decisions, informed by listening to external voices—even people and groups who don’t always agree with you? How do you ensure that your decision-makers focus appropriate time and effort on the important decisions?
As part of your business model redesign, consider evaluating five to ten of the most important decisions your enterprise makes; who has formal authority to make those decisions; and ways to evaluate the quality of decisions made.
Skin in the Game
You know what it means to have a genuine stake in an outcome, to be at risk of losing something if a venture goes sideways or gain something if there is success. Your enterprise’s shareholders and employees have obvious skin in the game. What about your board of directors? Do suppliers, consumers and clients, and the local communities where you operate, have a vested interest in your enterprise’s success?
What do you do when people pretend to have skin in the game, but they are faking it? Too often, outsiders intervene to “help” but they are really looking after their own interests.
Re-examining your business model and decision-making processes with a critical eye can identify risks and gaps that need to be closed to protect the survival of your enterprise. Redesigning your business model can enhance your organization’s ability to make quality decisions and deliver value to more stakeholders, and thus remain more relevant and sustainable. Doing the hard work of designing and embedding strong organizational culture is an “attractor”.
Chapter 5: Re-Imagine Your Business Model, Teaching the Dinosaur to Dance: Moving beyond Business as Usual