Tag Archives: Business Model Innovation

Understanding the Basics of Business Model Innovation

Understanding the Basics of Business Model Innovation

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Business model innovation is the practice of applying creative thinking to develop an improved way of doing business. It has become increasingly important in today’s competitive environment as companies strive to remain ahead of the pack. While there are many different approaches to business model innovation, understanding the basics is essential to developing a successful model. In this article, we will discuss the fundamentals of business model innovation and highlight some case studies as examples.

What is Business Model Innovation?

Business model innovation is the purposeful adaptation of an existing business model to create new or improved products, services, and customer experiences. This approach requires that companies use creative thinking to develop creative solutions that will help them to differentiate themselves from their competition. By applying this process, companies can create more value and gain a competitive advantage.

Benefits of Business Model Innovation

Business model innovation can open up a range of possibilities for businesses. Firstly, it can improve the efficiency of a business by reducing costs or increasing revenue. Secondly, it can create competitive advantage by developing unique products and services. Finally, it can improve customer experiences by introducing new technologies or processes.

Case Study 1 – Apple

Apple is a great example of a company that has successfully applied business model innovation. When Apple was struggling in the early 2000s, its main focus was to differentiate itself from its competitors. To do this, they developed the Apple App Store, the iTunes Store, and the Apple Music streaming service. These services allowed them to create new revenue streams and capture a larger market share.

Case Study 2 – Netflix

Netflix is another great example of successful business model innovation. Originally launching as a DVD rental service, Netflix saw an opportunity to offer a streaming service for movies and television shows. In doing so, they disrupted the traditional television system and created a new way for customers to consume media. This innovative approach has allowed the company to remain a leader in the industry.


Business model innovation is an important tool for businesses that are looking to remain competitive in today’s market. Understanding the basics of this approach is key to successfully applying it to develop a more effective business model. By utilizing creative thinking and adapting existing models, companies can create more value and gain a competitive advantage. The two case studies highlighted above provide great examples of how successful businesses have used business model innovation to remain ahead of their competition.

Image credit: Strategyzer

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Going Beyond the Business Model Canvas

Going Beyond the Business Model Canvas

For decades when business people and aspiring entrepreneurs came up with an idea and became serious about commercializing it, they would, by default, create a business plan. Anyone who has ever created a business plan knows they are a LOT of work. And as any innovator knows, most ideas turn out to be garbage. As a result, the creation of most business plans ends up being a waste of time.

All of this wasted time and money in the universes of both corporate innovation and startups was definitely an area of opportunity.

This pain has been solved in part by the Business Model Canvas created by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, the Lean Canvas created by Ash Maurya, and by minor variations created by others.

Purpose of the Business Model Canvas

The purpose of both at their core is the same. The Business Model Canvas and the Lean Canvas seek to help entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and innovators quickly explore the desirability, feasibility and viability of their ideas in a more visual and collaborative way, while also supporting much quicker iterations and revisions to both the value proposition and its path to market.

Where a business plan may take weeks to create, a Business Model Canvas or Lean Canvas can be created in an afternoon.

Where a business plan is often created by one person and revised by others in a serial manner, a Business Model Canvas or Lean Canvas is a group activity, informed by a collection of diverse perspectives and experiences, and challenged, evolved and revised in a real-time, parallel manner.

What excites me most as someone who conducts workshops all around the world and teaches people how to use the Business Model Canvas and other innovation & change tools, is that the Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas have helped to accelerate a transformation in not only how people are taught, but also how they are permitted to conduct business.

Creating a Business Model Canvas as a Team

The Visual and Collaborative Workplace Transformation

This transformation is a game changer because it represents a growing integration of methods into workshops and meetings that enable facilitators to engage not only auditory learners, but visual, kinesthetic and social learners as well.

This more human approach to prototyping a business helps to add a bit more structure around an idea, in a collaborative way that will more quickly surface gaps and flaws while also testing assumptions, collecting idea fragments into a more holistic value proposition and creating a vision for how to make it real.

But, as we all know, any new business or any potential innovation will create an abundance of required and necessary changes. Unfortunately, whether you are using the Business Model Canvas or the Lean Canvas, the truth and the limitation is that they are but a single tool and can’t help you walk the rest of the path to reality. To create the changes necessary to realize your vision, you will need many more tools.

“When what people do aligns with what they think and feel, then and only then, will you achieve the outcomes you’re looking for.”

The good news is that this more visual and collaborative way of working helps with two of the most important keys to success – buy-in and alignment – and also helps to align mind, body, and spirit to harness the whole brain and its three constructs:

  1. Cognitive (thinking)
  2. Conative (doing)
  3. Affective (feeling)

Outcome-Driven Change Framework by Braden Kelley

Beyond the Business Model Canvas and the Lean Canvas

Visual, collaborative tools like the Business Model Canvas, Lean Canvas, Empathy Map, Value Proposition Canvas, Experience Maps, Service Design, and even Customer Journey Maps have laid the groundwork for a more modern, more powerful way of working that leverages the whole brain of the individual, and all three learning styles of the collective.

And where these tools all represent the beginning of a visual, collaborative endeavor to create change, they are missing the tools to help plan for and execute the changes that are being proposed.

Making the Shift to Human-Centered Change

This is where the Change Planning Toolkit™ powering the Human-Centered Change methodology comes in. It has been designed with the Change Planning Canvas™ at its core to feel familiar to those already using the aforementioned tools and empower teams to take the next steps on their journey to be successful:

  1. Innovation and Intrapreneurship
  2. Startup Creation
  3. Digital Transformation
  4. Design Thinking
  5. New Product Development (NPD)
  6. Service Design
  7. Experience Design
  8. Customer Experience (CX) Improvement Efforts
  9. Projects (make sure you also get the Visual Project Charter™)
  10. Change Initiatives

Charting Change is Number OneSo, if you’re already familiar with the Business Model Canvas, Lean Canvas, Empathy Map, Value Proposition Canvas, Experience Maps, Service Design, or Customer Journey Maps then you should get a copy of my latest book Charting Change and it will show you the thinking behind the Change Planning Toolkit™, how to use it to maintain the momentum of your team and the energy behind your idea, and how to leverage both to push it forward towards reality.

The Change Planning Toolkit™ will help you beat the 70% change failure rate, create more efficient and effective change initiatives (and even projects), and accelerate your pace of successful change in order to keep up with the accelerating pace of change all around us and to be more nimble, agile, and responsive than your competition.

Three Steps to Human-Centered Change Success

There is a simple three step process for people who want to start saving time and get the jump on their competition today by familiarizing themselves with the Human-Centered Change methodology:

  1. 10 free tools available to download now
  2. 26 free tools when you buy the book
  3. 70+ tools when you license the toolkit

I’ve invested more than $1 million into the Change Planning Toolkit™ so you don’t have to, and so you can leverage this investment to gain all of the benefits above while also saving yourself thousands or millions of dollars in consulting fees – every year.

And for a limited time, there are some exciting FREE training opportunities available to a handful of organizations who contact me.

Accelerate your change and transformation success

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Scaling Local Food Revival with a Business Model Innovation

Business Model Innovation Taken for a Spin by Zaycon Foods

There is no doubt that people are becoming more interested in where their food came from and with meat prices rising (especially here in the United States with widespread drought in some areas) people are also becoming more concerned with the cost.

Like a blast from the past, when neighbors used to get together and buy a side of beef together and have a butcher carve it up so they could stash it in their respective freezers, Zaycon Foods has come along with a business model innovation and introduced a Farm->Truck->You food distribution system for some types of meat and produce, bypassing several layers of warehousing, truck shipment, and unnecessary waiting time.

Here is a video describing their business model innovation for a spin using chicken as an example:

But it is not just chicken that they offer at their buying events. They also offer 93/7 lean ground beef, premium bacon, ribs, hot dogs, ham, and even seasonal produce straight to the trunk of your car. The benefits of the business model innovation are numerous:

  • Lower prices
  • Fresher food (no waiting steps in the process)
  • No food waste (which is part of the reason retailer’s charge more)

Now operating in 48 states to 1,000+ locations here in the United Sates and a growing favorite of churches, and other group purchasers, neighbors are now banding together and doing a scaled down version of sharing a side of beef (or, um, chicken).

What do you think? Is this an innovation or not?

P.S. They did win the first annual Post Harvest Waste Innovation Award from The Post Harvest Project (TPHP), a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 through the support of The Clinton Global Initiative.

Source: The Seattle Times

Build a common language of innovation on your team

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