SAUL KAPLAN is the founder and chief catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF), a real-world laboratory for exploring and testing new business models and social systems. BIF has attracted a global community of over 5,000 innovators and organizes the internationally renowned BIF Collaborative Innovation Summit. Saul shares his innovation musings on Twitter (@skap5) and his blog (It's Saul Connected), and as regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Fortune, and Bloomberg Businessweek.
The Business Model Innovation Factory: How to Stay Relevant When The World is Changingby Saul Kaplan
Blockbuster's executives saw Netflix coming. Yet they stuck with their bricks and mortar business model, losing billions in shareholder value. They were "netflixed." Business models don't last as long as they used to. Historically CEO's have managed a single business model over their/b>
Business model innovation is the new strategic imperative for all leaders
Blockbuster's executives saw Netflix coming. Yet they stuck with their bricks and mortar business model, losing billions in shareholder value. They were "netflixed." Business models don't last as long as they used to. Historically CEO's have managed a single business model over their entire careers. Today, all organizations must be capable of designing, prototyping, and experimenting with new business models. The Business Model Innovation Factory provides leaders with the survival skills to create a pipeline of new business models in the face of disruptive markets and competition.
Avoid being netflixed. Your organization must be a business model innovator to stay competitive in today's turbulent world.
- Author Saul Kaplan is the founder and chief catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF), a real world laboratory for exploring and testing new business models and social systems. BIF has attracted a global community of over five thousand innovators and organizes the internationally renowned BIF Collaborative Innovation Summit
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As my own work in Lexington, Kentucky focuses on community and economic development - specifically, how to (re)invent a city like Lexington to prosper in the 21st century after we've been SO fragmented into silos and SO indoctrinated with factory age thinking - I have long absorbed "everything Saul Kaplan" through the lens of a city. System-wide transformation... connecting... tweaks won't suffice... new business models (even for cities) are critical... collaborating horizontally in the interstitial spaces... are all the exact same concepts that have been fuzzily forming in my own brain since I started what is now LeXenomics. But Saul makes your fuzzy imaginations REAL. He lets you realize you aren't crazy just because you see possibilities very differently from many around you. Primarily because Saul's words in Business Model Innovation Factory (as well as on his blog and in his tweets) aren't just words. They are his life's work OFF the whiteboard and on it. Saul is the real-world father of "collaborating across silos" and "working in the grey areas, in the interstitial spaces" - everything his 501(c)3 Business Innovation Factory is built upon begins with those two daily activities. There might not be a better Connector in America today. Non-profits like mine, as well as for-profits across America - and particularly our cities and educational institutions - need to follow in Saul's footsteps, we need to experiment and start new things OURSELVES. Waiting around for the old archetypes to transform the world for us will keep us waiting forever.
Please note lower case letters in the book title. Tweaks will not work, game-changing moves like releasing the title of a book with lower case letters, disrupting all that has been taught in English class while observing all that has been taught in English class is the new strategic imperative for the 21st century! the business model innovation factory, is a must read. I would only suggest that the author, Saul turn and walk the other way should he observe status quo randomly walking with tar and feathers. Why, you ask? Because … The content in this book is game-changing and delivered in a manner that is readable to individuals at various points on the innovator’s path. Saul makes a strong case for managing our current systems while simultaneously creating a business model innovation factory to develop completely new ways of delivering value. This is frightening because in some cases it may mean cannibalizing a current operating system. Do not get ‘net-flixed’, read this book and begin applying the principles in your sector, because it is not only for business but for any person, organization, or community that looks to innovate and deliver value. We all have a business model! Ryan
Saul Kaplan is a true systems thinker who refreshingly applies his holistic vision to the world of business innovation and growth. It's no longer just about making reductionist tweaks to products and marketing plans; today's organizations must be capable of intervening at the level of the whole system, i.e. designing, prototyping, and experimenting with entirely new business models. This book is not only an invaluable plan of action, but an absolutely pleasurable read. I think I nodded the entire way through and am still nodding - yes! Read it. And thank you, Saul, for inspiring us to be adaptive about not only products and plans, but about business strategy itself.
"A business model is a story about how an organization creates, delivers and captures value." Simple enough right? It is this same thoughtful, yet direct commentary that makes this book so entertaining for a business model novice like myself. I do not consider myself an innovator, nor am I an innovation junkie. Yet while reading this book, I began to identify with so many of the points Saul makes about creating value with passion, connecting to unusual suspects that are outside of your industry, and not being afraid to take an honest look at yourself and transform not only the way you operate as an organization, but also as an individual. I rarely read business books, and to me, this doesn't feel like one. It is an inspiring collection of insights and stories to help you get better at what you do. There is always a better way, and thankfully there are books like this to question if you are doing all you can to become a Business Model Innovation Factory.
Quick, tell me your organization’s business model. Can you? Can you tell me what a business model is? Oh, it’s how we make money! Therein lies the problem. It’s a lot more than just making money – making money is the output, not even the outcome, let alone the model. Your organization, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, has a business model. And finally, business model innovation is getting the recognition it deserves. That’s why I was thrilled when my friend and one of business model innovation’s gurus, Saul Kaplan, wrote a must read book sharing his real world experiences - The Business Model Innovation Factory. Long before it became fashionable, Saul was leveraging the power of business models in his career. His organization, The Business Innovation Factory (BIF), is a vehicle for sharing real life stories about business models that have transformed industries and lives. If you want your organization to survive and thrive well into the 21st Century, read this book. Saul’s definition of a business model is simple and straightforward: “A business model is a story about how an organization creates, delivers and captures value.” It is simple, but not easy and in today’s world very short-lived. Business models used to last decades, now sometimes barely years. That’s why we see so many good ideas either not make it to market or not for long. It’s why just because you can make a great omelet doesn’t mean you can make 30 great omelets at once in your restaurant. Most organizations think of innovation in terms of creating value: products, services and experiences. Yet few are really good at truly understanding what the customer needs. That’s why there are many inventive organizations, but few innovative ones. Saul quotes Theodore Levitt (Harvard Business School Professor), “People don’t want a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.” Clayton Christensen, an advisor to BIF, taught us that customers are hiring companies to “do a job” for them. Saul cites Whitney Johnson’s description of what jobs social media does for her . There is more to doing a job for a customer than just creating the solution – you have to actually get it to them. Saul emphasizes a very critical, and almost always overlooked, component of business models - the HOW of delivering value. We know the importance of a living, adaptable, actionable strategic plan. It focuses the organization on the WHY and WHAT of value creation. It provides everyone with a common mission and purpose. Saul urges us to also create a shared operating model on HOW value will be delivered. This is a very powerful way to align everyone on the activities and resources, a way to let people see and understand how they can and do contribute to actually delivering value to their customers. A shared operating model enables people to “collaborate with a shared purpose for value delivery.” A shared operating model helps the organization identify the most important capabilities (not necessarily core competencies) and provides a roadmap for networking these capabilities to deliver value to customers. I think this is one of the most important areas for an organization to focus and shows why strategy & execution need to be interwoven. Those that take this recommendation seriously will be significantly advantaged. So how do we do this? Saul is a man of action, so he provides actionable principles for business model innovation, also known as the BIF Genome – Connect, Inspire, Transform. We need to iteratively experiment with business models. For many, this is frightening. Saul’s recommendation to build a business model innovation factory in the organization comes from the many real-world experiments he and the BIF team have run in BIF’s experience labs. As we move further into the 21st Century, we need to shift our thinking from just pouring money, time and people into R&D for ‘stuff’ to also putting money, time and people into R&D for business model innovation. Saul’s book is a much-needed guide to doing just that. Seeing a real life business model innovation factory in action can help too, so take a trip to Providence, RI. I’d suggest you organize that around BIF-8 – so you can not only see, but also hear, learn, discuss from and with those who have and are doing it. Thank you, Saul, for sharing your years of learning, of failures and successes, and of wisdom with us. I hope we heed your recommendations to Connect, Inspire and Transform.