Catalyst Strategic Consultants

How does your business need to grow?

The Biz Model Canvas – Worth a Big Try

Lately introduced to the Biz Model Canvas by a bunch of people – Karen Sytnick and Les Chang at BDC and Neville Chamberlain.
What a helpful vehicle for thinking about the outlay of an enterprise. Here it is – Breaking up the organization of business into easy to understand blocks, you can populate the cells clearly and show the linkages between them.
It’s now my preferred tool for getting a quick grip on how a biz works. Much better than the old – and tired – SWOT. That one is trotted out at every strat planning session and doesn’t give the “under the hood” understanding the canvas does.
The limitation? We still have to look outside the entity for what’s affecting it and those aspects are having a greater impact all the time. Verne Harnish changed from SWOT to SWT = Strength Weakness TRENDS. There are some big ones at play and drawing ever nearer to your world – really, they’re already here. Mall-less futures, self driving cars, the new A I, the dark warehouse – trends used to take shape gradually and approach deliberately. Now they’re rushing up and transforming our every day life muy rĂ¡pido! Sorry, I’m studying Spanish.
Back to the canvas. Start with the customer segments, detailing them until it’s clear who you’re talking about. Then, using different colours for each segment, lay out the channels to get at each one. Then the value proposition you offer – particular to each of them. You’re already clear on half the picture of your biz! The market facing part..
The left half is concerned with the internal landscape. The assets you deploy the activities you prosecute as you satisfy your clients and the partnerships and outsourcing that helps it all go.
Once it’s all laid out, you can get more discerning about your setup.

  • Where are we best, what’s the core of our good work?
  • What shows up as lacking
  • Are there activities that really make the value flow?
  • Are we failing in some regard?

The questions go on and on and the pursuit is vastly rewarding, particularly if this is done in an executive team.
The tool doesn’t cover financial modelling – which is of course hugely beneficial in understanding the big question: How does this outfit make money? But in concert with the canvas, it could work to search for: How could it make more?
Visibility of structure and process is hugely helpful, particularly when mapped out so all can see it writ plain. Give it a whirl!

By the way, I’m giving a half hour talk – A Very Long Walk – at Creative Mornings Friday, December 8 at 8:30 am at C-Space in Marda Loop. Register at the Creative Mornings Calgary Website…


Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

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What’s Our Business?

Bringing out the best in you, your company and your people.

Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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