Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Innovating your Business Model - The Business Model Innovation Factory

When I was leaving Humana in 2010, I was lucky enough to have a lot of opportunities to engage the next phase of my career.  And though I didn't really plan it this way, business models wound up playing an important role in my decision.  What's that mean?

I'd spent the last several years working in Humana's innovation center, and focusing all of my efforts on creating new products, services and business models related to health as opposed to health insurance.  I was also seeing, on a daily basis, how social media was beginning to upend traditional business models (music, movies and publishing just to name a few).  And what it clued me into was that we haven't seen the last of business model upheaval.  There are going to be new business models emerging that we'd never imagined (Apple is making phones?) ... and I wanted to work for a company that had the foresight, courage and "organizational agility" to be able to spot and leverage opportunities to innovate their business model.  I definitely wasn't wrong (see WCG's recent announcements for just a tiny taste of what's ahead).

It's not necessarily easy to quantify what qualities, or through what processes, businesses can reinvent themselves.  That's one of the reasons that I think it's really cool that Saul Kaplan of the Business Innovation Factory has published a new book on exactly that.  The Business Model Innovation Factory is a book that helps companies to spot the signs of emerging business threats and opportunities - and more importantly, helps them to think through all of the massive change management that can be required to leverage them.

Saul and his team at the Business Innovation Factory have been thought leaders in this space for years, and have hosted (in my opinion) the best innovation conference in the world (BIF) since 2005.  You can learn more about this year's conference (BIF8) here; and for a little extra "eye candy" you can take a peek at my own BIF presentation from WAY BACK in 2009.

If you're in a business that seems to be surrounded by threats - or opportunities - to upend your business model and start something new, I encourage you to take a look at The Business Model Innovation Factory - I've no doubt that it'll set you on a good path to take advantage of your intuition and insight.

Note: I'm not getting anything in return for writing this piece, nor was I asked to do so ... I just have tremendous respect for Saul and his work - and believe in the value of what he's created here.

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