Experts in Business Strategy and Business Model Design
Category: Stage 1 – Vision
The Vision category relates to those topics that fall within the Vision Phase. The Vision Phase is where various strategic elements of your business come together from reviewing your industry and your business
Today we are going to review Critical Success Factors as part of our Industry San. So, why is the identification of Critical Success Factors so important? Because they allow us to prioritise those elements that are crucially important to the running of the business and can be used to put some metrics and reports in place to monitor performance
So, let’s look at an example using our previously identified company “Bespoke Events”. This company operate in the Event Management space, so we’ll take a look at the industry.
Creating or re-checking your organisations Vision and Mission statements are the first two steps in the Rubik’s Cube Business Transformation Lifecycle. Vision and mission statements are crucial to the success of all the follow-on activities and initiatives for any organisation. These statements communicate to your customers in a concise manner why you exist i.e. your purpose. Furthermore, the help focus you organisation on what is important.
What is a Vision Statement?
Your vision is the motivational juice, not just for you but for your staff and partners. It’s what you dream about. If I was a manager of a sports club, I’d be dreaming of holding up trophies. I’d be dreaming of all the fan’s singing and shouting, we won the cup.
Remember Martin Luther Kings “I have dream speech”. It’s worth looking at again:
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise-up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
So, here’s an example of Amazon’s vision statement
Characteristics that good vision statements have in common are as follows. They need to be:
Understood and shared by members of the community
Broad enough to include a diverse variety of local perspectives
Inspiring and uplifting to everyone involved in your effort
Easy to communicate – for example, they are generally short enough to fit on a T-shirt
What is a mission statement?
A mission statement says what part you will be play in making the vision come true and defines what your purpose is i.e. the reason your business exists. In the example of a sports club, it maybe something like “be the number 1 provider of badminton services in the local area”. For a health care provider, it could be “”Promoting care and caring at the end of life through coalitions and advocacy.”
Some general guiding principles about mission statements are that they are:
Concise. Short and to the point
Outcome-oriented. Explain the fundamental outcomes your organisation is working to achieve.
Inclusive. Good mission statements are not limiting in the strategies or sectors of the community that may become involved in the project.
The following examples should help you understand what we mean by effective mission statements.
Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful
ABVI: I Lost My Sight, Not My Vision
U.S. Army: Duty, Honor, Country
Sony: To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity
Tailor Brands: Making Design Simple
Headframe Spirits: Every Drop Is Made with Respect
IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people
TED: Spread Ideas
Mary Kay: Enrich Women’s Lives
Starbucks: Inspire and Nurture the Human Spirit
Why should you create vision and mission statements?
Firstly, because help your organisation focus on what is important. It is all too easy to lose sight of this with the rigors and hassles of day to day management. Your vision and mission statements help people remember what is important as you go about doing your daily work.
Secondly, it helps you position yourself against other similar organisations. For instance, you may want to be quicker than your rivals so you may want to spell this i.e. “be the most responsive provider of ….
Finally, it binds us all to a common purpose, overcoming divisions in our individual objectives.
How do you create vision and mission statements?
Learn what is important to people in your community
Vision and Mission statements have to be grounded in the beliefs and values of the community. If the people of the world didn’t want information organised and easily accessible would Google be as successful as they are? Knowing the important issues in your community as essential.
So, step 1, define what matters most in your community. Some suggestions below
Conduct “public forums” or “listening sessions” with members of the community to gather ideas, thoughts, and opinions about how they would like to see the community transformed.
Meetings should be led by facilitators who can guide a discussion of what people perceive to be the community ‘s strengths and problems, and what people wish the community was like. Someone should record these meetings, and a transcript of what is said provides a basis for subsequent planning.
Hold focus groups with the people interested in addressing the issue(s), including community leaders, people most affected by the issues, businesses, church leaders, teachers, etc.
Focus groups are similar to public forums and listening sessions, but they are smaller and more intimate. Generally speaking, they are comprised of small groups of people with similar backgrounds, so they will feel comfortable talking openly about what concerns them. For example, the members of a group are generally about the same age, are of the same ethnic group, or have another common experience. They are used in much the same way as public forums, and also use facilitators and recorders to focus and take notes on the work done.
Your organisation may choose to hold focus groups with several different groups of people, to get the most holistic view of the issue at hand. For example, if your organisation is involved in child health, you might have one focus group with health care providers, another with parents or children, and still another with teachers. Once you have a rough mission statement, you might again use a focus group to test it out.
Obtain interviews with people in leadership and service positions, including such individuals as local politicians, school administrators, hospital and social service agency staff, about what problems or needs they believe exist in your community.
Often, these individuals will have both facts and experiences to back up their views. If so, you can also use these data later if and when you apply for funding, or when you request community support to address the issues. More information on this topic can be found in Chapter 3, Section 12: Conducting Interviews.
Of course, these different ways to gather information from you community aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, if you have the resources, it makes sense to do all of the above: to have some time for the community at large to respond, then spend more time in focus groups with the people you believe might contribute greatly to (or be most affected by) some of the issues brought up in your community listening session. And finally, some one on one time with community leaders can only serve to strengthen your knowledge and purpose; remember, there are undoubtedly many people in your community who have been wrestling with the same issues you are now looking at for a long time. Take advantage of that experience; you don’t want to reinvent the wheel!
Decide what to ask
No matter if you are talking to one person or 300, your purpose is the same: to learn what matters in your community. Here’s a list of questions you might use to focus your discussions with community members. These questions may be used for individual interviews, focus groups, public forums, or in any other way you choose to gather information.
What is your dream for our community?
What would you like to see change?
What kind of community (or program, policy, school, neighborhood, etc.) do we want to create?
What do you see as the community’s (or school’s, neighborhood’s, etc.) major issues or problems?
What do you see as the community’s major strengths and assets?
What do you think should be the purpose of this organisation (or effort)?
Why should these issues be addressed?
What would success look like?
When your organisation is questioning people, the facilitator should encourage everyone to allow their most idealistic, hopeful, and positive ideas to shine through. Don’t worry right now about what’s practical and what’s not – this can be narrowed down later. Encourage everyone to be bold and participate, and to remember that you are trying to articulate a vision of a better community, and a better world.
Decide on the general focus of your organisation
Once members of your organisation have heard what the community has to say, it ‘s time to decide the general focus of your organisation or initiative. First of all, what topic is most important to your organisation and your community? For example, will you tackle urban development or public health issues? Racism or economic opportunity?
A second question you will need to answer is at what level will your organisation work. Will your organisation begin only in one school, or in one neighborhood, or in your city? Or will your initiative’s focus be broader, working on a state, national, or even international level.
These are questions for which there are no easy answers. Your organisation will need to consider what it has learned from the community and decide through thoughtful discussion the best direction for your organisation. We suggest you open this discussion up to everyone in your organisation to obtain the best results.
Of course, if your organisation is receiving grant money or major funding from a particular agency, the grant maker may specify what the general goal of your group should be. For example, if your group accepts a grant to reduce child hunger, at least part of its mission will be devoted to this purpose. Even in these circumstances, however, the community should determine the ultimate vision and mission that will best advance what matters to local people.
Develop your vision and mission statements
Now that your organisation has a clearer understanding of what the organisation will do and why, you are in a prime position to develop the statements that will capture your ideas.
As you are looking at potential statements, remember to keep them broad and enduring. Vision and mission statements that are wide in scope allow for a sense of continuity with a community’s history, traditions, and broad purposes. And vision and mission statements that are built to last will guide efforts both today and tomorrow.
First of all, remind members of your organisation that it often takes several vision statements to fully capture the dreams of those involved in a community improvement effort. You don’t need – or even want – to have just one “perfect” phrase. Encourage people to suggest all of their ideas and write them down – possibly on poster paper at the front of the room, so people can be further inspired by the ideas of others. As you do this, help everyone keep in mind:
What you have learned from your discussions with community members
What your organisation has decided will be your focus
What you learned about vision statements at the beginning of this sectionAfter you have brainstormed a lot of ideas, your group can discuss critically the different ideas. Oftentimes, several of the vision statements will just jump out at you – someone will suggest it, and people will just instantly think, “That’s it!”
You can also ask yourselves the following questions about vision statements:
If you have a hard time getting started, you might wish to check out some of the vision statements in this section’s Examples. You might ask yourself how well they meet the above suggestions.
Will it draw people to common work?
Does it give hope for a better future?
Will it inspire community members to realize their dreams through positive, effective action?
Does it provide a basis for developing the other aspects of your action planning process?
A final caution: try not to get caught up in having a certain number of vision statements for your organisation. Whether you ultimately end up with two vision statements or ten, what is most important is that the statements together give a holistic view of the vision of your organisation.
The process of writing your mission statement is much like that for developing your vision statements. The same brainstorming process can help you develop possibilities for your mission statement. Remember, though, that unlike with vision statements, you will want to develop a single mission statement for your work. After having brainstormed for possible statements, you will want to ask of each one:
Does it describe what your organisation will do and why it will do it?
Is it concise (one sentence)?
Is it outcome oriented?
Is it inclusive of the goals and people who may become involved in the organisation?
Together, your organisation can decide on a statement that best meets these criteria
Obtain consensus on your vision and mission statements
Once members of your organisation have developed your vision and mission statements, your next step might be to learn what other members of your community think of them before you start to use them regularly.
To do this, you could talk to the same community leaders or focus group members you spoke to originally. First of all, this can help you ensure that they don’t find the statements offensive in any way. For example, an initiative that wants to include young men more fully in its teen pregnancy prevention project might have “Young men in Asheville are the best informed” as one of their vision statements. But taken out of context, some people community members might believe this statement means young men are given better information or education than young women, thus offending another group of people.
Second, you will want to ensure that community members agree that the statements together capture the spirit of what they believe and desire. Your organisation might find it has omitted something very important by mistake.
Decide how you will use your vision and mission statements
Finally, it’s important to remember that while developing the statements is a huge step for your organisation (and one you should celebrate!), there is more work to be done. Next, you have to decide how to use these statements. Otherwise, all of your hard work will have happening for nothing. The point is to get the message across.
There are many, many ways in which your organisation may choose to spread its vision and mission statements. To name just a few examples, you might:
Add them to your letterhead or stationary
Use them on your website
Give away T-shirts, or bookmarks, or other small gifts with them
Add them to your press kit
Use them when you give interviews
Display them on the cover of your annual report
…and so on. Again, this is a step that will use all of your creativity.
Developing effective vision and mission statements are two of the most important tasks your organisation will ever do, because almost everything else you do will be affected by these statements. We hope that this section has allowed you to feel more confident now in your group’s ability to create successful and inspiring vision and mission statements. Remember, think broadly and boldly! Good luck!
Below is a picture of our Business Transformation Model. Looking at the big picture is referred to assessing the Macro Environment. This sits at the start of our business change journey.
So why do we want to look at the big picture?
Answer: Because there are forces acting on your industry that may present obstacles and / or opportunities that you are not currently aware of. Looking at the big picture is akin to a army’s General being aware of the politics that may affect his army. For instance, a change in government could see funds reduced and if the General has specific objectives that he must accomplish to achieve his mission he may need to taking mitigating steps to avoid those risks.
Bear in mind that when looking at the big picture you can be overwhelmed with information, especially when researching on the internet. A useful filter to use when researching the macro environment are your Mission and Vision Statements. The clearer these are, the more precise you can be in your research. For more information on developing Vision and Mission Statements look at this blog post “Developing Your Vision and Mission Statement”
So, let’s look at an example of a company based, which we will randomly select in the North London area.
Our randomly chosen company is an Events Company based in North London called Bespoke Events. The company manages events at prestigious facilities in and around North London. The company’s Mission is as follows:
“To maintain our position at the forefront of event design & production, combining contemporary design philosophy with classic five-star hospitality standards and settings”
Its aspiration or vision is to manage events across the UK and Worldwide and currently manages events around London.
Using a PESTLE analysis, we can look at the forces acting upon the industry. PESTLE stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental,
A useful article has been written by the website Access All Areas. In its article “Policy wars – are government regulations negatively impacting festivals?”, Stuart Wood discusses the issue of visas. In summer 2018 a number of directors of some of Britain’s biggest festivals signed an open letter to the government, asking for greater transparency in the visa process. This was precipitated by a “string of refusals and complications for authors, artists and musicians who had been invited to perform in the UK”.
The Government’s primary aim is to ensure that the UK leaves the EU on 29 March with a negotiated deal which will honour the result of the referendum.
The Government has undertaken significant action to prepare for a potential no deal scenario
Leaving the European Union without a deal on 29 March would have a variety of effects on business, trade and the economy, and despite government mitigation, the impact of a ‘no deal’ scenario is expected to be significant in a number of areas
Since the referendum in June 2016, the Government’s priority has been to secure the best possible deal for the country from the EU and deliver that through Parliament. However, it has also been preparing for other possible outcomes, including a no deal scenario as a contingency
The Government has taken strategic policy decisions to minimise disruption and provide certainty to businesses and citizens should a no deal scenario arise
The Government has taken further decisions to increase the visibility and intensity of its no deal preparations
In February, Departments reported being on track for just under 85% of no deal projects but, within that, on track for just over two thirds of the most critical projects
The Treasury has made in excess of £4bn available for EU Exit planning since 2016, £2bn of which was allocated in December 2018 to support core EU exit preparations for the 19-20 financial year
The Government also continues to work with the Scottish and Welsh Governments and, in the absence of an Executive in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Civil Service, to make preparations for a potential no deal scenario
The Government has also been working where possible to adopt agreements made between the EU and third countries transitionally, which would otherwise fall away once the UK leaves the EU
Around forty of these agreements are trade agreements
Where discussions are off track, the Government is looking urgently at contingency options, such as provisional application and bridging mechanisms (e.g. Memoranda of Understanding) to bring agreements into force on exit
The government now has a tool to prepare your business for leaving the EU, see link
From the perspective of the events industry some commentators say “As a hub for events from all across Europe, there are some concerns that the UK’s departure from the Single Market could lead it to be viewed as an ‘outsider’ destination for European companies looking to hold large events. In fact, 60 per cent of the respondents to a recent Business Visits & Events Partnership survey said they thought this could be a problem.”
In his article in Raconteur Magazine, “Events industry helps power UK economy”, Mike Fletcher states that “people who attend events, along with the organisers of UK meetings, conferences, festivals, concerts, exhibitions, sporting spectacles, plus incentive travel and reward programmes, now spend £39.1 billion annually. This is an increase of over £3billion on 2011.
The latest industry figures show that the Events Industry to be currently worth a massive £43billion each year.
The Eventbrite 2019 Pulse Report states “with Brexit looming, 2019 is undoubtedly full of uncertainty for all UK event creators. However, it’s heartening to see this uncertainty is not being reflected in industry growth figures. Nearly 40% of respondents actually expect their event budget to increase this year, while a further 43% expect theirs to stay the same.
In terms of headcount, the Pulse Report states “Growth can be seen in the number of events being organised too. Nearly 60% of our survey respondents said their company plans to run more events in 2019 than they did last year. Self-employed creators in particular have their sights set on growth, with 70% stating they will increase the number of events they run.”
She states that “sustainability aims to meet the needs of the current generation, ensuring that these current needs are not bringing any negative impacts for the future generations”
She states that sustainability authors argue that organisations use sustainability and ethical practices as a marketing tool to promote and differentiate themselves from other competitors on the market.
She refers to the social impact of individuals travelling internationally and seeing events within the broader travel and tourism industry. Although these events maybe beneficial to the economy we need to take into consideration the wider social impacts. She goes on to discuss the Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet and Profits introduced by John Elkington in 1994.
The event industry in the UK has seen massive changes in Technology. According to Pulse Magazine, “in line with previous years, the most commonly used technology is event apps – 39% utilised them in 2018. But a close second is cashless payments, being used by 34% of respondents. Cashless payment technology enables event attendees to link their debit card to their badge or wristband eliminating the need for cash and speeding up queues”
According to Venture Pact, the top Mobile Event apps for Conferences and Corporate events are as follows:
Times Events App
GDPR is an obvious concern for everyone with new legislation passed to protect consumer information. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and UK Governments Guide is offered here (GDPR Guide).
EventsForce has written the following article on GDPR, “Top 10 GDPR Red Flags for Meetings and Events”. Its interesting to note their research that states 50% of event planners believe they have not done enough to meet the GDPR regulations. Below are a list of top 10 issues:
Processors vs Controllers
Data Breach Deadlines
Subject Access Requests
Focus on Fines
Data Transfer Shortcuts
Inadequate Training of Staff
Other regulations that must be satisfied are:
Food and Beverage Regulations
Health and Safety
The Event Impacts website has an article called Why measure Environmental Impact?. This interesting article has lots of interesting material relating to the following areas:
Transport and Travel Impacts
Food and Drink Impacts
I hope you find this approach useful. Please bear in mind that this is an example and any research we conduct for our customers is completed within agreed boundaries and criteria.
Before looking a strategy a business leader must know his current starting position. A useful tool for doing this is the SWOT analysis
The SWOT Analysis is used to assess potential opportunities in the market place as well as manage potential threats. It also useful for looking internally at your organisation to assess strengths and weaknesses. By looking at yourself and your competitors you can develop a strategy to distinguish yourself from your competitors.
You can use it at a high level to quickly assess the current state of your business or you can use it to support a more detailed assessment.
An example of a SWOT analysis is shown below
We are able to respond very quickly as we have no red tape, and no need for higher management approval.
We are able to give really good customer care, as the current small amount of work means we have plenty of time to devote to customers.
Our lead consultant has a strong reputation in the market.
We can change direction quickly if we find that our marketing is not working.
We have low overheads, so we can offer good value to customers.
Our company has little market presence or reputation.
We have a small staff, with a shallow skills base in many areas.
We are vulnerable to vital staff being sick or leaving.
Our cash flow will be unreliable in the early stages.
Our business sector is expanding, with many future opportunities for success.
Local government wants to encourage local businesses.
Our competitors may be slow to adopt new technologies.
Developments in technology may change this market beyond our ability to adapt.
A small change in the focus of a large competitor might wipe out any market position we achieve.
As a result of their analysis, the consultancy may decide to specialize in rapid response, good value services to local businesses and local government.
Marketing would be in selected local publications to get the greatest possible market presence for a set advertising budget, and the consultancy should keep up-to-date with changes in technology where possible.
You can download our FREE SWOT Template. Feel free to share and if you need any advise on completing one, please feel free to get in touch via our Contact Us page
As a business leader one of your most important jobs is to keep your eyes cast on the wider industry. From a strategy point of view the perspective needs to be wide and encompass all the different factors that can affect the performance of your business. Its not just about the products you sell or your immediate competition.
That’s why a framework such as a PESTLE analysis will help you broaden that view. The PESTLE analysis covers the wider factors such as Political (these could be local government or central government policies), Economic (local economy vs. wider economy), Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental.
Lets take the political view. Lets say in your local area there is a change in government from Conservative to Labour. What will this mean in terms of policies? Does Labour support a reduction in business rates while the Tories don’t?
From a social perspective are you concerned about the rise in discontented millennial’s? Or is this an opportunity?
Local economics play a huge part in the success of many businesses. For instance Network Rail plan to open a new station. The building community decide to build new blocks of houses nearby to take advantage of the increased prices taken for properties close to transport. A set of shops then open up to take advantage of local needs. As you can see before long you have a micro economy.
Please feel free to use our template and feedback to us any suggestions for changes. This template can also be distributed among your community. PESTLE Template download
The Business Model canvass is one of my favourite products as a Business Architect and is the second major product in our Transformation Lifecycle. The BMC (template found here) decomposes business into 9 key elements shown below
The right hand side of the canvas is customer facing and deals with your Customers and whom you are dependent on a sources of revenue. Customers are provided value by virtue of your Value Proposition. The way you engage with you customers is through some form of relationship. Products and Services are promoted to customers through various Channels.
The left hand side of the Canvas deals with how you are organised to deliver value to you customers. This includes all the various processes, the assets you use including people, which have capabilities. Where value cannot be created internally you will use partners and all of the above comes at a cost, which is caught in the cost structure.
The beauty of this canvas is in support of the initial brainstorming sessions. Its a fantastic tool for looking holistically at your business model and then looking across the model for impact and reality checking.
For instance, you may have a goal to double revenue but when you look at the processes that need scaling and the capabilities of internal staff and partners may not be realisable without refinement or suitable alternatives.
And now you haven’t lost money or put your business at risk.
Business Motivation therefore is the driving force behind the behaviours required to meet business goals and which when repeated advance us towards the attainment of those goals.
The Business Motivation Model is a Framework adopted by the Open Management Group which is used to capture the various elements of motivation. It considers the business Vision, Goals and Objectives (positive motivators) as well as Influencers and Risks, internal and external to the business (negative motivators)
The model is orientated around future state and current state. Future state starts with the business vision, which can be deconstructed into goals and more detailed objectives. It also considers the drivers such as competition and regulatory change. The current state defines the part that you will play in the vision (mission or purpose) and the strategies and tactics you intend to use to meet your goals and objectives.
A template document for you to use can be found in this BMM link and if you have any questions, please feel free to Contact Us