Models are the way we conceptualize and visualize interacting with our customers, our coworkers, our partners and our systems. As the world moves quickly toward 24×7 business and real-time analytics and responses, models are becoming the key to keeping the business intact as the landscape shifts.
Regardless of what’s spelled out implicitly, every business has a model for value creation, delivery and capture. That model may be in the head of only the most senior executives or available for all to touch. There are fewer and fewer excuses for keeping the model to a limited audience.
Living, breathing thing
As important as a model is, it needs to be a living thing, constantly being tested, challenged and changed. Without it, a business has trouble making sure that it ‘works’, and that everyone has the same vision and is able to understand their role and expectations.
A smart organization needs to capture upside, cost and risk measurement as part of efficient and wise operations. The model is the place to ‘hang’ information for execution of strategies to maximize opportunity, keep cost low, and manage risk. Business Intelligence (BI) is in the midst of transition for this very reason…it hasn’t been friendly to business models and served up ‘free floating data.’
Weeds in the cracks
Models get really interesting when you consider that a great deal of challenge like latency, poor service, bad hand-offs and confusion grows in the ‘cracks’ of the business…the places no one is minding. A model allows the organization to map and expose those cracks and then hammer away at inefficiency.
Minding the store
A good model lays out ownership in a way that decision making is specific and delegated. It makes stakeholders discernible. It has change management built in and absolutely isn’t managed as portal-based Visio diagrams.
Very importantly, a model is the way to simulate change and understand what impact specific events will have on the organization. It becomes the plug-and-play template for shared services. It creates a common language that makes conversation internally and with partners sensible.
Not an oxymoron, your model is your social structure as well. If anyone believes value comes from simply letting people chat, think again. The best social media implementations mimic the business model and align conversations with opportunity, cost, risk and operations.
Business Model 2.0
If Models weren’t important enough, the Internet and Web continue to change everything and are only getting started. The speed at which we need to listen, analyze/understand and modify our model determines how fast we can detect, decide and act in crucial moments. A solid business model is the bearings that make things turn smoothly and with as little friction as possible.
Models and modeling are important enough that it becomes the first step to solving most problems.
If you’ve gotten this far and haven’t implemented a serious business model, what are you waiting for? If your model is locked down in a document, is that working for you?