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I’ve just read this statement from Wolfgang at least 10 times and like the picture that you can see an old or young lady in – my brain keeps switching between the two views.

The “shift from fixing their being” conjures up a continuous improvement culture; it leads me to think about evolving the business model and it makes me think about improving on a customer offer that still has some growth left but is pretty mature in the market.

In terms of the leadership style it’s one of metrics, data, focused on science and logic and is about reporting improvements on a month by month basis and keeping teams focused and moving towards a clear stable outcome.

The “intentionally designing their becoming” conjures up discussions around the art of the possible, it make me thinks of future hypothesis and it makes me think of more radical revolutionary business models to break into new markets and to reposition a business. This could be about breaking into a market that can be disrupted or creating new markets with customers that are not even aware of their latent needs and can be sold new ideas and new concepts.

In terms of leadership style “designing new becomings” takes a curious and creative minds – to look at problems differently and shape new ways of delivering market outcomes. It’s less about looking at historic metrics and more about looking at the metrics that will matter in the new place. It’s far less about being clear on the solution and far more about being clear on the problem.

Those business that are about fixing their being will incrementally change over time and transition from one shape to another

Those businesses that are about fixing their being are looking for the interior designer – someone who can improve the business model – can knock down a few internal walls, change a few doors, replace some of the furniture and maybe upgrade the TV.

Those businesses that are about intentionally designing their becoming are looking for the transformation. They are looking for the visionary architect, the structural engineer, they are thinking about knocking down and rebuilding, are rewiring and replumbing, they are looking for the new build or the significant rebuild.

I generally believe that as with all models and viewpoints – there is not one right view it depends on what is needed to achieve your businesses strategy.

If the strategy is more of the same and the customers are asking for more of the same then continue fixing but keep reviewing the approach. There is every chance that the customers may start to want something different, may be attracted to others that are offering something different and the switch to new becoming could come on some time.

If the customer and markets are showing signs of the potential to change, then that transformational switch has to come on – a business needs to consider the design of its new becoming – with some deep rooted challenges to the sacred cows and the things that got the business to where it is today – it needs to really be prepared to listen and adapt and make some difficult choices to knock down some walls, to remove some of the traditional heirlooms and to take the bold step and transform the business.

The choices are still not as binary as these statement suggest though , many businesses serve different markets and different needs and may need to run the two business change approaches in parallel addressing one market in a more radical way than another and that opens up a whole set of further discussions that can lead to stalemate and the worst of all kinds of design the design that never gets off the drawing board.. surely none of us want one of these

What business model is your business strategy dictating and are you moving forwards

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About the author

Lisa Woodall

Lisa Woodall

Advising Member
Intersection Group
Southampton, England

Lisa is an advising member at Intersection Group and a passionate Enterprise Architect with 23 years experience in the Insurance sector before joining Ordnance Survey (uk) in 2017. She specialises in Organisational Design, Enterprise & Business Architecture and Portfolio ManagementHR, CEO's, Teams and Different departments.