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Enterprise Design Facets

Enterprise Design is the practice of designing enterprises through a coherent Identity, Experience and Architecture, to realise an underlying purpose. This model, grown out of the Enterprise Design Framework first described in the book Intersection, is the basis for such a practice. It integrates the key perspectives for making enterprise change happen, to address a high risk of failure if treated in isolation and lacking coherence. Think of each colour depicted in the Facet model as a lens to be used when looking at the enterprise, and when capturing, describing or reshaping the way its elements form a whole.

Enterprise Design Facets


Facets provide useful lenses to understand why an enterprise exists, what it is supposed to deliver to whom, and how all of this is supposed to work. Each Facet represents a fundamental big picture question behind an enterprise as your ambitious entrepreneurial project:

  • What is your enterprise all about? What is its story? Who are the people behind it? What is their motivation?
    This is the Identity of our enterprise; what it stands for and the reason for its existence, as expressed in mission and purpose, culture and community.
  • What will you actually provide to people? What are you offering? How is what you offer going to change people’s lives?
    This is the Experience our enterprise aims to create for customers and others, and subject to customer or employee experience and experience design efforts.
  • What do you need to realise that? What are the parts that make it work? How are those parts related? What can you achieve with them?
    This is the Architecture that holds our enterprise together, and part of enterprise and business architecture, business analysis and operating model design.

In the past, these questions have been treated separately by specialist functions and disciplines, leading to incoherent, siloed, underperforming enterprises. Elements like a sound strategy, a well performing operating model, or a winning product design are simply impossible to get right if there is no shared understanding of the whole enterprise and no coherence between the concepts of today's siloed disciplines.

These universal facets of Identity, Experience and Architecture apply to all enterprises: large companies, startups, public institutions, or NGOs.


Intersections are the overlap between the Facets where you will find questions that are "on the edge" of particular viewpoints and corresponding disciplines present in the enterprise. The intersections (organisation, product, brand) allow us to build integrated perspectives for better conversations, models and joint decision making, they are the connectors between the concepts of today's isolated disciplines.

  • How do we organise ourselves as a team? How do we make decisions together and distribute responsibilities?
    This is our Organisation at the intersection of Identity and Architecture, and its design & development, leadership, collaboration and ways of working.
  • What do we make and offer to people? What is the result of our work and what is the value it creates for people?
    This is our Product at the intersection of Architecture and Experience, subject to product design and strategy, business models and service design.
  • How are we being perceived? What is our reputation and image when people are in touch with us or our offerings?
    This is our Brand at the intersection of Experience and Identity, and subject to branding and marketing, internal and external communications


Enterprise Design entails mapping and describing enterprises and their (potential) evolution, in a quest of revealing insight and co-creating a meaningful future. Using the Facets and their Intersections as a navigation aid, we chart the elements that make the enterprise. The following conceptual model allows us to describe them and generate models and maps to depict and trace their interplay, and express a desired future Enterprise Design.

Enterprise Elements
Facet elements
  • Identity: describing the identifying elements that explain why the enterprise exists and what it seeks to achieve.
    - Purpose: A reason why our enterprise exists and what our people pursue and believe in.
    - Story: how we make sense of our enterprise and communicate to people what it does.
    - Content: what we communicate to people, expressed in information and media.
  • Architecture: describing the way the enterprise works and how its different parts fit together to deliver.
    - Capability: what we can do by orchestrating our people and assets.
    - Process: a set of related activities our enterprise carries out.
    - Asset: something we need and use to perform our mission.
  • Experience: describing the way the enterprise seeks to appear in and add value to people's lives:
    - Task: what people want to achieve and get done (with our help)..
    - Journey: what people go through in their lives (and when interacting with us).
    - Channel: The way people engage and interact with our enterprise.
Intersection elements
  • Product: what we make, offer and deliver for people's benefit.
  • Brand: our name and what it stands for, our reputation and image.
  • Organisation: a group of people working together to create intended outcomes.
Common base elements
  • People: individuals or groups of people relevant for the enterprise.
  • Outcome:A result, goal or change we achieve within our enterprise or its ecosystem.
  • Structure: a object or entity that is relevant to our enterprise.
  • Activity: what is being done or going on in our enterprise or its ecosystem.