The first time, i came to know about Business Model Canvas was couple of years ago. I always thought i understood the fundas. But recently tried this and realized it was not the case.
I was recently working on creating a strategy map and landed in this excellent post by Steve Blank “The Future of Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship“. This post is a must read, if you want to understand why we are doing this.
While org charts provided the “who” of a business, companies were missing a way to visualize the “how” of a business. Strategy Maps are one of the ways companies visualized the “How” of a business. Strategy Maps are a tool to translate the strategy into specific actions and objectives to measure the progress of how the strategy gets implemented.
By the 21st century, organizations still lacked a tool to create and formulate new strategies. Enter the Business Model Canvas. The canvas describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value (economic, social, or other forms of value). The canvas ties together the “who and how” and provides the “why”. External to the canvas are the environmental influences (industry forces, market forces, key trends and macro-economic forces.) With the business model canvas in hand, we can now approach rethinking corporate innovation strategy and structure.
Existing companies and their operating divisions implement known business models. Using the business model canvas, they can draw how their organization is creating, delivering, and capturing value. A business model for an existing company or division is not filled with hypotheses, it is filled with a series of facts. Operating divisions execute the known business model. Plans and processes are in place, and rules, job specifications, revenue, profit and margin goals have been set. Forecasts can be based on a series of known conditions.
Inside existing companies and divisions, the business model canvas is used as a tool to implement and continuously improve existing business models incrementally. This might include new products, markets or acquisitions.