Podcast with Dave Gray on Visual Business Communications & Workshop in Geneva

I'm a strong proponent of using visual techniques and tools in business communications. This starts with sound Power Point Presentations and culminates in the clear and visual communication of corporate strategies (including business models). Therefore I'm a big fan of XPLANE, the global market leader in visual thinking and visual techniques that helps companies solve business problems and improve business communications through visuals. They've worked with a large number of global companies, including Credit Suisse, Nokia, Apple, IBM, Bank of America and many more.

I've talked to XPLANE's Founder and CEO, Dave Gray, about using visual techniques in business in today's podcast. We also talked about the workshop Dave will be giving at our premises at Arvetica in Geneva, Switzerland, on the 18th of March (there are still a few seats available, if you are interested).

Enjoy the podcast:


In the podcast Dave explains the value of visual techniques for businesses and private banks and outlines what we will be doing during the workshop in March. He particularly stresses that mediocre communications lead to misalignment in management and hence result in poor implementation. Dave invites entire management and project teams to participate in the workshop so that they can directly work on concrete business problems. That's quite an opportunity to be able to benefit from individual coaching by one of the leading thinkers in visual business communications.

If you are interested in participating in the workshop download the flyer (pdf) and send us the registration form.

dave gray ceo xplane

Ad-hoc Business Model Stage Fight (LIFT'08 Geneva)

Arvetica is organizing an Ad-hoc Business Model Stage Fight at LIFT'08 in Geneva, Switzerland. Just like last year we thought we would contribute to the workshop program of the conference...

In this half day workshop participants will learn about a method to rapidly prototype business models. Then they will form ad-hoc teams that compete against each other. Each team will come up with an innovative business model based on a given scenario. The attendees will jointly vote the winner by evaluating creativity, realism and story.

Images and take-aways will be available on this blog soon. I'm curious to see how participants will perform with "rapid business model prototyping" (RaBMoPro ;-)

For the attendees: Here the plan to get from Unimail (venue of other LIFT'08 workshops) to Arvetica, where the workshop "Ad-hoc Business Model Stage Fight" is taking place...

Directions to Arvetica (stage fight) from Unimail (other LIFT'08 workshops):

  • walk out of the main entrance of the Unimail building
  • turn right
  • walk straight (along the tram line)
  • cross the bridge
  • continue approx. 600m (street = route des Acacias)
  • Arvetica is just across the street from the Shell station
  • Address: route des Acacias 24
  • go inside the building and take the elevator to the 6th floor

Conference Talk on Business Model Design and Innovation

Last month I spoke about business models and innovation in Melbourne at an event for business people hosted by La Trobe University. During the trip to Australia through Dubai I realized at how many places I would still like to speak. Top on my list are Dubai, India and China. Maybe that is to come when the topic becomes more popular in management circles and business literature.

You can find a video capture of the event in Melbourne with about 120 people of regional industry below:

Interested organizations can contact me at alex@arvetica.com

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Workshop Outcome in Mexico

Last week I was in Mexico for Arvetica to facilitate two workshops on Business Model Design and Innovation. The first one was with a group of executives and the second one was with the faculty of the Tecnologica de Monterrey (ITESM). Both were organized by the well known ITESM.

In the first workshop (5 hours) I focused on the utility of the business model concept and a process to achieve business model innovation. In break-out sessions I got the executives to design parts of a business model of a soccer club, which worked out quite well. Here the slides:

In the second workshop (2 days) I emphasized the value of design thinking in business and how it applies to business model design and innovation. The work with the group of about 30 faculty members was quite fun and I made them design an entire (roughly shaped) business model during the two days. Besides that I outlined some of the underlying concepts to business model design and design thinking. Here the slides:

Throughout this first visit to Mexico I had the opportunity to meet some great people. I was very impressed by the strategic thinking and conceptual knowledge of industrialist, Jorge Valdes, of the Valsi and Evans brands and the quality of the people at the Tecnologico, such as Daniel Pandza and Maria Elena Vazquez.

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Business Model Design Blog in Chinese

A while ago I was contacted by Mao Xinyu to translate my blog into Chinese. Well, now businessmodeldesign.cn has gone life. Though I can't read it, I think Mao Xinyu did I great job in translating even the figures into Chinese. Thanks for the great work!

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PinPointers' Experience with the Business Model Concept

Last week I talked to Michael Nørregard Wilkens and Niels Erik Haug-Larsen of the consulting firm PinPointers about their experience with the business model concept.

They do some interesting consulting work and have applied the business model concept in quite innovative ways. For example, with some of their clients they developed the company's business model portfolio in order to help them innovate and streamline according to their strategic objectives.

I will write about the business model portfolio concept in the coming weeks

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Strategy Grand Tour

My colleague, Stefano Mastrogiacomo, recently did a "Strategy Grand Tour" at Arvetica. The workshop gave a general introduction to strategic thinking for those unfamiliar with the field. It led participants through the schools of strategic thinking and gave a better understanding of the dateless strategy icons and management gurus of our time.

Enjoy the slides:

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Private Banking Innovation Blog (draft mode)

We've done it!!! With Arvetica we have finally launched a preliminary version of our new blog "private banking innovation".

There are still some things in the right menu bar and some details that will change... But the blog is now online and will become home to my writing on private banking business models etc. We have also launched a series of video interviews with leading personalities in banking and beyond.

Don't hesitate to give me feedback ;-)

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Draft Presentation: Competitive Advantage through Business Model Design and Innovation

I just finished a draft presentation for a workshop on the topic "Competitive Advantage through Business Model Design and Innovation". I'm facilitating the workshop next June with about 100 executives in Guadalajara, Mexico. The workshop is hosted by the Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM). Your input regarding the slides is most welcome:

At the end I'm going to add some slides on the blue ocean strategy concept by Kim & Mauborgne, as an example of value proposition design...

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Blogging Time-Out

As for most bloggers, there is a time when you have to take a time-out. This moment has come for me. After an intense period of merger talks of Arvetica with an American company, we have finally opted for independence (something I will write a blogpost about one day)... As a consequence I will allocate most of my time in the near future on building some specific Arvetica competencies and assets.

In this context of autonomy Arvetica is strengthening its efforts in the private banking / wealth management domain. This is one of the reasons why I am taking a time out from this blog: During the next few weeks I will build up a new blog called "private banking innovation", which shall become the reference in the industry.

I hope I won't lose any readers on "Business Model Design and Innovation", while I am focusing on other projects in the short term. One thing is sure: I'll be back soon! There will probably be some cross-postings in the meantime...

Warm regards from Geneva,

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Second Life for Businesses - brainstorming session at Arvetica

Yesterday I facilitated a brainstorming session on the topic "Second Life for Businesses - fad or business asset?". The event was part of the LIFT'07 conference, but was organized and hosted at Arvetica. To reflect on "fad" or "business asset" we split the 20 participants into three groups in order to write the storyboard for two scenarios:

Scenario A - Dec, 2008: In an interview with the Financial Times (FT) Sam Palmisano (CEO, IBM) explains to the newspaper why they fell for the Second Life fad and lost 85 mio USD of investment in the process…


Scenario B - Dec, 2008: The Financial Times (FT) publishes an article stating that Second Life is business as usual and that 85% of all Fortune Global 500 companies have established a major Second Life presence…

At the end all participants voted if Second Life (or virtual worlds in general) was a fad or a potentially important business asset. Have a look at the slides to find out about the results.

The event was quite fun and the 20 participants seemed to enjoy the thinking. You can download the full set of slides here (12mb because of full-sized workshop photos)

ATTENTION: At Arvetica (the consulting boutique I work for) we will soon organize and host a 2 day workshop on "Second Life Immersion for Executives and Marketing Professionals". This event will help business people "live" and understand Second Life and get a feel for the potential business models. Send us an email if you want to be informed about this workshop.

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The Architecture of Banking - Visiting Jeffrey Huang's Class at EPFL

Last Friday I was invited to Professor Jeffrey Huang's class on "The Architecture of Banking" to comment on his students' projects at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). The students explored a variety of different types of banks to match them with suitable concepts of space and architecture. I wrote a full blogpost about the projects that ranged from a "private bank in Second Life" all the way to a "peer-to-peer bank" on arvetica's website.

During this event at the EPFL I also used my new Logitech io Personal Digital Pen more consequently for the first time. It allows me to upload the notes I write into a notebook directly to my laptop. Below you see one of the sketches I made during the students' presentation on the Swiss online bank Swissquote. I briefly outlined the dichotomy between online discount brokerages and physical private banks...

I'm definitely going to use this pen more often. It's amazing!

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Second Life for Businesses - arvetica workshops

I've been silent for a while because I explored Second Life....For those who don't know what it is: it's a parallel virtual world that you can dive into in the form of an avatar (see wikipedia definition). Today, for example, I was at the virtual World Economic Forum WEF to listen to EasyJet founder.

Various businesses have established a presence there, such as IBM, Adidas, Reuters, Toyota (see video below for the Scion that was launched in Second Life) etc.

Because it's quite a hot phenomena we are organizing a short free presentation at arvetica on March 1, 2007 to discuss what companies may get out of Second Life. Register if you're in Geneva. We are also hosting a workshop at the LIFT conference on February 7 in the afternoon. However, most important: I will later announce a 2-day immersion workshop at arvetica where business people and marketers can really look into the potential of Second Life. Contact me if you want more info or pre-reserve for the limited seats...

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