The Power of Immersion and Visual Thinking

I am currently keeping my blogposts to a minimum, because I am focusing on book writing and delivering a small number of keynotes and workshops. However, I haven't stopped experimenting. During the last workshop in The Netherlands I changed the structure of the workshop and I had the opportunity to work together with JAM, a Dutch company focusing on visual strategy facilitation. It was a big success.


One of the main changes I made to the workshop structure was a new focus for the break-out sessions. I gave the immersion into client issues much more space. The workshop had two "client immersion sessions" before actually thinking of drafting an innovative business model around the clients. The ultimate task was to re-invent the consulting business model. Instead of getting them to start with business model innovation immediately I made them think about how consulting clients really feel and start innovating from there. This worked out really well, notably because JAM made the outcomes more tangible through images.

In the first break-out session I asked the groups to make a simple client profile (based on a method from XPLANE, which they call "empathy map"). The goal of this exercise is to think of the client more holistically.



The next break-out session consisted of sketching out the most important client issues. Wouter (1st image below) and Jan (2nd image) from JAM did a wonderful job of making these client issues more tangible through visualizations.



The groups then had a chance to walk around and look at the other groups' work. In addition I asked them to put stickers on the client issues which they found most interesting. This "silent feedback" gave the groups a direction for the following break-out sessions.


After the client immersion sessions I asked the groups to outline the building blocks of their business models with the business model canvas.

At the end of the busy day each group presented their work and we voted for the best new consulting business model.



By the way, the workshop was kindly hosted by seats2meet.com, a company led by Ronald van den Hoff. He is disrupting the meeting space and event venue business with an innovative business model. Workshop participants had a chance to learn about his "lessons learned" when I interviewed him on business model innovation issues during the workshop.


All the other photos of the event can be found on my Flickr page. Big thanks to my business partner Patrick van der Pijl who took the pictures, but more importantly, set-up and managed the event.

Up-coming Business Model Innovation Workshops & Events

The next few weeks and months I will give some open workshops and will be participating in a couple of events. It would be a pleasure to meet you there! Besides that I am doing a series of private events for corporations (don't forget you can hire me ;-)

Open Workshops

  • 24 Sept. 2008: Amsterdam, Netherlands. Venue: ULURU. Business Model Design & Innovation Workshop (sign-up / few seats remaining)
  • 10 Oct. 2008: New York, US. Venue: Center for Architecture (sign-up)
  • 29 Oct. 2008: Amsterdam, Netherlands. Venue: ULURU. Business Model Design & Innovation Workshop (sign-up)
  • 8. Oct. 2008: Toronto, Canada. Venue: Rotman School of Management. Business Model Design & Innovation Workshop (sign-up) & separate 1h conference talk (sign-up)
  • Nov. 2008: Kigali, Rwanda (to be confirmed).
  • Nov. 2008: Cape Town, South Africa (to be confirmed).

Talks@Events

  • 10. Sept. 2008: Utrecht, Netherlands: Media Congress (web)
  • 11 Sept. 2008: Dublin, Irleland: Innovation Forum 2008 (web)
  • 16 Oct. 2008: León, Mexico: Innovation Event Tecnológico de Monterrey

Unfortunately, I am not present in Asia in the next couple of months. Maybe a local entrepreneur with a strong network sees this as an opportunity to invite me there...

Speaking Engagements and Workshops 2008

I am currently allocating some time for speaking engagements in 2008, based on strong demand from companies and business schools around the world during Q4 of last year.

The areas I cover in my talks and workshops are:

  • business model abc
  • business model innovation 101
  • achieving competitive advantage through business modeling
  • business model assessment
  • rapid business model prototyping
  • from business model to business plan and project roadmap
  • business models in private banking (adaptable to other industries, e.g. telecom)
  • the private banking industry landscape (Arvetica's core focus)
  • design and business

Last year I have completed engagements running from 45 minute talks to 2 day tailor-made workshops. Please contact me if you are interested or would like to get a price quote. Write to alex@arvetica.com

For references about my work you can follow this blog or ask me to put you in contact with one of my former clients. You may also check out:

Speaking engagements are offered through Arvetica, the consulting firm I am partner of. Please note that I only allocate a limited amount of time to speaking engagements due to my consulting work.

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