For one of the major German providers of technical services and testing, we review the customer journey of its most important business customers. A combination of journey mapping, ethnographic field research in car dealerships and workshops, and co-creation will provide the insights and a baseline to create the future state journey. Together we are also setting new priorities for upcoming digitization projects, marketing efforts and strategy.
At the ESCP in Berlin, Henning faciliated a mini-project in the master program "Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Innovation". The purpose of the course is to provide a first-hand experience in modelling new business catering to values of sustainability. Students obtain an overview of sustainability-oriented and values-based business modelling tools, and create their own business models for their Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Projects (SEIPs). They learn about different revenue models and sustainable business model patterns, and elaborate upon the dynamics between different business model design elements, such as values, value propositions and stakeholder segments. At the end, they critically reflect upon the impact of the tools they used for designing new business.
In a medium-sized company, based on the values of the employees, we have elaborated upon the core values of the company, its overarching purpose, an ambitious mission and a vision for the future. Using various collaboration methods we have addressed the crucial questions:
• Values: What is most important to us? What do we stand for?
• Purpose: What do we want to achieve?
• Mission: Where do we want to be in five to ten years?
• and Vision: How can we vividly depict the world we are striving for?
By combining and iteratively revising answers to these questions with selected employees, the vision can be formulated as a desired image of the future with a "vivid description" (Collins & Porras 1996).
"Developing Sustainable Business Models: Values-Based Business Model Innovation" is the title of the compact training course that we are offering again this year at the Center for Sustainable Business Development (CSM). Participants will learn to apply the guiding principle of sustainable development and values-based innovation to the review and development of new business models.
In cooperation with colleagues from QM-Beratung Berlin we have conducted a workshop with the leaders of the RPG group to clarify its values and strategy. "Surprising, which values we already share" and "the day helped us to strengthen our cooperation" were two of the consistently positive comments from our customers. In a next step, a reformulation of mission and vision and the modeling of the individual business units are planned.
At the Business School of Auckland University Henning held a New Zealand lecture on values-based innovation management. Teachers and PHD students from different faculties and from Auckland University press attended and participated in a vivid discussion. One locally relevant topic was the tension between local embeddedness of values-driven entrepreneurs in New Zealand and global venture capital firms seeking profitable exit to maximise returns on investment. Another discussion revolved around the challenge to adequately discuss the dynamics between personal and organisational values on the one hand, and intented value-add (including ecological, social and economic benefits) of an organisation on the other hand.
The +3 magazine asked, and Henning Breuer was among the professionals who answered the question how innovation succeeds, within 1440 characters: "The very concept of innovation (unlike the ones of product improvement or ideation, for example) implies an extraordinary level of ambition, success, and risk. There is no simple recipe for successful innovation. However, organizations can create the necessary conditions and a culture conducive to innovation. For this, they need resources that are not absorbed by everyday business. They need methods and experience to think ambitiously into the future and to handle risks in a learner’s manner. Above all, they should know why they want to be innovative at all. A short-lived hunt for new trends and market opportunities is neither efficient nor successful. Companies need to clarify their ideas of what is desirable, and important to customers, employees, managers and other stakeholders. These values offer a heuristic for the development of new business fields, orientation for their design and starting points for the integration of even contradictory interests. Values understood in this way help formulate visions and a mission that is worth working for. They do that especially well when it comes to shaping our future, developing new processes, products, services, business models, or designing new organizations and networks."
We published two new journal papers dealing with sustainability-oriented business model patterns. Florian is first author of "The Sustainable Business Model Pattern Taxonomy – 45 Patterns to Support Sustainability-Oriented Business Model Innovation" (please find a short summary here). Together with him, Klaus Fichter and Irina Tiemann, Henning Breuer also published a paper on "Sustainability-Oriented Business Model Development: Principles, Criteria and Tools". See the publications for details.