Case Study – Ideku and Business Model Canvas – a Happy Marriage

Business Development on Steroids

Recently, I facilitated an Ideku session with a group of professional business developers. The participants were also introduced to the Business Model Canvas by Rajiv Vaid Basaiawmoit, who is Head of Open Innovation at Aarhus University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The session was arranged by Executives’ Global Network. The combination of these two tools proved to be excellent. The Business Model Canvas (BMC) includes 9 areas, and so does Ideku!

You can read plenty about the Business Model Canvas (Google has 19,6 mio hits), of course at Alex Osterwalders webpage. If you are particularly interested in insights related to other innovation methods, I strongly recommend Paul Hobcraft, who has written extensively on this topic.

Why is this important?

The two tools serve the same purpose, that is to guide and focus your thoughts. These thoughts can have many forms:

  • ideas
  • assumptions
  • solid knowledge, data
  • questions, areas of investigation

Although all the BMC areas are pre-defined, you sometimes become lost in translation. You get stuck in what you know, and don’t develop the content enough, or your knowledge about one or more of the areas is too limited, and you tend to cut corners. It takes a lot of practice to work with the BMC, and Ideku can help you here.

The movement from the relatively free form of Ideku to the more strict BMC framework is an on-going distillation. A lot of insights seem to emerge in this process.

Business Model Canvas and Ideku go hand in hand

Ideku og business model canvas overview

I have worked with BMC for years, but have never seen the connection before. But it is obvious.

Blueprint for Business Development with BMC and Ideku

If you want to carry out business development using BMC and Ideku, the following process works well:

  1. BMC basics
  2. Ideku basics
  3. Fill in the BMC
  4. Identify the most important area of the BMC
  5. Craft a powerful question from this area
  6. Identify the 8 most important issues from the BMC
  7. Make Ideku directions from these issues
  8. Generate ideas based on question and directions
  9. Select most interesting ideas, and put them back on the BMC

  10. Repeat from Step 4 if necessary

Step 1-9 is explained in detail below

1. BMC Basics

You can cover this in 20-30 minutes, and introduce the concept by showing the following video:

2. Ideku Basics

The Ideku process makes use of an Ideku template, and 4 easy steps:

  1. Formulation of central innovation question
  2. Formulation of 8 directions, based on the question
  3. Idea/input creation, based on the 8 directions
  4. Overview of finished result, which will be 64 different ideas/input, organised according to the 8 directions (8 ideas per direction), and the central question.

Ideku process napkin - original

3. Fill in the BMC

This process is similar to the Ideku process, and works well as a conversation in small groups around a large (At least A2) BMC template.

Filled-out BMC

4. Identify the most important area of the BMC

Look at the inout, and identify the area that you find most interesting. The area should be one that you consider to be critical/pivotal to innovate your business model. In the example below, Customer Segments have been selected, since it appears to be poorly defined and of doubtful profitability.

5. Craft a powerful question from this area

The powerful question: How can our business model become 10x more profitable?

6. Identify the most important issues from the BMC

A good first approach here is simply to use the remains 8 BMC areas as a source of issues.

7. Make Ideku directions from these issues

Reformulate the issues into Ideku directions.

8. Generate ideas based on question and directions

Now you are ready to generate ideas ind inputs!

9. Select the most interesting ideas, and put them back on the BMC

After working through the Ideku, you are almost guaranteed to have some qualified input to further substantiate your BMC.

Business Model Canvas and Ideku Example

Ideku and Business Model Canvas example

How we can help you to develop your Business Model Canvas

We offer several concepts that may improve your Business Model Canvas:

  • You can download an Ideku Guide in our Methods & Tools section
  • A seminar, where we go through your existing business model, and improve through the process described above
  • Direct consultation in project group or leadership team, where we develop your business model through a number of sessions
  • Training program, where we introduce you to BMC and Ideku, and facilitate your first hands-on experience with the two tools
  • You simply buy Ideku templates from our webshop, and get to work

How do you work with systematic business model innovation?

Let’s hear from you, if you have any ideas or experiences that you would like to share with us.

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