Business Diamond Framework: 3i Methodology introduction

On its own, the Business Diamond Framework™ is a useful concept to simplify, understand, and communicate a complex business. (Click to review a brief introduction).

However, it is incomplete without a specific methodology — the 3i Methodology™ — which applies the Framework to the business in three distinct stages that provide Insight, Innovation, and Implementation. Businesses progress from one stage to the next every time they apply the Framework to their business.

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3i Stage One: Insight. In the Insight stage, the Framework practitioner applies a specific set of tools to analyze the business. The purpose is to move beyond mere “sorting” of varied business data but rather to push through to true insight to understand how the business functions.

3i Stage Two: Innovation. In the Innovation stage, the Framework practitioner applies a creativity-enabling toolset to the information discovered in the Insight stage to uncover risks that need to be mitigated and potential opportunities to act on. The outcome of this stage is a list of profitable growth innovations that can increase shareholder value and enhance the business’ competitiveness.

3i Stage Three: Implementation. In the Implementation Stage, the Framework practitioner applies a third set of tools that are designed to execute change. This may be done by communicating with and training staff to follow-through on the innovations developed in the previous stage, or it might include project management of the innovation to turn it into reality.

Business Diamond Framework: mapping the value chain

In a previous blog I wrote about the four Function Diamonds of the Business Diamond Framework™: Leadership, Support, Value-Add, and To-Market.

The layout of the Framework is intentional. This layout allows Framework practitioners to not only understand the business from the perspective of each of the four functions, but also from the perspective of the organizational structure and the value chain. This this blog, we’ll look at the value chain.

The horizontal axis represents the business’ value chain (a concept pioneered by Michael Porter of Harvard Business School). Raw materials and information begin on the left and move through the business until they are sold and distributed on the right. Here we see a very basic value chain…
bdf-value-chain-axis-1
… and the Framework practitioner’s job is to fill out the value chain in detail and then place it onto the Framework. Here we see it integrated into the Framework:
bdf-value-chain-axis-2
Here’s why this is important: Understanding the value chain is essential to running an efficient, competitive business. But understanding how the functions of the business interact with and contribute to the value chain is even more valuable. And there’s more you can do with the value chain in the Business Diamond Framework (and I’ll talk about that in an upcoming post).

Business Diamond Framework: Mapping the organization

In a previous blog I wrote about the four Function Diamonds of the Business Diamond Framework™: Leadership, Support, Value-Add, and To-Market.
bdf-w-words-full
The layout of the Framework is intentional. This layout allows Framework practitioners to not only understand the business from the perspective of each of the four functions, but also from the perspective of the organizational structure and the value chain. This this blog, we’ll look at the organizational chart.

The vertical axis is the organizational axis. By mapping the organizational structure, decision-making, and communication flow from the Leadership down through the other sections of the organization, Framework practitioners can better understand the structure of the business and how the parts work together.

Here’s an example of that in action. First, the practitioners create the organizational structure of the business under review.
bdf-organizational-axis-1a
… then they place that chart over top of the Framework and connect the roles from the chart with the Functions in the Framework. Like so:
bdf-organizational-axis-2

Here’s why this is important: The Framework is used to help people understand their business, create innovative strategies, and execute those strategies. Mapping the organization the way the organization is helps the practitioner to understand the organization. Then, moving the organizational roles from one Function Diamond to another is an easy way to innovate. (More on that in an upcoming post). And, understanding how the organization works helps the Framework practitioner to execute strategies more effectively by showing how strategies can be embedded in each business function to contribute to change in the whole business.

Private Investigator article

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Had an article published in PI Magazine recently.

While I don’t have a lot to contribute in the way of “How to Skulk” or “Great quotes from Magnum PI”, I do have two qualifications that helped me offer something meaningful to the investigation industry: I write and think and advise about business, and professional investors are good at investigating (but many could use help running their business). And, in my previous life as a sales manager, I had a bunch of investigators as clients so I came to understand some of their particular business needs.

Death and longevity of brands

Brands come and go. A couple years ago, people would have said “Twitter what?” But now it’s the latest in a long line of social media darlings.

These two articles, from SeekingAlpha gives us an interesting perspective on 12 brands that are likely to survive and 12 brands that are likely to die. I say it’s an interesting perspective because the writer is coming at it more like an investment analyst than a marketer.

A few surprises and a few no-brainers.

Read the articles here:

The Top 12 Brands Likely to Survive

The Top 12 Brands Likely to Disappear

Here’s why this is interesting to me: When you normally talk about brands, you’re usually talking about the marketing and positioning side of the business. But when you approach it like an investment analyst, you’re looking at a much wider range of considerations. By comparison: Twitter is a strong brand but its revenue stream doesn’t necessarily make it a lasting brand. I realize I’ve committed social media heresy by saying that Twitter is not a lasting brand. That is not to say that I’m predicting Twitter’s demise. Rather, I’m suggesting that, as a brand, it is very strong; but as a business it needs to think about revenue sooner or later.