When I’m introducing the Business Diamond Framework™ to someone, one of the questions I’m asked is “where does my industry and competition fit?”.
Indeed, their question could be broadened out even further — “Where does my target market fit?” “Where does the economy fit?”Those questions are understandable because the Framework seems to be a picture of the internal business only and so the assumption is that a Framework practitioner works with the 4 Function Diamonds to work on the inside of the business… but how do they interact with information from outside of the business?
The short answer
Because every business is different, each external force is examined in each Function Diamond. Here are three examples.A practitioner going through the Insight stage will:
- Look at a competitor’s Leadership Diamond, Support Diamond, Value-Add Diamond, and To-Market Diamond and then compare them to the same Function Diamonds of the target business
- Look at how the economy impacts each of the Function Diamonds
- Look at how the business’ target market might be impacted by the company’s Leadership or in the company’s Support structures.
A more detailed answer
Years ago, when the Business Diamond Framework™ started life, it began as something called the “Total Business Environment”. At that time, its purpose was to examine the various influences on the business. The prehistoric ancestor of the Framework did acknowledge external forces externally, but after frequent use, the tool changed. It became obvious over time that the elements like the economy and the supplier network (and so on) would impact the business in different ways, depending on the business itself. So it became important to look at how those external forces influenced the business and the most obvious way to do that was by reviewing each external force through the lens of the Function Diamonds.
There are a number of benefits to this method:
- It simplifies the steps for the practitioner
- It takes the emphasis off of seemingly unchangeable external factors and puts the emphasis on how those factors influence the business (and how they can be changed)
- It helps the practitioner to look at each external factor more thoroughly. For example, the practitioner is forced to look at how the economy impacts each of the 4 Function Diamonds.