Why Blueprints Matter

By Faisal Hoque Print this article Print

The economic and business models of the 20th century are inadequate today to ensure tomorrow’s business success; transform or die.

Why create an operating blueprint? It provides two strategic enablers:

•    360˚ Enterprise Models (business, process, organization, technology, etc.), provide the ability to visualize the end-to-end business goals and execution strategies before beginning costly and often irreversible strategy implementations. These models create the opportunity to ask “what-if” questions and test scenarios that help vet problems and issues early on.
•    Impact Analyses and Scenarios, with which to alter factors, create multiple output scenarios, evaluate the end-to-end impact of each scenario, and arrive at the optimal solution.

An operating blueprint allows owners and management to work together based on converged intelligence of market opportunities, execution capabilities, and business model differentiations.

No contractor would build a house without blueprints, and an enterprise operational structure and processes are no different. Methods of “guesstimation” must be replaced with precise metrics that provide verifiable outcomes.

Properly implemented, operating blueprints allow enterprises to:

•    Maximize ROI at an earlier stage in the funding lifecycle of each initiative, and collectively across the entire organization
•    Increase transparency between strategy, funding model, and execution model
•    Prioritize and guide improved performance, value, and sustainable growth.

Success of an enterprise during times of market volatility is often driven by its ability to recognize significant challenges and immediately identify the strategic imperatives necessary to address them. While nothing new, accomplishing such goals in today’s global climate requires new organizational structures, creating and sharing new kinds of business knowledge, understanding and applying emerging socio-economic models, and developing repeatable, reusable transformational processes enabled by accessible technologies. Operating blueprints provide the basis for a predictive, sustainable business plan for managing these challenges and opportunities for growth and success in the future.

In light of current events, it’s easy to lose perspective on what’s happening at a transformative level, or to understand why. The conventional business models upon which the world economy has been based for the past 100 years or so have generally been perceived as fixed. But is it so? The average lifespan of S&P 500 companies is 25 years, having fallen from 50 years, with a mortality rate of ten or more per year. Why do businesses fail? In some cases it is natural mortality as the product or service is no longer needed, but the secret reason rarely mentioned is the reluctance or inability to adapt to change. Why? What’s so bad about change?

•    Change is the key factor in achieving personal and/or organizational goals. Without change there can be no progress.
•    Innovation is the vital ingredient in the individual or institution’s ability to make effective and practical use of change. It is the great what if factor in decision-making and the entity’s raison d’etre to move forward and stay abreast of the turbulent and constantly changing times.
•    Sustainability is the manifestation of health and growth, but also diversity: indeed, it is made up in large part of change and innovation.

This trinity of objectives for meaningful economic, institutional and social progress represents the most sought-after attributes of individuals and organizations. They rest upon the foundation of converged objectives and an inherent transformation from outdated methods to the new and more productive ways of conducting business.

A long time ago, management guru Peter Drucker said:

“Indeed the modern organization (beginning with the Jesuit Order in 1536) was expressly created to have results on the outside, that is, to make a difference in its society or its economy.”

The implicit — and explicit — expectation is that institutions should “do good” for others: The ultimate objective is to produce a wellspring of new ideas, profound change, dynamic innovation, and sustainable opportunities.

These are times of high risk for most endeavors, whether business or societal. Most problems are global problems, because most things we touch have reverberating effects throughout the economy and the world. As the knowledge economy expands and global interconnections increase, complexity grows exponentially. Proactively managing this high level of complexity requires adaptation, evolution, and a convergence of people, process, technology, and socio-economic boundaries. 


This article was adapted from Thriving in Uncertain Times: Architecting Transformative Growth When Traditional Economic Models Have Become Obsolete, a thought leadership paper written by Faisal Hoque. To download a copy of the paper, visit www.btmcorporation.com

Faisal Hoque is the founder and CEO of BTM Corporation. He is an internationally known entrepreneur, thought leader, and was named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Technology. A former senior executive at GE and other multi-nationals, Hoque has written five management books, established a research think tank, The BTM Institute, and become a leading authority on CONVERGENCE, innovation, and sustainable growth. His latest book, The Power of Convergence, is now available. © 2011 Faisal Hoque

This article was originally published on 2012-01-04
Faisal Hoque, Founder, Chairman and CEO, BTM Corporation Faisal Hoque is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Business Technology Management Corporation. BTM Corporation innovates new business models, enhances financial performance, and improves operational efficiency at leading global corporations, government agencies, and social businesses by converging business and technology with its unique products and intellectual property (IP). A former senior executive at General Electric (GE) and other multi-nationals, Mr. Hoque is an internationally known, visionary entrepreneur and award winning thought leader. He conceived and developed Business Technology Management (BTM) to direct the social and economic growth of organizations by converging business and technology, helping transform them into "whole-brained enterprises." He is the author of "The Alignment Effect," "Winning the 3-Legged Race," and "Sustained Innovation," among other publications.
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