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Expand Breakthrough Solution Capacity Among Your Stakeholders

Feb 3, 2008
Have as many stakeholders as possible share their concerns, ideas for improvement, and reactions to experiments and other initiatives. That's valuable because even a new business model that starts way off target will soon begin to go in the right direction as a result of continuing feedback from those who help create, deliver, purchase, employ, and consume an offering. Make each individual step in establishing the business model small enough, and any misstep is quickly and cheaply remedied.

If you don't believe that, try this experiment. Ask three people to help you, one of whom will drive the four of you to some location none of you has ever been to before. On the way, close your eyes and have someone blindfold you. You'll learn more from this experiment if you are totally in the dark.

Once at the destination, a mall for example, tell your helpers to pick a location for you to walk towards. That might be a map of the mall. It could be at the rest rooms of the mall. Or it might be a sandwich shop in the mall's food court. Explain to your helpers that their job is to give you feedback on how well you are doing in moving toward your goal and to keep you from hurting yourself.

Get out of the car and start walking carefully. Your helpers will tell you to stop, turn left or right, or whatever. You'll be impressed by how quickly they learn to give you feedback that you can use. If they prove to be good at keeping you away from potholes, racing cars, and obstacles, you'll soon relax and walk faster and more confidently.

Since they may not yet know where the goal is located, they may have to gain some information, too, by looking at the mall's internal map or going to the information counter before proceeding directly to the goal. You'll find yourself arriving at your destination in most cases in little more than double the time it would take you if you could see and knew exactly where you were going.

What's the lesson? Get enough feedback and even the totally unexplored can be handled reasonably quickly and safely. How can you do better? Get feedback from people who can help you design breakthrough solutions for your business model and stakeholders.

Let's consider how getting such feedback might work for an aid organization. Most humanitarian groups do fine work and provide beneficial help to those who need it. What else might such an organization do?

Staffers and volunteers could also teach the aid recipients to create breakthrough solutions so the aid provision could be greatly improved in effectiveness for the beneficiaries. With the increased effectiveness from implementing these breakthrough solutions, such an organization would then have resources to provide more kinds of aid to beneficiaries.

For instance, those beneficiaries who were interested in starting new enterprises could be taught how to start up new businesses using limited resources by working with those who are also aid beneficiaries. Donors to the organization could make available limited grants to help start such enterprises for those with the most appealing plans.

Such a program could ease and speed the transition away from being dependent on the aid organization. That result is especially desirable when people may not be able to return to their old way of living anytime soon. If a drought continues, for instance, some may be better off finding nonagricultural ways of earning a living -- or at least establishing more effective methods of affordable irrigation -- than going back to replant and see crops wither.

Alternatively, a new type of aid organization could be established that would become the entrepreneurial version of Habitat for Humanity International. The organization could test a variety of business models that might be used by aid beneficiaries to recover economically from natural disasters, wars, and droughts.

The best of these business models could be demonstrated and taught to the beneficiaries who might like to establish new businesses. A loan for the start-up capital would be provided and repayments would be used to fund other entrepreneurs.

Some of these business models could be established around a franchised branded base so that the new entrepreneurs would have an easier time attracting customers. As the entrepreneurs began to succeed, they would lead other aid beneficiaries into the normal economy.

Here are questions that you can use to help you apply what you learned in this article about how to employ an efficient business-model design:

-How can potential customers, beneficiaries, and users be introduced into the market sooner?

-How could you use a global base to lower costs further?

-How should you prepare to serve new needs as customers, beneficiaries, and users step up to require more demanding preferences?

-What's the best way to create new brands with emerging market authenticity?

-What elements can you add to your business model to expand the overall market faster?

-In which ways can you inexpensively expand breakthrough solution capabilities among your stakeholders?
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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