This is it! … Running Lean (second edition) brings together Business Model Generation (Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur) and The Lean Startup (Eric Reis) in a very very practical way … Ash Maurya has operationalised their good work. Even if you hadn’t read either of those other books, then you would be able to start here on your entrepreneurial / intrapreneurial innovation journey. But I would rather you read them first, for essential background and completeness.
It was the work of Steve Blank which inspired Eric Reis and his book, The Lean Startup … as reviewed in Essential Business Books #06.
So this review of Steve Blank’s & Bob Dorf’s book, is more of a logical review than an essential one. You will ‘see’ where Eric, who Steve has described as his “best, or greatest, student”, came from.
The Lean Startup cannot be ignored and you must also be aware of the ‘associated’ books which I will review in this series. I’ve already covered off two – Business Model Generation, Blue Ocean Strategy – and I have at least seven to go! And it could be more as my thinking on this whole topic evolves too.
If you have been following this series of reviews, you may have already discovered that Blue Ocean Strategy is featured in the "Business Model Generation" book. And given that the innovative proposition of Blue Ocean Strategy pre-dates Business Model Generation by five years … this tells you a lot about the lasting value of Blue Ocean Strategy [BOS]. It sits at #1 in the Strategy & Competition list of that well-known online book seller, after nine years … and it’s been there for most of that time.
The cover of this book says “… design tomorrow’s enterprises”, but I think it’s also for today’s enterprises, because are you crystal clear about your business model?
My observation is “probably not” to “no”, and that comes from working with over 400 enterprises during the past 42 years, and meeting or speaking with hundreds more.
So this truly great handbook will greatly help you to simply model the ‘here and now’ as well as the ‘desired future’. And I mean simple to the power of two – simple model and simple modelling procedure.
We all need to write … emails, letters (!), reports, documents, ‘content’ … and we are very bad at it!
This brilliant little guide should be your constant companion … but it’s only available on Kindle (so you know where to find it!). If you can track down a second-hand hard copy then buy it … because it’s so much easier to reference.
We all need to sell … products, services, ideas … so varying from the tangible to the intangible. And there are many sales methodologies to help you along the way. Some stand the test of time, while others are just a flash in the pan … a passing fad … a fashionable item.
We all need to write business documents, and Jon’s advice is priceless (as per that TV ad for a certain credit card). A friend of mine who won the prize for ‘best financial plan’ in a business planning competition puts the win down to the guidance of Chapter 8 of this book!
This is the last blog in my series on the consultant's role in business and how to assess the need, find the right consultant and how to manage the process. This post covers a few follow up topics, and of course if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment.
So far in this series of posts, we've looked at why you might need a consultant, how you select a consultant and now in this post we take a look at possibly the most important part of the process; How do you manage a consultant … to deliver the desired outcomes, and to meet your project objectives?
It’s really a straightforward three step process:
- Connect with the consultant
- Monitor work
- Evaluate results.
In my last blog we talked about why you might need to hire a consultant for your business. Today we go to the next step and discuss how to go about engaging a consultant.
Having made an ‘in principle’ decision to engage a consultant … move on and follow this seven step selection process:
- Develop initial brief
- Scan for expertise
- Seek more information
- Request proposals
- Make a decision
- Finalise contract.
I’ve had senior executives and business owners "shy away" from the work that needs to be done here … and … it makes me wonder why there are so many ‘bad consultant’ stories. You must put this effort in to get the best possible result.
While business people typically have a broad range of skills, with perhaps some specialties; changes within the business, in the broader economic climate, or other unforeseen circumstances, can create a need that can't be met with the existing skills within the business. When that occurs, employing a specialist consultant can provide the skills necessary to deal with the situation as well as an objective viewpoint that can help to effectively focus the team.
If we went to a business book shop we would find many books on business plans. And if you ‘google’ the phrase “business plan template” you will get 1M+ hits! So lots of advice … but very few tips and tricks, to avoid the traps.
However, a business plan must only exist for an actionable purpose – no actionable purpose = no plan.
Why do you need a business plan? There are many such purposes, for example; raise finance, convince backers & partners, put a ‘stake in the ground’, prepare to sell, apply for a grant, help run the business, ……. etc.
Passwords. We all use them to access our online banking, our email accounts, our utility account management, our stock investments, home and car loan accounts – and for many people, the list goes on and on. Here are some tips for creating complex passwords that are easy to remember yet difficult for someone to guess easily.
Discover the 10 steps that could take your business from a hobby to leading brand in just 3 years. This article is written by the owner of one of Australia's leading online brands, a business founded on the principles of 10 simple steps. Read on...
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