In this Random Thoughts post, I’d like to preview one of the activities you will complete in the Business Impact Accelerator© learning program. This activity–Examine Business Model–is found in Module One. In Examine Business Model, you and your team will create a Business Model SWOT Diagram and a Business Model Environment Map. Both deliverables are referenced in Business Model Generation, one of the five core books used in Business Impact Accelerator.
There is also another book listed in the Recommended Resources section of this activity that is relevant to the assessment of your current business model and business impact. This book is Gender Lens Investing: Uncovering Opportunities for Growth, Returns, and Impact. Its co-authors are Jackie VanderBrug and Joseph Quinlan, who work for U.S. Trust, a division of Bank of America.
Gender Lens Investing is relevant not only for this particular activity, but also for other activities you and your team will be completing in Module Two of Business Impact Accelerator©, including Envision Sustainable 10X Impact and Design/Validate a Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model. It’s also relevant because of these questions posed in the Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan Checklist (this Checklist is referenced and reinforced throughout the entire program):
- How does your business model canvas create enduring social and economic value?
- How will it positively impact women?
This second question is the focus of today’s post. It’s a simple question, but one with big implications for your business or social enterprise. This is because the question requires you and your team to put on gender lens “glasses” as you develop a Business Model SWOT Diagram.
Why is this important? Well, Gender Lens Investing makes the case that women are “drivers of future growth” for economies around the world and for enterprises searching for profitable and sustainable growth. Watch this video to learn more about adopting a “gender lens focus.” It features Ms. Jackie VanderBrug, one of the book’s co-authors:
You and your team can apply the ideas presented by Ms. VanderBrug by putting on your gender lens glasses while answering the SWOT assessment questions outlined on pages 217–223 of Business Model Generation. These are the assessment questions you will be using to create a Business Model SWOT Diagram.
As you work through questions in the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants of the SWOT Diagram, think about the impact your enterprise is generating in the lives of women you serve, or partner with in your supply chain, as well as employ throughout your organization. Is your enterprise unleashing their full potential and talents? Are there opportunities for improvement? Can you create a competitive advantage or develop a new business opportunity resulting in a stronger, more profitable, and sustainable business model and enterprise?
In regards to the Business Model Environment Map, go back to the 5:49–7:40 section of the interview with Ms. VanderBrug. Here, she cites research describing some of the core values of women and men who form the millennial generation. As you and your team review Key Trends, Market Forces, Macroeconomic Forces, and Industry Forces (pages 201–209 of Business Model Generation), ask if there are opportunities for your enterprise to redesign and innovate its business model using a gender lens. Use statistics from Gender Lens Investing to help “size” potential market opportunities which may be knocking right now on your front door.
This classic image (to the left) about “perception” from basic psychology textbooks illustrates the challenge and opportunity facing your enterprise. Stare hard at the picture. What do you see? An older woman looking downward or a younger woman gazing off into the distance?
In essence, I’m encouraging you and your team to conduct a gender lens exercise at the same time as you complete the Examine Business Model activity. Since our perceptions (or points of view) influence subsequent decisions and behaviors, it’s important we put on a different set of glasses (or lens) if we want to move the needle to close the gender wealth gaps and create a more equitable world. So, how do you plan to positively impact women with your business model and enterprise?