Transform Business Impact

Module Two Description

In this second Module of Business Impact Accelerator©, you and your team will transition from assessing to transforming the strategic and operational impact of your business or social enterprise. By completing these “design thinking” activities, you’ll create a blueprint for sustainable growth and impact. You and your team will complete four Activities …

  1. Continuously Improve Impact
  2. Envision Sustainable 10X Impact
  3. Design 10X Impact Business Model
  4. Validate 10X Impact Business Model

… and produce seven Deliverables:

  • B Impact Improvement Plans
  • Customer Persona and Journey Canvases
  • Statements of Core Purpose and Values
  • Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact
  • High Impact Value Proposition Canvas
  • Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model Canvas
  • Investment Readiness Level Canvas

These Deliverables will enable you and your team to build a sustainable, high-impact enterprise that differentiates you from competitors focused only on maximizing short-term profit.

For each Deliverable, we provide step-by-step instructions and coaching tips for completion. We also feature a Certified B Corporation to benchmark and offer a list of resources to help you manage the transition of your enterprise from one stage of growth to another. If you have any questions, please contact us directly through this website.

Activity Description

In this Activity, you and your team will start improving the social and environmental impact of your enterprise. You’ll do this by developing quarterly B Impact Improvement Plans.

Improving your business impact is important because as you learned in Gender Wealth Strategy, the strategy of Positive Impact is rapidly becoming a key driver of competitive advantage and differentiation. As one of the leaders of an impact-driven enterprise, it is incumbent on you to “measure what matters” and improve the impact you generate for stakeholders.

B Impact Improvement Plans will help you embed impact into your daily operations and organization culture. This Deliverable will enable you and your team to progress toward B Corp Certification and gain recognition as an enterprise that “does well by doing good.”

B Impact Improvement Plans

Required Materials:

To develop B Impact Improvement Plans, you will need to access the baseline B Impact Assessment Report you finished in Module 1.

To Do List:

There are four actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Review the baseline B Impact Assessment Report you started or completed in Module 1 of Business Impact Accelerator.
  2. Download and review the Action Plan tool from the Change Accelerator© Toolkit.
  3. Create or update a B Impact Improvement Plan (use the action planning tool from Change Accelerator) every 90 days to continuously improve your social and environmental impact and earn more assessment points.
  4. Conduct quarterly strategy reviews of Improvement Plans to track progress toward B Corp Certification and celebrate successes in building a sustainable, high-impact enterprise and work culture.

Coaching Tips:

This Activity is focused on developing and implementing a continuous impact improvement process within your enterprise driven by the B Impact Assessment. If you are seeking to scale positive impact and build a sustainable, high-impact enterprise, then you need a systematic process for doing this.

When you access your B Impact Assessment account, be sure to read Step 3 (Improve Your Impact). In this section, you’ll see a number of best practice guides and improvement case studies provided by B Lab. Log into your account and go to the B Impact Assessment you started in the previous module of Business Impact Accelerator©.

Use the main navigation menu to find your B Impact Assessment Report. Look for the “filter tabs” at the top of “Full Assessment Improvement Report” and focus on improvement opportunities aligned with the “vital few” areas you and your team identified in the first Activity of Module 1. As you click on each potential improvement, you’ll see the assessment question, your answer, and three tabs (“Explain This”, “Show Example”, and “In Practice”). Be sure to click on “Score Value” in the lower right to see how many points your enterprise could earn by answering or improving on the response.

Next, download and review the Action Plan tool from the Change Accelerator© Toolkit and develop a 90-day plan to implement improvement opportunities identified from the B Impact Assessment. Identify a manageable number of opportunities consistent with the available time and resources in your enterprise. Be sure to focus first on the “low-hanging fruit.” The goal here is to create immediate “wins” and build confidence and positive energy for the process of continuous impact improvement.

Culture Change

Use all of the resources from the B Impact Assessment and Change Accelerator platforms (e.g., best practice guides, case studies, Project Dashboard, Phase Health Checks, etc.) to accelerate learning and change. The goal is to embed the B Impact Assessment and 90-day action plans (and later, annual improvement plans) into the daily operations and culture of your enterprise. These tools and processes will “sustain the change” you’re asking everyone to get behind and support.

As you complete items on the 90-day Improvement Plans, be sure to update your assessment answers on the B Impact Assessment. Take time to communicate progress to your team and organization. Don’t take small improvements for granted. This is essential for putting the Principle of Involvement into action and reinforcing positive action. Continue to go back to Change Accelerator for other tools that will help you and your team strengthen its commitment to sustainability and building a high-impact enterprise.

Be sure to save copies of your B Impact Improvement Plans to record progress as you work toward B Corp Certification (reference Module 4 of Business Impact Accelerator).

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. What are we learning about our social and environmental impact?
  2. Did we make progress these last 90 days in improving our impact?
  3. Did we use a gender lens to identify impact improvements within our enterprise?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately 4–6 hours (once per quarter) to create a B Impact Improvement Plan. Additional time will be required to monitor implementation of 90-day action plans and report/celebrate progress at the end of each quarter.

Featured Certified B Corporation:

Greyston Bakery

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about measuring, managing, and improving impact, we recommend subscribing to the B Lab Channel on YouTube.

Next Step

Envision Sustainable 10X Impact

Activity Description

In this Activity, you and your team will transform the strategic vision and brand identity of your enterprise. You’ll do this with the Customer Persona and Journey Canvases, Statements of Core Purpose and Values, and Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact.

Transforming the vision of your enterprise is important because as you learned in Gender Wealth Strategy©, the current system of finance and investment is biased against enterprises that do not maximize short-term profit. As one of the leaders of an impact-driven company, it is incumbent on you to attract customers and investors driven by mission, purpose, and sustainable impact.

Customer Persona and Journey Canvases will help you gain insight into the customers you currently serve (or may decide to serve in the future). Statements of Core Purpose and Values will help you redefine and articulate the “why” behind your enterprises’ existence. 

Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact will help you establish a strategic destination for the ten-year journey of growth, change, and transformation you’re preparing to launch.

Together, these Deliverables will inspire you and your team to build a sustainable, high-impact enterprise that delivers enduring social and economic value.

Customer Persona and Journey Canvases

Required Materials:

To create Customer Persona and Journey Canvases, you will need the Design a Better Business and Value Proposition Design books. You will also need to visit the Design a Better Business website and use results from customer impact interviews conducted in Module 1.

To Do List:

There are five actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Download and review the Persona Canvas and Customer Journey Canvas from the Free Tools section of the Design a Better Business website.
  2. Review pages 98–103 in Design a Better Business and page 106–119 in Value Proposition Design.
  3. Review the feedback and insights gleaned from customer impact interviews conducted previously.
  4. Create a Persona Canvas and Customer Journey Canvas for one or more customer segments served by your business or social enterprise.
  5. Save these Canvases for your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan and for ongoing use throughout Business Impact Accelerator©, especially Module 4 (Improve Customer Experiences).

Coaching Tips:

In 2008, we facilitated a leadership development program with the theme: “It starts with you, but it’s about them (the customer).” One of the exercises in this program asked the 45 participants to “walk in the shoes” of customers and visualize their journey at every “touchpoint” (both online and in-person). It was an eye-opening exercise for “inside-out” leaders more concerned about internal metrics than the impact they created in the lives of customers.

In this Activity, you and your team will use the Persona and Customer Journey Canvases from Design a Better Business to walk in the shoes of customers. You will find both Canvases in the Free Tools/Understand section of the Design a Better Business website. Be sure to read through the descriptions and instructions provided on the site for each canvas.

Also, read pages 98–103 in Design a Better Business and pages 106–119 of Value Proposition Design before completing these canvases. And, use the feedback and insights gleaned from customer impact interviews conducted in Module 1. From these interviews, you will have gained insight into the needs, expectations, and emotions of your customers.

There is a quote on the Design a Better Business website that is relevant to the scaling and growth journey you and your team are preparing to launch: “The Customer Journey is relevant for everyone. Everyone on the team, and in your company, must understand what your customers experience, how they feel, what they struggle with, and how you can improve their experience. The underlying goal: to solve our customer’s problems and make them happy.”

Personalize the Canvas

As you create Persona and Customer Journey Canvases, keep these thoughts in mind:

  • Creating the Canvases will help you to more clearly define the root cause (or causes) of the problem (or problems) you solve for customers.
  • Give each segment a face and name on the Persona Canvas; that is, you need to “make it personal” so your team can empathize with the world customers live in and experience every day.
  • Think “outside-in” from the customer’s point of view; her or his goal isn’t to purchase your product or service, but to solve a problem, reduce pains, and create gains important to them.
  • Results from customer impact interviews could be pointing your enterprise toward “low-hanging fruit” that will immediately improve the experience of your customers. It may also inform you and your team that your enterprise has an opportunity to create even more impact and value for customers (and ultimately for you).
  • Understanding the journey of your customers is key to delivering high-impact value propositions and creating retention levels that enable you to deliver sustainable results during the ten-year journey of growth, change, and transformation.

As you develop Persona and Customer Journey Maps, be sure to identify at least ten “earlyevangelists” or “early adopters” as discussed on page 118 of Value Proposition Design. These “rock stars” could be very helpful in providing feedback for the new value proposition and business model you’ll be designing, prototyping, and testing later in this section of Business Impact Accelerator©.

Also, be sure to review the Business Plan Checklist to see where you will place this information in the Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan that you and your team will be creating in Module 3 of Business Impact Accelerator.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. Did we completely describe the persona of our selected customer(s)?
  2. Did we discover any “low-hanging fruit” that would help us to improve the customer experience?
  3. Are these canvases based on any assumptions we need to confirm or validate?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately 3–4 hours to complete both the Persona and Customer Journey Canvases.

Featured Certified B Corporation:  

Seventh Generation

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about customer empathy and the value of putting customers first, we recommend you subscribe to the Hallmark Business Connections Channel on YouTube and watch these videos:

We also suggest:

Next Step

Statements of Core Purpose and Values

Statements of Core Purpose and Values

Required Materials:

To create Statements of Core Purpose and Values, you will need an article from the HBR.org website as well as visit the Whole Foods Market website.

To Do List:

There are four actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Purchase, download, and review an article from HBR.org titled Building Your Company’s Vision.
  2. Review the mission and core values statements of Whole Foods Market.
  3. Develop or upgrade Statements of Core Purpose and Values for your business or social enterprise.
  4. Save a copy of your Statements of Core Purpose and Values for use in the Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan you’ll develop in Module 3 and for ongoing use in the Business Impact Accelerator© program.

Coaching Tips:

Many enterprises claim to be guided by a purpose-driven mission and set of core values. However, during moments of crisis or “ethical challenge,” we often see these guiding principles sacrificed for short-term profit or personal greed. You don’t need to think too long about the number of corporations in the past that have compromised their publicly stated beliefs and principles for short-term gain.

So, what is a purpose or mission statement? And what are core values? To answer these questions, go to HBR.org and purchase an article titled Building Your Company’s Vision (by James C. Collins and Jerry L. Porras). You’ll need to create an account (if you don’t already have one) and search for this classic article by the authors of Built to Last. HBR.org charges $8.95 per article, but they also provide several free articles to read each month. Each member of your team will need to review this article.

There are many approaches to creating a mission statement or statement of core purpose (perhaps too many). However, we like the advice of Kevin Starr of the Mulago Foundation (as described in the +Acumen course, Business Models for Social Enterprise:

  • A Mission describes what you want to change for whom.
  • Use less than ten words.
  • Use a structure of verb, target, outcome.

To identify or improve on the values of your enterprise, we recommend visiting the Whole Foods Market website and reviewing their six Core Values and Statement of Higher Purpose. Notice how these statements are focused “outside-in” on their family of stakeholders, not primarily on the internal operations or organizational culture.

Is there any doubt about the values of Whole Foods? We think this is one of the primary reasons that Amazon purchased Whole Foods at a premium price in mid-2017.

Next, organize and facilitate one or more sessions to identify and discuss the core purpose and values of your business or social enterprise. Remember to stay focused on your family of stakeholders (like Whole Foods) and keep the priority “jobs, pains, and gains” of customers in mind. Use the approach Whole Foods Market has taken to describe your core purpose (mission) and core values (beliefs or guiding principles).

This information will need to be included in the Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan you’ll be developing and documenting in Module 3 of Business Impact Accelerator. Plus, your Statements of Core Purpose and Values will raise the “trust factor” of women and HeForShe investors in the 10X Impact Forum. They will be eager to learn the “why” behind your enterprises’ existence as well as the values that guide your business plan.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. Does our Core Purpose (or Mission Statement) capture the true essence of who we are and what we do?
  2. Will stakeholders understand at-a-glance why our enterprise exists?
  3. Did we define 5–8 Core Values and are they described clearly?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately 6–8 hours total (over several sessions) to create Statements of Core Purpose and Values.

Featured Certified B Corporation: 

Eileen Fisher

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about purpose and values, we recommend these YouTube videos:

We also recommend three books about building purpose-driven enterprises:

  1. Built to Last by Collins and Porras (this book was written in the 1990’s and provides a timeless perspective of what it takes to build an enterprise that delivers enduring social and economic value).
  2. Conscious Capitalism by John Mackay and Raj Sisodia (Mackay is the co-founder of Whole Foods Market); you’ll learn more about Conscious Capitalism® in Develop Business and Financial Acumen (Module 5 of Business Impact Accelerator).
  3. Conscious Capitalism Field Guide: Tools for Transforming Your Organization by Raj Sisodia, Timothy Henry, and Thomas Eckschmidt.

Next Step

Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact

Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact

Required Materials:

To create a Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact, you will need to use the HBR.orgarticle from the previous section and visit the Stanford Social Innovation Review website.

To Do List:

There are six actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Download and review an article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review titled Scaling Impact.
  2. Review an article from the Center for Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship titled Approaches to Scaling Impact.
  3. Review pages 73–77 of the HBR.org article titled Building Your Company’s Vision.
  4. Download and review the Reverse Imaging tool from the Change Accelerator© Toolkit and Vision Story Template from the Business Impact Accelerator© Library.
  5. Use the Vision Story Template to develop your organization’s ten-year Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact.
  6. Save this Vision Story for use in your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan and throughout Business Impact Accelerator©.

Coaching Tips:

There is a verse from the Bible that is often used during the visioning phase of strategic planning: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” It’s from the book of Proverbs, chapter 29 and verse 18. A review of the original Greek and Aramaic reveals the underlying meaning of this prophetic statement:

  • “Where there is no vision” refers to the absence of a “destination” or “picture of the future.”
  • “The people perish” refers not to physical demise, but to “traveling in circles.”

Is this not an apt description of the “desert experience” from biblical history? Well, this verse applies to many organizations and institutions in the 21st century. It is particularly true in the case of organizations that lack a “strategic vision” and lurch back and forth from one crisis to another, failing to generate sustainable impact, results, or progress. No wonder President Franklin D. Roosevelt used the verse in his first inaugural address to a country in the midst of a Great Depression.

In this part of Module 2, you and your team will create a ten-year Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact. Notice the words: ten-year … vision story … sustainable … 10X impact.

A Vision Story is not a narrative about scaling a business or social enterprise to deliver a 10X exit for private equity investors or 10X profit for bankers and lenders. Rather, it’s about scaling the positive social, economic, and environmental impact of your enterprise in a profitable, stable, and sustainable manner. One of the aims of the Women’s Wealth System (as discussed in Gender Wealth Strategy©), is to create a new system of finance and investment that both incentivizes and rewards organizations generating higher impact (10X) without a corresponding increase in operational costs.

To understand this line of thinking, ask the members of your team to schedule individual study time. There are three articles to download and/or review:

In the Scaling Impact article, author Jeffrey Bradach asks the question:“How can you get 100X the impact with only a 2X increase in size? This question speaks directly to the heart of a scaling strategy. The Approaches to Scaling Impact article will provide you and your team with different ideas for scaling the positive impact of your business or social enterprise. This information will be invaluable for the next two Activities of Module 2 (Design/Validate 10X Impact Business Model).

Pages 73–77 of Building Your Company’s Vision will provide you with the rationale for creating an envisioned future, including development of a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (or BHAG®). The purpose of a BHAG is to stretch your enterprise to achieve something many people thought impossible (at least in the beginning). In this case, your BHAG is related to the “10X impact” you and your team will aim to scale, fund, and accelerate over the next ten years.

What’s the Destination?

So, here’s the assignment for you and your team: create a one to two-page “vision story” set ten years into the future describing the sustainable, impact-driven enterprise you’ve successfully grown and the 10X impact you’ve generated for stakeholders.

To develop this vision, select 2–3 team members to work with you to create a draft Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact. You’ll need to download the Reverse Imaging tool from the Change Accelerator© Toolkit and the Vision Story Template from the Business Impact Accelerator© Library. These two documents will help you: (1) maintain an “outside-in” focus as you envision the future, (2) identify potential strategies for scaling the impact of your enterprise by 10X, and (3) write a one to two-page vision story.

Remember, this is not a linear problem to be solved. Channel the words of Buckminster Fuller to think about an envisioned future with exciting potential: 

A great way to think about your vision story’s opening paragraph is to visualize you are delivering a short address at a future New Year’s Eve celebration ten years into the future. Imagine welcoming everyone with these opening words: “It’s December 31, _____ (ten years into the future), and looking back on great success, __________ (fill in the blank and the rest of the story).”

One way to get started with this assignment is to ask all members of the leadership, management, or project team to individually write a 1–2 page Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact. The smaller group can then collate into one composite document. This Vision Story should be shared with the entire team, discussed, debated, and revised until the team feels it accurately reflects a compelling vision of your business or social enterprise for the next ten years.

Don’t be surprised if you change your Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact several times. In our experience, it usually takes 6–8 drafts. However, a high-quality Vision Story will provide your team and enterprise with a clear “True North” and guide the design and development of a Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model and Business Plan.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. Did we create a compelling, exciting and practical Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact?
  2. Did we describe our BHAG and the why behind this goal?
  3. Did we describe the positive impact we would like to create for women in our Vision Story?

Estimated Time:

It will take the team approximately 12–16 hours to craft a Vision Story.

Featured Certified B Corporation:  

New Belgium Brewing

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about vision and vision statements, we recommend the following videos:

We also suggest:

Next Step

Design 10X Impact Business Model

Activity Description

In this Activity, you and your team will transform the business model of your business or social enterprise. You’ll do this by designing and prototyping a High Impact Value Proposition Canvas and Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model Canvas.

Transforming your business model is important because as you learned in Gender Wealth Strategy©, the business and investment strategy of Positive Impact is rapidly becoming a driver of competitive advantage and differentiation. As one of the leaders of an impact-driven enterprise, it is incumbent on you to design a scalable, profitable, and impactful business model aligned with your sustainable vision and brand.

High Impact Value Proposition Canvas will help you adopt an “outside-in” point of view and discover ways to create more value for current and new customers. Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model Canvas will help you find the right business model to deliver on the Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG®) identified in your vision.

High Impact Value Proposition Canvas

Required Materials:

To design and prototype a High Impact Value Proposition Canvas, you will need the Value Proposition DesignBusiness Model Generation, and Design a Better Business books. You will also need the Business Impact Accelerator Library.

To Do List:

There are four actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Review the Understand and Ideate chapters in Design a Better Business (pages 84–149).
  2. Review pages 102–103 (Six Ways to Innovate from the Customer Profile) in Value Proposition Design, as well as pages 144–157 (Finding the Right Business Model) and pages 98–99 (Identify High-Value Jobs).
  3. Implement the Coffee Challenge (page 121 in Design a Better Business) and rapidly prototype at least ten different value proposition canvases in the next 1–2 weeks.
  4. Select one High Impact Value Proposition Canvas for ongoing refinement, testing, and validation.

Coaching Tips:

In this section of Module 2, you and your team will engage customers to learn more about their priority jobs, pains, and gains. Your aim is to take an “outside-in” point of view and discover higher value benefits you could deliver to achieve the Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG®) identified in your ten-year Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact.

Start this process by first reviewing the Understand and Ideate chapters in Design a Better Business. Be sure to examine the case studies, especially the Wavin story on page 93. This story is an excellent example of “outside-in” design thinking as well as creation of a Level 4 Customer Value Proposition (the free Wavin Academy). Note the comment CEO Richard van Delden makes on page 96: “We knew that there were other options worth exploring as well. So, rather than spend time arguing about the one option on the table, we decided first to validate our assumptions and learn from our customer first hand. We got out of the building.”

Also, review the Coffee Challenge described on page 121 of Design a Better Business. The Coffee Challenge is a customer discovery exercise you and your team should plan to accomplish in the next 2–3 weeks. Use the initial sketch of your enterprise’s Value Proposition Canvas from Module 1 to dive more deeply into the high-value jobs of customers (note–you may want to schedule a return visit with some of the “earlyevangelists” identified in your customer impact interviews). Pages 98–99 in Value Proposition Design outlines the information you will be seeking. Also, note there are other customer discovery tools in the “Understanding Customers” section of the book.

As you start to generate new ideas for potential high impact canvases, consider the information provided on page 131 of Design a Better Business (Improving the Lives of Millions). This example illustrates the importance of using your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG®) to evaluate prototypes.

Search, Not Execution

There are two other sections in Value Proposition Design we recommend before conducting the Coffee Challenge. On pages 102–103, there is a summary of Six Ways to Innovate from the Customer Profile. Note the third example, which supports The Level 4 Customer Value Proposition idea presented by Bill Lee in The Hidden Wealth of Customers (reference Module 1, Evaluate Customer Engagement).

As well, pages 144–157 in Value Proposition Design discuss the reality of searching for high-impact value propositions and business models. That is, you should expect this process to be “dynamic” as you work back and forth between the two canvases, arriving at a prototype to test and validate.

There is one more YouTube video we recommend you and your team watch (and watch together): “How to Grow Your Business and Sales Faster”. In this YouTube video, you’ll learn about an analytical framework for developing a revenue growth strategy using the 80/20 Principle.

Next, schedule and moderate “integration meetings” to ensure coordination and communication. As team members present prototype canvases, apply the Thinking Hats process outlined on pages 136–137 in Value Proposition Design.  If space is available, you may even want to designate an area of your enterprise as an “innovation center” and start involving a wider group of people in the process of transforming your value proposition and business model.

Be sure to select one High-Impact Value Proposition Canvas for further refinement, testing, and validation. In reality, you’ll be developing this Canvas at the same time as you design/redesign your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model.

Our last coaching tip focuses on the Business Plan Checklist you’ll be completing in Module 3 of Business Impact Accelerator©.  Note the section titled “Unique Solution.” This is where you’ll be communicating your high-impact value proposition (and business model) to women and HeForShe advocates.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. What did we learn from our meetings with customers?
  2. Did we discover any “high-value jobs” or priority pains and gains that could lead to a more impactful value proposition for women?
  3. Did we design and select one High Impact Value Proposition to test and validate with our Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model?

Estimated Time:

It will take you and your team approximately 2–3 weeks to design a High Impact Value Proposition Canvas.

Featured Certified B Corporation:  

Cotopaxi

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about creating value propositions and business models from an impact point-of-view, we recommend the following:

We also recommend these free online courses from +Acumen (on the NovoEd learning platform):

  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Business Models for Social Enterprise
  • Introduction to Human-Centered Design
  • Social Impact Analysis

We also advise:

  • The Lean Approach (free 6-part video series from the Kauffman Founders School on Youtube)
  • The Irresistible Offer: How to Sell Your Product or Service in 3 Seconds or Less by Mark Joyner.
  • How to Build a Startup (free course on Udacity by Steve Blank).
  • Gender Lens Investing: Uncovering Opportunities for Growth, Returns, and Impact by Joseph Quinlan and Jackie VanderBrug.

Next Step

Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model Canvas

Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model Canvas

Required Materials:

To design and prototype a Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model Canvas, you will need the Value Proposition DesignBusiness Model Generation, and Design a Better Business books. You will also need to visit the Strategyzer website.

To Do List:

There are five actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Review Business Model Canvas Ideation on pages 142–143 in Design a Better Business.
  2. Review Epicenters of Business Model Innovation on pages 135–145 in Business Model Generation.
  3. Review pages 122–123 and pages 156–157 in Value Proposition Canvas (or download these checklists from the Strategyzer website).
  4. Prototype at least six different business model canvases based on the information you gained from the Coffee Challenge and through developing your High Impact Value Proposition Canvas.
  5. Select one Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model Canvas to test and validate in the next Activity of Business Impact Accelerator©.

Coaching Tips:

In this part of Module 2, you and your team will prototype several business model canvases based on your customer discovery meetings and High Impact Value Proposition Canvas. You’ll focus your “what-if” thinking to design business models with the greatest potential to achieve your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) and Vision of Sustainable 10X Impact.

To start, review pages 142–143 in Design a Better Business and pages 135–145 in Business Model Generation. Both sections describe the “epicenter” approach to business model innovation using the business model canvas you created in Module 1 of Business Impact Accelerator.

Next, review the checklists on pages 122–123 and 156–157 of Value Proposition Design with the entire team. The first section covers ten questions to assess value proposition design while the second section focuses on issues to strengthen the business model. These checklists are also available on the Strategyzer website in the Resources section.

Business Model Ideas

We have listed several additional resources in the Recommended Resources section you may wish to consult. For example, the potential benefits of a recurring revenue model are one that you and your team should consider seriously. A subscription-based business model could be used to complement what you’re already doing and increase the cash flow and gross margins needed to afford a revenue royalty percentage of 1–10% (we’ll talk more about this in Module 3). Be sure to check out the resources on “scaling up” and the impact of growth on cash flow (it’s not always positively correlated).

Also, consider reviewing two other resources that might stimulate new business model ideas. The first resource is Business Model Gallery and the second is Business Model Zoo. Business Model Gallery offers affordable subscriptions for 1–12 months and provides access to 100+ business model canvases from a wide variety of enterprises. Business Model Zoo provides free access to their collection of reports on 100 business models.

Then, schedule and facilitate “prototyping sessions.” As before, apply the Thinking Hats process on pages 136–137 of Value Proposition Design to avoid backsliding into “yeah, buts” and “this will never work here.” At this stage of the search and discovery process, be receptive and open to any and all ideas. You never know when one crazy idea propels your enterprise to the next level of sustainable growth and impact (e.g., it happened at WR Systems, one of my clients from 2007-2011, and resulted in a new operating division).

Also, be sure to check out the Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan Checklist. You’ll see an entire section (Unique Solution) devoted to your high-impact business model. And if you’re seeking to raise flexible revenue-based growth capital, women and HeForShe investors will want to know about the profitability, sustainability, and impact of your new and improved business model.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. How did our prototypes score on the “Seven Questions to Assess Your Business Model Design”?
  2. Did we consider combining prototypes to create an impact-driven business model aligned with our BHAG?
  3. Do we have one Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model to take into testing and validation?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately 2–3 weeks to design a Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model Canvas (this Deliverable overlaps with work on the High Impact Value Proposition Canvas).

Featured Certified B Corporation: 

3Degrees Group

Recommended Resources:

To generate more ideas for your transformed business model, we suggest the following:

  • Business on a Mission: How to Build a Sustainable Brand by Andy Last.
  • Gender Lens Investing: Uncovering Opportunities for Growth, Returns, and Impact by Joseph Quinlan and Jackie VanderBrug.
  • How to Grow Your Business with a Subscription Revenue Model by Nat Chiaffarano (available on KindleUnlimited).
  • Testing Business Ideas by David Bland and Alex Osterwalder.
  • The Invincible Company by Alex Osterwalder, Yves, Pigneur, Fred Etiemble, and Alan Smith.
  • The Next Step: Guiding You from Idea to Startup by Michael “Luni” Libes.

To learn more about scaling your business model, we recommend the following:

  • Scaling Up (you’ll find the book Scaling Up here, along with free resources and tools on strategy, growth, and cash flow management).
  • Visual Capitalist (daily infographic on future trends in business and investment).
  • Scaling Your Company (free 12-part video series from the Kauffman FoundersSchool).
  • How to Build a Startup (free course on Udacity by Steve Blank).
  • IRIS (or Impact Reporting and Investment Standards; provides a database of metrics used by the B Impact Assessment and impact investors).

Next Step

Validate 10X Impact Business Model

Activity Description

In this Activity, you and your team will move from designing and prototyping a Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model to testing and validating its viability. You’ll track the progress of these validation efforts with the Investment Readiness Level Canvas.

Business model validation is important because as you learned in Gender Wealth Strategy©, lack of business model viability is the #1 reason founders cited for the failure of their startup. As one of the leaders of an impact-driven enterprise, it is incumbent on you to reduce the risk of business model failure and generate evidence that customers are responding to your value proposition and package of benefits.

Investment Readiness Level Canvas will help you track progress toward validation of a profitable and scalable business model aligned with your Vision of Sustainable 10X Impact.

This Deliverable will enable your enterprise to assure women and HeForShe investors your business model is capable of generating positive cash flow and sustainable impact.

Investment Readiness Level Canvas

Required Materials:

To use the Investment Readiness Level Canvas, you will need the Value Proposition Design and Design a Better Business books. As well, you will need to visit the Design a Better Business website. You will also need to download resources from the Strategyzer website and Change Accelerator© platform.

To Do List:

There are six actions for you and your team to complete:

  1. Review content in Value Proposition Design, including Fit  (pages 42–63), and Testing Process (pages 198–199 and pages 188–252).
  2. Review the Strategyzer Blog post dated June 20, 2016, by Alex Osterwalder titled Why Companies Fail & How to Prevent It.
  3. Download and review The Progress Board and Testing Your Business Model: A Reference Guide from the Resources section on Strategyzer’s website.
  4. Review Introduction to Investment Readiness Level in Design a Better Business (pages 242–247) and download the Investment Readiness Level Canvas from the Design a Better Business website.
  5. Download the Action Plan tool from the Change Accelerator Toolkit and implement a test and validation plan specific for your Sustainable 10X Business Model.
  6. Track and record progress on the Investment Readiness Level Canvas and save a copy for the Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan (to be developed in Module 3).

Coaching Tips:

In this part of Module 2, you will use the Investment Readiness Level Canvas to track progress in validating the Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model you and your team designed in the previous Activity. You’ll be using this Canvas in your five-year Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan to show prospective crowdfund investors how you mitigated the risk of business model failure.

As Value Proposition Design says on page 178: “When you start exploring new ideas, you are usually in a space of maximum uncertainty. You don’t know if your ideas will work. Refining them in a business plan won’t make them more likely to succeed.”

We think this statement is true regardless of the age, size, or type of enterprise you founded or now lead and manage. Envisioning a future of 10X impact is one thing, but being able to scale impact and achieve sustainable growth after scale-up is another matter. Given the failure rate of young ventures or new products and services in larger enterprises, it is essential to reduce uncertainty and risk before developing a business plan and 3X-in-10™ Revenue Sharing Offer.

As you review pages 42–63 in Value Proposition Design, note the three kinds of “fit” described on pages 48–49 (problem-solution fit, product-market fit, and business model fit). Access and download the June 20, 2016, post from the Strategyzer Blog. Here, Alex Osterwalder discusses a study of over 200 startups post failure. In FRACTL’s study, the top three reasons that founders cited for their organization’s failure were: (1) business model not viable, (2) ran out of cash, and (3) not enough traction.

After reading this post, download Testing Your Business Model: A Reference Guide from the Resources section of the Strategyzer website. This guide will provide you with ideas for testing the assumptions or hypotheses driving your new impact-driven business model. Then, review pages 198–199 in Chapter 3 of Value Proposition Design to learn about the testing and validation process recommended by the Strategyzer team. Additional information on each step is provided in pages 188–252 of the book.

Download and use The Progress Board from the Resources section of Strategyzer’s website. List your priority business model assumptions and hypotheses on this tool. Then, identify the combination of tests, minimum viable products, and other experiments that will provide evidence you are ready to scale your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model.

What is Your Plan to Test and Validate?

The Testing Your Business Model Reference Guide provides three focus areas and eight validation questions which will help you and your team create a test and validation plan specific to your enterprise. The priority areas and validation questions discussed in the Guide include:

  • Testing Interest and Relevance (Do potential customers show interest in your ideas? Are your ideas relevant to them? Are they interested enough to perform an action?)
  • Testing Willingness and Ability to Pay (Are potential customers interested enough in the features of your value proposition to buy? Will they put money where their mouth is?)
  • Testing Preferences and Priorities (Which features of your value proposition do potential customers refer? What do they really value? What do they prioritize?)

Next, download the Action Plan tool from Change Accelerator and with 2–3 members of your team, develop a test and validation plan specific to your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model. Note the free training resources available on the Strategyzer website (in addition to their affordable online programs) that you and your team can use to create a practical and viable testing process.

However, before finishing this action plan, review pages 242–247 in Design a Better Business. This section provides a quick overview of the Investment Readiness Level Canvas. Also, visit the Design a Better Business website and download the Canvas. Use this tool to shape the metrics you’ll be using to signal completion of each stage of the Investment Readiness Level Canvas.

Be sure to track progress of the 30–90 day (or longer) test and validation plan and document progress on the Canvas. Be specific with the completion date and metrics used by your business or social enterprise as evidence of investment readiness. By referencing or using the Investment Readiness Level Canvas in your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan, you will impress women and HeForShe investors that your enterprise is ready to deliver on its 3X-in-10™ Revenue Sharing Offer.

Review Questions:

Before moving to the Next Step, ask these questions:

  1. What did we learn about the integrity and viability of our impact-driven business model?
  2. Did we generate the right evidence of business model validation and investment readiness?
  3. Are we ready to move forward in preparing a five-year Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan and 3X-in-10™ Revenue Sharing Offer? If not, what do we need to verify?

Estimated Time:

It will take approximately 6–8 hours (or more) to develop a high-quality test and validation plan. Execution of that plan will take anywhere from 30–90 days (or longer) depending on the age, type, and size of enterprise you’re leading and the nature of your new or improved business model and value proposition.

Featured Certified B Corporation: 

The Redwoods Group

Recommended Resources:

To learn more about the Investment Readiness Level Canvas, we recommend subscribing to Steve Blank’s Blog.

To find out more about customer development and business model validation, we suggest these resources from Michael Libes, Steve Blank, and Eric Ries:

  • The Next Step Series by Michael “Luni” Libes (a $10 per month online training program by an impact-driven entrepreneur turned revenue-based investor and head of a “conscious company accelerator”).
  • The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company (by successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor now turned consultant and educator Steve Blank).
  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneur’s Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (by Eric Ries).

We also recommend these recently published books (and related online learning programs) from Strategyzer:

  • Testing Business Ideas by David Bland and Alex Osterwalder.
  • The Invincible Company by Alex Osterwalder, Yves, Pigneur, Fred Etiemble, and Alan Smith.

We also advise:

  • The Lean Approach (free 6-part video series from the Kauffman FoundersSchool).
  • How to Build a Startup (free course on Udacity by Steve Blank).
  • 25 Need to Know Key Performance Indicators by Bernard Marr.
  • Key Performance Indicators: The 75 Measures Every Manager Needs to Know by Bernard Marr.

Next Step

Module Two Review

Module Two Review

Module Two of Business Impact Accelerator focused on these Deliverables and Outcomes:

  • B Impact Improvement Plan (embed impact improvement into the daily operations and organization culture)
  • Customer Persona and Journey Canvases (gain insight into customers you currently serve or may decide to serve in the future)
  • Statements of Core Purpose and Values (redefine and articulate the “why” behind your enterprises’ existence)
  • Vision Story of Sustainable 10X Impact (establish a strategic destination for the ten-year journey of investment, growth, and transformation you’re preparing to launch)
  • High Impact Value Proposition Canvas (adopt an “outside-in” point of view and discover ways to create more value for current and new customers)
  • Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model Canvas (find the right business model to deliver on the Big Hairy Audacious Goal identified in your vision)
  • Investment Readiness Level Canvas (track progress toward the validation of a profitable and scalable business model aligned with your Vision of Sustainable 10X Impact)

So, how did you and your team do?  Were you able to complete all of these deliverables and generate these intended outcomes?

Now, on to Module 3, Scale Business Impact!

Published by Mark Livingston

Mark Livingston is President of The Social Impact Foundation and creator/author of the WIIN Learning Platform. He is also a Certified Pickleball Coach and Teaching Professional at Coach Mark LLC (www.coach-mark.com).

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