The Anonymous Architect Part 1 - Business Improvements That Matter? Enter Business Architect
Let’s face it
Your business is a complex ecosystem. It deals with customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders, regulators, industry friends and foes. Not only does it compete to retain and win customers but it also competes for talents. It must produce products and services at costs that generate decent returns to investors. It must be resilient, able to withstand shocks, see off threats and explore new ventures. It must manage risks to protect it from both internal and external elements. Added into the mix are shifting community standards and historical layers of laws, regulations and policies that govern your business.
Your business operates in a dynamic environment. Thriving requires anticipating and responding to ever-changing customer preferences. Competition comes out of remote left fields. Social licence demands more than regulatory compliance. In other words, your business can’t standstill. It must improve its systems, continuously – in spite of the intimidating complexity – and begin by asking:
Where are the improvement opportunities?
How could we be confident that change initiatives achieve the improvements that really matter?
In the great scheme of things, the questions are about delivering value propositions better, starting with knowing what it needs to execute its strategy. A business architect is your partner in this quest.
The business architect is a skilled systems thinker, equipped with the tools and techniques to capture the essence of your business from value creation perspective, namely the values it creates and the business capabilities it needs. The value creation perspective cuts across business units and organisational boundaries. It focuses on things that make real impacts on your customers, employees, suppliers, regulators and ultimately, shareholders. Therefore, you can be confident that improvement opportunities identified – be they incremental or transformative – are real value creators.
The architect is a design thinker with the nous to collaborate with specialists, drawing their expertise to solve business problems. She analyses and synthesises, linking the whole and the specifics to achieve coherence. Therefore, you can be confident that the business solutions are well-advised, holistic and will lead to real improvements.
The value creation perspective also gives a clear view of change impacts of the business solutions at the strategic planning stage. Therefore, you can be confident that the business solutions have taken change management – adjustments to the business operating model to perform in the ‘new normal’ – into account when weighing the desirability/feasibility/viability of options. The inclusion of change management costs into the valuation of strategic initiatives enables nuanced risk-reward trade-offs consideration.
The business architect is trained to translate strategy into actionable initiatives. With her help, you can confidently state your initiatives lift strategy execution and show that their lineage is nothing less than the value propositions themselves.
Are you a business architect or know someone who is? I would love to speak to them about open opportunities.
If you would like to open a dialogue, I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn.