Sunday, January 27, 2013


"Whatever a person's mind dwells on intensely and with firm resolve, that is exactly what they become." - Shankaracharya

This is most definitely an iterative process. I decided to start with the more intricate topic of "Purpose" for a variety of reasons:

  • Our recent Values exercise - and the fact that we're in "Values and Value Creation"; Should help fill in the Value Prop section.
  • Just got back from TEDxBGI, and the theme was, "Purpose", which seems to align with value prop somehow - although might align with the Business Model Canvas(BMC) as a whole...
  • I think it will require the most iteration, so better to start early!
To assist me, I'm going to use the following rubric as provided in the book. I'll also upload/post the exercises I'm using somehow, for readers to follow along with.

Value-Prop: "How you help." What benefits do Customers gain from me?
Customers: "Who you help." Who benefits from your actions? Who do you serve? Who depends on you?
Key-Activities: "What you do." What are the critical tasks you perform regularly, physical, mentally, or emotionally?

Purpose Statement:
"I value-prop(verb) customers(noun) by doing key-activities(verb)."
e.g. I heal families by providing counseling.

  1. Value Prop:
    1. Empower
    2. Support
    3. Inspire
    4. Love
  2. Customers 
    1. The disenfranchised
    2. People unaware of their own value
    3. Specialists
  3. Key-Activities
    1. Communicating
    2. Empathizing
    3. Holding diverse perspectives

What's on your list?

During Jill Bamburg's presentation at TEDxBGI, she offered that a company's end goal is actually "Purpose", not "Profit". 

When she offered this viewpoint, one that we hear often at BGI, I was reminded of an old RSA Animate featuring Daniel Pink. At around 7 minutes into the video, he begins to talk about volunteer think tanks, and why these highly qualified thinkers would offer their limited time to some "greater" cause. He argues that when people are driven by Purpose, they are truly able to achieve more. Jill, and several others during TEDxBGI, expanded on that, offering that when companies and organizations are driven by purpose, they truly achieve more.

This concept, reminds me of our school. It also reminds me of all of our CAIR's, e.g. Darcy Winslow and her contemporaries working together on the Academy for Systemic Change. Or Hunter Lovins and Donna Morton and the Unreasonable Institute.

Really, everything boils back down to "Why?". Why do you do it? 

Howard Thurman offers, "Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive...then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive".

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Business Model Me

This quarter, I'm orienting my learning blog around personal learning, and I will be going through the spin-off, "Business Model You". To keep things moderately entertaining, I'll also  try to integrate interesting ideas/tools for you to use.

In an effort to keep myself accountable to this task, I'm going to apply the Fogg Behavior Model.

My last blog post, "Changing Behaviors!", seems a perfect segue into a "New Years Resolution" type post.  I was semi-inspired to write this post because of a the YouTube Channel: PBS Idea Channel: "a PBS show that examines the connections between pop culture, technology, and art."  According to the show, New Years Resolutions have a success rate of about 12%. This is not due to a lack of willpower or discipline; It's in the creation of the New Years list. This is referencing the book, "Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength" by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney. 
"Put the blame where it belongs, on the list. Noone has enough willpower to for that list". 

 This idea sounded extremely familiar, in fact, for any who enrolled in Brian Weller's: Ultimate Study Skills course, it's based on the same principle. Essentially, in our personal quests for improvement and learning, we often set expectations that are so high, they end up becoming a barrier to our own improvement.

The concept is this, we can utilize creative tension to grow and expand our boundaries. In fact, we perform at our best with this tension. However, if the boundary we are reaching for is too far away, the tension snaps, and no progress is made. 

Once we're able to set realistic expectations for ourselves, that still push our boundaries, we are more effectively able to embrace change. Instead of reaching immediately for our future vision, recognizing the steps that are required can be a beneficial strategy in reaching that future vision. 

We briefly looked at backcasting strategies last week, which provides an excellent example of incrementalizing procedural steps towards sustainability. 

In another fascinating parallel, in many behavior modification studies, they've found that most people increase their behaviors in incremental steps, as opposed to gradual adoption. 

In this great marketing strategy video BJ Fogg, Director of the Stanford Persuasive Tech Lab, makes the argument that high motivation is not the most effective driver of behavior change; it's making things easy to do.

So, my realistic goals? Each week, I'll break down one section of the Business Model Canvas, write about how it relates to personal development, and provide at least one tool related to the content.

If any readers are interested in any behavior modification, or accountability to a New Year's Resolution, I will also commit to following up with them.

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