Linda Gorchels blogs

Business models

Eco-Smart Innovation

Articles about the importance of innovation to the growth—or even survival—of a company saturate the internet. I even stress its importance in my monthly posts on the topic. However, not all innovation is socially or environmentally compatible. Short-term financial gain may cause long-term environmental pain. Can we do it better? Can we think in terms of Eco-Smart Innovation?

Social Ecosystem

Let’s start with the social ecosystem.

While the average family size in the United States declined over the past seven decades, the average house size increased. A standard single-family house in 1950 was 983 square feet. It now averages 2631 square feet. Additional closets and room sizes enabled us to pack the building with more possessions.

Over the years, advertising bombarded us with messages that we need the new cell phone, the most up-to-date fashion, or the improved household items.… Read the rest

What is the Purpose of a Business?

This is a question likely to cause disagreement, if not downright altercations.  Some believe the ONLY reason a business exists is to make money. Others view money as an end-result. The question may boil down to whether profits and purpose are contradictory or compatible.

Make a Profit. Period.

This spring I saw an article in Harvard Business Review titled, Companies Don’t Always Need a Purpose Beyond Profit. The gist of the article was that businesses sometimes publish lofty mission statements that feel “empty,” causing employees to feel cynical rather than inspired. Freek Vermeulen, the author, suggested that making a profit was an admirable goal:

In my view, organizations shouldn’t be shy about stating profit as its explicit and ultimate purpose.

Read the rest

Business Model Advice from 8 Experts

Forget “business as usual.” Don’t believe everything you read about “best practices.” There is no “magic bullet.”

Business Model Renewal

When your market changes, you have to change your strategy–and maybe even your business model–to survive and thrive. Prepare for sustaining growth, transformative growth, and disruptive growth. And take advice from as many disparate sources as you can. Start here.

At the end of every chapter of Business Model Renewal, I included an interview with a prominent business leader or consultant. Each offered different perspectives on business models. Following are snippets of their words of wisdom for executives rethinking their business models.

The Importance of Developing a Business Model Portfolio

(Mary) Kay Plantes, Ph.D.
Expert in business models

Kay Plantes, Principal, Plantes Company, LLC

The speed with which product and service commoditization arises in today’s more open economy is remarkable.… Read the rest

Scenario Development: A Tool for Strategic Foresight

What is strategic foresight?

It’s the disciplined study of the future. It’s a strategic thinking process rather than a strategic planning process. As such, it goes beyond traditional economic, statistical, and business forecasting. It goes beyond extrapolating current and past trends. It may apply scenario development as a tool.

Why is foresight important?

We live in an increasingly complex time in which the connections between past, present, and future are often unpredictable. People use foresight to help steer a course between the false certainty of precise forecast models and the chaos of ignored circumstances.

Several years ago, I attended a certificate program in strategic foresight at the University of Houston. The class comprised a cadre of individuals from the military, national security, think tanks, corporations and higher education.… Read the rest