Tiffinday - An Example of Using a Better Tools to Design a Better Business


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This was the presentation made by Antony Upward and Seema Pabari (CEO / Founder of Tiffinday) at a SocialSpark event at the University of Toronto on Dec 5, 2013. (http://www.thesocialspark.org/spark/about-us/our-programs/speaker-series/do-we-need-better-tools-to-design-better-businesses/)

During Seema's presentation Antony live documented Tiffinday's business model using the better, strongly sustainable business model canvas. A slide showing Tiffinday's complete business model is included.

As usual, recommended downloading the presentation and viewing in slideshow mode with the speakers notes handy

If you'd like to stay in touch with our work on Strongly Sustainable Business Models then please
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  • My name is Antony Upward, and I’m a sustainability business architect with Edward James Consulting and a co-founder of the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group at the Ontario College of Art and Design University’s Strategic Innovation Lab.
    Recently I completed a 3 year research project create a better tool to design better businesses, businesses that are fitter for the future that is now unfolding. This tool is the strongly sustainable business model canvas, and is described in our other videos.
    In this video I wanted to share what I learned during a critical piece of that research: what is design and why is design so important to creating better businesses?
    Like all our videos, the link to view and download the slides I’m using, including all the speakers notes and references, is included below the video.
    Antony Upward (http://antonyupward.name) is a Sustainability Business Architect with Edward James Consulting (www.EdwardJames.biz).  Antony is the creator of the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas, the result of a 3 year research project at York University's Schulich School of Business and Faculty of Environmental Studies.  Antony is a co-founder of the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group (http://www.SSBMG.com) at the Ontario College of Art and Design University's Strategic Innovation Lab.  Together, they will shortly be launching a crowd-funded collaboration project to bring a Strongly Sustainable Sustainable Business Model Innovation Toolkit to market (to receive notifications about the project - join their mailing list - http://signup.SSBMG.com)  
    Twitter: @aupward #SSBMG
    YouTube: http://youTube.com/ssBusinessModelTV
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StronglySustainableBusinessModels 
    Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Strongly-Sustainable-Business-Models-5005769/about
    Web: www.SSBMG.com / www.EdwardJames.biz
    Email: info@SSBMG.com  
  • 1. A better business focuses on doing good – environmentally, socially and economically – for all its stakeholders, and in doing so is more likely to be able to more consistently do well economically for itself.
    2. But hang on. Why does doing good mean better businesses are more able to do well?
    3. First they do a better job at managing risk. Businesses that a solely focuses on making money and who don’t recognize their true contexts are very surprised when they are impacted by events that arise first in those broader contexts. Things like climate change, water shortages, income inequality, and other mega-forces now starting to impact firms world-wide. Ultimately only focusing on doing well will have unintended consequences that will impact profits.
    4. Second better businesses do a better job of understanding and exploiting the opportunities that are arising because of these same mega forces. Better businesses have more sources for innovation.
    Finally, because they do a better job of managing risk and exploiting new opportunities, better businesses are also more resilient. They are more likely to survive and flourish for the long term.
    As a former oil company executive and now archbishop of the Church of England said recently “Businesses are vehicles for wealth creation, without which there can be no wealth distribution. However, businesses cannot contribute to their full potential to a good society [, a healthy environment] and human flourishing if they have no regard for the society and environment in which they operate, and if individuals in business have regard only for themselves”. Globe and Mail “Bonuses incur wrath of Church of England” (page B9, 2013/4/13)
  • In other words these business are simply better businesses! They are fitter for the increasingly uncertain future than businesses that believe profit maximization is their only concern.
    Better businesses not only create less unintended social and environmental consequences, they can actually proactively create outcomes that enable the possibility of flourishing for us, our children, our grand-children and the world around us.
  • 1. The previous best practice answers to how you design a business and what a business design should contain, can be summarized as follows
    You have an idea which you write up in a business plan
    You convince people to give you money
    You work hard
    And Cross your fingers.
    2: And although this approach is still very widely used, despite that fact, as the OCED report suggests, that it doesn’t reliably produce profitable businesses!
    Clearly, compared to other fields of design, like designing cars where we’re now pretty good at producing reliable cars, this approach for designing business has some problems!
    3: Indeed some people have likened this approach to designing businesses to deliberately burning piles of money.
    Of course some business failures are because those businesses are not fit for purpose.
    But I think we’d all acknowledge there are significant financial, social, personal and environmental costs when firms go out of business. It is clearly not a good thing when a business fails – whether you’re an employee, a customer, a supplier, an investor, or a member of a community where a business is located or does business.
    Can’t we more reliably design successful businesses?
    "In entrepreneurship [unlike, say, in car design] we still rely on real-life crash tests which leads to costly failures”
    Compare how we design cars with how we design businesses today; today in business its like we do a rough sketch of a car (the business plan), get someone to put up the cash, then we spend the cash to build the car, and then wonder why most of the time the wheels fall off the first time we drive it! (and until recently this approach was considered a best practice!)
    Osterwalder, A. (2011). The new business models: designing and testing great businesses. Lift 11, Geneva, Switzerland. 1-87. slide 19 [minute 3.00-3.30] (http://liftconference.com/lift11/program/talk/alex-osterwalder-new-business-models and http://www.slideshare.net/Alex.Osterwalder/lift11-presentation
    I think as business people and members of societies that largely depends on our ability to reliably create wealth I find this previous ‘best practice’
    A) Humbling
    B) Rather worrying
  • So what’s the current best practice: It is Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas – which I now refer to as the Profit-First Business Model Canvas!
    The 9 questions the Profit-First Canvas asks are the ones you must answer to increase the likelihood of creating a profitable business
    These questions are based on the best scholarly knowledge we have about the necessary and sufficient conditions required to have a higher quality profitable business design
    As I mentioned, prior to the Profit-First Canvas, tools to help design businesses were few and far between: so clearly its a big improvement over earlier best practice.
    If profitability is your primary goal, using the Profit-First Canvas can improve your efficiency and reduce your risk when you design your business model. Since a lot of business people aren’t concerned about the unintended consequences of business the profit first canvas is now very widely used.
    There is a 2 x 1.5m version available via a creative commons licenses for free commercial use at www.businessmodelgeneration.com
  • So what does a business model described using the Profit-First Canvas look like.
    This is an example of the Montreaux Jazz Festival that Alex Osterwalder prepared as part of his PhD thesis…
    (Do a Brief Walk through)
    Constructed from pp.103-117 Figure 52 of Osterwalder, A. (2004). The Business Model Ontology: A Proposition in a Design Science Approach. (Ph.D., l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de l’Université de Lausanne). , 1-172.
  • But the profit first business model canvas only focuses on the questions that drive the monetary profitability of a businesses.
    It ignores almost all the other things that the design briefs for better business tell us are important.
    In other words the current best practice business design tools and method ignore the unintended consequences; they consider them as so called ‘externalities’.
    Put another way, the existing tools and best practices for creating businesses don’t ask the questions that need to be answered if you want to create better businesses with fewer unintended consequences, or if you want your business to create the conditions for human and other life to flourish.
    This means it’s hard to create a better business with these existing tools
    So how can we efficiently and reliably design better businesses?
  • So what is this better tool to design better businesses?
    1. In my 3 years of research I went all the way back to Alex Osterwalder’s 2004 PhD where he defined an ontology for profitable business.
    2: Then I used all the natural and social science about how to design businesses that do good and do well, to extend Osterwalder’s original ground-breaking PhD to create an ontology for Strongly Sustainable Business.
    But, also like Osterwalder, I knew I needed to simplify and make a tool that was easy to use, but without loosing any of the rich possibilities for designing better business that I had learned about.
    3: So, again following Osterwalder’s lead, I used my ontology to power a new easy to use visual design tool to help design better businesses: The Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas.
    The Strongly Sustainable Canvas asks 14 questions that if answered well significant increase the likelihood of creating a strongly sustainable business model design.
    To learn more about Strongly Sustainable Business and the better, Strongly Sustainable, Business Model Canvas please watch our other videos.
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  • So that brings you bang up to date with the role of design, and better tools for designing better businesses….
    So what next for the better, strongly sustainable, business model canvas?
    There are three things I’d like to share:
    1. My thesis, which contains the canvas, is licensed under a creative commons license. But this has a commercial restriction. So if you want to start using the Canvas today you need join our “First Explorers” program. There is just a simple mutual NDA and sharing agreement to sign because we want to encourage as many people as possible to start to use the new canvas. (There is no cost involved).
    2. Next you can join us! We’re launching a crowd-funded collaborative project to create a toolkit to design better businesses. The project will then publish a book that explains toolkit, including the new canvas, the known good answers to the 14 questions it asks and recommends steps to use it effectively.
    The core team for the book now consists of an international group of 13 co-authors.
    I should mention that of course, we’re using the Strongly Sustainable Canvas to design the business model for the project and for the business we plan to launch to develop and enhance the tool after the book is published (i.e. the app, toolkits for specific industries and class-room use and so forth)!
    3: The details of the crowd-funding is now being planned. But we can already say that we’ll be seeking both individuals and organizations to back the project. As one of several incentives, our backers will also get immediate commercial rights to use the new canvas, and have input into the content of the book.
    4: We hoping to publish in 2015, and when we do, the final version of the Canvas will be released under a Creative Commons License free for commercial use (BY-SA) (again just like the profit-first canvas)
    5: Finally, perhaps you’d like to connect, share and learn from other people involved in the project who are in the growing movement focused on creating better businesses…
    We have both a Linkedin group and a Facebook page to help with this, so we hope to see you there soon!
  • So that’s a quick introduction to the role of design and better design tools in the creation of better, strongly sustainable businesses.
    I hope you found this useful, and I hope you want to stay in touch with our work as we bring these better tools to the world, and perhaps even get involved yourself…
    All the links to connect with our project are shown on this slide, and below the video there is a link to download the slides (which have all the speakers notes and references in them)
    Thank-you to Seema Pabari from Tiffinday for making this happen.
  • Finally, I also wanted to highlight another highly related project which talks about how do we measure whether a business is strongly sustainable.
    The Strongly Sustainable Canvas asks the questions that when answered well, can enable flourishing….how do we know the businesses people are designing are actually enabling flourishing?
    For this we need a benchmark against which to measure actual business results; but this is not a typical measurement of business performance. We don’t want to continue to measure business results as we do today by comparing a businesses performance against past results, against self-defined future goals, or against businesses who are thought to be “leaders”. No, we need a benchmark of actual business performance against the boundary conditions that increasingly science tells us create the possibility for flourishing.
    Creating this science based benchmark is the goal of a new international, collaborative project of The Natural Step Canada; The Gold-standard Benchmark for Sustainable Business.
    As you can see there are a growing list of partners in this project, including the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group, several of whose members are deeply involved in this project.
    I know the Natural Step would love you to get involved in this project too!
    For more details of the Gold Standard Work see:
    http://ecoopportunity.net/2013/02/the-sustainability-gold-standard-the-pathway-to-capitalism-2-0-event-summary-feb-7-2013/ (Video)
    The Natural Step Canada, Willard, B., Upward, A., Leung, P., Park, C. (2013). Towards a Gold-standard Benchmark for a Truly Sustainable Business: Working Draft of Science-based KPIs and Goals, The Natural Step Canada, 1-56. Retrieved from: http://www.naturalstep.ca/sites/default/files/gold-standard-benchmark-latest-version.pdf
  • As a working title we’re calling the crowd-funded collaborative book we’re planning to write and publish in 2015: “Strongly Sustainable Business Model Innovation”
    This slide gives an outline of the table of contents with
    section 2 describing the strongly sustainable business model canvas,
    section 3 describing how to answer the 14 questions the canvas asks well, so you will score highly, for example, on the B Lab Benefit Impact Assessment Survey, align with the BALLE localist principles or the Framework For Strategic Sustainable Development Sustainability Principles (3 environmental and *NEW* 5 social), plus Transition Towns, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, etc. and the emerging “Gold Standard”
    section 4 describes how to use the canvas to create a strongly sustainable business model
    section 5 provides more case studies…
  • Tiffinday - An Example of Using a Better Tools to Design a Better Business

    1. 1. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http:// www.EdwardJames.biz/Permissions Better Tools for Better Business Version 1.01 2013-12-05 © Edward James Consulting Ltd. Some Rights Reserved. 1 Designing Better Businesses The Role of Better Tools A Live Example with Tiffinday December 5, 2013 For Social Spark at UofT Antony Upward ssBusinessModelTV www.SSBMG.com @aupward #SSBMG antony@EdwardJames.biz Lot speak s of e inc. r r notes, efere nces slides n many Builds o d view load an ode down ow m slide sh ved in ro for imp sion hen compre Seema Pabari @tiffinday seema@tiffinday.com www.tiffinday.com
    2. 2. What is a Better Business? = Do Good to Do Well Compared to Profit-First Business, possibility for: More Innovation, More Opportunity, Less Risk, More Resilience 2
    3. 3. What is a Better Business? Be tte r = Do Good to Do Well Compared to Profit-First Business, possibility for: More Innovation, More Opportunity, Less Risk, More Resilience 3
    4. 4. Previous Best Practice to Design a Business • + + + + Have Idea Get Money Hard Work Hope Luck Not… • Efficient • Effective • Reliable No Tools 4
    5. 5. Current Best Business Design Tool The Profit-First Business Model Canvas: 9 Questions to be Profitable 5
    6. 6. Example of a Profit-First Business Model: Montreux Jazz Festival 6
    7. 7. Lots about money, and the people you financially transact with… …(almost) nothing about everyone and everything else 7
    8. 8. V1.031 Introducing…The Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas 8 © Antony Upward / Edward James Consulting Ltd., 2013 Some rights reserved. Permissions available at www.EdwardJames.biz/Permissions
    9. 9. “I believe that the very act of revenue generation whether it be as a government earning taxes a corporation earning revenues or an individual earning a salary is pointless unless it improves lives and communities......” Seema Pabari – founder of Tiffinday 10
    10. 10. the problem  Enviromental sustainability – Food is a highly polluting commodity  Employment and parenthood: – Is tough – It’s why many women, especially amongst new immigrants, face high unemployment in Toronto the solution  Sell sustainably made plant-based food to anyone who eats  Sell them at lunch time – It’s the most frequently purchased meal 11
    11. 11. Key partners  A licensed kitchen with a chef capable of scaling up my recipes  Sustainable local food suppliers during Ontario’s growing season  Food suppliers for the winter months Key activities  Offer a limited vegan menu like one gets at home !  Sell them for lunch CHANNELS  Food court or downtown restaurant  Lunch time delivery – office meetings  Farmers Markets in the summer  Retail products at grocery stores Key resources  Sustainable packaging for food  Thermal bags to keep them warm in winter  Emissions free transportation ???  Equipment for farmers market  Staff to cook + deliver  Start up capital 12
    12. 12. the value proposition Tiffinday is “boutique” food business specializing in plant-based lunches    Delicious 100% plant-based vegan lunches Convenient delivery via on-line ordering or at farmers market nearby Made, packaged and delivered sustainably convenient 13   S. Asian menu with family recipes: not easily found in restaurants Ontario grown produce when seasonally available high quality sustainable
    13. 13. revenue streams & costs Restaurant Tiffin Delivery 20% • Difficult operationally •1 hour sales potential • Lowest margin • Best marketing hook Farmer`s markets 69% •Easy to execute • Low cost /high margin • Seasonal revenue only Catering 11% • Appetisers only • Easy to execute with good margins • Slow to grow • Capital intensive • Very high risk • Cannot execute this profitably Must meet the Triple Bottom Line: • •can ititbe executed sustainably? can be executed sustainably? • •can we use our target hiring criteria for staff? can we use our target hiring criteria for staff? • •can we make aaprofit? can we make profit? 14 Packaged Products BEING REVIEWED FOR LAUNCH IN SPRING 2014
    14. 14. Social entrepreneurs must be motivated capitalists Without money you cannot influence social and environmental change Who my stakeholders really are: Who my stakeholders really are: •• My child -- what world will II leave behind for him? My child what world will leave behind for him? •• My employees – can we remain financially viable My employees – can we remain financially viable by working part time in order to look after our by working part time in order to look after our families? families? 15
    15. 15. 16
    16. 16. Questions ? Seema Pabari Tiffinday Inc. 17
    17. 17. Help bring Sustainable Business Innovation to the World!  Become a “First Explorer” – Enables commercial use of the new Canvas now 12 organizations around the globe have joined so far  Join the quest – Crowd-funded collaborative book project Working Title: Strongly Sustainable Business Model Innovation – 13 International co-authors identified – Crowd-funding starting in 2014 Individuals and Organizations Backers also get immediate commercial rights to use new Canvas Everyone else will have to wait for the book – Self Publish 2015 Canvas released under a Creative Commons License free for commercial use  Connect to like-minded colleagues – Linkedin and Facebook 18 100+ Members from around the globe
    18. 18. Be Informed: http://signup.SSBMG.com Share your ideas for the book: http://survey.SSBMG.com Learn More – ~3 minute Audio/Visual Overview about.SSBMG.com • Videos – youTube.com/ssBusinessModelTV • Learning Map – wiki.SSBMG.com/home/learning-map • Blogs – blog.SSBMG.com – slab.ocad.ca/blogs/antony-upward www.SSBMG.com www.facebook.com/StronglySustainableBusinessModels info@SSBMG.com Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group forum.SSBMG.com 19 @aupward #SSBMG
    19. 19. Join a Key Related Project Learn more: http://www.naturalstep.ca/gold-standard 20
    20. 20. Possible Table of Contents 21
    21. 21. Copyright • All images used under applicable creative commons licences – see notes on each page © Antony Upward / Edward James Consulting Ltd., 2013. Some rights reserved. – Permissions available at www.EdwardJames.biz /Permissions – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. 22
    22. 22. 23