Small firms born reborn and cured in way refreshing and agonising


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NB. Download to see all slide transitions properly. This was presented at the ISBE conference, Sheffield, UK, 2011. It shows how soft systems methodology might be used to confirm and/or define or redefine aan enterprise's core purpose, raison d'etre and value proposition.

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Small firms born reborn and cured in way refreshing and agonising

  1. 1. Small Firms Cured and Reborn in Ways Both Refreshing and Agonising.   Peter L. Bond Learning Futures Consulting Wirral, UK.The paper is about redefining or confirming an enterprise’s corepurpose using CATWOE, part of soft system methodology andthe benefits it can bring over methods like Strategic Intent (orMission Statements).
  2. 2. Aims of the presentation To introduce  CATWOE and illustrate its use OTHERS IDEAS FOUND IN THE PAPER Enterprises as solution concept generators, solution makers, solution supporters The idea of Foundational Knowledge and its relation to core-competence    
  3. 3. About CATWOEPart of the soft systems method of organisational analysis and improvementused to generate a concise statement of system/organisational purposecalled the root definition.C is for CUSTOMER—principal beneficiary and why the system existsA is for ACTORS—those with knowledge and skill underpinning service to CT is for TRANSFORMATION —the effect/benefit felt by the customerPlaces emphasis on the functionality of the system from the customer POVW is for WORLDVIEW or values of the actors involved (manager dominant)O is for OWNERSHIP—the person or entity able to stop the systemE is for ENVIRONMENT—the context (e.g. physical, regulatory) of operation
  4. 4. Collaborative Problem Solving is the Essence of Business Receiving/gaining/accepting a problem Mechanism for creating/ conserving  Customer/ enterprise relationships is problem  CONVERSATION about a  owner solution— an improvement Transferring a solution
  5. 5. Application of CATWOE Scenario 1 Scenario 2timeEvolving market NEW STARTS Evolving enterpriseDrifting out of ‘synch’ with the marketcommon and well recognised problemBreakdown in conversations?Solution often begins with reminding thebusiness of what it is supposed to do.
  6. 6. Illustration of CATWOE in action…1ABC described itself as a manufacturer, involved in metal coating.ABC Ltd is a company based in Merseyside (E) owned by Mr Yand provides an excellent service (W), at a profit (W), tomanufacturers (C) requiring the application of performanceenhancing surface coatings (T) to metallic substrates (components)used in high value added machinery and systems (for exampleaircraft parts).The core purpose is, therefore, not to make or manufacture, but toincrease the performance of components through the application ofa surface coating.
  7. 7. Illustration of CATWOE in action…2This company considered itself a hat manufacturer, but they also importedhats and supplied to retailers through a wholesaling activity. They mostlymade hats to order, but they also make hats for stock. Hats fell into threecategories: uniform hats, leisure hats, technical hats (H&S) related. Theyalso designed hats.A company owned by its MD (O) and embedded in Merseyside (E) thatmakes a profit (W) and created employment (W) by designing, making, andotherwise supplying head wear as a functional element of a uniform set ofclothes so satisfying a user’s desire or need for dress uniformity (C) as anintegral part of establishing or building an identity (T).This definition excludes hats designed for specific ‘technical’ functionsbecause they require different actors to design and make them, and maybe marketed to customers with special needs. CATWOE analysis suggeststhis aspect of the business should be pursued as a distinct butcomplementary business.Business core purpose should be expressed captured in a single sentence,