Executive adoption of innovations is an outcome of forming and pursuing a group ambition, but the group must be executives themselves, and it could also take a group of innovations to get any of them adopted.
In the following discussion, the statements and
illustrations are descriptive representations based on
extensive field observations. Their intent is to abstract
and categorize observations that were found to be
broadly applicable across a wide-range of businesses,
by size and type.
The information offers logical summations, whether
general or specific, for the purpose of encouraging
ongoing recognition in additional future cases, more
commonly in a diagnostic manner. No assertion or
warranty of prescriptive validation is implied or
intended. While aspects of the discussion may prove to
be evident in given cases, the discussion itself may be
modified and reissued at any time.
• Executives are responsible for assuring that the current and future opportunities
of the business make sense in timeframes needed to succeed.
• Due to technology and its enablement of innovations, the timeframe between
what works now and what will work next seems to be ever-shrinking. Fewer
businesses have substantially privileged information about market demands, and
fewer businesses are able to catch high-speed leaders of applied new discoveries
by acquiring their same capabilities.
• As a result, new capabilities, if acquired, are most likely to help if they power new
distinctions differentiating the business presence in the market as another kind of
"market leadership", which really means bringing a special kind of value into the
• Acquisition of capabilities is a basic responsibility of executives for supporting the
realization of future opportunities based on creating that value.
Organizing Executive Attention
• Executive roles make the most sense when it is understood that the real-time
accountability of certain issues is assured by a role. The assignment of the
accountability becomes a "primary", not an exclusive, responsibility. The primary
responsibility leverages relevant contributions made by other roles. Other roles,
meanwhile, have different primary responsibilities.
• The interaction of the roles is essentially teamwork, but this "Team" concept
makes sense only in the context of a designated actual pursuit. The basis of the
team structure (organization) is a delegation of responsibilities to be coordinated.
• In contrast, what makes the “Work” a collaboration (execution) is the cooperation of the responsible parties.
• Creating and maintaining the necessary value of the business requires a way to
assure that co-operation occurs in terms of the coordination needed to support
• A model of coordination provides the common reference allowing the executive
team members to decide how to use their contributions. As the idea of a
coordinating model applies generically to "strategy", the model in question here
is strategic, while being more specially focused on the problem of exploiting
ongoing change for value.
• Coordination supports a game plan that shows how actions and events drive
conditions towards desired outcomes.
• A single model for driving value to market can be iterated in many ways. A major
goal is to consistently associate executive roles with the need for and timing of
The Portfolio Overview
• Executives are always involved in portfolio-type decisioning, where investments
are being made in different ways for different kinds of opportunities to reach
various desired future conditions.
• To make the investment decision, the general effort is to study the risks of not
gaining the future state, the probability of being effective in supporting the
pursuit, and the confidence in both of the above.
• As a result, the portfolio decision includes risk-based prioritization, ROI-based
investment, and knowledge-based expertise. The portfolio is not about finance
but about capability. The decision method is applied to all kinds of opportunities.
• Opportunities compete with each other to gain a permanent place within the
boundary of overall available money during time. For example, in the I.T. world,
the “opportunity” to keep the lights on must make it within the boundary, but the
opportunity to transform for the competitive future must also make it within the
CEO, COO, CMO
In one scenario (among many possible combinations), the C-team co-operates by taking
responsibilities as follows:
• CEO: the Business Modeler -- sets and approves a definition to be realized for
implementing each of the six areas
• COO: the Business Engineer -- builds the instance of the model as specified under CEO
• CMO: the Business Driver -- navigates the business in real time through the demand
conditions of the market
As a result, in this scenario the CMO is in a position to feed back opportunity assessments
(viability) to the CEO and effectiveness assessments (feasibility) to the COO.
Re-Modeling for Business Value
In this discussion’s form of the business value model, any of the six main elements may
change, as either a re-envisioning or a refinement of the overall model. By definition, these
changes are systemically important – like variables in a formula.
The possibility of making changes intentionally is therefore weighed against some
corresponding measures of high-level outcome. These high-level "measures" are a
specifically defined concept of the business’s “value in the Market".
In this concept’s definition:
• "value" means "the significance of the difference",
• the difference is the combined distinction and capacity maintained in the market,
• and the significance is the impact that the difference has, NOT primarily defined as
financial results but instead as advantaged competitive opportunity.
The business must strategize and execute this value in the market(s).
Proprietary Past (Control)
Producers focus on reliably meeting demand within the conditions of the market environment. The
strategy for continually leveraging those conditions has conventionally been cast in terms of
planned campaigns such as "hunting" or "farming" -- or in terms of planned procurement such as
by "engineering" or "programming“ a proprietary link to an existing supply. However, all of those
terms presume a manageable level of impact that the environment's complexity will have on the
probability of desired outcomes. More complexity and less predictability weaken the strategy.
Open Future (Agility)
Current market environments exceed the conventional assumptions about controlling
complexity – primarily due to the unprecedented levels of information access and of
technology innovation affecting expectations, products and production.
The resulting variability of influences in the market environment creates the need to focus
on continually regenerating connections between discoverable current sources of demand
and discoverable current sources of supply.
The effect is that markets are not persistently proprietary, but instead are increasingly
This problem of needing real-time dynamic connectivity is almost always referred to as the
problem of Agility.
The proven terms of operation for this challenge call for Brokers and Agents to work
together. Relying on mutual discoverability, Brokers bring or hypothesize the requirements
for acceptance in the market, and Agents bring the availability of relevant fulfillments.
• Markets change whether businesses change or not
• Changes, including innovations, have meaning in terms of how they
affect important capabilities to execute the model the business uses
to stake its value in the market
• Innovations occur in many forms and can change various elements of
the model asynchronously, requiring a collaborative effort by
managers to adapt
• Multiple innovations may combine inside and outside of the business,
to create, sometimes abruptly and/or definitively, new reasons to
execute business differently
• A currently active business model is a collaborative iteration of a system
• The business model is subject to changes originating both internally and
• Changes such as innovations systemically affect the potential value of the
current model of the business in the market
• C-team members are distinct stakeholders differentiated by knowledge,
expectations and sensitivity
• C-level decisions about different elements of the model, including
innovations of them, need to align with an overall game-plan derived for
supporting the value of the model or for modifying the model
• Internal synchronization of the model requires the C-team’s motivation to
support the external market impact of the model