The first 'canvas' tool, which I encountered in business, was the Strategy Canvas in the toolkit of Blue Ocean Strategy. The Strategy Canvas involves the plot of Value Curves for organizations (businesses) in the Red Ocean as well as Blue Ocean. After the Strategy Canvas came the tessellation of the "Business Model Canvas that was developed by Alexander Osterwalder.
The Business Model Canvas is a 'phenomenon' in the business community especially for startups. The Business Model Canvas is used worldwide and has spawned countless variations of its tessellation. The Lean Canvas by Ash Maurya is the most popular variant of the Business Model Canvas.
The tessellated format of the Business Model Canvas has many advantages including the facilitation of collaborative visual presentation of business model ideas both horizontally (on a table) and vertically (on a wall). However, the tessellated template has 'straight-jacketed' how people think about the visual structure of a business model. A large majority of people now think that a tessellation is the only format for visually presenting a business model. Such thinking has serious disadvantages, for the topics of a business model are "nodes" that can be expressed in a wide variety of graphical formats such as in a chain, tree (Mind Map), and network.
In this presentation, the four nodes (Pain-Plan-Do-Review) of the Total Happiness Canvas or Pain-Plan-Do (PPDR) Cycle are presented using a family of visual templates: Chain; Macro-canvas; Tree; Network. The format of the Macro-canvas consists of 5 macro-blocks. There is strong structural correspondence between the visual format of the Macro-canvas and that of the Business Model Canvas which consists of 9 building blocks. The "Pain" block of the Macro-canvas can be decomposed into three blocks of the Business Model Canvas: Customer Segments; Customer Relationships; Channels. In a similar manner, the "Do" block can be decomposed into three blocks of the Business Model Canvas: Key Partners; Key Activities; Key Resources. The same decomposition principle applies to the Lean Canvas as well as other canvases.
By introducing flexibility and variation in visually presenting the topics that describe a business model, we can take advantage of the strengths of other visual templates while minimizing the inherent weakness of a tessellated format. Further, we can develop agility in visual communication by freely having conversations using different visual templates for business models.