Business Design Rule of Thumb

     As we move through the A-Z Blogging Challenge, today's word is Heuristic, drawn from the book The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage from the Dean of the Rottman School of Business, Roger Martin.

     For those unfamiliar with the term, heuristic means "to use experience based problem solving, learning and discovery.   In simpler terms we might refer to it as common sense, rule of thumb, or an educated guess.  It's one of the reasons for example that when stuck trying to find the right solution, we might draw a graphic, or play with the abstract to draw out what we can't always find the right words for.

     This rather slim read is really a must for anyone interested in organization design, or simply improving performance in their small business.  Had I the opportunity to use it when I taught Organizational Design, Development and Change in the graduate college last semester instead of the assigned volume, I would have.   I pulled from it for some lectures anyway.
     In particular our need to advance our organizational learning culture by combining both analytical and intuitive thinking in the creation of something new which can be replicated profitably as the core of achieving competitive advantage.
     It's rather unfortunate from my experience that too many organizations aren't really interested in learning to begin with, because it requires investing in individuals who may not stay with the organization and impacts stockholder quarterly dividends.   Of course that's not the case everywhere because there are many outstanding firms who understand that the most valuable asset to the corporation is the knowledge held among their employees, regardless of hierarchy.

    I'm fortunate to work for such an organization, well actually three since both colleges I currently serve as adjunct faculty for encourage life long learning as well as Marketing Partners.  If you'd like an abbreviated Cliff's Notes version of Martin's book, check out The Business Model Database by Anders Sundelin.   No need for me to repeat what Anders has done so well already.

    You'd have to agree that common sense often goes out the window in an effort to maximize stockholder value.  Actually, focusing on stockholder value as the mission of our organizations fails to accomplish that goal, but that's another Roger Martin factual research discussion.  By the way, I saw the book priced new at Amazon for $15.00.   The return on value for that investment if applied to your organization would be priceless, whether you use MasterCard or not.  Below is Roger Martin discussing The Design of Business.

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