Keep the game, change the rules

The Extended Marketing Mix or 7P-model by Booms and Bitner is a complement to the traditional Marketing Mix Model (4P’s).

What is it for?

Just like the traditional 4P-model, the 7P-model can be helpful in defining your product, service, market or organisation. By thinking about and defining the 7 main concepts in your market, you’ll be able to visualize the boundaries of that market and find new ways of acting on that market.

On the first look on the tool, you might wonder what this tool is doing on a blog about sustainable entrepreneurship since Planet is not defined as one of the P’s. A truly environmentally conscious organisation will not approach sustainability as an add-on but as a condition. Make sure you define your impact on both the planet and society in every of the 7 P’s.

The 7 p’s

Product

Do the characteristics of your product (or service) meet the…

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Keep the game, change the rules

A Force Field Analysis is a tool that helps you in looking at organizations as systems in motion (rather than static structures). In order to change your organization, it’s crucial that you now what forces surround this system.

Why?

A force analysis will allow you to:

  • Research the balance of power involved in you organisation or a specific issue
  • Identify key-stakeholders and/or target groups you’ll need to convince for this issue
  • Identifying opponents and allies
  • Identify how to influence different stakeholders or groups (find their drivers)

How?

If you want to use the Force Field Diagram to identify the forces surrounding your organisations, you’re probably facing a very large task. The easiest way is to first identify the projects and issues that will drive your organisation towards the change it’s aiming for. Once these projects are identified, you can use the tool to map out the force field surrounding it…

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Keep the game, change the rules

I want to share Edward Abbey’s final paragraph of his speech Joy, Shipmates, Joy! with you as my new year’s letter:

One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out.

Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here.

So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space.

Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached…

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Keep the game, change the rules

In my last post I talked about learning from failure and succes. With this post i’d like to go in deeper on the concept of learning and how learning works in different situations.

Single-Loop Learning

Rudimentary, straight-forward tasks have a well known learning process attached to them:

Actions can lead to a match or mismatch in the expected results. When you encounter a mismatch, you have to change your action in order to find a match. Once you’re able to repeat that match, you’ve learned how to do the task.

This process is called Single-Loop Learning. For rudimentary tasks, this system has proved it’s value over and over again. It’s pretty much the cornerstone of our current schooling-system. But when it comes to the challenges we’re facing on economic, ecologic and sociological level, Single-Loop Learning won’t do the trick. As Albert Einstein once said:

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking…

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Keep the game, change the rules

3 weeks ago, I found an extremely interesting manifesto by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) on materialism. You can find the entire pamphlet here, I would like to discuss the manifesto a bit and reflect on how this might affect the way we do business.

Whether you agree with this manifesto or not, I think the way we look at ‘stuff’ is changing rapidly and profound. These 6 points might touch some critical points on how we can interact with this thing called New Materialism.

1. Liking ‘stuff’ is okay, healthy even – we can learn to love and find pleasure in the material world

Environmentalists are often pushed in the corner of anti-materialism or anti-consumerism. As always, the image is far more complex. The relation we have with our stuff is extremely important in our waste-oriented market mechanism. Therefore, we have to invest strongly in the way we look at…

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Keep the game, change the rules

I would like to talk about failing, failure and the hype surrounding it.

Failing is an inherent part of innovating. The more innovative your project, the bigger the chances are you’ll strand at some point. There is however a big difference between accepting failure as a part of an innovative process and accepting failure tout court.

I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work

This quote by Edison is used time and time again, I would like to put your attention on 2 things:

  1. Finding ways that don’t work is not the same as learning something. Experimenting can be extremely fun, but it’s not always useful.
  2. You’ll learn more from succeeding than from failing. Most of the time, when failing, you don’t learn what you should have done, you’ll learn what you did and why that didn’t work. Succeeding in a project however, learns you…

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Keep the game, change the rules

The first strategic tool I’ll discuss is Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. This tool can be used both for communication and strategic business development.

What is it for?

In the TED-talk embedded below, Simon Sinek explains in detail how he came to this tool and how it works. If you want to go in deeper on the subject I can strongly recommend his book Start with why (the website gives you more information on the tool as well!).

Even though his talk is often looked at as a sales-talk, I believe Sinek touches the core of purpose-driven entrepreneurship. You could use this tool to attract more people in buying your product without actually questioning why you produce your product or service, but customers have a pretty good nose for authenticity (also called “Do What You Say You Will Do“) and it will not bring you a good customer-relationship in the…

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Keep the game, change the rules

I noticed this blog was moving towards a very theoretical framework on what sustainable entrepreneurship is. Since it’s my objective to research “how to” instead of “what”, I decided to add an extra category called Sustainable organisation tools. In this category I will link a theoretical framework with a tool that will enable you to implement that framework in your organisation.

The posts in this category will always be structured the same way:

  1. Theoretical framework: What is this tool about, how can it be useful?
  2. The tool visualized
  3. How to work with the tool

Important note on tools:

I would like to put special attention on the last point: How to work with the tool. You should always keep in mind that:

  • A tool is a tool, it will not get the work done for you;
  • A tool is only as useful as you let it be (eg. changing your organization chart…

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Keep the game, change the rules

Today I’d like to discuss an article I read some time ago on listverse (full article). The article describes 10 economic issues that we are less familiar with. I will quote the article for a short description of these issues and try to situate them in the context of sustainable entrepreneurship.

10. Paradox of value

tap-water

Also known as the Diamond-Water Paradox, the paradox of value is the contradiction that while water is more useful, in terms of survival, than diamonds, diamonds get a higher market price. This paradox can possibly be explained by the Subjective Theory of Value, which says that worth is based on the wants and needs of a society, as opposed to value being inherent to an object.

The Diamond-Water Paradox is an extremely important and difficult problem when sustainability is involved (which it always is). At the moment we’re using our planet’s reserves at an enormous pace. The real…

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Keep the game, change the rules

Today I would like to give a short review of another great book on entrepreneurship: 37Signal’s ReWork. This book is not your average entrepreneurial guide, it’s main focus is productivity. It’s about doing things and running a business in the 21st century. Below I’ve posted several quotes from the book, some I will discuss briefly, others just made me think and I hope they will do the same for you. I also really enjoyed this post on the book on Brazilian Coffee.

On making mistakes

When you make tiny decisions, you can’t make big mistakes. These small decisions mean you can afford to change. There’s no big penalty if you mess up. You just fix it.

Making tiny decisions doesn’t mean you can’t make big plans or think big ideas. It just means you believe the best way to achieve those big things is one tiny decision at a…

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