Friday, November 30, 2007

Putting Sanity Back in Business

I love models... and I'm not referring to the icons representing our cultural preferences in human vanity. Rather, I'm in love with visuals that portray a rich coalescence of principles and depict in shocking clarity how things interrelate.

One such model I revisited lately is the BMM, the Business Motivation Model. A simplified version is shown below:

The BMM brings sanity to business by addressing two fundamental questions:
  1. What do we need to do?
  2. Why do we do what we do?
Using a practical and comprehensive framework it allows business planning to adapt strategically in a cohesive and efficient manner. As the BMM Specification states:

The Business Motivation Model provides a scheme or structure for developing, communicating, and managing business plans in an organized manner. Specifically, the Business Motivation Model does all of the following:
  • It identifies factors that motivate the establishing of business plans.
  • It identifies and defines the elements of business plans.
  • It indicates how all these factors and elements inter-relate.
Among these elements are ones that provide governance for and guidance to the business — Business Policies and Business Rules.
(The Business Motivational Model, Release 1.3, September 2007)
You can get the full specification of the BMM from the BRG Website. It has also been adopted by the OMG, the organization responsible for managing and promoting standards such as UML.

The BMM is an essential tool for tackling the challenges in of dramatic change and business volatility. Re-use this wisdom to drive a little more sanity in your environment while continuing to align your intuition with solid business principles.

Friday, November 23, 2007

IP Bunker Buster

Protecting intellectual property has become a harmful preoccupation for many leading-edge software and knowledge-based companies. Security policies, fear of competitors, and growth through mergers and acquisitions have created isolated knowledge silos across the organizational landscape. Unfortunately, the very dynamics used to protect this most valuable asset ironically creates significant barriers for innovation. The end result is a growing stranglehold on the ability to generate sustainable future value.

It shouldn't surprise us that the antidote to this problem is currently playing out on the world wide web in a high stakes challenge of social networking innovations. What does connecting people have to do with innovation?
  • People are sustainable dynamic IP generators
  • People provide expertise and informal access to needed knowledge, easily doing end-runs around poorly managed IP protection strategies.
  • "Who you know" has always been a significant component in effective knowledge sharing. Smart IT is now amplifying this principle.
Bottom line: profiling and locating people is a simple, yet powerful way to "bust" the isolated "knowledge bunkers" in your organization.

“the best companies are the best collaborators. In a flat world more and more business will be done through collaboration within and between companies” Thomas Friedman - The World is Flat