Shifting to the 21st Century Business model through management innovation

Gary Hamel is amazing. He constantly thinks about the future and lays out how to get there; he has been doing this repeatedly for years.

One quote of his seems to hit home for me especially “The real brake on innovation is the drag of old mental models. Long-serving executives often have a big chunk of their emotional capital invested in the existing strategy”

A real big challenge is changing old mindsets but how?

Today, the value of Business model innovation seems to be a critical part of breaking out of the old and finding the new avenues to growth and prosperity. The trouble today is the existing mindset of the manager is often the major block to challenging the existing business model and working towards a real change. This lack of realisation is increasingly allowing the young usurper, the entrepreneur, into seizing the opportunities and seizes the initiatives of the very growth needed by existing businesses.

The closer to the final customer you are, the more you will detect the opportunities. Large organizations today with heavy hierarchies that rarely ‘interact’ with the customer just cannot respond at the rate of the change that is occurring. How can this be resolved?

Business models today need to rapidly adjust, stay lean, flexible and keen to change and adapt and it will only come through the potential of the people that know where change lies, not internally but externally, close to markets and listening and observing customers and what they need to get done.

Have you explored the Mix, to get fit for the future?


To quote: “The MIX represents a pioneering attempt to use the open innovation model to help accelerate the evolution of a critical social technology -management. Rather than struggling in isolation to reinvent the processes and practices of management, MIX members can leverage the expertise and insights of a global community of like-minded innovators. The success of the MIX hinges on the willingness of its members to share their ideas and experiences, which depends in turn on a belief that more can be gained by sharing than by hoarding. Truth is, there’s a lot more management innovation going on in the world at large than in any particular organization. Thus the MIX gives every progressive management innovator the chance to share a little and learn a lot”.

“To thrive in the 21st century, organizations must be adaptable, innovative, inspiring and socially accountable. That will require a genuine revolution in management principles and practices”. I’ve signed onto this and look for ways to make my contribution to advancing the agenda of the Mix.

The Moonshots we should organise around

The argument of the Mix is centred on the Moonshots- the make-or-break challenges that will focus management to create organisations that are fit for the future

Management Moonshots

The MIX helps to accelerate the pace of management innovation by energizing and organizing the conversation around the most critical challenges facing managers today.

Learning, experimenting and exploring is needed

As we look at Business model innovation more and more, we need to address the barriers that lie within organizations. It is no good coming up with a great new business model if the roadblocks of fixed mindsets blocks and frustrates this. We need to find alternative ways to ‘unlock’ this existing barrier within large organizations. Before Business model innovation can succeed it needs to find ways to address this internal mindset problem. Perhaps exploring the Mix will help as it does provide a clearinghouse and virtual laboratory for offering not just a platform for conversation. It is establishing a growing practice of leading-edge ideas to tackle our left over legacy of the last century- a management mindset emphasising control, discipline and efficiency. Today we need, more than ever, adaptable, innovative, inspiring and social engagement to ‘read and react’ to rapidly changing demand that Business model innovation is designed to support.

Any new Business model innovation needs to take into account the internal mindset and ensure there is a clear understanding of mindset change built into the solutions that allow them to break with the past.

One thought on “Shifting to the 21st Century Business model through management innovation

  1. Great post, Paul. Gary Hamel and Andrew McAfee are fabulous.
    As many companies are beginning the shift from the old mindset to a new, more open approach to innovation, I think that the biggest challenge is having the courage to be open. People tend to associate openness with loss of control. Although a loss of control can have a negative connotation, it can have very positive repercussions for innovation. Companies should be leveraging their greatest assets- their employees, customers and partners- to help move themselves forward. Many companies have experienced the benefit of tapping into the collective intelligence of the crowd to find relevant and actionable ideas. Having worked closely with numerous industry leaders such as AT&T, Pfizer and AAA to create engaging and sustainable innovation communities, we’ve seen the positive effects of open innovation. The ideas are out there and people want to share them- let them.


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