Over the past few years, inavit IQ has used the Business Value Model (BVM for short) as one of the key frameworks in our work with client systems.
The BVM utilises the following logic:
- The realisation of specific business benefits (such as operating profit, top-line revenue and market share);
- is dependent on the creation of customer delight (loyal and satisfied customers) which is a direct result of the delivery of value adding products / services;
- by high performing people;
- who work in a fit-for-purpose work environment (organisation capacity with respect to business process, organisation structure, human capital, information flow and technology);
- who are led and managed by capable, competent and credible leaders;
- towards a common goal and strategy; and that addresses the dynamics of the competitive landscape in an innovative manner that allows the business to compete in its external environment.
Although implied by the BVM logic, the expanded version of the model explicitly includes and additional two aspects:
- Corporate Brand and Reputation; and
- Organisation Identity.
The reasons for making these two aspects of the organisation explicit are probably obvious to most if not all, and include:
- The significant attention being paid globally to the degree to which business, government and other institutions succeed in building, maintaining and enhancing their public image; and
- The attention being given to the changing dynamic of the workplace of the future, requiring a clear identity.
These two factors, and they are clearly interlinked, encourages and forces all organisations to be mindful of not only WHAT they do, but also HOW and for what PURPOSE.
The Expanded Business Value Model
In the explanation of the BVM above, the focus quite clearly was on the content of each of the “bubbles”, and whilst the connecting arrows implies an interdependence between the bubbles
(or elements within them), we have never been very explicit about what the dynamics of such interdependence could be.
In the latter half of 2018, through our own internal processes of review and knowledge sharing, it became obvious to us that the relationships as implied by the connecting arrows exists at two distinct levels.
The following sections will illustrate our current thinking about these two levels.
Organisations are by their very nature both social and technical systems. The term socio-technical systems was originally coined by Emery and Trist to describe systems that involve a complex interaction between humans, machines and environment. Socio-technical theory has at its core the idea that the design and performance of any organisational system can be understood and improved if both ‘social’ and ‘technical’ aspects are brought together and treated as interdependent parts of a complex system.
The following is a high-level explanation of the various connecting arrows in the BVM from a socio-technical perspective.
- Strategic Goals is the clear path towards the strategic intent or purpose of the enterprise;
- Leadership Capacity is the depth and breadth of leadership capacity and competence to give life to strategy;
- Organisation Architecture refers to the “logical” design of the organisation to execute strategy and includes amongst other the business and operating model, data and systems architecture, workflow and organisation design;
- Role Clarity is the articulation of all expectations of individuals and teams across the value chain, and is much more than “job descriptions”;
- Customer Experience refers to the consistent lived experiences of customers / clients across all touchpoints and is often referred to as the “customer journey”;
- Brand Building refers to all the consistent actions taken to create a supportive and positive orientation amongst all of our key stakeholders;
and all of these Socio-Technical aspects combine to create our corporate and brand reputation.
An inherent risk of taking only a socio-technical perspective on organisations, is that it becomes easy to adopt a very “intellectual” approach to an enterprise. In our view, it is important to also consider the fact that what plays out in the “social” dimension is also a function of the psychology of individuals and teams.
The following is a high-level explanation of the various connecting arrows in the BVM from a psycho-social perspective.
- Alignment is the intellectual and emotional “agreement” on what the strategy means in terms of ALL aspects of organisational capacity;
- Coherence is the intellectual and emotional “agreement” on what the strategy means in terms of mindsets, attitudes, values and behaviours, including the truly “non-negotiables”;
- Community refers to a leadership community aligned and coherent, and able and willing to model the way;
- Commitment / Engagement is the intellectual and emotional “buy-in”, purpose & “sense of belonging” leading to the taking of personal accountability for MY role beyond my job;
- Ownership refers to a mindset and actions that always focus on delighting customers / clients (within the framework of our agreed behaviours);
- Sponsorship is the supportive / positive behaviour of our people and our clients / customers when we cannot see them; and all of these Psycho-Social aspects combine to create our organisation identity.
An Integrated Perspective
What may perhaps be less obvious, is that leadership at all levels of the organisation will also have to build different mindsets, heartsets and skillsets to play the requisite role within changing external and internal contexts.
In the final analysis, how we as individuals choose to step up or into our organisation roles is also a function of our own “psychological makeup”. The following table illustrates the choices individuals (at all levels of the organisation) are confronted with in terms of each of the connecting arrows of the BVM when both a socio-technical and psycho-social perspective is adopted.
The point was made earlier that organisations need
to be mindful of not only WHAT they do, but also HOW and for what PURPOSE. In our view, the addition of the psycho-social perspective makes it clear that PURPOSE particularly is related to the “WHY” of the individual. This “why” is not a simplistic “what is in it
for me” but a deeply considered perspective on how the purpose of my life can be authentically lived
within the enterprise.
In the articles to be published in 2019, we will where appropriate position specific content also within the broader thinking framework shared in this article.
- Leadership excellence and leadership-led business transformation;
- Organisation capacity including business and operating models, organisation, work, data and systems architecture;
- People performance, engagement and commitment;
- Decision-making dashboards and intelligence.
About inavit iQ
Inavit iQ (Pty) Ltd is a South African based international business consulting professional services firm. We have a formal presence in Gauteng,
Western Cape, Mauritius and Europe. We work in a range of industries and with companies of varying sizes and various phases of their own growth cycle. Our collaboration with clients focuses on:
• Developing insight into their external context and competitive landscape;
• Strategy formulation and alignment;
Emery F.E., Trist E.L., Churchman C.W., Verhulst M., Socio-technical systems, Management Science Models and Techniques, 1960, vol. vol. 2 Oxford,
UK Pergamon (pg. 83-97)