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Organizational Design and Go-to-Market Tools for the Social Entrepreneur


September 20, 2013

Part 2 in a 3 part series on tools for the technology social enterprise artist/strategist/entrepreneur

Some entrepreneurs are able to identify a technology market opportunity. Yet, they are challenged to design an operational strategy for success. The "organizational planning" techniques that I leverage and are critical for any entreprenuer are:

Business Model/Lean Business Model Canvas

  • Link: and
  • Used to: identify overall business model including go-to-market, monetization and targets – where lean ideas 
  • Focus period: organizational set up, periodically at times of necessity (infection points & paradigm shifts) 
  • Useful for: turning great ideas into realistic ideas where 'lean' tactics provides flexibility of testing ideas and adapting

Umair Haque Betterness Returns/ Constituencies

Geoffrey Moore, Core vs. Context

  • Link:
  • Used to: identify what is on the critical path for success and what needs to be “good enough”
  • Focus period: initial planning or post-lean product validation with periodic/annual review
  • Useful for: improving organizational efficiency by eliminating the desire to improve all processes that increases overhead

Product and Service Cone

  • Explanation: identify elements such as products on the bottom of a triangle with those items that the organiztion should focus on at the top so that lines of business, segments, products might be eliminated over time
  • Used to: simplify a complex product and service portfolio and target markets
  • Focus period: at time of strategic re-thinking
  • Useful for: eliminating moving outside core competencies over time to keep focus while helping to consider line extension in a growing organization that leverages core competencies

SWOT Analysis

  • Link:
  • Used to: articulate company strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Focus period: yearly update
  • Useful for: critical for identifying actions to overcome weaknesses, invest in opportunities and plan risk mitigation when completed properly and in detail

Customer Zebra

  • Link: similar to Customer Segmentation: but includes the ideal customer characteristics even through no customer will meet those needs (i.e. a zebra is never all white or all black)
  • Used to: identify top customer segments and characteristics
  • Focus period: initial planning with periodic revisions
  • Useful for: identifying appropriate “go to market” by seeing channels used and who segments reference, helps define personas for product design, focuses sales and marketing groups

W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne Competitive Canvas/Blue Ocean Strategy

  • Link:
  • Used to: position organization against competitors
  • Focus period: initial planning with periodic updates
  • Useful for: identifying what the organization will not do that competitors are doing because it isn't critical for the segment, what should be superlative relative to competitors and identifying new “blue ocean” dimensions that the organization can dominate

Edward De Bono 6 Thinking Hats/Lateral Thinking

  • Link:
  • Used to: brainstorming
  • Focus period: any time of business planning
  • Useful for: finding more agreement, reducing the negative impact of loud people in the organization, taps into creativity. Some of the advanced techniques like “Consequences and Sequel” brings longer-term thinking to sustain the organization

Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema Discipline of market Leaders

  • Link:
  • Used to: identify one of three main business models: innovator, operationally efficient, customer intimate
  • Focus period: planning for more mature organizations and reconsidered when markets dynamics change (i.e. technology adoption cycle)
  • Useful for: creating general priorities , although in the Internet age, there is evidence that one can make a customer-intimate company innovate or a innovating company more operationally efficient
  1. Big Picture Strategy
  2. Developing Organizational Strategy
  3. Implementing Strategy
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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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