2. Results of Pre-Alpha Methods Discussion 2013-01-25

Results of 2013-01-25 Meeting+

Additional Notes and Ideas Added as Reminders for when Alpha Method Development Starts

Present: PHJ; SND; AU

Objective for Meeting

Narrow down the problem / solution space and take a first pass at the goals / objectives / measures of success of the "the SSBM design method" ;

Problem Space
Our formal, natural and social science knowledge of strong sustainability is now extensive (although far from complete and not sufficient); the problems it highlights are moralurgent and important.  The current prevalent world-world view of the majority in (at least) the Global North is not compatible with the knowledge we do have. Our knowledge and experience of aligning science with world-views is largely uncharted charity.  This is big, our knowledge is incomplete: we need to be humble.

However, for designers of business models (of whole businesses, products or services) this knowledge is not readily accessible / usable, leading to innappropriate or damaging reinvention and action.  In turn this means business models which aspire to be strongly sustainable may unintentionally be more risky and create undesirable outcomes.

Like all other wicked real world problems... the application of the knowledge of strong sustainability to the design of business , i.e. the detailed process of design, is not well understood .  This is because of
  • the quantity and inter- / trans- disciplinary nature of the knowledge required (far more than for designing a profit-first business)
  • the nature of the learning required (ideally requiring / entailing a change in world-view)
  • the degree of collaboration required (between the multiple minds a subset of whose needs the organization will attempt to meet)
However, while the specific steps required to successfully design a strongly sustainable business steps are not known and not knowable within this project:
  1. There are overall patterns of the design process from which we can start
  2. Without attempting to make a change in the world by applying the science we do have  via a process of design we won't have examples which can be studied and theorized from empirically
We need to describe our understanding of the "market" of users and the situations which are in our problem space… see top left of this prezi for some initial thinking done by Peter Jones and Antony Upward.

  • Emergent
  • Nascent
  • Inspiring
  • Aspirational

Create a method that would, using the SSBMC, help efficiently create high quality (reliable, consistent, effective) business models that, comply with the emerging Gold Standard for Strongly Sustainable Business design principles and metrics, i.e. Business Models that:
  • Are aligned with the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) Four System Conditions?
  • Would score as many points as possible on the B Corp Impact Assessment Survey
  • Are aligned with the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Localist Values
  • Are aligned with the Principles of the Transition Network
  • Are aligned with the ideas of Local Exchange Trading Systems (LOIS not TINA)
  • Are aligned with the ideas of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance Independent Business Initiative

Solution Space

The SSBM Design Method will draw upon the following methods and approaches as sources of inspiration for actions within the method, tools and metrics.  Most of these items were added subsequent to the meeting to act as an initial "long list" of sources of inspiration for the development of the alpha-Method.
  • Some initial thinking done by SSBMGroup members Antony Upward and Jeremy Bowes - see bottom left of this prezi.
  • Service Systems Design  - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service_design
  • Theory-U - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U-procedure_and_Theory_U#Theory_U
  • The Natural Step - ABCD / Backcasting - http://www.naturalstep.org/~natural/backcasting
  • Robinson, J. B. (1990). Futures under glass: A recipe for people who hate to predict. Futures, 22(8), 820-842. doi:10.1016/0016-3287(90)90018-D
  • Robinson, J. B. (2003). Future subjunctive: backcasting as social learning. Futures, 35(8), 839-856. doi:10.1016/S0016-3287(03)00039-9
  • TRIZ - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIZ
  • Gharajedaghi's Systems Design Methodology - http://interactdesign.com/JGsystems.pdf based on Ackoff's Interactive Planning / Design and Warfield's Interactive Management (Iteration considering function, structure, process and context)
    • Method in Gharajedaghi, J. (2011). Systems thinking: managing chaos and complexity : a platform for designing business architecture (3rd ed.). Burlington, Massachusetts, United States of America.: Morgan Kaufmann.
  • Linking Business Models and Business Architectures - White paper from the Business Model Guild, published Aug 2015
    • Although entirely profit-first is likely representative of current understanding of best practices
  • Service Design using TQM influenced by Systems Thinking - John Seddon - Freedom from Command and Control:&Rethinking Management for Lean Service
  • Parrish, B. D. (2010). Sustainability-driven entrepreneurship: Principles of organization design. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(5), 510-523. doi:10.1016/j.jbusvent.2009.05.005
    • Good case studies 
  • Hoverstadt - The Fractical Organization - Creating Sustainable Organizations with the VSM http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/65/04700605/0470060565-1.pdf
  • Holling - Panarchy - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panarchy#Panarchy_in_systems_theory
  • Socio-Technical Systems Design - Eric Trist -  - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociotechnical_system
  • Strategic Foresight - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_foresight
  • From the methodology in Business Model Generation
  • Soft System Methodology - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_systems_methodology
    • See this video by SSM Founder Peter Checkland for an explanation of why understanding stakeholders multiple world views is critical to finding satisficing business model designs that can sustain the possibility for flourishing of human and other life for eco-system actors.
    • Also explicit design influenced version of this - Soft Design Science Method
      • Baskerville, R. L., Pries-Heje, J., & Venable, J. (2009). Soft design science methodology. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology (DESRIST '09), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1-11. doi:10.1145/1555619.1555631
    • Also see pp134-136 of http://hdl.handle.net/10315/20777
    • Also see Systems Thinking Ontario April / May 2015 workshop plans - http://wiki.st-on.org/2015-04-15 (See page as of April 3, 2015)
  • Hard and Soft System Dynamics - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_dynamics
    • Including "Dance of Change" and "Presence" (Senge / Sharmer)
  • Appreciative Inquiry - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appreciative_inquiry
  • Team Spirit - http:TBD (mentioned by Peter Jones)
  • Dotmocracy - http://dotmocracy.org/ and National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation - http://ncdd.org / International Association for Public Participation - http://iapzcanada.org and Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation - http://ippanetwork.org and http://c2d2.ca
  • Team Syntegrity / VSM - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syntegrity (via member Stephen Davies)
  • Structured Dialogic Design - http://www.slideshare.net/SoCoDesign/structured-dialogic-design
    • Presentation on Dialogic Design for the Flourishing Enterprise Presentation - Collaborative Strategy Process & Action made to SSBMG meeting in November 2013 by OCADU sLab and Flourishing Business Toolkit project member Dr. Peter Jones.
    • Christakis, A. N. (2006). A retrospective structual inquiry of the prediciment of mindkind prospectus of the club of rome. In J. McIntyre-Mills, & J. P. van Gigch (Eds.), Rescuing the enlightenment from itself: Critical and systemic implications for democracy (pp. 92-122) Springer US. doi:10.1007/0-387-27589-4_7 
    • Jones, P. H., Christakis, A. N., & Flanagan, T. R. (2007). Dialogic design for the intelligent enterprise: Collaborative strategy, process, and action. Proceedings of International Council on Systems Engineering 2007 (INCOSE 2007), San Diego, California, United States of America. 1-16.
    • Flanagan, T. R., Bausch, K. C., & Institute for 21st Century Agoras. (2011). Democratic approach to sustainable future: A workbook for addressing the global problematiqué. Riverdale, Georga, United States of America: Ongoing Emergence Press.
      • Ozbekan's foundational that in 1970 defined the Global Proablematiqué is also very important both because of how early it was written and the depth of insight (often not taken in more recent works):  Ozbekhan, H. (1970). The predicament of mankind, quest for structured responses to growing world-wide complexities and uncertainties: A proposal. ( No. 1).The Club of Rome. http://web.archive.org/web/20070103201244/http://www.cwaltd.com/pdf/clubrome.pdf
    • Ed H. Schein's 2015 Book Dialogic Organization Development: The Theory and Practice of Transformational Change
  • Participative Democracy - http:TBD
  • International Association for Public Participation (IPA2) - http://www.iap2.org/
  • Cognitive-Edge and Cynefin Framework - https://cognitive-edge.com/ (short intro here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7oz366X0-8; also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Snowden) (Bruce Stewart)
  • Chaordic Steps: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaordic, http://www.youthandelders.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Chaordic-Stepping-Stones-v2.png
  • Alistair Cockburn Crystal Clear Software Development Methodology, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Clear_%28software_development%29
  • ISIS Accelerator for sustainability tools (Indicators, Systems, Innovation, Strategy) (Compass, Pyramid, Amoeba, Stratesphere) (Doug Worts)
  • Integral Strategy - including the Strategy Roadmap and Challenge Dialogue System  (Kieth Jones, David Forrest)
  • Participation Works:21 (Collaboration) Process for the 21st Century by the New Economics Foundation, 1999 - a great summary of many of the techniques above - recommended by Allenna Leonard
  • During his presentation at OCAD sLab and UofT iSchool in Summer 2013 Yves Pigneur made a number of suggestions for effective tool use related to layering and the use of tracing paper (I don't think we ever got those slides).  Later in the year Alex tweeted this example of this technique in use
  • The Work That Reconnects (Joanna Macy) http://workthatreconnects.org/
  • The Art of Hosting http://www.artofhosting.org/
  • Maturity Models for Sustainable Organizations - Bob Willard p.21 of the New Sustainability Advantage (which I think has an academic source I stumbled across recently but need to search to find it again)
  • Ideas from "lean start-up" such as
  • Lean Startup for Social Impact - see
  • Application of Anti-Fragile thinking to Organization / Business Model Design: "Would Taleb inspired Anti-Fragile Sustainability Be Better than Ehrenfeld's Resilient Sustainability?" (pointer to discussion and articles on SSBMG linkedin forum)
  • The MaRSDD Entrepreneurship Toolkit Workbooks on Value Proposition Development and Business Model Development
  • Dr. Henning Breuer / UXBerlin's Business Model Starter Kit (Stehpen Davies has a copy in Toronto)
  • John Sutherlands work on a value proposition canvas (presented to SSBMG in Jan 2014)
  • Jay Galbraiths Star Model for designing viable organization structures (as discussed on Osterwalder's Strategyzer blog here)
  • Trust Canvas by InTeamWeTrust / Alexey Pikulev (thanks to Stephen Sillett for highlighting)

  • Social Business Models by the Swiss based Association of Social Business Models lead by Claude Michaud
    • See Antecedents and Alternatives on the Tools Chapter page for description of their canvases
    • This work Also appears to include a method for social business design (see image below) - which goes well beyond the traditional boundaries of business model thinking - into the areas that the Business Model Starter Kit (see above) goes into.
Overview of method to use Social Business canvases
    • Also see this slideshare "Opportunity Analysis and Theory of Change" - includes introduction to PESTEL framework for business model design context analysis -  (Political Economic Social Technology Environmental Legal)
    • Original focus was in a Swiss, Danish, Cyprus and Portugal in ~2008.  "Logic Framework" from the World Bank in 1960's + Business Model Canvas.  The logic framework is the origin for the idea now current for not-for-profit granting - i.e. "theory of change" to create desired impact.
  • Challenges and problems of involving stakeholders - lots of work here required to understand ecological psychological perspective and recommendations, recommendations developed from governance models developed and implemented using Elenor Ostrom experience and recommendations, plus deep experience running training / roll-playing / simulations for students and professionals
    • Ostrom, E. (2010). Beyond markets and states: Polycentric governance of complex economic systems. American Economic Review, 100(3), 641-672. doi:10.1257/aer.100.3.641
    • Collins, E., & Kearins, K. (2007). Exposing students to the potential and risks of stakeholder engagement when teaching sustainability: A classroom exercise. Journal of Management Education, 31(4), 521-540. doi:10.1177/1052562906291307
    • Ostrom, E. (2008). The challenge of common-pool resources. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 50(4), 8.
  • From We Economy / Jan Jonker - including his macro method for "new business models".   Introduction to this model / method in this TEDx video.  Also see this new book due to be released in English in 2016 - www.newbusinessmodels.info 
    • New Business Model Method - Jan Jonker

Generating Understanding and Ideas
A critical component of a method is providing opportunities for learning, creativity and innovation.  This can be achieved in many ways, including role playing (to create understanding through experienced empathy), game playing, etc.  Below a list of sources of inspiration for these activities - which could be listed in a "side bar" and can be used in workshops etc.

Process Scope (through time)
Anchored in The Natural Step Backcasting (Robertson).
  • A. Awareness of the global problemlatique (environmental, social, economic) and the ideas that are important to the design of strongly sustainable business (i.e. the boxes on the canvas)
  • B.Baseline - to deeply understand
    • Understand the specific situation (parts and wholes)
    • Diagnose the specific situation (new or existing business, product or service)
  • C. Create / envision long term alternative ideal business models (sketch-generative) (i.e. from the Ackoffian - "An ideal-seeking system is a purposeful system which, on attainment of any of its goals […] then seeks another goal […] which [it is believed] more closely approximates its ideal.")
    • Establish an definition of "acceptable success" for the organization with which the stakeholders determined to have decision rights agree
  • D. Decide on priorities (evaluate/filter/select and iteratively prototype/simulate).  Use the following questions to filter / evaluate the sketches and then the prototypes and simulation generated options
  • Does each step move towards the vision?
  • Does each step provide a flexible platform for future changes required to accommodate learning?
  • Does each step offer a good social, environmental and financial return on investment?
  • Plan Scale-up
  • Evaluate results
Based on Bob Willard's experience of applying ABCD at the Schulich School of Business York University and Kenan Flagler Business School University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Executive Education program "Sustainable Enterprise Acadamy (SEA)" (Bob helped write and teach this program and has shared details with the content leads for this chapter - Peter and Bill) Bob suggested in a conversation with Antony 2014-01-24 that we also consider the benefits of:
  • ACBD
  • (A little C) BCD

He also advocated ensuring people didn't end up forceasting "C" by stressing the difference between ideas that people thought were probable and predictable (forecasting) vs. possibilities (backcasting).  Likely some of our teams deep experience of foresight techniques will also be of great help.

Out of scope: management of the implementation / realization of the scaled-up implementation; we should point to other methods for this… also the space in which our collaborators can differentiate themselves.

1. Prepare a method in such a way that it is readily comprehensible and testable by the people who become members of the SSBMGreenhouse (collaboration community)
2. Include the communities feedback in the first published version

Measure of Success
Acceptance and use such that
  • we get actionable feedback to make improvements over time
  • SME's are using the method to explore, understand and plan their journey away from unsustainability
  • More SME's design strongly sustainable business models and adopt than would have otherwise have been the case