Do you value creativity in your organisation? In his book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-brainers will Rule the Future, Daniel Pink says we have entered the ‘Conceptual Age’ of creators and empathizers, where creativity will become the competitive difference. He outlines six essential elements: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning.

A short-time ago I spent 3 days with a swarm of highly creative business people in Amsterdam at a Business Models Inc event – ‘Business Model Canvas: The Game’. If creativity is the answer to the next generation of leading businesses I may well have been in the company of some of the world’s next game-changers.

Reviewing Business Model Canvas Game Prototypes

Reviewing Business Model Canvas Game Prototypes

The 3 day collaboration fused a 72 hour game-jam, where six teams of game developers built prototypes to gamify the Business Model Canvas, with a full-day workshop led by Sunni Brown on Gamestorming, a further workshop with Patrick Van Der Pijl developing prototypes for a ‘Vision Canvas’, and a masterful presentation by Alex Osterwalder on how business model innovation will be used to shape the next era of disruptive businesses.

The Game-Jam HQ

The Game-Jam HQ

I got a real buzz from this event. Sometimes you find yourself surrounded by people who seem to speak your language (even when English isn’t their first language) and for me this was one of those moments – artists who’ve become business consultants, urban designers who’ve become experts at business visioning, Agile and Scrum specialists looking to Visual Thinking and Gamestorming to improve productivity, and professional facilitators looking to improve their business engagement skills.

Work-shopping the Vision Canvas

Work-shopping the Vision Canvas

Alex Osterwalder’s presentation at the end of the 3 days was particularly resonant. He warned “Business models are like yoghurts in the fridge – they expire – Inevitably!” In an interactive session he walked us through business model mechanics and his view on the future of strategy and innovation, where businesses will innovate using CAD systems just like architects do today.

Osterwalder proposed that business now needs two distinct leaders; the ‘Chief Execution Officer’, responsible for executing the existing business model; and the ‘Chief Entrepreneurial Officer’ who would be responsible for designing and implementing future business models.

Alexander Osterwalder talks about the importance of ongoing entrepreneurial innovation

Alexander Osterwalder talks about the importance of ongoing entrepreneurial innovation

I buy into this view of the world. The practice of Enterprise Architecture is itself on a journey of innovation – from its roots in technology through to a much broader business context. At FHO our ongoing challenge is to continually develop and reinvent our business as enterprise architecture practice evolves up the strategic stack.

EA’s Architecture Innovation Curve – the journey ahead (*Adapted from Ruth Malan, Dana Bredemeyer)

EA’s Architecture Innovation Curve – the journey ahead
(*Adapted from Ruth Malan, Dana Bredemeyer)

I must congratulate Business Models Inc for putting this event together. They are an exciting consultancy, taking a fresh approach to generating disruptive business models. I like these guys because they, like us, use design, story, play and meaning as a key platform to energise businesses and to find new ways to innovate and create business value. They work with clients to co-create the new business model – while we co-create the execution path to make the client’s new vision a reality.

Work-shopping the Game Design Principles

Work-shopping the Game Design Principles

Are you seeing an increase in the uptake of Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning in your organisation, as described by Daniel Pink? Is creativity valued in your organisation?

Originally posted as 'Creativity Is The Next Competitive Advantage' on the Enterprise Architects website.

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