New tool for navigating through times of ambiguity: The Business as Unusual Lens

 

We live in times of crisis. At launchlabs we call them business as unusual times – to give it a more positive spin, because we truly believe there is a positive lens through which we can look at it. So in business as unusual times companies have to rethink their business on a daily basis.

Companies have to rethink their product portfolio – what stays, what goes, what needs to be adapted. Daily we need to look at organizational functions – who and what stays, who goes, who can do something different. We need to rethink our communication, marketing strategy and all vital processes like customer service, distribution and recruitment.

 

It is scary at first, but then we start to see the opportunities. One such example is the digitization of services. The current situation has accelerated the digital transformation in many companies. Think about this – if a bank was thinking of launching an online app, they are launching it now. If a restaurant was thinking of adding online orders, they are doing online deliveries now. If a telecom was considering enhancing their digital marketing, they are 100% doing it now. The list goes on and on.

And the opportunity is not simply in finally doing it. The opportunity is in doing it right. The opportunity is in getting rid of the complexity in the analog and doing it in a novel way in the digital space.

Think about opening a bank account or applying for a loan. In the analog world these services take multiple steps, multiple visits to the branch office and a google of signatures. Could we avoid digitizing the analog complexity and instead embrace the opportunity of designing a new journey from scratch? Could we think of ways to entice customers who hate complexity in the analog world and hate it even more on a screen? 

Here is an example of a classical brick and mortar operation – a wine and cheese shop, which to save its business has to go online. Think about buying wine and cheese in a shop. What are the moments that matter to the customer? Is it the wine tasting? Is it the pairing? Is it the conversation with the sommelier? Now think about the e-shop. How do we recreate a tasting moment online? Do we have to? What are the things we can’t do in the real world, but we can in the digital? Do we even have to have an e-shop? How else could we use our resources to create value for our customers and generate revenues? Who are our customers? Are they even the same?

When reimagining our businesses, especially when this calls for more digitalization, we need to start from scratch. We need an empty canvas. That is why at launchlabs Sofia we reimagined the classical Business Model Canvas and created the Business as Unusual lens – in order to help businesses utilize the Business as Unusual times and come out stronger from it. The lens is free for all businesses and allows for self reflection and discovery. 

For the most ambitious companies we offer remote Business as Unusual workshops in which we work with your team and facilitate the analysis, the opportunity finding and the novel solutions development and testing. Have a look at our portfolio redesign for remote work or send us a request directly through the form

Harvard Business Review, which by the way is currently free, wrote an article synthesizing the learnings from Chinese business, who are now two months ahead of us and are starting to come out. There are numerous examples of both e-commerce and brick and mortar, digitally savvy and novice businesses who came out stronger. They came up with digital versions of their existing services and with totally new offerings that weren’t even in the pipelines. Together we can do it too.

launchlabs Sofia is a business redesign studio part of the international launchlabs brand with offices in Berlin, Basel, Bangalore & Sofia. Our mission as a business redesign studio is to work together with companies through business as unusual by melting different design and agile disciplines. We redesign mindsets through trainings, experiences through sprints and spaces through space design. We’re experts in design thinking, scrum, service design, future thinking and a bunch of other fancy methodologies. We work with both local and Fortune 500 companies in various industries.