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The Increasing Importance of Business Model Innovation and the structured approach needed today

Business Model Innovation - Crossings Advisory

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, innovation is no longer a luxury but a necessity. The rise of AI, digital transformation and big data, globalization or disruptions in global supply chains, and shifting consumer behaviors necessitate that businesses constantly adapt to stay competitive. One of the most critical areas of adaptation is business model innovation. This short article explores the increasing importance of business model innovation and highlights the structured approach to successfully implement it. The enclosed slides will provide you with a clear and structured approach in this 

The Importance of Business Model Innovation

A business model describes how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value. Traditional business models, while effective in the past, often fail to address the complexities and dynamics of the current market. Therefore, innovating business models has become a strategic imperative for companies aiming to maintain or gain a competitive edge.

Drivers of Business Model Innovation

Several key factors are driving the increased need for monitoring existing business models, for business model innovation and new business model generation:

1. Technological Advancements: The rapid pace of technological change means businesses must continuously evolve their models to leverage new technologies and stay relevant.

2. Market Competition: Increasing competition from both traditional players and disruptive startups forces companies to innovate to differentiate themselves.

3. Customer Expectations: Modern consumers demand personalized, efficient, and seamless experiences, requiring businesses to rethink how they deliver value.

4. Regulatory Changes: Evolving regulations in various industries can render existing business models obsolete, necessitating innovation.

5. Economic Shifts: Economic instability and shifts in global markets compel businesses to innovate to manage risks and exploit new opportunities.

Structured Approach to Business Model Innovation

I would like to emphasize the need for a more structured approach on business model generation, and to innovating business models. My approach is grounded in the framework developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, which outlines nine building blocks essential for any business model. A systematic and structured approach is vital for effectively innovating business models. Here’s an overview of this approach:

The Nine Building Blocks of a Business Model

1. Customer Segments: Identifying and understanding the specific needs and characteristics of different customer groups. This involves segmenting the market based on distinct requirements, distribution channels, types of relationships, and profitability.

2. Value Propositions: Defining the unique bundle of products and services that create value for each customer segment. This includes both quantitative aspects (e.g., performance, cost reduction) and qualitative aspects (e.g., customization, design).

3. Channels: Determining the most effective ways to communicate with and reach customer segments. This includes analyzing direct and indirect channels, and integrating them to enhance customer experiences across various phases, from awareness to after-sales support.

4. Customer Relationships: Establishing the type of relationship each customer segment expects and the cost of maintaining these relationships. Examples include personal assistance, self-service, automated services, and co-creation.

5. Revenue Streams: Identifying the ways through which a business generates cash from each customer segment. This includes asset sales, usage fees, subscription fees, leasing, licensing, brokerage fees, and advertising.

6. Key Resources: Listing the most critical assets required to deliver the value propositions, maintain customer relationships, and ensure smooth channel functioning. These can be physical, intellectual, human, or financial resources.

7. Key Activities: Highlighting the most important actions required to make the business model work. This could involve production, problem-solving, or network/platform management.

8. Key Partnerships: Building a network of partners and suppliers that support the business model. This includes strategic alliances, joint ventures, and buyer-supplier relationships that provide essential resources and activities.

9. Cost Structure: Identifying the major costs involved in operating the business model. This includes both fixed and variable costs, as well as the economies of scale and scope.

More detailed insights in these nine building blocks can be found in the following slide deck:

The enclosed slides provide a comprehensive framework for understanding and innovating business models. They outline the essential components of a business model through the nine building blocks mentioned earlier. These slides are critical for facilitating workshops on business model innovation because they offer:

1. Clarity and Structure: A clear and structured approach to dissecting and analyzing business models.

2. Comprehensive Coverage: Detailed insights into each building block, ensuring no aspect of the business model is overlooked.

3. Practical Examples: Real-world examples that illustrate how to apply these concepts effectively.

4. Strategic Tools: Tools like the Value Proposition Canvas and the Golden Circle to enhance strategic thinking and innovation.

By leveraging these slides, facilitators can better guide participants through a systematic process of business model innovation, enabling them to create, deliver, and capture value more effectively in today's dynamic market.

Implementation of the Structured Approach

To successfully implement this structured approach, I suggest following steps:

1. Assessment: Conduct a thorough assessment of the current business model using the nine building blocks as a diagnostic tool. Evaluate what works well and what needs adjustments.

2. Ideation: Brainstorm and develop multiple innovative business model ideas. Encourage diverse thinking and collaboration across different functions within the organization. Take the time to make an inventory of already existing business models in your market and understand the main trends.

3. Prototyping: Develop prototypes of the new business models. This can involve creating detailed sketches, simulations, or small-scale pilots to test the feasibility and impact of the ideas.

4. Validation: Validate the prototypes through customer feedback, market testing, and financial analysis. Adjust the models based on the insights gained.

5. Implementation: Roll out the validated business model innovations across the organization. Ensure alignment with the overall strategic objectives and invest in necessary resources and capabilities.

6. Monitoring and Iteration: Continuously monitor the performance of the new business model and be prepared to iterate based on ongoing feedback and market changes.


The increasing importance of business model innovation cannot be overstated. In a world characterised by constant change, businesses must be agile and forward-thinking to survive and thrive. A structured approach provides a comprehensive framework for companies to systematically innovate their business models. By focusing on the nine building blocks and following a disciplined process, businesses can create new realities, drive growth, and sustain their competitive advantage in an ever-evolving market. This could especially be helpful for strategy and corporate development departments looking for opportunities to add value to existing businesses.

In case you want to know more or have a discussion on business model innovation, you can reach me on or call Crossings Advisory | Strategy | Mergers and Acquisitions | Recovery | Valuation on +31 (0)85 200 6244. 


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