Future needs of businesses
Case study and task
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You can also refer to our tutorial section in order to get started with the case.
Mr. Floyd is the Chief Development Officer of "Global Partners", an international consulting company. You meet him for the first time in his office in a European capital. Mr. Floyd does not wear a fashionable suit, he does not need to. As soon as he opens his mouth, his wit and charm persuade everyone.
After a little research on LinkedIn you’ve discovered that he's a founder of a number of successful start-ups and a graduate of several internationally-renowned universities in the United States. This background means that he approaches business as a design-thinker. You note: "Any solution must be based on the client's needs."
He explains to you very calmly and confidently what's important for his company. Then, as soon as he’s made everything clear to you, he rushes off to catch a train.
This is what he has explained:
• "Global Partners" is focused on clients who operate internationally. ‘International business’ is their area of expertise.
• These clients are mostly B2B businesses, but there are also some B2C. The sectors, fields, and industries of their clients are very diverse and are not important for your task today.
• Global Partners has a huge network of business leaders and a vast data set covering not only specific companies but also about the key leaders of these companies.
• Mr. Floyd’s consulting company needs to plan for the future. He and his management team are thinking through a number of scenarios. In order to be prepared for these scenarios, they need to know how to develop new business models that will be effective a decade from now.
Right now, the business is performing well. To continue this performance in the future, Mr. Floyd is imagining himself years into the future. Faithful to the principles of design thinking, he begins by asking the following questions: "What are our clients going to expect from us? What kind of challenges will they meet in 10 years from now? What kind of needs will result from these challenges?"
You sketch the problem as follows:
Figure 1: Present and future needs of international businesses depend on what kind of developments there will be in their respective environments.
These future needs will be satisfied by future business models. Mr. Floyd wants to ensure that "Global Partners" is ready for the future and have forward-thinking business models available as soon as possible. These business model must meet the following criteria:
• Any business model is derived from the client's needs of the future. Today's needs of the clients are already satisfied by the market. Mr. Floyd wants to predict business trends in order to prepare his company for them.
• It isn’t necessary to stick with today's consulting competencies when considering new business models. The sole rationale for the new business models should be the needs of the marketplace in the future. The only exception to this rule is that models should still offer a service to the top management of international enterprises.
Clearly, Mr. Floyd has given you a lot of freedom to unleash your creativity.
Key questions that he’d like addressed are:
• What are the business needs for international companies and their top-management in the year 2028?
• What kind of business models satisfy these needs?
To help Mr. Floyd, your approach might (but does not need to) look like this:
1. Think about the current and potential clients of the consulting company presented in the case. What needs will they have in the future? Search for and identify the relevant trends which are going to shape the needs of these businesses and their top-management. A good way to facilitate this task is to start thinking about an enterprise that is familiar to you and try to project it into the future.
2. Develop a value proposition for each client (or a group of clients) using the Value proposition canvas tool (Osterwalder, Pigneur, Smith, Bernarda, & Papadakos, 2014). If you have identified business clients with different needs, it is best to use a separate Value proposition canvas for every type of clients.
3. Think how your value propositions can turn into real services and try to envision the actual implementation by designing a future business model using the Business Model Canvas tool (Osterwalder, Pigneur, & Smith, 2010).
Before you start, you may watch our brief video with helpful comments about the case (below).
You can refer to the following solution template as you work.
The recommended deadline for submitting the value proposition canvas is 12 March.
The final deadline for submitting the full solution is 23 March.