Why cluster business models are tough puzzles to solve….

Yesterday I had the pleasure of delivering a cluster business model workshop to clusters from the MENA region and France.

Part of a 2 day cluster booster program I was filling in on the exchange of building out the business model. This was not an easy subject. The participants were coming together from 7 different countries and with basically 3 different kinds of industry as leading strategy.

We could divide them into Agri/Food, Natural resources and Electronica/Mechatronica. Not at first sight the most comparable types you would think.

I tried to teach a lot into 4 hours, but even more so I learned a lot from those 4 hours of teaching. First on the subject of cluster business models. This is still an area to be discovered by a lot of cluster managers.

One of the discoveries I made myself is that you can also over prepare. There was just too much information to be shared in the short period of time. In reflection with the different stakeholders I admitted that I tried a way too steep learning curve with the group as I was pushing them through the ecosystem/supercluster theory as well as the MIRO board collaboration for specific canvasses we selected in bringing the Cluster Business Model forward. And all this within a 4 hr time frame. Not so smart maybe.

The other thing we learned was that maybe we should have just pushed for more one-on-one intake and workshop forms to deliver results before we would try and bring it all together. You need to know what the connection will between the participants in the workshop. I had different user groups setup for different sorts of industries and even for cross-overs between them, but in the end the group was not made up from the information we had received from the registration. Such last minute changes are not easy to iron out minutes before the start of the workshop.

What I would do differently next time for sure is the division between explanation and action. Some of this stuff is really only by experiential learning that you get the point across. The tool set is there. It just needs to be used in order to bring any sort of result. That result can then be analyzed and discussed for further learning. The approach that some participants used a shared document in the process was not beneficial to the learning process of the other team as they could not bring together the different outcomes and results.

What where some of the things you learned when you delivered a workshop and what would you do differently next time?

C-Home / LOT-EK

…in the series, A beautiful building a day….

© Aundre Larrow architects: LOT-EK Location: Claverack, Claverack-Red Mills, New York, United States Project Year: 2019 Photographs: Aundre Larrow Area: 1920.0 m2 Read more »

Source: C-Home / LOT-EK

I love this construction of several 40 foot containers and the way they make up a single home. Must feel really spacious if they are able to remove the ‘walls’ in the adjacent rooms.

My Year in #ToDoist

Last year I succeeded extremely well in building a streak in my favourite app #todoist. I managed a whole year of uninterupted completed tasks on a daily basis.

It lists me in the top 1% of users from ToDoist. Love this app

Kjellander Sjoberg to Transform Former Shipbuilding Industry into Vibrant Creative Hub in Malmö, Sweden

Back in the series… A beautiful building a day….

Courtesy of Kjellander Sjoberg Kjellander Sjoberg has revealed plans to transform the historical building Gjuteriet into an innovative, open public meeting place. Located in the Varvstaden district, a new sustainable neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden , the project will become a contemporary and versatile work environment.

Source: Kjellander Sjoberg to Transform Former Shipbuilding Industry into Vibrant Creative Hub in Malmö, Sweden


Maybe after the pandemic and returning to the ‘new normal’ these kind of buildings will become the new go-to working spaces even more than returning to your regular office. For sure there will be need for much more flexibility in where we will work, relax, sport, play and have fun.

You thought 2020 was extraordinary; wait and see what 2021 will bring.


Innovation in times of crisis…

“These are strange times. Also for me in my role as innovationmanager at Health Valley. In our mission there are words like connection, matchmaking, business support for entrepeneurs and care professionals. Normally we will do this in real life, but needless to say; everything is different nowadays. I guess it took me a week or two where things felt really strange. After which reality became quickly the new normal.

It took another week for everybody to get used to videoconferencing to make it seem like now we have never done differently before.  

Suddenly everything is different and we try desperately to give meaning to it all, this new reality. Digitalization, transformation are now concepts popping up in industries which for years seemed to have better excuses and reasons not to use technological possibilities, were unable to implement new products or ways of working. Adhering to the adagium; ‘it just works different at our place; this is not how we do things around here….’

And now it is possible. It is a must. A way of survival. And it is really a shame that it took such a profound crisis to have changes like video calling in healthcare now seemingly a new reality. Because I can not imagine that we are trying to close the lid on this box we have opened up. I take it that the phrase; “Videocall, unless… or maybe even ‘Digital, unless’ will be the new way of working. OR at least a reasonable alternative to the existing analogue defunct way of working we keep clinging onto today.  

And not only in care I see this phenomenon. Also in education, universities. It is possible and now it is on us to keep this momentum going. To remember that transformation, using new technologies for the better, workforms, innovation should not be dependent on the pressures of a crisis, a pandemic or some other shock to the system.

It is really true that the only constant is change. 

Better to embrace this knowledge and steer our own destiny then to be overwhelmed by the next destructive impact of a crisis. It is not a negative doom scenario but shows a sense of reality when we say; it is not a question of whether but of when a new disruptive wave will hit…

Now is the time to use these new experiences, not to let down and set course for a truly new paradigm shift. It is within reach now. “

#newnormal #transformation #buildingtransformationalcompanies #btc #strategytools

Stranger Days…

Birthday and graduation in one. What a strange day this will be forever in memory. Exams cancelled. Therefore based on earlier results Evie passed her exam today. Best present ever of course. But that’s beside the point. How things can take on a different perspective very quickly.

Working on a Sunday Afternoon…

I can recommend the Explorer book to anyone looking for a different point of view. 😉

Yesterday I was sitting at my desk, just doodling around. Typically time well spent to get some new insights. Re-read some old books. Rainy weather outside. Training done. What else is there to do on such a day. 😉

Working on a new to-do list. Have some reading to do. Why is it that this is always the first activity to fall of the list? I can maintain the work outs, the cycling. Watching the diet etc etc…(yeah really…)

But keeping up with the reading lists, the newsfeeds, the constant live ticker of flowing messages…that is a different challenge. As I am moving into some more consistent combinations of Design Thinking and Strategy I really will need to focus on spending my time well.

Part of the upcoming challenge for the next month(s) . Possible I can keep you posted on the progress and keep you up to speed on the new insights. This will particularly work on the combination of strategy tools and SDT.

I read a nice quote I totally agree with:

Innovation= fresh ideas+ Strategy + Change Management.

I have used this insight so many times. Because I totally experienced how innovation runs into the ground within an organization if the mindset and the processes around the innovative ideas are not embedded in the structural change management culture. Without one of these components you will have a hard time implementing anything I am afraid.

If you want to learn more on new tools to work on your strategy; keep this channel in sight as I am waiting on some new material from Norway to start working on these coming months.

#strategytools #innovation #strategydesign #workingonadream