The Flourishing Business Canvas provides a common language for describing and designing enterprises with a diverse range of stakeholders and goals. It builds an understanding of interconnections of the organisation, its products and services with its communities and the world: Economically, Socially, Environmentally.
The canvas enables broader, deeper and richer conversations about all aspects of value co-creation. And it provides the context to enable stakeholders to collaborate around shared goals informed by their values – enabling teams to align on key strategic decisions.
As a member of the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group which is developing the canvas, Maria and I via our company, Holonomics, were the first to introduce it into Brazil in a number of different projects. Holonomics is a strategy and innovation consultancy based in São Paulo. Our mission is to help our clients to implement great customer experiences, powerful and effective strategies, and develop purposeful, meaningful and sustainable brands.
Those of us who are ‘first explorers’. i.e. the first to try out the canvas, were recently asked to send the group examples of how we are using the canvas in practice. I thought I would share with you all the ways in which we have been working with the canvas to show how flexible and adaptable it is, and also how it can rapidly help develop a more systemic understanding of the impacts and relationships contained within business models which are not normally made explicit.
One case study in which we used the Flourishing Business Canvas was Deer Green Coffee Roastery. In order to explain and describe their business, we utilised the canvas, as it helps to articulate not only how they are sustainable, but how this sustainability arises through a systemic approach and through the quality of their relationships, with clients, stakeholders, importers and the coffee-farms and communities from which the coffee is sourced.
In January of next year Maria and I will be running the new course Designing Flourishing Businesses with Soul at Schumacher College in the UK, with the canvas forming one of the key pillars of this course.
In order to help executives, engineers, business leaders, entrepreneurs and consultants explore and fully understand this technology, the business models, the key trends, the industry forces, the regulatory issues, and the wider social, political and ecological contexts, SunMobi joined forces with Holonomics to present the most comprehensive, pioneering and innovative course on solar energy in Brazil – Energy Canvas.
The course was run between February and May of 2017 at CIETEC in São Paulo, one of the most important accelerators in the country, based at USP, University of São Paulo.
One of the key features of the course was that it was the first time that the Flourishing Business Canvas was publicly taught in Brazil, helping participants from many of Brazil’s largest energy companies to explore new business opportunities using its systemic structure for truly sustainable businesses.
In order to help students further develop a systemic understanding of their business models and the strategies of their organisations, we also explored the Future Fit Business Benchmark and shows how these goals could be integrated into the canvas in order to help them understand how to develop measurable indicators which are fully aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Laces is a Brazilian chain of hair spas based in São Paulo which was created with the mission of promoting the natural health of hair. In December 2017 Laces won the highly prestigious Prêmio Eco® award, the most highly-regarded sustainability award in Brazil, which is organised by Amcham, the American Chamber of Commerce and the newspaper Estadão. Launched in 1982, the Prêmio Eco® Award was a pioneer in recognising companies which adopted social and environmentally responsible practices, leading to a rich reflection on sustainable business development in Brazil.
In 2017 Holonomics worked with Laces as they prepared for expansion in terms of opening new spas, adding new products and services to their portfolio, and also developing a new social business model. One of the tools we introduced to them was the Flourishing Business Canvas, which helped them to articulate more fully the narrative and underlying systemic nature of their business model.
In 2017 Holonomics facilitated a cutting-edge leadership programme “The Tao of the Future” which we developed for CPFL Renováveis, the largest renewable energy company in Brazil.
The programme was based on our Holonomics approach, including workshops on the dynamics of seeing, complexity, VUCA, human values and change management as well as inclusion of the Flourishing Business Canvas.
CPFL Renováveis commemorated the end of the programme by publishing the book O Tao do Futuro for their leadership team, of which Holonomics contributed many chapters, and which collated much of the knowledge and wisdom which was shared throughout the year. The programme also featured in CPFL Renováveis’ 2017 Annual Report which also includes reporting on their sustainability activities.
New Wrinkle is an NGO based in Greece that strives to identify societal trends in the fields of inter-culturalism, education and social entrepreneurship that are increasingly perceived as opportunities for innovation. It aims to act as a catalyst in order to design suitable responses that engage participants in new relationships or collaborations with renowned institutions worldwide in order to create ‘shared value’ for sustainable impact.
New Wrinkle invited Holonomics to create EcoLogic, a three-day event running from 27th – 29th April 2017 in Athens, based on our two books Holonomics: Business Where People and Planet Matter and Customer Experiences with Soul: A New Era in Design. We featured the Flourishing Business Canvas as one of the key tools for creating and implementing new systemic business models, and showed how it relates to business strategy, customer experience, and more systemic measures such as the Future Fit Framework.
Developing Young Leaders
Holonomics was invited to help design a one-day workshop in order to help one of the largest pulp and cellulose producers in the world identify candidates for promotion as part of their Young leadership programme. In this workshop we presented the Flourishing Business Canvas which participants then used as a framework to analyse case studies based on real situations and challenges facing the company.
Participants worked in small groups, completing the canvas and then presenting their findings to a senior management board. The canvas helped frame the analyses in a systemic manner, and allowed the company to observe team working, analytical and presentation skills in those taking part in the exercise.
Holonomics: Designing Flourishing Businesses with Soul is a new course which will be taking place at Schumacher College in Totnes, Devon in the UK in January 2019. The college was founded in 1990 with the first course open to students in January 1991. It is based in the beautiful grounds of the Dartington Hall estate, Totnes, Devon, and is regarded as one of the world’s leading international centres offering transformative learning for social and environmental issues.
We have designed this course to help executives, changemakers and entrepreneurs take a radically new holistic approach to business design which encompasses strategy, customer experience design, product and service development, business modelling, gamification, branding, communications, leadership, training and stakeholder engagement. This five-day intensive is the most comprehensive introduction to Holonomics, providing a deep level of content, case studies and practical exercises on each theme and which also includes personal mentoring for those participants who wish to bring specific challenges they are working on.
The course includes a unique combination of themes and content, such as the Balanced Scorecard methodology, as well as new tools such as the Holonomic Circle and the Flourishing Business Canvas.
Customer Experiences with Soul – In-company course
This is a one-day course based on the book Customer Experiences with Soul: New Era in Design. It helps participants to develop a systemic perspective of the customer experience, taking into account strategy, leadership, human resources, internal and external communication, brand and product and service development.
The course was designed to help people:
take a radically new approach to customer experience design;
fully integrate your purpose, goals and strategy with your customer experience;
implement human values across the whole organisation; and
develop long-term and more meaningful relationships with their customers.
The Flourishing Business Canvas is fully integrated into the course, which helps provide a single systemic narrative and forms part of the exercises which participants develop throughout the day.
The course is offered by Holonomics in partnership with Aquarela Content Bureau, a training and development platform focused on innovation and leadership for executives. Their portfolio brings together the most respected national and international institutions to deliver high level content, knowledge and remarkable experiences through courses, workshops, experiences, book clubs and international immersions.
Find out more: O Curso Customer Experiences with Soul (Portuguese)
Sustentare Business School
Sustentare, in Joinville, Santa Catarina, is unique in Brazil in offering Holonomics as a foundation module to its MBA and postgraduate courses. It is not taught separately, but is always associated with another theme such as innovation, strategy, education, or leadership for example. Students learn how to see both the theme and the content of what is taught, and also the wider context.
The founder of Sustentare, Wilmar Cidral says that the Holonomics approach “changes the vision of students, enabling them to interpret the other modules differently, giving them a wider perspective. In placing the module on Holonomics at the start, students are able to see the forest, the whole picture, and afterwards, they start to enter the forest, seeing the trees, the grass, the roots, i.e. the parts. The understanding of a new subject is easier if you first see the forest.”
The Flourishing Business Canvas is now part of the course syllabus on the Holonomics module, and is also included in occasional internal seminars held at the business school which are run by both Simon Robinson and Maria Moraes Robinson.
Transformational Design Thinking
Transformational Design Thinking is a unique course developed by Holonomics which helps people create new products, services and business opportunities which have a purpose and which fully resonate with their personal values. The transformation starts with the expansion of consciousness of the designer, enabling them to create new systemic solutions at a higher level of consciousness to those solutions which have previously come to pass.
The course is taught at PUC-São Paulo (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo) and was created in partnership with Luciana Terceiro, Natalí Garcia and Cíntia Citton. It teaches design thinking from the perspective of Holonomics and Customer Experiences with Soul, showing how design has to be developed from the perspective of the whole organisation, integrating the five universal human values, and where the source of creativity, innovation and insights are driven by the dynamic way of seeing.
Students are introduced to the Flourishing Business Canvas and shown how it is an evolution of Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas, enabling a broader, deeper and richer conversations about all aspects of value co-creation.
FCE Pharma and FCE
FCE Insight is a special event which forms part of FCE Pharma and FCE Cosmetique, the largest expo in Latin America covering pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. I was invited to speak about purpose, values, authenticity, showing how authentic and sustainable businesses could be modelled using the flourishing business canvas.
One of the case studies which I used to explore the different sections of the canvas was Patagonia. I chose Patagonia the company is generally regarded as one of the most sustainable and authentic companies in the world.
Read more: Putting the Soul into the Experience Economy
Rethink Business is a Brazilian conference founded by Marina Miranda and which was created to bring together leading thinkers both from business, government and not-for-profits to discuss innovation, strategy, and transformation through co-creation, collaboration and futurology.
Simon Robinson was invited to both present and be part of an expert panel session in which he discussed consciousness, human values and introduced both the Flourishing Business Canvas and the Customer Experiences with Soul framework.
In October 2017 Holonomics was invited to introduce our book Customer Experiences with Soul at the RD Summit, the largest marketing summit in Latin America and the third largest in the world, with 8,000 attendees and over 150 presenters. The event is hosted in Florianópolis in the south of Brazil. As part of our presentation we included a case study of Patagonia, using the Flourishing Business Canvas as the tool to describe the narrative and structure of Patagonia’s business.
In order to help executives, engineers, business leaders, entrepreneurs and consultants explore and fully understand this technology, the business models, the key trends, the industry forces, the regulatory issues, and the wider social, political and ecological contexts, SunMobi have joined forces with Holonomics to present the most comprehensive, pioneering and innovative course on solar energy in Brazil – Energy Canvas.
The course was run between February and May of 2017 at CIETEC in São Paulo, one of the most important accelerators in the country, based at USP, University of São Paulo. One of the key features of the course was that it was the first time that the Flourishing Business Canvas was publicly taught in Brazil, helping participants from many of Brazil’s largest energy companies to explore new business opportunities using its systemic structure for truly sustainable businesses.