We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us ~ Joseph Cambell
What We Did
Today’s sessions focussed on business and career canvassing, drawing from The Business Model Generation’s Business Model Canvas and our proprietary Career Canvas. The group was given three business case studies to choose from to dissect and map onto the Business Model Canvas in teams. The Career Canvas was set as an optional assignment for those who were looking to plan and activate their career plans, as opposed to a new business venture. After lunch, the group broke out into different teams for a Brute Think and Object Brainstorm activity - a creativity enhancing technique for solving root causes with innovative solutions. Teams presented their solutions as an advertisement and collectively voted on which of the team’s solutions they would pay for. Students were given the rest of the day to work on their canvasses and team presentations of their business model case studies.
What We Observed
- Because this year’s Change Venturers encompassed both entrepreneurs and career professionals, the students were asked to work in teams to fill out the Business Model Canvas based on an existing business; this way, all the students were able to get familiar with the framework and key elements of the business canvas. Our entrepreneur students later took time to complete the Business Model Canvas for their own ventures. Our career-driven students applied the modified framework of the Career Canvas to plan and structure the way forward. Some students completed both canvasses in parallel, in order to cross reference their career and business goals.
- Interestingly, students who did not work on the Business Model Canvas for themselves shared that it provided a helpful framework for researching and understanding competitor businesses.
- The Brute Think and Object Brainstorm activity were fun and simple team exercises to help students apply basic design thinking principles and innovative solution finding.
- It was helpful for students to learn both the Business Model and Career Canvas in order to gauge which framework was best suited for them.
- One key takeaway from the Brute Think and Object brainstorm activity is the importance of creating value that people want to pay for. Creating a super cool gadget that you love is great, but designing a commercially viable product/service requires customer buy-in. Having students vote for the team concept and advertisement that compelled them to invest their dollars drove this point home and showed us that good (customer-centric) design makes a good impression - a key driver behind customer spending decisions.