Organizations trend toward being average because they stick with what they know. Being exceptional requires additional effort and resources, which is something that many people perceive that they may not have. Leaders may also not have the willingness to expend the energy to make a change to a system that appears to be working just fine. Money is coming in, so why worry about what’s next?

Getting to next is the challenge.

What’s the best way to do it? It’s not necessarily about taking chances. Taking the next step starts with seeing the big picture and then creating a path to get to where you need to go.

One of my favorite tools is the Business Model Canvas because it enables people to see the big picture, but it also allows them to see the details that need to be developed. As one factor is adjusted, you can see the potential impact on the adjacent function. Moving back and forth between multiple factors at once is more effective than working through a problem in a linear manner.

I’m an architect by training and I found this particular tool to be an abstraction of the way architects think about design problems. When you can see the macro and micro perspective simultaneously, then you are in a better position to see not only where you are going, but also how each step you take impacts your journey.

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