Creating a pattern is the result of the repetition of a process. Coherent patterns can extend into the future, but their strength tends to diminish over time.

It’s not unlike what happens when a stone drops into water. There is a large splash at first, and then successive waves extend outward. Sustained waves are dependent upon stones consistently dropping into the water at regular intervals. Run out of stones and the pattern will eventually fade away.

This is similar to what happens to a company that is trying to answer the question of “what’s next?”

Companies often struggle with creating consistent levels of innovative products for people to buy. The market either shifts or the company hasn’t figured out how to evolve. The tendency is that a company will strive to maximize it’s profits on a particular offering rather than consistently work to explore future growth opportunities.

This is where forward thinking leaders can make an impact.

The work of a leader is to take what appears to be a randomly occurring set of actions, coordinate and align them, and enable them to work together to create some new source of value. This is not unlike what a coach does to a team in order to transform them into a unit that can work together, handle adversity, and win.

The tricky thing is having someone that can see the potential among the raw resources at one’s disposal.

I have found the Business Model Canvas in particular to be a useful tool to help people visualize the potential in an organization. In one sense, it systematizes the pattern making process. Once the relationships between the elements of an organization are resolved, the process of creating value tends to flow.

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