About your Growth Coach
Greg is an accomplished senior executive and CEO turned entrepreneur. He studied computer science and then traveled to London to seek inspiration, where he worked for 2 years.
Returning to Australia after taking 6 months to drive across America, he won the lottery by finding work with Lend Lease, which he always tells people was his MBA. After 10 years at Lend Lease he realized he must leave that game and come to terms with what it means to "sell", because, after all, everyone should know how to convince a total stranger that they have something of value that's worth buying.
That gig was in the world of Apple Australia and it turned out to be a wild ride.
Greg was the primary reason that Apple Australia won the desktop computer tender for the newly minted second Telco in Australia; a company called Optus. In other words, he sold Optus on the business case for buying PC technology that was at least twice the price of IBM PCs.
That contract got Apple Australia back into the black and launched Greg into his long-term career consulting to startups, SMEs and corporates all over the world. Well, not quite; Greg admits he's never actually worked for a client based in Africa.
Recently he founded a Not-for-profit called SEVENmile Venture Lab, which he created to help strengthen local communities and provide pathways for entrepreneurial locals from Sydney's northern beaches.
For his work as a coach, Greg draws on 30 years in business, working with all kinds of companies all over the world. During that time he's created companies, helped startups grow, and helped people make crucial decisions about their career and business direction. Some of the artifacts in his extensive toolkit are listed below.
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“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” — Peter Drucker
“Nothing will fill your heart with a greater sense of regret than lying on your deathbed knowing that you did not live your life and do your dreams.” — Robin Sharma
Goals Playbook© is a tool that enables structure and simplicity in developing plans. Use it in
a workshop designed to help people create their plan (personal or business) for the next year, a single strategic objective, a financial goal, the desired sporting performance, or really anything that can make an impact on your life. It works for any age group and is a great device to introduce young people to planning to achieve a goal. It also lends itself to a review process at a future date, e.g. check it quarterly to assess progress or check it in 12 months and review how well you did. In a work context, the Goals Playbook© could be used by managers to help their direct reports develop a personal Playbook that is aligned with the overall corporate objectives. The use cases are endless.
Post-COVID Problem Scenarios
Now is an ideal time to be thinking and planning for opportunities as we emerge from the shadow of COVID-19.
Emerging from that shadow will not happen universally, unfortunately. It will happen progressively and that means that the nature of problems to be solved will change gradually and new problems will emerge that we hadn't thought about.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking that your future is grim or even hopeless. That is a path that leads to bad outcomes. The exercise I'm providing is valuable, even if you don't end up moving ahead to create a business of any size. The link below is to a Powerpoint version of the canvas.
Minimum Viable Canvas
If you aren't a Founder, put yourself in the position of wanting to start a company.
You may have been reading about LEAN Startup methodology, watching the many instructional videos, and playing around with Experiment Board, Value Proposition Canvas, Business Model Canvas, and numerous other tools.
What I have become aware of is that LEAN Startup has ironically evolved to become an overly complex process that is quite overwhelming. So, I'd like to offer an alternative model more grounded in the realities of Startup life. Founders are already under enormous pressure and have a myriad of concurrent tasks and challenges. Adopting my LEAN Hacking™ canvas is the best chance to either fail-fast or succeed but the pathway has to be easily grasped and followed.
The Minimum Viable Canvas© is a simpler way to start until there is repeatable traction, i.e. the Founder can prove that the value proposition cycle is repeatable and acceptable to customers who are prepared to pay to have their job done.
Apply the KISS principle to LEAN Startup.
How It All Started
The idea for the LEAN Hacking canvas came about when Greg Twemlow was mentoring at a startup accelerator in Wellington, New Zealand. Greg found that the entrepreneurs in the program struggled to apply the complex LEAN Startup canvas and Business Model canvas to their vision for a new company. In fact the founders were spending more time understanding these complex tools than validating their key assumptions. Having first searched for simpler tools and finding none, Greg decided that he'd devise a LEAN canvas that founders could use to "hack" their own canvas and use it to work through the LEAN startup model more quickly. Hence, Greg chose the terms, "LEAN Hacking" and "Minimum Viable Canvas".
Apply the KISS principle to LEAN Startup. The Minimum Viable Canvas© is ideal for disruptors, entrepreneurs and enterprise innovation teams who need to rapidly validate assumptions before developing products.
“To disrupt a world in constant change you are better to follow a (LEAN) compass than a detailed map. The LEAN Hacking™ Minimum Viable Canvas© and training workshop validate new venture decisions faster than any other LEAN tool.” – Greg Twemlow
Why a Minimum Viable Canvas©
In business, simplicity is the key to almost everything, no matter what industry or position you’re in. Keeping things reduced to the minimum viable product, whether that’s an actual product or something intangible like an idea or strategy, is essential to maintain focus and communicate effectively to stakeholders and observers. That means coming up with a concise plan you can easily convey to early adopters or coming up with a tight marketing strategy to bring to your team.
You may have been reading about LEAN Startup methodology, watching the many instructional videos, playing around with Experiment Board, LEAN Canvas, Value Proposition Canvas, Business Model Canvas and numerous other tools. You might be joining Webinars, attending LEAN MeetUps & conferences, spending time with a mentor and generally receiving loads of advice. You're trying to absorb the wisdom of gurus like Steve Blank and Eric Ries and you may have discovered brilliant people such as David Bland, Clay Christensen, Alistair Croll, Ash Maurya, Anita Newton, Grace Ng and Justin Wilcox.
If you are part of an Accelerator or Incubator you will very likely be following a rigorous and formalized LEAN program along with many Mentor advice sessions. And there is a fair chance that you are spending so much time studying all this LEAN Methodology content that you find yourself going slightly crazy and not making the kind of progress with your venture that you need to.
The LEAN Hacking™ Minimum Viable Canvas© (MVC) and 1 day workshop have been developed for early-stage Startups and enterprise Startups. The MVC is designed to be easy to understand and complete and is minimal by design, focusing on the most critical elements of idea and market validation. The 1 day workshop is perfect for teams that need to quickly understand how they can ideate, validate, devise and sell their concepts.
The Minimum Viable Canvas© was not designed for a mature business that needs to reimagine an existing business model. Tools like the Business Model Canvas are better suited for that task.
"LEAN Hacking" is a registered Trademark of Greg Twemlow & Co.
Innovation and the Minimum Viable Canvas©
The Discipline of Innovation
One of the most pernicious myths in innovation is that it is fundamentally a challenge of creativity. If we can only help our people be more creative, then the innovation will flow. Framed this way, innovation becomes an attribute. It becomes something innate and phenomenological. We can only set the right conditions (cue the loft space, denim and other ritual objects) and hope it happens. This is when we start calling for that “culture” of innovation.
Instead, if we frame innovation as a challenge of discipline—of learning to use the right methods, tools and approaches at the right times—then we quickly focus on very different imperatives:
We become students of innovation: We don’t expect someone without training to build a discounted cash flow model or develop a marketing segmentation. Nor would we expect someone new to an industry to already understand its structure and dynamics. So why do we expect our colleagues and leaders to suddenly manifest an ability to innovate? And why don’t we expect them to study innovation systematically—both the methods they should apply in different contexts (e.g., when to use lean and agile methods vs. design methods) as well as meaningful innovations in the surrounding landscape (e.g., what can we learn from companies like Uber)? Like any other business function or discipline, innovation has tradecraft that we can learn, practice and hone.
We measure methods and results: When we start seeing innovation as a discipline, then we also start focusing on what works and what doesn’t—and we set goals and measure results. This doesn’t mean we start asking for a 5-year financial projection two weeks into an initiative. It does mean paying attention to which inputs yield better outputs; did our time spent brainstorming in a room yield better ideas (doubtful), or did spending the same time studying our customers? We start reviewing our efforts, spotting where we made critical breakthroughs and where we missed key insights. This should be the point of “celebrating failure,” which, if we’re honest, is a silly thing to celebrate for its own virtue. We make sure we salvage all possible learning, and see how it can improve both our current business and our innovation capabilities. We also look across the range of innovation initiatives underway, and ask if they’re collectively addressing the right issues. Do they have the right balance of risk and likely return, and are we dedicating enough resources (time, money and people) to them?
We make innovation obligatory rather than optional: Finally, if we can see innovation as a discipline, then we can start demanding it from our organization. We can hold our team and business unit leaders accountable for sponsoring innovation initiatives, and charge our bright, high potential employees with developing. Some of the most powerful innovators in history, ranging from GE to Honda to Google, have connected involvement in innovation initiatives to career development, incentives and promotion—because innovation is what they expect from their future leaders. Innovation also becomes an investment that we start funding programmatically, instead of scraping budget dollars together each quarter, because it’s vital to the ongoing health and success of our business. We stop hoping innovation will happen and start requiring it from each other and ourselves.
Minimum Viable Canvas© 1 Day Workshop
Learn and apply the LEAN Hacking™ idea validation process,
Understand Business Model/Market fit, and validated start-up methods to avoid common mistakes,
Apply the Customer/Problem/Solution steps to rapidly validate ideas,
Apply the Business Model/Early Adopters/Sales Test to validate the business model and prove the sales pitch.
Who should attend:
Founders and teams looking for hands on tools to validate their idea. You could be a Founder, Senior Executive, Strategist, Innovation Manager, Accelerator Mentor, Entrepreneur, Consultant or Business Coach.
1 Day Workshop - Morning Session - Problem/Solution Fit
1 Day Workshop - Afternoon Session - Business Model/Market Fit
Venture Capital systems around the world are sponsoring disruption by spawning Exponential Organizations (ExOs). Examples include Uber disrupting the taxi industry, AirBnb disrupting the hotel industry, and NetFlix disrupting the TV industry. ExOs run at a pace 10x faster than established companies, and threaten the status quo of virtually every industry, worldwide. No exceptions.
Billable Viable Product
The BVP Model is the Future for Lean Startup Techniques because Consumers are making it so. The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) model has long been touted as an efficient lean startup technique that can save companies massive amounts of resources, in terms of both money and time. The MVP model poses a series of challenges that make it important to quickly morph the MVP into the Billable Viable Product model. A BVP doesn’t allow for complacency because you have an obligation to your clients to fulfill and exceed their expectations – an obligation that’s non-existent with MVP.