Maggie O’Carroll – CEO The Women’s Organisation

Organisationally we’ve spent a lot of time exploring the Business Model Canvas as a tool for planning and communication recently. We are keen to offer the highest level of service we can to our clients, and so as new ideas surface that can support them in the design and development of their businesses, we want to jump on that and see how effective it can be.

The original version of the canvas was produced by Strategyzer whose template and online tutorial videos are particularly useful.  We also invited Amanda Brooks, Enterprise Education Development Manager at Lancaster University – leading experts in Business Model Canvas – to lead a session with myself and our wider team to explore how we can use it as an organisation.  Having worked in enterprise support for more than 20 years, the business plan has been something I’ve watched clients wrestle with, so looking at this tool as an alternative way to dig into the detail is interesting for me.

Maggie O'Carroll

We held a Business Model Canvas session during Learning at Work Week, and this was particularly useful for me in a few ways.  I was able to see how some of the team are using this in practice with clients, and through using the canvas to explore The Women’s Organisation I was able to more effectively communicate our organisation’s priorities to the team, and understand their perception of what we do.

Since we’ve undertaken this learning, myself and the management team have encouraged Business Advisers to implement this as a way to support clients who find the traditional business plan a barrier to business development.  I’ve also been reflecting on the model as I’m developing plans for our next phase of business support programmes and looking at how our service needs to evolve to suit client need.