GSD: Getting Stuff Done

First. Blog post. Ever.

When I was asked to be a blogger, I didn’t know what I’d find to write about. What theme would my blog have? Why would anyone read it? Then I thought of all the really interesting blogs I’ve read that contain really cool ideas — ideas that I’ve taken from theory to execution. And it came to me — my blog theme would be “Getting Stuff Done” — a tag line I’ve become a bit notorious for using! So this post — and future ones — will present ideas that I’ve come across that I think are worth spreading and how I’ve incorporated them into my practice of internal auditing. I hope you’ll find they inspire you to THINK different, BE different, DO different.

Strategy: Internal auditors constantly are urged to be more strategic. Get involved in strategic projects. Provide strategic risk assessments. Serve in more strategic capacities. But what does that mean? What is strategy?


The Idea: Business Model Canvas

To be relevant to strategic conversations, you need to have a point of view on what’s strategic. A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value. Sounds like strategy to me. The Business Model Canvas is a cool tool for capturing a business model on one page (see box; download the free 72-page PDF for more details). 

These are the nine Building Blocks you fill out to create a business model:

  1. Customer segments — An organization serves one or several customer segments.
  2. Value propositions — It seeks to solve customer problems and satisfy customer needs with value propositions.
  3. Channels — Value propositions are delivered to customers through communication, distribution, and sales channels.
  4. Customer relationships — Customer relationships are established and maintained with each customer segment.
  5. Revenue streams — Revenue streams result from value propositions successfully offered to customers.
  6. Key resources — Key resources are the assets required to offer and deliver the previously described elements …
  7. Key activities — … by performing key activities.
  8. Key partnerships — Some activities are outsourced and some resources are acquired outside the enterprise.
  9. Cost structure — The business model elements result in the cost structure.

The Execution: Fill these blocks out, and you will have articulated your business’ strategy. Use it to check it for completeness. Assess the assumptions underlying the business model. Provide assurance on the ability of the organization to deliver via the channels identified. You can even use it to design your internal audit organization! As Global IIA Chairman Paul Sobel challenged us this year, “Imagine the Possibilities!”

Posted on Sep 23, 2013 by Carolyn Saint

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  1.  Very informative, well-written article! Hope to read more posts.

  1. This is a good way to think about the organization as a whole and the department (IA) specifically. The other thing that I shold admit is I learned something cool today. GSD. Meetings, shmeetings, just GSD!!! 


    Hi Caroline, 

    thank you for your post.

    one question for you: is this the tool you have adopted when you developed your own strategic approach to IA at SevenEleven?

    I'll be looking forward to your feedback.

    iind regards.

    Douglas Monaco

  1. @Douglas Monaco:  I really just discovered this concept recently and am embracing it. I brought it to the IIA North American Board as a way to get more tactical with our board strategies. We are working through this even as we speak with the IIA leadership.  Our initial experience showed it to be a valuable tool to thinking differently and focusing on customers rather than business lines.  More to come!  Thanks for your comment.

  1.  Thank you Carolyn! Your blog, GSD, is a welcome addition to the those of Jacka and Chambers. The Business Model Canvas is a very very very simple way to tackle any organizations inner workings and get right to the heart of strategy. Thanks again and keep helping us to get stuff done.

  1.  @Larry C. Herzog Butler:  You know what EInstein said...Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. I think the Business Model Canvas strikes the right balance.  Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for taking the time to comment!  cds

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