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  • Writer's picturewilliam wright

A different way to guide commercial decision-making

Updated: Jan 23

AdaptomyDNA is a new framework, ontology, taxonomy, narrative and methodology for commercial strategy and operations. It's a practical approach to creating and delivering customer and commercial value. It's a new way to think of commercial strategy and operations, it's a different way of thinking about marketing, sales and any other more conventional commercial function. It's focused on business outcomes and market impact, how value is created and delivered, not simply the categorisation and configuration of functions.


 


Clarity and consistency

Since the foundation of Adaptomy over 6 years ago[1] the primary goal of AdaptomyDNA has been to provide a common reference model for commercial strategists and practitioners.

It’s a way to bring clarity, consistency, and completeness to fractured functional commercial operations and organisation. It’s based on over 70 commercial disciplines that help answer critical commercial questions. These disciplines are organised in five primary clusters: Sense, Re-think, Propagate and Renew. These clusters reflect thinking about management of complex systems, progressive leadership, agile, adaptive strategies, opertaing model design, and organisational resilience.


Going beyond convention

AdaptomyDNA goes beyond conventional approaches and organisational models that are past their sell-by-date, offering its users a flexible yet connected suite of disciplines which they can organise to suit their specific needs.


You won’t find things like the 4P’s[1] listed as a discipline, or ABM as a method, or functional grouping like marketing and PR[2]. Instead, you’ll see the components and connections amongst commercial strategy and operational disciplines that can be organised in a wide variety of ways to suit operational and organisational needs. It’s these disciplines that systematically create and deliver customer and commercial value. Functions, although still important, are seen within AdaptomyDNA as organisational wrappers, (collections of disciplines), that can be intoduced at a later stage depending on roles and responsibilities and how the business would like to structure itself.


Focus on business discipline

Disciplines in this sense are the inputs, processes, diagnostics, tools, techniques, roles, responsibilities, capabilities, outputs, outcomes and human factors within a commercial operation that produce value. Key flows, inputs and outputs connect processes throughout the model. In this respect it’s essentially a discipline framework, a connected process model, a system.


We've mapped these processes in a process mapping tool to understand the connectivity, roles and responsibilities as well as provide more detail about the process internals. What we've found is that most of the 'processes' are far from linear, they are, at the same time cyclical, highly iterative and interactive, 'always on processes', (although it has to be said, some are more or less complex or complicated than others, and some might be considered to be fairly simple).



It's been used to:


·         Place customers at the heart of business

·         Answer questions of commercial due diligence

·         Understand how to shape organisation to drive better outcomes

·         Fix specific operational problems – improve a specific discipline

·         Align commercial operations and optimise capabilities

·         Organise around POD’s and Squads

·         Diagnose performance issues

·         Eliminate functional siloes

·         Drive more customer and commercial value


It’s not rocket science

It’s not complicated, it’s a reflection of what actually happens to create and deliver commercial strategy and operations that deliver customer and commercial value. In essence AdaptomyDNA is fairly simple. It’s been designed to focus on answering business and commercial challenges. Challenges like those reflected in the illustration below.


The illustration below shows sub-clusters, within each of these sub-clusters are groups of specific disciplines that help resolve each of the challenges. If there are different challenges to be explored or overcome, then disciplines can be grouped in a different way. Or in the simplest case one discipline can be isolated and worked on, that's sometimes how things start, a specific pain, or an itch in one specific discipline that needs looked at,



Designed with the outcomes in mind.

AdaptomyDNA is configured and organised around answering key business and commercial challenges, not around functional siloes, although if that’s what you want, you can do that too. It's designed to be adaptive, allowing strategists and practitioners to pick and configure several disciplines to help explore and overcome their commercial challenges.


First, it provides a framework to recognise and explore the kinds of questions being asked, and align key disciplines to help deliver outcomes. Different 'paths' or clusters can be built to explore and deliver different outcomes. In a way it can be seen as a set of strategy and operations building blocks that can be arranged within different operational and organisational models. It has been used to help start-up, high growth, VC and PE firms and corporates systematically answer straightforward business challenges like this:


1.    What markets are attractive?

2.    What are our big ideas?

3.    What does it take to win in-market?

4.    What’s the market fit?

5.    How should we go to market?

6.    How should we scale and grow?

7.    Are we winning?


Measuring success

There are many metrics and measures associated with AdaptomyDNA, some at a granular level measure performance of specific disciplines, others reflect collective measurement of multiple disciplines and other are more universal. In fact, metrics and measures was where it all began over 20 years ago, but that’s another story.


One of the things we’ve learnt is that many metrics and measures are useful in combination at different times. However, some metrics and measures, which today are popular, can be misleading if used in the wrong way and some are just useless or plain wrong (Marketing ROI). What’s important is that the metrics and measures are focus firstly with the disciplines, the things being done that create or deliver value, eliminating those activities that don't. It's only important to measure functional performance one an oprganisational model is agreed.


Some of the more prominent, (obvious) universal focus areas for commercial metrics and measures are:


  • Market value and market share

  • Number of customers

  • Revenue, margin, and cash flow

  • Brand prominence and reputation

  • Customer feedback

  • Innovation

  • Operating model performance

  • Intellectual capital and intangible asset value


While there are many more metrics and measures that can be used from time to time for very specific purposes, there are surprisingly few that are really needed to guide performance. The trick is knowing which group of metrics and measures are the right ones to effectively measure outcomes in specific situations. That’s’ where it helps to know which disciplines are relevant to explore and realise the kinds of outcomes the business is looking for.


Continued development

AdaptomyDNA continues to develope through addition and refinement of discplines, processes, inputs, outputs, diagnostics, through the configuration of dispclines to provide different buisness outcomes. We're also building a new community for commercial innovators called AdaptomyREACH. In the community we are sharing our insight, prodiding snap shot and deep explanation of disciplines, providing access to diagnostics, process models, tools and techniques that support AdaptomyDNA. We are want to create a new focused and shared dialogue around AdaptomyDNA, what is is, what it can do, how it should evolve.


We continue to embrace new learning in complex system management, strategy, marketing, sales, performance and operational management theory. More importantly we are looking for people to join with us and develop better methods, tools and approaches in commercial strategy and operations. You can find out more about that through AdaptomyREACH.


We are also developing models specifically for start-up, scale-up, established corporate and market leaders.

If you would like to know more you can contact us directly, register your interest in AdaptomyREACH or AdaptomyDNA or connect with us on Linkedin- we'd love to here from you.


 

[1] Adaptomy was founded to commercialise the work of Brand Intellect which created the first instances (over 20 years ago), of what is now called AdaptomyDNA. These were developed through commercial projects focused on defining systematic commercial, marketing and sales strategy and operations with several major clients


[2] There are many approaches used in commercial strategy and operations, however they are not all disciplines or methods, some of them are little more than guidelines or focus areas. Some of them have stood the test of time and are important. They often help prioritise or emphasise key facets of commercial strategy and operations, they can provide useful guidance, but some are incomplete and their interpretation and implementation can be inconsistent. However, within AdaptomyDNA valuable ones are recognised and explained but are not always considered disciplines. Where we think there are gaps we show how AdaptomyDNA can be used to fill them

 

[3] Marketing and PR are important elements of any commercial operation. Theories of brand, marketing and reputation management are well advanced and there's plenty of good academic literature. However, elements of the comercial landscape like marketing and PR are often implemented as functions, their construct and organisation differs from one company to the next. That often means their operation and performance can't be compared or benchmarked. However, what’s more important is that underlying commercial disciplines, are clearly understood and well executed, that roles and responsibilities are aligned and allocated in the right way, and that value is created and delivered. AdaptomyDNA provides an operational framework to help make this happen, so that businesses can design their organisation with confidence, in any way they like.



 

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