RoundMap® Framework 101: Mastering Holistic Business Transformation

RoundMap® Framework 101: Mastering Holistic Business Transformation

As we approach the final stages of the current business cycle, marked by maturing technological advancements, the landscape for executives and managers becomes increasingly complex and unpredictable. This phase is often characterized by disruptive new technologies poised to impact existing revenue streams significantly.

Additionally, today’s challenges are multifaceted and extend beyond just technological shifts. Global competition intensifies, digital disruption reshapes markets, customer behavior remains erratic and difficult to predict, supply chains are frequently disrupted, and various government-imposed restrictions add complexity to the business environment. These factors collectively contribute to a scenario where traditional growth models may no longer be effective, necessitating a strategic rethink.

In this context, businesses must adopt a more adaptive, forward-thinking approach. Embracing innovation and flexibility becomes crucial to navigating these turbulent times. The need for a framework that can effectively respond to these dynamic changes is evident.

The RoundMap® Framework, with its holistic and adaptable approach, becomes particularly relevant in this scenario. It offers a strategic toolkit designed to help businesses navigate these uncertain times by focusing on sustainable growth, resilience, and the ability to adapt to market changes and technological disruptions quickly.

The Imperative for an Holistic Approach

The RoundMap® Framework is an innovative, comprehensive approach to transforming businesses’ operations and strategies. It’s designed to navigate the complexities of the modern business world by integrating various operational and strategic aspects. The framework empowers organizations to achieve sustainable and equitable growth through a holistic, customer-focused approach emphasizing continuous improvement and strategic excellence. RoundMap® guides companies in creating meaningful impact in their industries and societies, fostering a harmonious blend of profitability, functionality, and societal impact.

Let’s summarize some of the critical aspects covered by RoundMap® in dealing with complexity:

In today’s intricate business environment, having a breadth of perspective is crucial for effective decision-making. This wide-ranging viewpoint enables leaders to comprehend the multifaceted nature of their business, considering various aspects such as market trends, internal dynamics, and external influences. It allows for decisions informed by diverse, objective, and inclusive insights, vital for navigating the complex interplay of factors influencing business today. Additionally, a broad perspective fosters intuitive and informed decision-making, essential for anticipating and responding to the rapid changes and uncertainties that characterize the modern business world. By embracing a holistic view, leaders can make faster, more robust decisions that are attuned to the nuanced realities of their industry, ensuring sustainability and competitiveness in an ever-evolving landscape.

In the swiftly evolving business world, companies are constantly navigating the dual challenge of protecting their existing markets while exploring new avenues for growth. In this dynamic landscape, about 80% of the workforce might focus on maintaining operational stability with a fixed mindset, anchoring the ‘business-as-usual’ approach. However, a critical 20% must pivot to a growth mindset, championing ‘change-as-usual’ to drive innovation and progress.

This transition isn’t straightforward. The 20% tasked with fostering change have often been ingrained in linear, traditional methods of thinking. Expecting instant transformation into roles demanding creativity, curiosity, and ingenuity is unrealistic. Such a metamorphosis requires a nurturing environment where experimentation and learning from mistakes are encouraged.

Leadership plays a pivotal role in this transformation. It’s imperative for leaders to cultivate a culture that values safety in experimentation. They must foster an environment where speaking up, taking initiative, and trying new approaches are not only accepted but encouraged. This nurturing of a growth mindset, underpinned by support and guidance, is crucial in navigating the complexities of today’s business environment and unlocking the creative potential of the workforce.

Conditional Awareness is critical in today’s business world, focusing on understanding the multitude of internal and external factors impacting a business. Conditional Leadership transcends Hersey’s Situational Leadership®, which emphasizes adapting to enhance an individual’s performance readiness, by instead aligning leadership decisions with the broader operational context. By being keenly attuned to market dynamics, industry trends, organizational culture, and stakeholder expectations, leaders can effectively mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities. This holistic awareness allows for strategic decision-making and leadership adaptation, ensuring the business remains agile and resilient in a complex and ever-evolving environment.

Increasing market sensibility is crucial for businesses to stay ahead in a rapidly changing environment. The most effective way to understand emerging trends, shifts in customer behavior, competitive dynamics, and new entrants is through a constant, hands-on engagement with the market. This approach is exemplified by IBM’s experience in 1993, where despite reporting the largest corporate loss at the time, it was found that salespeople, through direct customer interactions, had already recognized the need for change, a perspective that management had long ignored. This highlights the limitations of traditional market research, which, while useful, can often be slow and miss out on capturing the implicit or tacit needs of customers. In contrast, direct market engagement provides real-time insights and deeper understanding, enabling businesses to respond swiftly and effectively to market changes and hidden customer needs.

Addressing the challenge of mental and functional silos in organizations, particularly those that are large and structured around specific products or markets, is a key aspect of the RoundMap framework. These silos often lead to a lack of synergy, hampering innovation, deteriorating customer experiences, and reducing satisfaction. To counter these issues, RoundMap proposes innovative solutions like the Constellation of Teams. This approach involves forming diverse, interconnected teams, each contributing varied perspectives and expertise. By bringing together these diverse teams in a constellation-like structure, organizations can foster a more holistic and collaborative environment. This setup not only helps in breaking down silos but also encourages a free flow of ideas and information, leading to more robust problem-solving, improved innovation, and enhanced customer satisfaction, all while maintaining organizational stability.

By prioritizing value creation from the customer’s perspective, firms can significantly boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. This approach requires a workforce endowed with high emotional intelligence, as it’s crucial to understand and empathize with customer needs and experiences deeply. Emotionally intelligent personnel are key in forging stronger connections with customers, ensuring that the company’s offerings and interactions are not just transactional but resonate on a more personal and emotional level. Such a shift to a customer-driven focus, underpinned by empathetic and intuitive understanding of customer needs, can transform the customer experience, leading to enhanced loyalty and long-term business success.

The imperative of increasing employee engagement cannot be overstated, as an alienated workforce can significantly damage a company’s bottom line. Providing employees with meaningful and challenging work, along with encouraging self-organization, not only fosters a more engaged and motivated workforce but also translates into substantial financial benefits. According to Gallup’s Human Sigma, companies with highly engaged frontlines see 1.7 times better financial results. The impact is even more pronounced when both employees and customers are engaged; such a dual focus can lead to financial results that are 3.4 times better. This underscores the dual benefit of nurturing a work environment that values and actively engages its employees, leading to improved performance, customer satisfaction, and overall financial success.

Equally imperative is the need to increase customer engagement, as it offers substantial financial benefits. When customers are actively engaged and encouraged to provide genuine feedback and innovative ideas for improvement, companies can achieve a remarkable 1.7 times better financial performance, as highlighted by Gallup’s Human Sigma. However, the potential for financial rewards doubles when a company simultaneously engages both employees and customers. Such a dual engagement strategy can lead to an impressive 3.4 times improvement in financial results. This underscores the transformative impact of fostering genuine and collaborative relationships with customers, which not only enhances their satisfaction but also drives innovation and ultimately drives financial success.

Providing clarity across all aspects of an organization—vision, strategy, purpose, and mission—is imperative for several reasons. Without this clarity, there is a lack of focus, consistency, alignment, passion, and commitment within the organization. As Paul Ruskens suggested, high performance emerges when there is clarity of vision and the ability to build connections. To attain this level of performance, it’s vital to have a clear vision and ensure clarity in strategy, purpose, and mission, creating a cohesive and aligned organization driven by passion and commitment toward its goals.

Striving for significance, whether as a brand, company, product or in relationships, is imperative because it transcends mere relevance. While a relevant product may meet current customer needs, a product perceived as significant has the power to anticipate and satisfy future customer demands. Significance is the cornerstone of forging lasting and profound customer bonds, fostering loyalty, and ultimately driving customer lifetime value. It signifies a commitment to continuous innovation, empathy, and an unwavering dedication to meeting not just the present but also the evolving needs and aspirations of customers, resulting in enduring relationships and sustained success.

Harnessing customer feedback is imperative for driving meaningful innovation, enhancing customer satisfaction, and fostering a perception of future value. To achieve these goals, it’s essential to establish a continuous customer feedback loop. This loop serves as a vital channel for understanding customer needs, preferences, and pain points in real-time. By actively listening to customers, organizations can identify areas for improvement, fine-tune their products or services, and stay ahead of evolving customer expectations. This not only leads to the development of more customer-centric solutions but also reinforces the belief that the organization is committed to delivering ongoing value, strengthening customer relationships, and ensuring long-term success.

The imperative of redesigning the business model extends to understanding how to benefit from digitalization and new digital-driven business models while embracing sustainable practices. It’s not only about achieving short-term gains but also about ensuring sustained growth that secures the future of the company in an environmentally responsible manner. Embracing digital innovation and reimagining the business model not only enhances competitiveness in the digital age but also enables organizations to adopt sustainable practices that reduce their environmental footprint. This holistic approach allows companies to tap into emerging opportunities, expand their market reach, improve operational efficiency, and contribute positively to a sustainable future. By aligning the business model with both digital innovation and sustainability principles, organizations can position themselves for long-term success while prioritizing environmental responsibility and societal well-being.

The imperative of distributing authority challenges common practices during market contractions, advocating for a different approach. Instead of consolidating and centralizing control, firms should embrace a model that engages, empowers, and entrusts employees with decision-making authority. While consolidation and resource interdependencies may yield short-term financial gains, they often result in increased fragility, hampering the organization’s readiness to adapt to change. By distributing authority, organizations not only foster a culture of agility and innovation but also enhance their resilience in the face of market turbulence. This approach encourages proactive problem-solving, taps into diverse perspectives, and ultimately positions the company for sustained success in a dynamic and ever-evolving business landscape.

The imperative of co-creating the future is not just about alignment but also involves harnessing the power of Positive Inquiry, derived from a collective understanding of the company’s strengths. By involving people in this process, organizations can unleash a remarkable potential for transformation. This approach not only reveals untapped opportunities but also serves as a powerful catalyst for getting everyone engaged, committed, and accountable. When individuals participate in shaping the future based on the positive aspects of the organization, it fosters a sense of ownership and pride. This, in turn, fuels their motivation to actively contribute to the organization’s success. In essence, co-creating the future through Positive Inquiry creates a dynamic and inclusive environment where strengths are amplified, and individuals are inspired to collaboratively drive the organization forward with passion and dedication.

The imperative of building cross-functional teams arises from the need to break down silos, which often result from formal, mechanistic organizational structures. To achieve this, we propose facilitating organic roundtables that encourage horizontal collaboration and information sharing. Silos, characterized by the hoarding of information, can inadvertently foster self-proclaimed experts who wield power and resist structural change. Such behaviors not only hinder organizational learning but also create roadblocks to innovation and adaptability. Building cross-functional teams dismantles these barriers, promoting a culture of openness and collaboration that transcends traditional departmental boundaries. This approach not only enhances knowledge sharing but also fosters a more agile and responsive organization, better equipped to navigate the complexities of today’s business landscape.

The imperative of democratizing data underscores the importance of breaking down data silos to create a seamless and connected customer experience. When data is fragmented and inaccessible, it results in disjointed customer interactions, uninformed managerial decisions, and organizational chaos. To address this, organizations should deploy an enterprise-wide customer data platform (CDP) that consolidates data from various sources to form a unified profile of each customer. This unified data resource empowers companies to personalize customer experiences effectively, ensuring that every interaction is informed by a holistic understanding of the customer’s preferences and history. By democratizing data through a CDP, organizations can enhance customer satisfaction and drive more informed decision-making, ultimately leading to improved customer relationships and organizational efficiency.




The need for psychological safety is paramount, as research by Google and other organizations has revealed that the highest-performing teams don’t excel solely due to talent, resources, or financial investments. Out of a comprehensive study of 250 factors, the key distinguishing factor for exceptional teams was psychological safety. Teams that lacked this environment of trust and openness tended to underperform. Psychological safety creates an atmosphere where team members can voice their opinions, take risks, and share their ideas without fear of criticism or judgment. This fosters a culture of innovation, collaboration, and learning, enabling teams to reach their full potential and deliver outstanding results.

Analyzing gaps is essential, as experts employ Gap Analysis to scrutinize potential discrepancies that could lead to a growth gap, signifying the disparity between the current and desired growth rates. These gaps can manifest in various forms, such as aspiration, capabilities, communication, customer, and delivery gaps, among others. Organizations can effectively strategize and plan for sustainable growth by comprehensively understanding these gaps and constraints. Identifying and addressing these disparities is fundamental in aligning organizational objectives with achievable outcomes, ultimately driving success and progress.

Navigating Business Cycles

We find ourselves in the final stages of the 5th K-wave, a business cycle that spans approximately 53 years and originated around 1971. Remarkably, many products and business models stemming from the 1960s and 1970s innovations, such as the transistor, Kevlar, lasers, and the computer mouse, are simultaneously reaching their end-of-life phase. Concurrently, recent innovations powered by cutting-edge inventions are poised for significant breakthroughs. These include 5G technology for autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things, quantum computers with unparalleled data processing capabilities, AI applications in manufacturing, autonomous building systems, advanced cancer diagnosis methods like CRISPR Cas9, and human genome sequencing, among others.

While sudden advancements are typically celebrated, the impending disruptions from these technological leaps can trigger anxiety and fear in the workforce. Most managers, conditioned to think linearly, have long believed that reaching a goal from point A to point B involves following a predetermined set of steps. However, linearly connecting the proverbial dots in a climate of unpredictable change can lead the company toward a precipice. This underscores the need for a paradigm shift in thinking, where adaptability, creativity, and embracing uncertainty become paramount, steering organizations away from the pitfalls of rigid linear thought processes in an era defined by erratic change and technological transformation.

The Ruling Mode of Operation

To delve deeper into the transition from the 5th to the 6th K-wave, it’s essential to understand that your firm’s mode of operation hinges on whether you find yourself riding the remnants of the 5th outbound K-wave or are at the cusp of the inbound 6th K-wave.

When you’re part of the outbound wave, it’s akin to being in a Consolidator Mode, necessitating a defensive posture while simultaneously exploring new avenues for innovative ventures. In contrast, when you’re part of the impending inbound wave, you likely adopt a Challenger Mode. This involves seeking overlooked market segments, questioning existing assumptions, and aspiring to disrupt incumbents.

To effectively navigate this complex terrain, you must adopt an integrated perspective and consider critical aspects, such as:

  • Identifying Disruption: Understand the root causes of disruption and develop strategies to respond to them effectively.
  • Defending Market Share: Assess the sustainability of your market share defense and explore ways to extend your product’s lifecycle or innovate.
  • Business Model Innovation: Explore alternative business models that might offer new avenues for sustained growth.
  • Digital Transformation: Seek opportunities to become more cost-effective and enhance customer experiences through digitalization.
  • Value Chain Optimization: Consider decoupling segments of the value chain and forging strategic partnerships for improved efficiency.
  • Customer-Centric Approach: Understand the “jobs to be done” by your customers and evaluate if your current product aligns with their needs.
  • Untapped Market Segments: Investigate overlooked market segments where you can position your company for success.
  • Identifying Constraints: Identify gaps and constraints within your organization that may hinder progress.
  • Scenarios for Growth: Explore various growth scenarios and potential strategies to adapt to the changing business landscape.
  • Increasing Impact: Explore opportunities for making a meaningful impact, not just in terms of profits but also in contributing positively to society and addressing societal challenges.

By addressing these aspects and embracing an integrated perspective, businesses can effectively navigate the transition between K-waves, ensuring resilience, innovation, and sustained growth in an ever-evolving environment.

Transitioning Business Cycles: A Scrimmage of Archetypes

Historically, the preference for linear business thinking has led to centralized, top-down leadership structures. Typically, CEOs make most decisions, cascading down a hierarchical chain. This approach, geared towards maximizing productivity and consistency, is practical in situations requiring precise execution.

However, this model faces challenges as growth slows and employee trust in CEOs wanes, as findings like the Edelman Trust Barometer indicate. Such rigid bureaucratic structures are becoming less effective, signaling the need for a new way of thinking and organizing.

In today’s business environment, companies typically operate in either ‘Consolidator’ or ‘Challenger’ modes. Consolidators focus on protecting current revenue streams, possibly by supporting scalable initiatives or even exiting operations. In contrast, Challengers seek to innovate and disrupt.

The Imperative of Obtaining a Holistic View

When we embarked on the journey to create a system for responsible growth, we soon realized that without the unwavering support of top executives, our system’s chances of successful implementation were slim. Research findings strongly indicated that fostering both customer and employee engagement could yield remarkable results, such as a 3.4 times increase in financial effectiveness (Human Sigma, 2008), a 2.7 times boost in operating margins (Towers Watson, 2011), and a noteworthy 22% year-over-year improvement in net income (Kotter & Haskett, 2011). However, it became evident that achieving these outcomes necessitated robust leadership backing and cultivating a workplace culture in which frontline employees were entrusted with authority and empowered to act.

Hence, organizations must take a holistic view of their entire business enterprise to harness the advantages of a highly engaged workforce and a loyal customer following. Every facet is interconnected: you cannot cultivate customer loyalty without developing exceptional products; fulfilling promises is impossible when supply chains are in disarray; crafting a digital vision relies on continuous customer feedback, and sustainable growth hinges on a collective commitment to a shared vision, strategy, purpose, and mission. This interconnectedness underscores the need for a comprehensive approach that addresses all aspects of the business to thrive in today’s complex landscape.

From Siloed to System Thinking

RoundMap®, our proprietary integrated business framework, was meticulously crafted using an approach deeply rooted in Systems Thinking. Systems thinking, more of a mindset than a rigid practice, offers a holistic perspective to explore various factors and their intricate interactions contributing to potential outcomes. 

When we adopt a systems thinking mindset, we view the world as an intricate web of interconnected systems, recognizing our role within this intricate tapestry. This perspective empowers us to make informed decisions, excel as team members, suppliers, or strategic partners, and uncover countless innovative avenues to enhance productivity in all facets of our corporate lives.

From Linear to Circular Progression

Business strategy, often depicted as a linear journey from point A to point B, may give the impression of a straightforward, step-by-step growth plan. However, in reality, business growth is far from linear. A more accurate analogy is to view progress as a vertical ascent, akin to navigating a circular staircase. In this perspective, objectives and goals become like the steps of a spiral staircase, each representing a necessary stage to ascend from one level or floor to the next.


The Value Hub Theory (Value Actor)

My journey to formulate the Framework commenced in 2012 when I was approached to aid a local radio station in transforming from a conventional broadcasting company into a dynamic two-way communications entity. During a collaborative brainstorming session, I uncovered a profound ‘systemic pattern’ that ultimately led to the development of the Value Hub theory – now renamed the Value Actor theory.

In essence, this theory posits that every entity possesses both a value deficit and a surplus. When two Value Hubs are naturally drawn together, it’s because one hub can fulfill the deficit of the other, initiating the flow of value between them. As the deficit is gradually replenished and equilibrium is achieved, both Hubs naturally disengage, as there is no longer a compelling reason to remain connected.

In the context of partnerships and collaborations with others, forming intricate value circles, the central hub transforms into a node. However, what became increasingly evident through these interactions was that many relationships in the business landscape remained stagnant, failing to unlock their full potential. This realization prompted the evolution of the initial Value Hub theory into the more comprehensive Value Actor theory.

Navigating Porter's Value Chain Theory

Our journey into refining the Value Hub theory began by drawing inspiration from Michael Porter’s Value Chain theory. Initially, our focus was on delineating the activities within the Value Hub, particularly those related to customer interaction. It became evident that existing marketing and sales models, often depicted as linear funnel analogies, fell short of encompassing the evolving social dynamics emerging with the proliferation of social networks and dynamic web technologies. 

These emerging social dynamics spurred a fundamental shift in marketing towards emphasizing customer satisfaction, engagement, and advocacy. We realized the customer interaction process should not be viewed as a finite, linear journey from suspect to purchase. Instead, it should be perceived as an ongoing lifecycle marked by continuous interactions and relationship-building. This circular motion, driven by social dynamics, laid the foundation for what we now know as the Customer Lifecycle Map.

Furthermore, as we delved deeper into the Value Chain theory, we found the conventional separation of primary and secondary activities impractical. Instead, we divided the value chain along the supply chain on one end and the demand chain on the other. 

This arrangement facilitated a more comprehensive understanding of SWOT Analysis and provided a clear demarcation between backstage and onstage competitive advantages, enhancing our ability to dissect and optimize business strategies.

The Siloed Organization

Through our extensive leadership experience in various companies, we’ve witnessed the detrimental impact of functional silos, a byproduct of bureaucratic structures, on horizontal collaboration. It became evident that Taylorism, initially confined to production processes, had permeated every department and division within organizations. While Ricardo Semler had effectively highlighted the negative consequences of Taylorism on factory floors, few recognized its parallel effects on customer disconnection in frontline operations. In many cases, frontline employees lacked awareness of or interest in identifying customers, let alone enhancing their experiences.

To effectively drive the customer lifecycle process, firms must address the entrenched dynamics of silos. Harvard’s Heidi Gardner’s research supports this notion, revealing that organizations with robust cross-functional collaboration enjoy increased customer loyalty and improved margins. In today’s digital age, characterized by rapid technological transformation, globalization, and the need for interdisciplinary cooperation, the ability to lead projects across silo boundaries is paramount for executives.

Survival and prosperity in this digital era demand effective communication and collaboration across silos, as digitalization hinges on discovering novel methods of creating value between these compartments. Furthermore, the corporate value chain has expanded beyond traditional boundaries to encompass crucial external partners in supply and demand chains. A highly interconnected, ideally digitized value chain has become a prerequisite for driving integrated business (IB) initiatives.

These findings align with the perspectives of thought leaders like Gillian Tett of the Financial Times, author Patrick Lencioni, and Harvard’s Vikram Mansharamani, who all emphasize the critical role of horizontal and cross-functional collaboration in the success of business endeavors, a viewpoint that we wholeheartedly endorse.

Division and Alienation

The absence of a common purpose and a clear understanding of the company’s objectives has resulted in the isolation of departments. In this fragmented state, each department vigorously protects its products and ideas, leading to a situation described by Gillian Tett as organizations filled with individuals who feel disconnected from the broader picture. This disconnectedness and alienation have profound effects on employee passion and commitment, a scenario reminiscent of the predictions made by Karl Marx.

It’s worth noting that Karl Marx, despite being of German origin, spent a significant portion of his life in exile in London due to his politically charged writings. His observations about the consequences of disconnectedness and alienation among workers in industrial society find resonance in contemporary organizational dynamics.

From Linear to Cyclical Thinking

To appreciate this, you’ll need to understand more about the characteristics of business cycles, in particular the Kondratieff long cycle or K-wave. We explain more about this phenomenon in the article Ascending from Decline. In summary: we’re in the final stage of a business cycle of about 53 years that started in 1971. In this technology-driven cycle, many products and business models are in decline, ready to be disrupted.

A linear way of thinking is inadequate, as its quality is to work efficiently toward a known future (high output, low cost). To ascend from decline and head toward an unknown future, executives must shift their focus to develop new products for new markets. This can only be achieved through a reiterative (cyclical) continuous learning process.

The distinction between linear and cyclical thinking is fundamental, particularly in organizational strategy and development. Here’s a way to understand and explain the differences:

  1. Linear Thinking:
    • Nature: Linear thinking is sequential and process-oriented. It follows a straight line, moving from point A to point B. This approach is common in traditional project management and operational processes.
    • Focus: The primary focus is on efficiency – doing things right. It’s about optimizing processes, reducing waste, and improving speed.
    • Application: It’s effective in stable, predictable environments where procedures and outcomes are clear and change is incremental.
    • Limitations: Linear thinking can be limiting in complex and dynamic situations. It struggles with adaptability and may overlook broader impacts and interconnections. It’s akin to following a set path without considering alternative routes or unexpected obstacles.
  2. Cyclical Thinking:
    • Nature: Cyclical or spiral thinking is iterative and dynamic. It resembles a spiral staircase where each cycle builds upon the previous one, allowing for continuous improvement and learning. It’s not just about moving forward but also about going deeper with each iteration.
    • Focus: The focus here is on effectiveness – doing the right things. It emphasizes understanding and adapting to changing environments, continuous learning, and holistic improvement.
    • Application: This approach thrives in complex, uncertain environments. It’s well-suited for innovation, problem-solving, and situations requiring systemic change.
    • Limitations: Cyclical thinking can be more time-consuming and may require a cultural shift in organizations used to linear methods. It demands flexibility and openness to change, which can be challenging to implement.

In summary, while linear thinking is akin to following a straight path to a predetermined destination, cyclical thinking is like ascending a spiral staircase, where each loop brings a broader perspective and deeper understanding. Linear thinking optimizes your path, whereas cyclical thinking continually reevaluates and evolves the path. The first is about efficiency in execution, and the latter is about long-term effectiveness through adaptation and learning.

Given RoundMap®’s emphasis on whole-system transformation and breaking away from short-term profit making, embracing cyclical thinking aligns perfectly with your mission to foster continuous innovation, adaptability, and sustainable, collective success.

Consequently, while beneficial in a more predictable market, the linear and masculine command and control structure doesn’t help the firm in times of unprecedented and unpredictable change. Instead, leadership has to rely on more collaborative, distributive, and supporting management structures, taken from practices like servant leadership, stewardship, holacracy, or sociocracy – all captured in Consentricity.

Outlining the Framework

RoundMap® consists of several components (as of 2021, more were added over time):

  • The Business Navigator: consisting of a map to discover, design, develop, and direct sustainable business ventures.
  • The Business Model Matrix: consisting of four foundational business models.
  • The Customer Lifecycle Map: comprising a comprehensive map of every aspect of customer interaction, including the social dynamics and emotional triggers.

The Framework combines non-linear (roundtrip) and linear (roadmap) mappings, explaining the Framework’s name. What type of thinking to use depends greatly on the conditions; hence, terms like Conditional Growth and Conditional Mastery are used.

The bedrock of the RoundMap® Framework is the Customer Lifecycle Map, which offers an effective tool for frontline employees to communicate and collaborate across the silos by removing mental and functional barriers.

When we bring the key elements together in one image it looks like this:

Please notice that the red elements are typically missing or undeveloped in organizations that emphasize short-term profit-making and repetitive operational excellence.

Furthermore, let’s discuss a few aspects we found to be critical to achieving long-term growth and sustaining success:

  1. Vision as the Guiding Beacon:
    • Key Concept: The vision is the organization’s overarching destination. It provides a clear and compelling picture of the future.
    • Importance of Shared Vision: Without a shared vision, people lack collective direction. They need this shared understanding to mentally prepare for the journey ahead, including the destination, the timeline, and their expected contributions. A shared vision aligns individual efforts with the organization’s direction.
  2. Strategic Goals and Objectives as the Roadmap:
    • Key Concept: Strategic goals and objectives translate the vision into actionable steps. They are the milestones of the organization’s journey.
    • Importance of Cascading Goals: Without these being cascaded down through every level of the organization, individuals can’t connect their daily actions to the broader strategy. This connection is crucial for people to see the value and impact of their work.
  3. Purpose as the Core Motivator:
    • Key Concept: The purpose answers the ‘why’ behind the organization’s existence and actions.
    • Importance of Defined Purpose: An undefined purpose leaves employees disconnected and disengaged. They must understand the underlying reasons for their tasks to be genuinely motivated and engaged. The purpose provides the emotional and intellectual energy driving their actions.
  4. Mission as the Commitment Clarifier:
    • Key Concept: The mission defines the organization’s approach to achieving its vision.
    • Importance of Clear Mission: A vague mission creates uncertainty about commitments and priorities. People must know who and what they are committing to and caring for in their roles. A clear mission provides this clarity and direction.
  5. Integration with Other Framework Elements:
    • Framework’s Comprehensive Nature: This explanation is just a segment of the broader RoundMap® Framework, which includes the Customer Lifecycle Map, Business Roadmap, Business Model Matrix, Change Map, and four Carousels.
    • Overall Impact: The Framework’s various elements work together to create a holistic approach to business strategy and operations. It integrates customer engagement, strategic planning, business modeling, and change management into a cohesive system.

The RoundMap® Framework’s whole system approach ensures that every element of an organization – from its vision and mission to its day-to-day operations – is aligned and infused with meaning. This alignment is critical for developing value sustainably, as it ensures that every team member understands and is committed to their role in the organization’s journey toward its overarching goals.

The Imperative of Whole System Alignment

Enhancing the understanding of the importance of aligning people with the corporate vision, strategy, purpose, and mission involves exploring the consequences of misalignment and the benefits of achieving this alignment:

  1. Assessing Alignment with Corporate Elements:
    • Essential Elements: The corporate vision, strategy, purpose, and mission are fundamental pillars that define an organization’s direction and identity.
    • Alignment Assessment: It’s crucial to evaluate whether employees understand regularly, agree with, and are committed to these elements. This assessment should consider the organization’s current state and desired future state.
  2. Risks of Misalignment:
    • Disengagement: When employees feel disconnected from the organization’s vision, strategy, purpose, or mission, they are more likely to disengage. Disengaged employees lack motivation, show lower productivity, and may not put in their best effort.
    • Opposition: The risk of employees actively opposing the organization’s direction is more concerning. This opposition can manifest as resistance to change, spreading negativity, or undermining leadership decisions.
    • Value and Belief Alienation: A mismatch between an employee’s values and the organization’s direction can create alienation. Employees who feel their values are not reflected or respected may experience reduced job satisfaction and loyalty.
  3. Benefits of Alignment:
    • Increased Engagement and Productivity: Employees aligned with the corporate vision, strategy, purpose, and mission are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and productive. They understand their role in the larger picture and are committed to contributing effectively.
    • Support for Organizational Change: Alignment fosters a supportive environment for change and innovation. Employees in sync with the organization’s goals are more likely to embrace change initiatives and contribute constructively.
    • Cultural Cohesion: Alignment helps build a solid organizational culture where employees’ values resonate with the corporate ethos. This cohesion enhances teamwork, collaboration, and a sense of belonging.
  4. Strategies for Enhancing Alignment:
    • Effective Communication: Regular and transparent communication about the organization’s vision, strategy, purpose, and mission is essential. Employees should be informed about how these elements evolve and how their work contributes to them.
    • Inclusive Decision-Making: Involving employees in decision-making, especially regarding changes affecting them, can enhance their sense of ownership and alignment.
    • Continuous Learning and Development: Providing opportunities for employees to develop skills and knowledge that support the organization’s direction can reinforce alignment.

Understanding and ensuring alignment with the corporate vision, strategy, purpose, and mission is not just a one-time task but a continuous process. Communicating, engaging, and integrating these core elements into employees’ everyday experiences requires consistent effort. 

By doing so, organizations can create a workforce that is not only aligned but also passionate and driven toward achieving collective goals. This alignment is critical to fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, and sustained success.


Whole System Change

To make transformative change work, it is imperative to realign the whole human system with a new vision, strategy, purpose, and mission. Kurt Lewin’s ‘Unfreeze, Change, Refreeze’ approach explains how stakeholders must be guided toward new behavior and elan.

Let’s look at these aspects in more detail:

  1. The Need for Realignment in Transformation:
    • Context: In a transformative change process, the organization’s vision, strategy, purpose, and mission might evolve or be redefined. This evolution necessitates realigning stakeholders with these new directions.
    • Challenge: Organizations often operate best in stable conditions, and most individuals naturally prefer consistency over change. This preference creates tension during periods of transformation.
  2. Understanding Kurt Lewin’s Model in Change Management:
    • ‘Unfreeze, Change, Refreeze’ Model: Kurt Lewin’s model is a classic framework in change management. It suggests that effective change involves softening (unfreezing) existing behaviors and attitudes, implementing the change (changing), and then solidifying (refreezing) the new ways.
    • Relevance to Stakeholder Realignment: This model highlights people’s psychological process during change, underscoring the need to manage the transition carefully.
  3. Uncovering Individual Motivations:
    • Approach: To facilitate alignment, it’s crucial to understand individual stakeholders’ motivations, beliefs, values, and self-perceptions. This understanding can be gained through targeted questioning and observation.
    • Categories of Inquiry:
      • Behavior: Questions about past adaptability, learning, pressure handling, challenges, and failures help understand how individuals cope with change and adversity.
      • Beliefs: Inquiries into self-criticism, avoidance, internal barriers, fears, and perceived obstacles reveal deep-seated attitudes that may impact their response to change.
      • Values: Questions about goal setting, pride in achievements, job dissatisfaction, impactful work, and motivation in monotonous tasks help understand what drives and fulfills the individual.
      • Role/Identity: Exploring personal identity, uniqueness, life patterns, aspirations, gifts, trust, messaging, and life satisfaction provides insights into how individuals see themselves and their place in the organization.
    • Application in Change Process:
      • Purpose: These inquiries gather information and engage stakeholders in the change process. They help individuals reflect on their roles and attitudes toward the change.
      • Outcome: By understanding and addressing these personal dimensions, you can better guide stakeholders through the transformation and align them with the new organizational direction.

In summary, during transformative changes, aligning stakeholders with the new organizational direction is a delicate process that requires understanding their motivations, behaviors, beliefs, values, and identities. Using targeted questions and observation, you can gain insights to guide them through the change process effectively, ensuring that the transformation is accepted and embraced. This approach aligns with RoundMap’s focus on stakeholder-driven leadership and whole-system transformation.

Framework Architecture

The critical parts of the Framework are (plotted from the center to the edge):

Notice how, for instance, leadership roles trickle down from ‘Execute Strategy to Marketing and Awareness’ or from ‘Create Vision to Success and Significance’. The first may seem straightforward, but it is critical: an evolving vision ties to feedback obtained from customers. Without engaged employees and engaged customers, it’s unlikely to get constructive feedback.

The Business Roadmap (Business Navigator)

You’ll find the Business Roadmap, renamed the Business Navigator, most useful to plan a business venture:

P-O-L-C Framework

Just for references: A manager’s primary challenge is to solve problems creatively. While drawing from a variety of academic disciplines, and to help managers respond to the challenge of management have long been categorized into the four major functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.

VisionOrganizational DesignLeadershipSystems
MissionCultureDecision MakingProcesses
StrategizingSocial NetworksCommunicationsHuman Resources
Goals Teams
Objectives Motivation


  • Edwin Korver

    Edwin Korver is a polymath celebrated for his mastery of systems thinking and integral philosophy, particularly in intricate business transformations. His company, CROSS-SILO, embodies his unwavering belief in the interdependence of stakeholders and the pivotal role of value creation in fostering growth, complemented by the power of storytelling to convey that value. Edwin pioneered the RoundMap®, an all-encompassing business framework. He envisions a future where business harmonizes profit with compassion, common sense, and EQuitability, a vision he explores further in his forthcoming book, "Leading from the Whole."

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