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Business Frameworks (Part 2)

Business Frameworks – EMyth

In the last post, we looked at how the Business Model Canvas can help startup businesses create a solid foundation and identify the areas they need to work on to be successful. But you’ve waited all week to see what your company – a more established company – needs to implement a solid framework for growth.


When I was first introduced to the Business Model Canvas, I had a friend ask me if I could map the EMyth materials onto the Canvas. For a while I tried to fit the two frameworks into each other, only to be blocked every time. There are some ideas that overlap, but others that really don’t match at all. I struggled with this for a while. Then, I realized that I was trying to do something that really shouldn’t happen. As I mentioned in the last post, the purpose of the Business Model Canvas is to help a startup search. This requires different disciplines than helping an established company execute. Once this idea finally sank in for me, I realized that all frameworks don’t have to answer the same questions the same way. With that insight came the realization that a business that started out using a Business Model Canvas could graduate to another framework like EMyth once they reached the point in their growht where they were no longer searching, but focusing on execution.

For many people the result of reading The EMyth Revisited is to think of systems, systems, systems. This is understandable. To make the point, the book did have to hammer home the systemization idea pretty hard. However, EMyth can be looked at through several lenses. I choose one here that is based on the Seven Dynamics of EMyth Coaching, simplified for this discussion.


Where the Canvas is focused outward, EMyth focuses inward. There is a strong focus on the business owner and their relationship to the business. There is a push to make a business that has now found itself be able to serve the needs of the owner as much as the needs of the Customer Segment and Key Partners. This focus on leadership is something that startups don’t often consider.

One other key reason for focusing inward is that as the business reaches a key point in its growth, the weaknesses of the owner begin to limit the growth. Whether it is the inability to let go of key responsibilities, or not understanding the accounting statements they’re given, the owner’s own limitations become those of the business. No matter who you hire to solve the issues, unless the owner is willing and able to address his own weaknesses, those employees can’t be the solution.

Being It

To help business owners become better leaders, EMyth next focuses on growing the skills that are commonly least familiar: creating a Brand, understanding the Finances, and managing employees.

Let me take a minute and acknowledge some overlap between the Business Model Canvas’s Value Proposition and creating a Brand for the business, and between understanding and using finances and the Revenue and Cost segments of the canvas. Even with this overlap, the skills taught in the EMyth curriculum go deeper to create a more robust understanding of both of these areas of focus in a business. Managing employees is not even addressed in the canvas, and is a skill that most business owners were never taught as they did their jobs.

These three key skills prepare the business owner to be able to understand how to create and control growth so the business is not overwhelmed, and the are not overwhelmed. They teach the strategies of business: brand strategy, hiring strategy, and financial strategy.

Doing It

Then comes a focus on execution. For many business owners, this is far more familiar territory. This is where their inner technician can come back out to play. This is doing. This is applying the Brand strategy to create a Marketing plan, and Sales plan to support that Brand and welcome new customers. This is creating a Delivery system that matches the people in the organization and the financial goals to the needs of customers.

Again, there is some overlap between these disciplines and some of the segments of the Business Model Canvas. Delivery runs into Key Activities, Channels, and Customer Relations. Marketing takes in parts of Customer Relations, Channels, and Customer Segments. Sales covers Channels and Customer Relations. As I said before, mapping the EMyth framework onto the Canvas is not easy to do. However, they often cover the same ground in ways that can build on each other, though often with a different focus based not the current needs of the business and the owner.

Why do you want a framework?

In the State of the Business Owner Report from 2014, one of the three key takeaways is that business owners starting their second or third business tend to be more successful that owners with their first business. (One of the presenters of this report quipped that he wasn’t going to scrap his first business just to be able to be on a second, and I would also not recommend that.) The researchers started to realize that when starting subsequent businesses, the owners tended to focus more on the framework surrounding the business than on a single product or service as what the business provided. This allowed them to create a business that could grow without overwhelming them. The surveyors then went on to recommend that to replicate the success of repeat business owners – dare I call them serial Entrepreneurs? – a first time business owner could focus on the framework and thus increase her chances of success wit that business.

Along with implementing specific systems to drive growth, helping business owners to create an appropriate framework is one of the key things that I provide as an EMyth coach. I also recognize that not all businesses are ready for EMyth, so I also provide help for owners using the Business Model Canvas, or other frameworks that may be appropriate for their needs.

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  1. Business Frameworks (Part 1) | Beyond Imagination Coaching - March 2, 2015

    […] In the next post we’ll look at more established businesses and how the EMyth framework helps them to execute better. You can read Part 2 here. […]

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