Business Architecture Stack

The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia.

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At today’s EO Strategy Summit we planned the high-level goals for next year’s EO Atlanta chapter. This is the third time I’ve been through the full-day strategy summit planning session and each time the EO certified facilitators do an amazing job. Today’s event was no different.

One of the techniques they talked about today that I hadn’t seen before was the Business Architecture Stack. I’ve seen the individual elements of it but hadn’t seen it presented in this particular manner. The idea behind the stack is that it is a concise representation of the six most important overarching aspects of a business. Here’s information on the stack straight out of the EO workbook:

  • Mission – What you want to do – your reason for “being.”
  • Vision – Why you’re doing what you do – the big-picture goal: have to be able to “see it” in your mind’s eye.
  • Core Values – Four or five beliefs you never compromised and in which you measured against.
  • Positioning Statement – A one or two sentence description of how you do what you do and for whom (i.e. what markets).
  • Value Proposition – One sentence that conveys to others the value you provide for your customers.
  • Tagline – Quick, catchy statement or phrase that embodies who and what you are.

My recommendation is for all startups to go through this exercise within the first 12 months of their business and revisit it annually.
What else? What do you think of the business architecture stack?

8 thoughts on “Business Architecture Stack

  1. When I first read this post, I was thinking about an architecture “stack” diagram, and was imagining in my mind a diagram with layers like: Strategy, People, Finance, etc. I guess that’s the engineer in me. I’m not a fan of diagrams just for diagrams sake. 😉

    But, I’ll agree, that’s a good “stack!” Once you (the owner) knows these things and iterates on them, the high-class problem is making sure everyone on your bus (your clients, and customers) knows ’em too!

    • The first time I saw the name of it I thought of a technical stack as opposed to the high-level company components. Go figure.

  2. the vision statement has got to be short and to the point. otherwise, it will not be memorable. memorable is portable. do you remember obama’s campaign slogan? ( “change we can believe in”) do your remember mccain’s?

    as such, you can’t say it all in your vision statement. it will take time to come up with your vision statement but it will be time very well spent.

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