Business Ecosystem

1229 words 5 pages
'Business Ecosystem' The network of organizations – including suppliers, distributors, customers, competitors, government agencies and so on – involved in the delivery of a specific product or service through both competition and cooperation(

By Maya Townsend, MSOD

Today’s organizations are deeply embedded in complex ecosystems. Understanding your company’s space in its ecosystem can help you anticipate market challenges and help your company thrive during change.
Traditional thinking envisions companies as rivals, battling each other for dominance and profit. Today’s organizations operate in a more complex world. They integrate competition and cooperation in innovative and unexpected ways and they need each
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For example:
The government recognized years ago that spouses of enlisted soldiers make up an important part of the military ecosystem and need support services.
Pharmaceutical companies require patent attorneys, researchers, and clinical trial participants in order to be successful.
Hollywood’s ecosystem contains the obvious actors, directors, producers, and cinematographers, but also relies heavily on the media to promote its products.
What companies must succeed in order for customers to use the company’s products and services? In an ecosystem, other companies must succeed in order for an organization to achieve its goals. For example, Michelin cannot sell tires unless people buy cars. Century 21 won’t make its revenue targets unless banks grant home mortgages to prospective buyers.
Once you have a list of critical entities (don’t aim for an exhaustive list – it will take too much time and it will probably change before you’ve finished), look at the role each plays in the ecosystem.
Keystones.1 Keystone organizations are the centerpieces of the ecosystem, generating metaphorical food for others. They accept a broad view of success by inviting partners to expand, grow, or innovate on their core products.

Microsoft is a good example of a keystone organization. It creates products, such as Windows and Microsoft Office, which provide sustenance and livelihood to the


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