Established in 2006 as way to practice the principles of famed urbanist Jane Jacobs, Jane’s Walk is an international non-profit community that develops walking tours intended to encourage engaged citizens to share the different stories, histories and issues they have concerning their community. The unique qualities of communities are designed into walks through knowledgeable walk leaders who are community leaders as well. This format has worked well to empower communities through an engagement format that is led by the community, for the community.
After a focused scoping session, Team Jane (OCAD’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation students) identified three specific areas Jane’s Walk would like to remodel within their organization. The three immediate goals for Jane’s Walk are: (1) Stabilizing their financials; (2) Re-configure their operating structure; (3) Leverage their community engagement. Each of these three goals each have subsections that intertwine, however, the clear priority is to stabilize the financials.
Given organizational and contextual complexity, Jane's Walk was guided through an exercise where risks were raised around establishing a sustainable financial model. Many different risks were identified from the client-side as well as risks that the consultants observed from their understanding of the business thus far.
Based on two criteria, impact and uncertainty, the risks were prioritized. Where impact is defined as a an assumption that would cause the business model to fail if proven wrong, and uncertainty is defined as the level at which the organization knows this assumption to be true. From these two criteria four risks were assigned as critical uncertainties, that the group would address in their research and subsequently, in their tested model.
Before developing the details of the different business model sketches, a set of design criteria was developed to address the crucial elements each proposed strategic option will require.
An influence map was developed to see what the system of internal and external relationships between stakeholders and resources that currently exist now and possibly the future. Relationships that could exist in the future were designed based off Jane’s Walk organizational goals and their established theory of change.
Connections were then made in areas where we saw potential for new business model proposals that could help the organization achieve financial sustainability.
Given that the revenue stream sources are high risk for Jane’s Walk’s financial model, several lines of revenue were addressed and analyzed whether they would be appropriate for Jane’s Walk’s charitable status, mission and vision, and their Theory of Change. Each revenue stream was ranked against as to what extent it satisfied the design criteria. The wind tunnel filters provided another opportunity for project definition, model clarification, risk assessment and team alignment. Once all the scores were marked, the consultant summed the models and selected the highest sums as the models worth further exploring in detail.
To select which of the three lines of revenue models to take forward for testing and eventual implementation to Jane’s Walk, the consultants utilized a variety of academic tools to interpret the organization’s current propensities. Team Jane aggregated the tools, and developed an equation to further synthesize findings.
First, each one of the three lines of revenue models were analyzed through two leadership maturity tests. The more leadership development required to implement the revenue lines models, the harder the model will be to actualize within Jane’s walk. A score was then developed, to illustrate the model’s needed leadership progression; the higher the score, the more difficult the model will be to implement. In other words, the number represents the level of difficulty to implement the model in the market.
Second, each one of the three lines of revenue models were analyzed through a change potential analysis. The more change required to make the model fit within Jane’s Walk, the harder it will be to implement in the long term. Team Jane’s design criteria was filtered through the change implementation test, to analyze the relationship between the specific lines of revenue and the degree of change required to implement that change. A score was then developed, to illustrate the degree of change needed for effective implementation; the higher the score, the more difficult the implementation.
Finally, the innovation potential of the three lines of revenue was analyzed, to illustrate the capacity for further development of the model. Unlike the previous two assessments, the more innovation potential the model has, the more valuable it will be to Jane’s Walk’s long term opportunities.
After the three lines of business were analyzed through the three different frameworks scores were aggregated. The equation represents the revenue models’ degree of potential success, based on the three selected change management frameworks. The equation results are to be analyzed as a group, all the revenue models together, not individually; as without comparison the equation is inefficient. The equation concluded that Jane’s Walk should pursue revenue line model 2, as it has the greatest potential for success, with regard to ease of implementation and innovative impact.