Business landscape canvas

Updated on Sunday, January 14, 2024

A method that helps teams build a shared vision for where their organization is headed and what external factors are at play.

An organization is a living, evolving entity swimming in a unique context of factors. In order to marshal groups to march in sync toward a shared vision of the future, everyone needs to share an understanding of where they are now. The business landscape canvas uses five framed brainstorms and their discussions to get your team on the same page about how the organization needs to change, and more importantly, why they need to change.

DifficultyAnyone can do this
ParticipantsUp to 12 with or without experience
Time2.5 hours in-person or remote
MaterialsStandard stuff: a way to collect ideas and a place to collect them

How it works

The Business Landscape Canvas captures six rounds of brainstorming on a specific canvas to create a picture of the organization's landscape.

  1. First, brainstorm, group, and prioritize goals (see also: Goal Mapping).
  2. Second, brainstorm what's working or broken in the current state and what success looks like in the future (see also: Future State Vision).
  3. Next, brainstorm forces driving the organization and barriers preventing the organization from changing.

The Business Landscape Canvas produces two views of the organization. One shows the organization's current state: what works, what's broken, and the driving and barrier forces at play. The second view shows the future state vision and organizational goals leading it there.

When to use

Works for any organization or system

Though targeted at the organizational level, the Business Landscape Canvas works for any system at any level. The questions you answer (goals, current state, future state, drivers, and barriers) can be applied to any system from large ecosystems like an organization's ERP system or the smallest system like a specific product.

Perfect for kickoffs

During kickoffs, the Business Landscape Canvas helps teams get all their ideas about where they are and what's going on out into the open, so the entire team can get aligned. The BLC creates a shared understanding about the challenges you need to overcome (barriers and current state issues) as well as why (goals and drivers).

What you need

Inputs

  • Pre-populate the canvas with any items you've already collected. For example, if you've done Goal Mapping or Future State Vision, the outputs from those activities can go straight onto the canvas.

Outputs

  • List of prioritized goals
  • List of current state issues to be addressed
  • List of current state successes to be continued
  • List of future state user stories and success metrics
  • List of driving forces and barriers to be mitigated

Participants

  • Use on your own
  • Up to 12 participants
  • For more than 12, split into groups

Materials

  • Some way to collect ideas
  • Somewhere to collect them like a dry erase board or physical or digital wall

Templates and facilitation materials

Download

business-landscape-canvas-2024-01-14.pdf (68.12 kB). Last modified 01/14/24

Download

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Business landscape canvas (method)
A method that helps teams build a shared vision for where their organization is headed and what external factors are at play.