The Business Model Canvas & Workplace DNA

Many companies don’t think of their workspace in relation to their business model. It is seen more as an overhead, rather than a strategic tool. Here, we discuss why space is a crucial element to the business model and why we’ve created a new service – Workplace DNA.

A business model is how a company creates value for customers, delivers that value continuously and captures value for itself. The rapid emergence of new technologies, changing market demands and the blurring of industries are driving businesses to rethink their business models. Tools, such as the Business Model Canvas, are typically used by businesses to understand how to respond to opportunities or threats using existing or new resources, partners or propositions. For many businesses, particularly those that are knowledge-based, workspace can be a key resource which enables superior human performance in turn driving customer value and profit.

Unfortunately, many organisations see workspace as a fixed cost rather than the strategic enabler it can be. Emphasis on driving down cost can lead to the design of spaces where density and floor-plate optimisation are the focus, which is often at the expense of human interaction and performance. Ignoring the value of workspace as a key business model enabler is a business risk.

Particularly for knowledge-based businesses, workspace can be a key resource which enables superior performance.

Our Workplace DNA service focuses on how the workplace resource supports the organisation’s key human activities, which in turn deliver the value proposition and drive revenue generation, now and in the future.

We run the DNA workshops in collaboration with The Innovation Practice – a Cambridge-based consultancy who provide the tools and knowledge to understand and rethink business models.  The Business Model Canvas is a core tool we use to map and understand how the business functions at different levels, and then ask how the workplace can support this.


It’s more than looking at redesign and space utilisation.

During the session, we run exercises to look at the external and internal threats and opportunities for the business, as well as the company culture, to see how these might shape and influence the business model in the future.  This helps us to explore diverse ways of working and how they can support achieving the business’s goals – these are then the key drivers for thinking about how to change the working environment.  The workplace must function as the “stage” to allow these different, and potentially new, activities to take place.

It’s more than looking at redesign and space utilisation. By looking at business models in the context of workplace planning and design, we can ensure that future ways of working will be enabled, and will deliver value for the organisation and customer.

Would you like to change the way your business thinks about the workplace?

Talk to us today.


David Watts

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