Business Genome is based on the breakdown of corporate DNA into basic building blocks that can be reassembled time and again. 

Basic Concept

The Goal

 

The fundamental goal of the Business Genome is transforming an organisation’s values – an abstract and inexplicit concept – to every part of the organisation’s knowledge and activities.

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Values

Domains

The Obstacle

 

People rarely share the same idea what a particular value means in their daily work. That is hard to achieve even with obviously less abstract concepts. 
 

If a group of people is tasked with a simple task to draw a tree, the result would be a variety of visualisation of a “tree concept.”

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Tree?

The Manifestation

 

The basic building block of a business genome consists of a value, a manifestation, and a domain. This combination defines how exactly a particular organisation’s value manifests itself at the specific companies’ domain. 

 

The manifestation is unambiguous and organisation-specific.

Value

Manifestation

Domain

Framework

Examples

 

Examples are courtesy of Boba.com, one of the world’s most successful brands of baby carriers. 

Values 

Values are principles that influence attitudes and conduct and act as guidelines in any situation. 

Five values define Boba and everything it does: 

“Human closeness.” 

“Parents by nature.”

“Positive force.”

“Superior customer experience.”

“Original, yet rooted.”

Domains

Each business operates in a multitude of domains that are spheres of activity and knowledge relevant to the organisation.

Six main domain groups:  

 

Business  

 

 


Relations 

 


Product 

 

 


Content 
 

 


Spatial 

 

 


Services
 

 

 

Business model related domains such as category, offer-range of products and services, their pricing, partners, suppliers, channels, revenues. 

 

Related to stakeholders and the environment. How to treat employees, customers, suppliers, local community, investors or regulators.  


Domains related to physical and digital products or services (if sold as a product). From feature sets to shapes and materials, ergonomics, usability, interfaces, interactions, packaging, unboxing, and onboarding. 


Related to the content across all channels: internal, PR, marketing, and social. From verbal content such as the type of language, tone of voice, descriptions, anecdotes, to visuals such as colours, typography, style of photography and illustrations, iconography, information graphics, patterns, and the like. 


Everything to do with the space around us, exterior to interior, urbanism, architecture, and interior design. Features, standards, light, materials, locations, offices, retail spaces, galleries, shops, fair stands, and pop-up places. 


Services as a support for users and customers (not to be confused with services sold as a product). Over the entire customer lifetime; before they are customers, over the time of using products, and after the purchase.  Customer support, subscriptions, return policy, customisation, concierge service, or advice. 

Manifestations

A manifestation by definition is an event, action, or object that clearly shows or embodies something abstract or theoretical. It is explicit and unambiguous.

First, we take the first value “Human closeness,” and take a look at how it manifests itself at various domains:

Domain: 

Product / Features 
 

Relations / Employees

Content / Photography

Value: 

“Human closeness.” 

Manifestation: 

Our products enable maximal contact between mother and child. 

 

We encourage our people spending time together. 

Our photos convey relationships. 

At this point, we turn the viewpoint around, we take a single domain, in this case, “Product/Features” and take a look at how various values manifest themselves at the chosen domain:

Domain: 

Product / Features 

Value: 

“Human closeness.” 

 

 

“Parents by nature”

 

 

“Original yet rooted”
 

Manifestation: 

Our products enable maximal contact between mother and child. 

 

Our products should be intuitive to mount and use. 

Look for inspiration in indigenous and traditional baby carriers. 

 


 

When we contract it, we end up with a genome snippet that determines a single domain, the features of a Boba product:

PRODUCT/FEATURES

Our products enable maximal contact between mother and child. 

 

Our products should be intuitive to mount and use. 

Look for inspiration in indigenous and traditional baby carriers. 
 

More in-depth on this subject in 
Business Genome White Paper

It’s an example of only a small part of the genome but when used as an integral part of the product brief, it will inform and guide the internal team of technologists, product managers, and designers. 
If the company commissions the product development or design to an external team, that partner will have the same guidelines as the internal team. 


By setting the genome as guidelines for specific activities, in this case as part of a product brief, it also sets the criteria for evaluating the adequacy of decisions made and solutions obtained in this way.

 

It significantly increases the capability to manage the intangibles and to apply metrics to a previously elusive or arbitrary process.

Briefs

A brief is a compact set of information, directions, or instructions to inform decisions and guide activities.

By further applying manifestations of values to other product-related domains, the “product brief” grows more comprehensive. 

Presenting only a fragment to illustrate the point, we created a genome snippet that guides the Boba product design:

R&D/PRODUCT DESIGN BRIEF

Our products enable maximal contact between mother and child. 

Our products should be intuitive to mount and use.

Look for inspiration in indigenous and traditional baby carriers.

Our product provides easy reach to customer support. 

We use natural materials and simple forms. 

...

To use the same example to demonstrate the application for various functions. The genome can inform business decisions, in this case, a decision on a new product line:

R&D/NEW PRODUCT LINE BRIEF

We don’t follow the hype.  

We do not develop products that divide parents and children. 

Our products have a minimal environmental effect.

...

When a company is present in 50+ markets (both in retail and online) just the effort to achieve and maintain a consistency of marketing communications can be overwhelming for the marketing team.

MARKETING/AGENCY BRIEF

Our tone of voice is friendly, yet not too funny nor patronising. 

Our photos convey relationships.

We are transparent in the use and origin of the materials we use.

We are a positive force in society.

We are modern, but we draw inspiration from indigenous traditions.

...

It is a well-known adage that “A” people hire  “A” people and that “B” people hire “C” people. It is essential to recruit in line with organisation's values, not just required skills or qualifications.

HR/RECRUITMENT BRIEF

Everyone in customer support should have parenting experience. 

We are kind people. 

We like to help.

...

More in-depth on this subject in Business Genome White Paper