Episode 28: Ecosystem Mapping w/Shaun West
6 October, 2020 / Host: Magnus Billgren
Understanding Ecosystems: The New Way of Identifying Value in Today's Connected World
In today's world, we no longer live independently. We need other people, services, and products to help us collaborate. The old world of supply chains of A to B to C is too simple and fails to integrate people and machines properly. Instead, a new way of identifying value is needed, one that takes into account the complexities of the modern connected world. That new way is through understanding ecosystems.
Ecosystems are a way of describing the relationships between different actors in a complex system. By understanding the intolerant relationships and the things that are just there but not expected, we can begin to develop tools that allow us to collaborate within the ecosystem. This understanding of ecosystems and their mapping is critical for product managers seeking to position their products in the marketplace.
Professor Shaun West's model for mapping ecosystems provides a six-step process that includes identifying participating actors, understanding the actors, and mapping the ecosystem, among other things. In this episode, Shaun will explore some of the tools and approaches used in ecosystem thinking, such as service-dominant logic, stakeholder management, and design thinking.
What are Ecosystems and Why are They Important?
Ecosystems are a way of describing the interconnectedness of different actors in a complex system. They are used to describe the relationships between people, machines, services, and products. In the natural world, ecosystems are used to describe the relationships between living organisms and their environment. In the business world, ecosystems are used to describe the relationships between different actors and their environment.
By understanding how different actors are connected and how they interact with each other, we can begin to see the complex relationships that exist within a system. This can help us identify opportunities and risks that might not be apparent if we only look at individual actors.
In an ecosystem, value is created through the interactions between different actors. By understanding how value is created, we can begin to identify opportunities to create more value within the ecosystem. This is particularly important in today's world, where the old world of supply chains is too simple to capture the complexities of modern business.
Approaches to Ecosystem Thinking
There are several approaches to ecosystem thinking, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the most common approaches:
- Service-dominant logic: This approach is based on the idea that value is created through the use of a service, rather than the ownership of a product. In other words, value is created when people use a product or service to achieve a goal. This approach is particularly useful in the service industry, where the focus is on delivering value through the use of services.
- Stakeholder management: This approach is based on the idea that businesses have a responsibility to manage the relationships between different stakeholders in an ecosystem. By understanding the needs and interests of different stakeholders, businesses can create win-win situations that benefit everyone in the ecosystem.
- Design thinking: This approach is based on the idea that businesses need to understand the needs and desires of their customers in order to create products and services that meet those needs. By using a human-centered approach, businesses can create products and services that are more likely to be successful in the market.
Using Ecosystems to Identify Value
The key to identifying value in an ecosystem is to understand the relationships between different actors. By understanding how different actors are connected and how they interact with each other, we can begin to identify opportunities to create more value within the ecosystem. Here are some of the ways that ecosystems can be used to identify value:
- Holistic perspective: We take a holistic view of the ecosystem, considering all the actors, stakeholders, and interactions within it. This includes both tangible and intangible aspects of the ecosystem, such as physical products, digital services, and social networks.
- User-centered design: We focus on the needs, desires, and behaviors of users within the ecosystem. This helps us understand how they interact with different products and services, and how they contribute to the overall value of the ecosystem.
- Co-creation and collaboration: We encourage co-creation and collaboration among different actors within the ecosystem. This helps to foster innovation, create new value propositions, and build trust among stakeholders.
- Continuous learning and adaptation: We adopt an iterative approach to ecosystem development, constantly learning from feedback and adapting our strategies based on new insights. This helps us stay agile and responsive to changes in the ecosystem.
- Sustainability and resilience: We prioritize sustainability and resilience in our ecosystem design, ensuring that it can withstand shocks and disruptions while minimizing negative environmental and social impacts.
- Ecosystems are becoming increasingly important in today's connected world. Understanding how different components of an ecosystem interact and influence each other can help businesses identify new opportunities and create value for customers.
- Ecosystems are not just limited to digital platforms and technology companies. They can be found in many industries, including healthcare, agriculture, and transportation.
- Creating successful ecosystems requires collaboration and partnerships. Companies need to be willing to work together and share data and resources in order to create value for customers and stay competitive in a rapidly changing business landscape.
Speaking of identifying value in today's connected world, one way to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in product management is through specialized certification programs. That's where The Productbeats Product Management Certification Program comes in. This comprehensive program is designed to equip aspiring and practicing product managers with the tools they need to succeed in today's fast-paced, ever-changing business landscape. Whether you're looking to expand your skill set or take your career to the next level, The Productbeats Product Management Certification Program can help you achieve your goals.
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