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Your Chance to Attend Workshops With 3 World-Changing Thought Leaders

The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam, Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder, and Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley. 

These 3 books are considered some of the best-selling and most influential books within the world of business in the last 10 years. Question is: what are the reasons that have made world-class businesspeople and executives fans of these books? We volunteer to take you to the answer, and along the way uncovering things you can adopt for your organization. 

The Back of the Napkin 

In 2009, Dan Roam, who has served as an advisor for large organizations such as Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and the US Navy, published a book called The Back of the Napkin, which crystalizes his 20 years of work experience. Dan’s idea is simple, yet very powerful. This is because what Dan tries to present in The Back of the Napkin is simply to involve visual image in every step of the process, whether in thinking, communication, or problem-solving. Visual image is more familiar to human beings, attracts more attention, and stimulates both sides of the brain. These all constitute to making everything becoming easier and much more efficient. The visual thinking and communication process can be employed in the setting up of the company’s goal by all its staffs. In this case, there is a higher chance for everyone involved in being able to clearly visualize the goal, leading to a greater level of understanding. At the same time, it will make remembering the goals of various timeframes better, resulting in a greater likelihood of turning those goals into reality.

Try Adopting This: You can easily adopt this method by following these steps

Draw a circle in the middle of a blank piece of paper, and inside the circle insert pictures showing your products or services. Draw your customers: who they are, and their details, to clearly identify them. Between your business and your customers, draw a path leading one to the other, and add in details. You may ask your team to participate in this activity for their creativity, leading to a less boring meeting and a greater level of creativity.

In addition to The Back of the Napkin, Dan Roam also has another book which is also a best-seller called Show Don’t Tell, which emphasizes visual demonstration and less on speaking. This way of presentation, using pictures to tell a story, may be familiar to the readers of AHEAD.ASIA from the illustrations to our articles. This is because the concept behind this idea has been adapted from Dan Roam’s idea as well. 

Business Model Generation

Fast forward one year to 2010, a business book called Business Model Generation, with its main author named Alexander Osterwalder, was published. It quickly rose to become the best selling book within business category. This is because what the Ph.D. student from Switzerland presents is a 9-box business grid called Business Canvas Model. This is a tool he and other contributors created so that even people who never run their own businesses or never study about business could employ to find a business model, examine a business, or even plan their businesses.

Alex intends for the simple 9-box grid to be more practical, convenient and efficient than a thick-volume business plan, which wastes time to write out and almost never put into practice. An important benefit of the Business Model Canvas is that it only uses one sheet of paper to show you the overall picture of your business, and the interconnectivities between all of the boxes. 

Try Adopting This: You can easily adopt this method by following these steps

Sketch or daw a picture explaining each box of your business on a Post-it note and put it into a grid in this order:

  1. Value Proposition – What is our business’s value?
  2. Customer Segment – Who are our customers and what are they like?
  3. Customer Relationship – What kind of relationship do we want with our customers?
  4. Channels – What are the channels to reach our customers?
  5. Key Activities – Things to be done in order to create No. 1,2,3,4
  6. Key Partners – Who should become partners to out company?
  7. Key Resources – All the necessary resources.
  8. Cost Structure – Estimation of expenses of the business, can be gleaned from looking at No. 5,6,7.
  9. Revenue Stream – Where does our revenue come from?

Prioritise each item according to their importance. Pooling everyone’s thinking also helps to generate more varied ideas.

After Alex has introduced the world to his business canvas, universities and institutions teaching business studies the world over, including Thailand’s, have started to adopt Business Model Canvas widely. This has resulted in the workshop teaching Business Model Canvas becoming the most widely taught workshop in the world, and making the name of Alex Osterwalder one of the 50 most influential thinkers in the world. One interesting thing to note is that even Alex has recommended employing Dan’s Visual Thinking to creating Business Model Canvas as well.

Creative Confidence

In the present, ‘Creativity’ has become a quality everyone needed, especially amongst high-level executives and business operators. But we often believe that creativity is a special gift, or a personal talent. That is until 2013, when a book called Creative Confidence, written by Tom Kelly, has changed the perception of many people to understanding that creativity can be created and trained through appropriate process and the right mindset. Tom is well experienced as a founder of IDEO Lab, an organization which employs creativity to solving problems and developing businesses and various inventions through a familiar invention-creating process, Design Thinking. This idea has led to the creation of many inventions, such as Apple’s mouse to AirBNB, one of the world’s most premier Startups.

Try Adopting This: Ideas in Creative Confidence which you can adopt are

  1. Growth State of Mind – Start from a mindset that wants growth and betterment.
  2. Daring and Learning – Dare to fail and to learn.
  3. Creative Sparks and Insights – Try looking for creativity in various places, especially from the true wants of consumers or customers.
  4. The ‘Do something’ Mindset – Having perspective that believes in doing, even if the results are unknown.
  5. Finding Your Calling – Truly find out the goal of creativity or doing these new things.
  6. Building and Innovative Culture and Team – Surround yourself with people and a team that share your thoughts and belief, because you cannot make everything happen alone.
  7. Exercises for Creative Thinking – Practice repeatedly to form habit, whether in the various processes or in Design Thinking.
  8. Creativity for Life – Once you transform practice into habit or practice it frequently enough, you will completely become a creative person. 


Beside being best-sellers, these 3 books also sparked new ideas in the world of business. Using Visual Image in place of words and numbers not only helps with thinking and problem solving, but it has also kick started Storytelling, which is popular at the present, and Dam Roam was, by no means, a small contributor in all these. At the same time, Business Model Canvas is also beginning to replace traditional business plan more and more owing to its convenience and greater effectiveness, leaving only the part of Financial Statement to be written in the old way. While Tom Kelly’s book has changed people’s belief to believing that ‘creativity’ is trainable. These factors all make the workshop created by these three authors, Visual Thinking, Business Model Canvas, and Design Thinking, the most widely taught business workshop in the world in the recent years. Here is a good news: during Corporate Innovation Summit 2019 held on Thursday and Friday 28th-19th March at Centara Grand, Central World, the three authors and owners of the aforementioned world-class workshop will be in attendance and will also host their workshop live for the purchasers of Corporate Innovation Summit 2019 tickets. You will get a chance to learn directly from the originators, which will undoubtedly be more special than learning from our article.      

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