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Stirring Spirit

Applying spirit at work implies invoking it. But now we confront an obstacle!

Matters of the spirit have traditionally been almost the exclusive domain of the "Religions" in the Western World. Yet, one of the main objections to religion in the workplace is that it is a source of division rather than inspiration. In a non Islamic country, (in Islamic countries, being called to prayer during working hours is routine) it could be most disturbing and resented for a Chief Executive of a particular religious persuasion when trying to bring spiritual principles to bear in their companies to force a particular brand of religion on their staff. Additionally, in the US, it would constitute an infringement of the Second Amendment to the American Constitution, which stipulates that people should be free to pursue the religion of their choice.

However, there are many lessons to be learned from Religions and many terms have been adopted by "management."

A common ground that underpins much coaching work is the "Spirit at Work" (SaW) movement, where spirituality helps us in our struggle to determine who we are (our being) and how to live our lives in this world, even at work, (our doing).

Now, a useful starting point is to learn from the wisdom of the past and integrate that with the new knowledge we accumulate and new experiences we encounter.

So, how could a person with a particular religious faith or leaning proceed in order to usefully relate and connect in a relationship of Divine knowledge co-creation?

One route, offered by authors on the spirit at work phenomena, is to suggest that adherents to any one faith adopt a different style - a new paradigm that will better support appropriate conversation.

We can then, in accepting our modern world, more readily become creatively critical of it as we negotiate our own self-interest and beliefs in our value networking!

The table below provides some suggestions. Certainly, in my own experience as a traditional Anglican, it has been most helpful to read more of the dynamics of the world's largest religion, and the inherent challenges it posed both historically, and now, in making sense of life (a).

Yet, another view and approach to achieve transformations from a non religious, almost anti-religious yet loving viewpoint, with great power can be found here (b).

I wonder what may be stirring now.


Features of a religion supporting relatedness.jpg

(a) "Christianity - an introduction," 2007, Alister E. McGrath (Former Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University), Blackwell publishing.

(b) "The breakthrough experience," 2002, Dr John Demartini, Hay House.

Any more good references to other religions would be welcome.

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City firm adds value networks to portfolio

Blackstone Franks is a progressive firm of chartered accountants based in the City of London.

Recognising that company agility and adaptability is key to survival and growth, it has now added value network analysis (VNA) to its portfolio of diagnostic and supporting services. One development is to add VNA to the Activity Review Chart, shown below, which can be used in conversation with SME owners when reviewing their current and future needs.

The firm is no stranger to value networks. It played a leading role in helping visualise the roles played by participants in grooming businesses for sale- demonstrating that it is not a linear process, but one of many interactions in a complex web of inter-relationships. An article on that is here.

Activity Review Chart DM mb.gif

Founded in 1976, Blackstone Franks enjoys a strong reputation both within and without the accountancy profession. It offers:

i) Innovation. Since inception, Blackstone Franks has been at the forefront of developments in the financial world, helping clients to create, conserve and realise their wealth, including pioneering the management buy-out movement in the early 1980's

ii) A very strong technical capacity. For example, in taxation, partner Robert Maas is one of the leading UK practitioners. Former Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Technical Tax Committee, and author of numerous standard publications, he is one of the foremost authorities on UK tax.

You can read more about Blackstone Franks here, and the use of an earlier version of the Activity Review Chart..ABOUT BLACKSTONE FRANKS v3.pdf

You are here:..
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Entrepreneurs develop their business model

This note describes how entrepreneurs benefited from using value networks to underpin their thinking and strategy, having initially practised their pitch within an environment supportive of those aspiring to entrepreneurship. The initial random contact was made at a Regional Meeting of Ecademy in Weybridge with Paul Harvey.

The 3Cs Community ( in the UK is focussed on encouraging entrepreneurship in a supportive atmosphere and receives sponsorship in the form of meeting facilities from a range of organisations - professional firms, research and academic institutions, libraries.

One of the business pitches in May was by Bio Music, whom I introduced, and subsequently suggested they use the value network approach to further refine their business planning.

This note briefly describes the process we undertook to apply value networks over a period of two months.

Developing the Discovery Map

The first conversation was to allow the business owner / CEO to develop what I call a Discovery Map, underpinned by the value network way of representing the key role plays and both formal and informal flows. This was done in free style with a large piece of paper, pens and sticky notes and took about two hours of time together. A tidied up version is shown below.

Data was then fed into a proprietary analysis and report generator tool and sample outputs obtained and distributed.

A comment from the owner at this point is included below the map.

Discovery Map of the Bio Music Business


"Dear David, Just wanted to say, once again, a very big thank you for yesterday’s session at the ICE and for your invaluable input in helping us identify the ‘mechanics’ of our business, which, I find, has greatly helped us to pin-point the priorities to make and the strategy to follow up in order to achieve the overall goal of a global success.

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you in your future presentations of our business model or in any other way at all.

I look forward to receiving your final map in due course and to see you again in the near future, most likely at a future 3Cs event, if not before…

All the very best,

Loriana Music"

Developing the business model and strategy blueprint

The next stage was to involve another key member of the team, Paul Harvey, and allow both to co-develop a business model that incorporated the business strategy. This means using the Discovery map to tease out and use further components that addressed the key questions of "What should we be doing and when?" and " Who will do it and why?"

The technique used in this case was to project the Discovery map (as the underpinning value network) on to the wall which was covered with a large blank sheet of paper. The facilitated conversation was a mix of standard value network analysis subjects, interlaced with strategy considerations, extended over a working day with a break for lunch. The value network was extended by adding new deliverables, highlighting cash flows, and adding the sequence of the flow of deliverables. (Called transactions in the methodology). Some role plays / participants were removed for strategic reasons.

The resulting drawing is shown in the photograph below.


Subsequently, a neat version of the map was created and a nice twist added to the title to create....

A vibrational pull business model.


"Vibrational pull" resonates particularly well in this case for two reasons:

>>> The marketing approach is geared up to the "pull" from potential served markets as opposed to "product push"

>>> The product itself features vibrations of a special nature

This represents the current position. The diagram is now available for use in conveying, through conversation, the dynamics of the emerging and developing business. It can also be used to progress to creating the Business process blueprint and technology blueprints which create prototype and working workflow systems in quick time.

A final word from the entrepreneur..

"Dear David

Many thanks for the Bio Music Vibrational Pull Model.
It seems all fine to me.

Thank you also for the value network map attached to your email.
It does show how valuable the exercise of creating a value network map is in order to enable a clear overview of a business model and to facilitate the process of elaborating the changes required.
I like this a lot!

Best regards,

Loriana Music"

You are at


David is one of the co-founders of 3Cs Community and served on the Board of Directors of the servicing company for many years.


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Past public events on value networks

The is a partial list of past events in the UK. It provides a background to the heralding in to the UK of value networks and analysis, and its validation in the contexts explored.

May, 2006
Workshops at the University of Greenwich introduced the technique of Value Network Analysis to member organisations within the London Knowledge Network coordinated by Martyn Laycock.
Workshops Greenwich May 2006.pdf

August to December, 2006
Where is value in the "Blank" economy? Will the real business or service model please stand up.
(For "Blank" insert your own words - service; knowledge; networked; ecosystem...)

As a follow up to a briefing by Verna Allee on Value Networks on June 15th 2006, hosted by Tony Tzcarnecki, Managing Partner of Euro Business Management Ltd, in the offices of Sun Microsystems, London, the following workshops were held on the 1st Friday afternoon of each month, August to December 2006, facilitated by David Meggitt. The location was at the Institution of Civil Engineers,Westminster, London SW1P 3AA:-

>>4th August
Relationship management
Relationship management typically just focuses on managing information about customers, suppliers, and business partners. A value network approach considers relationships as two- way value-creating interactions, which focus on realizing value as well as providing value. Sub focus on "Politics", "Diversity", "Handling conflict".

>>1st September

Business ecosystem development.
Resource deployment, delivery, market innovation, knowledge sharing, and time-to-market advantage are dependent on the quality, coherence, and vitality of the relevant value networks within business ecosystems.

>>6th October
Market space strategies and investments
Identifying lucrative and powerful investment opportunities requires the ability to quickly assess a complex environment and accurately map the current and emerging market space. A value network analysis helps identify, analyze, evaluate, prioritize, and manage investments in market spaces — ranging from providing seed capital through joint venture financing and support of management buy-ins or buy-outs.

>>3rd November
Reconfiguring the organization
Change is all there is. Mergers, acquisitions, downsizing, expansion to new markets, new product groups, new partners, new roles and functions — anytime relationships change, value interactions and flows change too.

>>1st December

Fast-track complex process redesign
Product and service offerings are constantly changing — and so are the processes to innovate, design, manufacture, and deliver them. Multiple, inter-dependent, and concurrent processes are too complex for traditional process mapping, but can be analyzed very quickly with the value network method.

For each of the five meetings, the following format was adopted.
Focus on one candidate application of value networks
>> apply VNA thinking
>> expose opportunities for:
>>>>>>incorporating as users,
>>>>>>applying as advisors.
Open up meeting to "Anything on the table" as an application
Identify difficulties encountered with methodology generally. Post up for resolution
Adopt, adapt and improve "messages" for CEO's to open up new and authentic forms of assistance that can be delivered profitably.

20-21 November, 2007
Programme and Project Management conference organised by Unicom
Contribution on role of value networks in projects and programmes. "Will the Real Project Please Stand Up?" Organising for value in situations ranging from simple to chaotic.
Project Management Conference 2007 (2).pdf

20th February, 2009
Meeting of Control and Risk Self-Assessment Forum at Grant Thornton, London, UK
This meeting was held to address the challenges of the current credit crunch to pinpoint needed action in organisations. David Meggitt's presentation used the UBS shareholder report to provide an hour's presentation with Q and A on focussing the value network perspective on "appraising business models before and after they come off the rails." The report of this contribution is here.
CRSA Forum Agenda 2009.pdf

11th June, 2009
Achieve win-win with value networks
Held at Regent's Business School, London, by City and Westminster Branch of Chartered Management Institute.
CMI Flyer for value networks.pdf

21st October, 2009
Business Psychology:The Russian-British Experience
Scheduled for The Graduate Centre, Holloway Road, London, organized By: London Metropolitan University and Moscow Higher School of Economics.
Anglo-Russian Conference AT _2_.pdf

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