The BICEPS© framework
Value Proposition & Performance Management
Profit or not-for-profit, self-employed or multinational – whatever the size and nature of your organization may be, there will likely be identical parameters between your company and others. We all need to generate income, keep up with market developments, satisfy our customers, have competent staff and work efficiently. On top of that, we must do so in a responsible manner. How do you find a distinguishing proposition, balancing between these parameters? How do you track the collaborative performance, and visualize the results? How do you measure the precipitated strength of your organization? And how do you engage staff to feel part of a common mission? It is these questions that the BICEPS© framework provides answers to.
BICEPS is a strategic framework for proposition and performance management. It brings together the aforementioned parameters in six building blocks, or elements:
- – Business Results
- – Innovative Edge
- – Customer Experience (CX)
- – Employee Experience (EX)
- – Process Optimization
- – Sustainability
Why should you care?
The BICEPS framework serves two purposes. The first is to aggregate some of the world’s most renowned ideas, models and strategies into a single framework, to help you see the wood for the trees when defining your value proposition. The second purpose is to give your stakeholders proof of their contribution, so that they’ll feel valuable and appreciated for their commitment.
The BICEPS framework comprises the six most important elements for the distinctiveness of an organization, regardless its size or nature. The balance you choose between these elements determines the unique DNA of your organization, and provides guidance for all decision-making. This strengthens employee engagement, since it results in a shared responsibility for one common mission. Because BICEPS directly links all objectives and KPIs to that mission, it is possible to measure whether and to what extent each action taken contributes to achieving it.
The six BICEPS elements incorporate established ideas about value proposition, including the Value Disciplines: product leadership, customer intimacy, and operational excellence (Treacy & Wiersema, 1995), Generic Competitive Strategies (Porter, 1998), Blue Ocean Strategy (Chan Kim & Mauborgne, 2015), and Triple Bottom Line: people, planet and profit (Elkington, 1994/2018).
The BICEPS Performance Chart and BICEPS Performance Index provide an integral solution for organizations that want to track how they perform on all key indicators – anytime, in real-time, and over any period of time. All within the blink of an eye, with one comprehensive chart and a single performance figure. This offers the possibility to communicate this information in a simple and unambiguous way.
The framework can be customized for any level where performance management takes place, be it on a corporate, partnership, department, team, or individual level. As a result, your co-workers can see their direct impact and relevance in achieving the established results, boosting morale and employee engagement.
Stop focusing on NPS, strong brands have BICEPS©
1. Value Proposition
Any organization, even a not-for-profit, needs some form of income to pay salaries and/or finance its activities. Without a proper income, no independent organization can survive, let alone thrive. Companies that put business results up front, are primarily focused on making profit to establish economic growth. This growth enables them to scale up, and strengthen their market share and competitiveness. It provides the funds to invest in things like new segments, acquisitions and innovation. It is, in fact, the core principle of the capitalist economic system. Focusing on maximum profitability and Return on Investment (ROI) is good for the economy, employment opportunities, your shareholders, and your bonus.
“The species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself” (attributed to Charles Darwin). In business terms that is: those not only capable of following, but also of igniting and leading the change, are the winners. Those who are not and rely too much on cash cows, face the ultimate risk to lose relevance, shrink dramatically, or even seize to exist (e.g. Kodak, Nokia). The latter can be dethroned by (exponentially growing) startups, that disrupt their markets by bringing a fresh breeze, doing things smarter, or by creating demand in unexplored niches.
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE (CX)
The great thing about today’s innovative technology, is that it enables hyper personalized convenience. Convenience leads to customer satisfaction. But customer satisfaction alone is not enough these days, because it doesn’t guarantee a high retention rate. And differentiation on price or product is hard to maintain, since these are relatively easy to replicate. This phenomenon is also referred to as the commodity trap (D’Aveni, 2009). In recent years, customer intimacy has become a successful alternative value proposition. This development has resulted in different kinds of business models, which are also referred to as the experience economy (Pine & Gilmore, 1999/2019).
EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE (EX)
Companies can hardly keep up with the fast pace of innovation, and many have initiated digital transformation programs. They often fail, however, in getting their workforce to buy in and adopt new ways of working. In fact, only about 20% of change programs succeed. Few things are more persistent than habits, and people tend to show resistance when change is imposed on them. This requires a type of leadership that not only sees human capital as the most costly, but even so much recognizes it as the most valuable asset. So how can you facilitate, inspire and motivate your staff to bring out the best of themselves and each other?
“Time is money”, so working effectively and efficiently is good for business. Process Optimizations is all about achieving operational excellence and continuous improvement (CI). It includes factors like systems, networks, partnerships, resources, energy, waste, logistics, communications, learning capabilities, risk and compliance, and the way of working. Innovation and process optimization go hand in hand. The invention of the wheel, for instance, enabled us to carry heavier loads over longer distances. The steam engine, electrical power, personal computers, and more recently artificial intelligence and robotics, have had a huge impact on efficiency and productivity. Over the past few decades, several Lean and Agile based methodologies have proved very successful in accelerating innovation, improving quality and efficiency, and minimizing waste and risk.
The United Nations Millennium Campaign was launched in 2002, with the aim to eradicate poverty and ensure environmental sustainability by 2015. The world had never been that rich, and the odds had never been so favorable, until a global economic recession set in. In 2016, the campaign made way for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We still have a long way to go before these goals are met, but awareness is growing. The rising concerns about carbon emissions (climate change), nitrogen levels (biodiversity), plastic soup (pollution), and unequal opportunities (humanity), are putting an increasing pressure on companies to recognize their share, take responsibility, and become more socially involved. Simultaneously, consumers become more and more conscious about their ecological footprint and desire for a healthier lifestyle.
2. Performance Management
Different departments are likely to have different targets, KPIs and metrics. When KPIs are unaligned or even conflicting, it can lead to lack of collaboration (silos) and employees becoming disengaged. As a result, the overall performance of your organization may become compromised. The BICEPS framework enables to focus on a balanced set of company-wide KPIs and metrics, that represent the mission statement, value proposition and high-level targets. The metrics of secondary and third level KPIs, if any, all ‘feed’ the main KPIs.
Many organizations have adopted their Net Promoter Score (NPS) as the one metric to engage employees. A single figure brings simplicity to complex matters, and is easy to communicate. NPS, however, is a specific metric that represents the customer experience only, which is just one of the six elements in the BICEPS framework. Still utilizing the power of a single figure, BICEPS introduces a consolidated index that represents all elements: the BICEPS Performance Index (BPi). This approach makes it possible to engage every coworker, using a figure they can relate to since they directly contribute to it. The BPi can be calculated regardless what combination of metrics is used (percentage, amount, likert, etc.).
Contact me if you are interested in discussing what the BICEPS framework can do for your organization.