With the right team, anything is possible
Babe Ruth the famous American baseball player, once said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” The same can be said about designing great businesses: the best businesses are the products of great teams.
Before joining Business Models Inc. and opening the US office in San Fransisco and Silicon Valley, Justin Lokitz spent 15 years working with some great teams at large corporations like Oracle and Autodesk. While he loved helping to guide his teams, as a senior product manager, he also found that it was often tough to sell the idea of innovating in new and different ways, from within these large organizations.
To expand his knowledge (and ability to test some of his ideas), Justin decided to get an MBA in Design Strategy. “Here I was, working and going to school full-time. I spent about eighty to a hunderd hours a week working and studying”, says Justin. By combining work and school, he was able to put what he learned right back into practice. “That’s the great thing about design thinking. It’s not about contemplating your approach for a year and then launch. Instead, it’s about a willingness to experiment.”
Business Models Inc. and Justin had already worked together before the prospect of joing the company even came up. The two had done collaborations when Justin still worked for Autodesk. “I had even done some prototyping to see what it would be like to work for Business Models Inc. At a certain point it really came together in our minds.We could help other companies with innovation and designing new strategies. That’s when I decided that it was time for a change.”
Making the transition from a corporate background to Business Models Inc. took some getting used to, but Justin loves being able to jump into new plans and start experimenting. “I have entrepeneurship in my blood”, is his explanation. “I’m crazy about the idea that we can make anything real, thereby creating newer and better processes for our clients. For instance, when we were writing Design a better business, I knew that if I were to jump in and start writing, no one would stop me. We really value just going for it, even in a very early stage. It’s a great group of entrepeneurial people. The book is a great example of that. We just made it and put it out there in the world, to do its thing.”
Having worked for corporate organizations for over 15 years means Justin has a different approach to helping organizations when compared to those coming from a consulting background. “I understand corporate life and in some cases know more about companies’ technologies than I should. I think it really helped that I was already able to ‘talk the talk’.” Moreover, his experience with many different industries, ranging from airline companies to health care, allows him to use many case studies to work with. “For instance, by taking an example from a pharmaceutical and combining it with an auto company, it can turn into something really special.”
Designing Better Business
In January 2016, Patrick van der Pijl, Maarten van Lieshout and Erik van der Pluijm started work on the book Designing Better Business, which had to be done in three months. After a few weeks, Justin decided to “jump in” and see if he could help. “I actually thought the deadline was great”, he says. “If you can’t do things quickly, it lingers for too long and hen you lose the feel for it.” By working quickly, there are no options to quibble over every single detail.
After one hundred days, the book was finished. Looking back, writing the book cemented Justin’s idea that with the right team, anything is possible. “With the right group of misfits you can do anything with quality. Near the end of the project, we churned out seven chapters in one week. The reactions so far have been very positive. I haven’t found anyone who wasn’t inspired by the book. It was magic, working with these guys.”
Would you like to more about my story, contact me at Justin.email@example.com.