I’m re-reading a really interesting book, Business Model Generation, in which, the first of five sections describe the business model canvas – a tool for describing, analyzing and designing business models. The authors define a business model and provide nine building blocks which form the basis for a tool – resembling a painter’s canvas which allow you to paint pictures of new or existing business models.

So I started wondering about a strategic relationship canvas? A framework about the manner in which you do or perhaps need to, identify, build, nurture, sustain and capitalize your strategic relationships? Not a theoretical exercise, but a tool with a fundamental purpose to foster understanding, discussion, creativity and analysis – of your single biggest off-balance sheet asset: your portfolio of relationships. What would that look like? What would you do with it and how can it help you see through a different lens – that your educational foundation and professional degree are the paint and the brush, but the real art (and science) of getting to a finished product will only come to fruition through the relationships you choose to invest in!

Whether for your personal growth, your team’s performance within a project or a strategic account, or your organization’s quality, diverse, and value-centric relationships, I can’t help but to wonder how many people are flying blindly! Think about it a second – where do your most valuable relationships come from (what worked if you initiated any of those)? Where and how have you captured some of the best practice in your past when you’ve created compelling second interactions? How did you amplify your imagination in nurturing your most valuable relationships to a quantifiable stage? What type of analysis are you willing and able to do to understand how to really sustain and capitalize on some of your relationships and not others? If you struggled to answer any of these, how will you ever improve, grow personally or professionally, and paint the canvas others will admire?

In the coming months we’re launching “Nour Advantage,” and the “Nour 9;” evolutionary ways to gather and foster understanding, discussion, creativity and analysis of strategic relationships. Stay tuned for more info and I hope you’ll make time to joins our canvas and paint a unique picture of your current and future state.

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